Recommended Reading

Manuels Martyrium (German Edition) Paperback, by Meht Pans (Editor) (April 22, 2024), ISBN-13 978-3759708083

Autobiographie des unsagbaren Leidensweges einer Familie, deren minderjähiger Sohn von katholischen Geistlichen monatelang durch deren Gruppenvergewaltigung für sein Leben körperlich und geistig geschädigt wurde. In tätiger Beihilfe sogar des Bundespräsidenten der Republik. [Autobiography of the unspeakable ordeal of a family whose minor son was physically and mentally damaged for life by being gang-raped by Catholic clergy for months. With active support even from the Federal President of the Republic.]

Disobedient Women: How a Small Group of Faithful Women Exposed Abuse, Brought Down Powerful Pastors, and Ignited an Evangelical Reckoning, by Sarah Stankorb (August 8, 2023), ISBN-10:1546003800, ISBN-13:978-1546003809 Read reviews

Journalist Sarah Stankorb outlines how access to the internet—its networks, freedom of expression, and resources for deeply researching and reporting on powerful church figures—allowed women to begin dismantling the false authority of evangelical communities that had long demanded their submission.

FALSE MEMORIES – The Deception That Silenced Millions, by Lynn Crook (August 25, 2022), ISBN-13:979-8842213771 Read reviews

When states allowed adults who were molested as children to sue for damages, accused parents went on the offense. The parents claimed the accusations were false memories implanted by therapists. The parents established a non-profit and invested millions in a PR campaign to promote themselves as falsely accused, and to dismiss crimes committed against children as false memories. As evidence, they offered the story of an older brother who convinced his younger brother he was lost at a mall. The false memory story went viral. The popular press and psychology textbooks failed to challenge false memory claims. Individuals who challenged false memories were silenced. The author explains how her successful lawsuit against her parents helped her uncover the rest of the false memory story.

Thriving After Child Sexual Abuse (Dr. Pamela J. Pine, Lead Author). This book is for: Survivors of CSA, Practitioners/ Therapists, Program Managers, Educators, etc. Read reviews

This collaboration brings together real stories from 23 international authors, most of them CSA survivors. At the end of each chapter are tools from survivors and practitioners who have been on the front lines of the fight for justice and healing. Together, they’re normalizing the conversations around CSA; bringing awareness, training, and education to practitioners and communities; changing norms; and empowering victims, survivors, and their families and other supporters. This book has a solid 5-Star rating.

Vanishing Predators: Disgraced Catholic Clergy Flying Under the Radar, by Daniel Carlson (October 24, 2018) 978-1720217572  Read reviews

In 2002, staggering headlines revealed one Catholic priest's lengthy record of child abuse. When the news broke, Dan Carlson was stunned to learn that the man at the center of the storm was his former parish priest, and someone he thought was a friend. Life-changing news soon followed when Dan learned that his son had been one of this evil priest's victims more than two decades earlier.In this book, Dan recounts the arduous and painful process his son endured in the search of justice and healing from the Catholic Church. He also outlines the problem of Catholic clergy who, though laicized following credible allegations of child abuse, do not have to register as sex offenders under Megan's Law. As such, these individuals face no restrictions on where they can reside or work in unsuspecting communities.Dan concludes with several recommendations for limiting the potential risk these laicized former clergy pose in the neighborhoods where they now live, along with thoughts on the continuing child sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church.


The Priest's Pawn: The True Story of One Woman's Sexual Harassment by a Catholic Priest, by Anne Christine (July 25, 2018) 978-1721189038  Read reviews

Although sexual harassment and is being discussed...and bravely faced, by many people today, there is still a crime that lurks in the shadows....that is the sexual harassment and abuse of adults by Catholic priests. Victims are either too ashamed or too afraid to talk about this taboo subject. And its perpetrators are being hidden and protected behind their vestments, their brotherhood, and the vast wealth and size of the Roman Catholic Church.


Courage At Three AM, by A. W. Richard Sipe (FriesenPress, August 18, 2017) 978-1525510397

A.W. Richard Sipe began writing poetry after his 80th birthday. Unintentionally, that production, entitled I Confess, turned out to be the beginning of a memoir that reflected his concurrent work in psychoanalysis. Courage is the continuation of his earlier process. It reflects his deep commitment to the years of struggle with the sexual problems of the Catholic Church, specifically advocating for those abused by bishops and priests.

All of Sipe's experiences and struggles are reflected in the pathos and promise of his poetic outpourings. His gratitude to his friends is a major factor in his ability to continue his work and scholarship. His wife of 47 years, Marianne Benkert, a psychiatrist, and their son Walter, also a psychiatrist, have shared some of the same interests and commitments. He and his wife are now retired in La Jolla, California.


The Power To Choose: A Survivor's Story, Susan Bisaha (Susan Bisaha, January 1, 2017) 978-0692584224 Read reviews

Life seemed rocky from the start and I prayed for love, acceptance, and to feel important. My prayers were answered when Father Marcus became "the savior" who took me under his wing; but as one of the "chosen ones", it soon became clear this was not the experience any child would want or deserve. This riveting story based on true events will take you on my journey of almost fifty years, and how I came to CHOOSE what my future would be despite a painful past.


The Well-Armored Child: A Parent's Guide to Preventing Sexual Abuse, by Joelle Casteix (River Grove Books, USA, August 11, 2015) 978-1632990396 Read review

Author Joelle Casteix has filled the need for an easy-to-read toolkit for parents when it comes to preventing childhood sexual abuse. When her own child was born, she was deluged with tomes that covered everything from breastfeeding to choosing the right college. But one book was noticeably absent. It’s the book that can help parents take action to prevent their child from becoming another statistic.

The Well-Armored Child gives parents the tools and strategies to understand how predators “groom” children, why many of our trusted institutions cover up abuse, and how to empower children without shame, fear, or inappropriate discussions of sex.

Tom Doyle’s bibliography

Tom Doyle is a Dominican priest who has been involved in the clergy sex abuse crisis since 1984. He has offered survivors and their families support and has served as an expert witness in criminal and civil cases. He has also done expert and consultant work with grand juries in the U.S., with the three investigative commissions in Ireland and with the Cornwall Commission in Canada. 


The Catholic Labyrinth: Power, Apathy, and a Passion for Reform in the American Church, by Peter McDonough (Oxford University Press, USA July 15, 2013) 978-0199751181. Read review

Sexual abuse scandals, declining attendance, a meltdown in the number of priests and nuns, the closing of many parishes and parochial schools--all have shaken American Catholicism. Yet conservatives have increasingly dominated the church hierarchy.

In The Catholic Labyrinth, Peter McDonough tells a tale of multiple struggles that animate various groups--the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, Voice of the Faithful, and the Leadership Roundtable chief among them--pushing to modernize the church. One contest pits reformers against those who back age-old standards of sexual behavior and gender roles. Another area of contention, involving efforts to maintain the church's far-flung operations in education, social services, and healthcare, raises constitutional issues about the separation of church and state. Once a sidebar to this debate, the bishops' campaign to control the terms of employment and access to contraceptives in church-sponsored ministries has fueled conflict further.

McDonough draws on behind-the-scenes documentation and personal interviews with leading reformers and "loyalists" to explore how both retrenchment and resistance to clericalism have played out in American Catholicism. Despite growing support for optional celibacy among priests, the ordination of women, and similar changes, and in the midst of numerous departures from the church, immigration and a lingering reaction against the upheavals of the sixties have helped sustain a popular traditionalism among "Catholics in the pews." So have the polemics of Catholic neoconservatives. These demographic and cultural factors--as well as the silent dissent of those who simply ignore rather than oppose the church's more regressive positions--have reinforced a culture of deference that impedes reform. At the same time, selective managerial improvements show promise of advancing incremental change.

Timely and incisive, The Catholic Labyrinth captures the church at a historical crossroads, as advocates for change struggle to reconcile religious mores with the challenges of modernity.


Mortal Sins: Sex, Crime, and the Era of Catholic Scandal, by Michael D'Antonio (St. Martin's/Dunne 2013).  ISBN 978-0-312-59489-3. Read review

Pulitzer Prize–winning journo D’Antonio (Atomic Harvest) pens what will be widely regarded as the definitive history of the Catholic Church’s “most severe crisis since the Reformation”: the revelations of endemic sexual abuse of minors by priests in the United States and Europe. Employing his considerable gift for sifting through mountains of facts, the author carves out a coherent and enthralling narrative, and brings the long-running tragedy to life by focusing on the handful of individuals responsible for bravely exposing the pain and horror of the abused children. In 1984, American priest Thomas Doyle learned of a lawsuit brought by parents of a victim, and was deeply troubled by his superiors’ callous nonchalance toward the suit, and more alarmingly, toward the suffering child. (When Doyle asked a monsignor, “What are you doing for the boys?,” he responded, “As far as I know, nothing.”) Along with plaintiffs’ attorney Jeffrey Anderson, Doyle and a few others worked tirelessly to get the church, the media, and the public to pay attention; their persistence eventually paid off. D’Antonio peoples his reportage with fully realized individuals, and their plight—not to mention the stakes—makes for feverish reading.


This Little Light: Beyond a Baptist Preacher Predator and His Gang, by Christa Brown (Foremost Press 2009). ISBN: 978-0-9818418-3-0. Read more. 
SNAP Baptist Leader Christa Brown is the author of the just-published, "This Little Light". This inspiring story about the courage of one survivor has sparked a movement toward healing and prevention among Baptists. In this groundbreaking memoir and exposé, Christa Brown tells the story of clergy sex abuse and cover-ups in the largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention. As she shares her journey from trusting church girl to tenacious advocate for children's safety, Brown shines a light on the patterns of preacher-predators and the collusion of evangelical leaders. This Little Light speaks of the unspeakable, and in doing so, testifies to the transformative power of truth-telling.


Tempest in the Temple: Jewish Communities and Child Sex Scandals, by Amy Neustein (Brandeis 2009). ISBN: 978-1584656715. Read review. 

SNAP's former President and Founder, Barbara Blaine, authored a chapter in Amy Neustein's book. The chapter explains the history of the SNAP movement as well as the power survivors have claimed and used to attempt to protect other innocent children and adults from being abused. What the clergy abuse victims started has become a national movement with survivors not only from within the Catholic church but from all denominations and is now spreading to those abused by anyone in a position of authority. The courage, creativeness and dedication of the pioneers of SNAP sparked a new civil rights movement which is spreading across the United States and the Globe. We can all be proud and gratified to be part of such a successful and powerful movement.


Crosses: Portraits of Clergy Abuse, by Carmine Galasso, ISBN: 978-1-904563-59-4. 

Accompanying the words are black and white portraits of the survivors today, in places that for them echo where they are now, or where they were then. Each has a different story to tell, a unique pattern of abuse, though they all share certain similarities. A certain grooming by the perpetrator, a blind trust of the parents in this person to look after their child both spiritually and in all ways their welfare, all systematically overruled by the one person who a community put their faith in.


Innocence Betrayed - A Dad's Story of Clergy Misconduct, A novel by H. J. Wisocki and C.J. Szajnecki. ISBN: 1-4241-8171-2.  

Based on the true story of Curt Szajnecki's battle with the United Methodist Church to get the administrators to follow their own Sexual Ethics Policy and remove the reverend that ripped apart and dissected his family, separating husband andwife, parents and children, sister and sister. This is the story of a father who refused to give up. 


Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church's 2,000-Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse (Hardcover), by Thomas P. Doyle, A. W. R. Sipe, Patrick J. Wall, (Bonus Books, 2006) ISBN: 1566252652. 

Sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by Catholic clergy burst onto the American scene in 1984. Revelations about such abuse since then have confirmed that this tragedy is not limited to the U.S. Catholic Church, nor is it a new phenomenon that grew out of so called secularizing trends of the late twentieth century. The Doyle-Sipe-Wall report clearly demonstrates a deep seated problem that spans the Church's history. This collection of documents from official and unofficial sources begins its survey in 60 CE and concludes with the contemporary scandal. It reveals an institution that has tried to come to grips with this devastating internal problem from its earliest years. 


Our Fathers: The Secret Life of the Catholic Church in an Age of Scandal, by David France. (New York, Broadway Books, January 2004) ISBN: 0767914309. 

France, who covered the Catholic Church sex scandal as an investigative editor at Newsweek, delivers a huge volume that offers reasons for the scandal and humanizes those involved--victims, perpetrators and hierarchy.


Lead Us Not Into Temptation: Catholic Priests and the Sexual Abuse of Children, by Jason Berry. (Originally Published late 1992; Paperback edition: Univ. of Illinois Press, April 2000), ISBN: 0252068122. 

Berry, a New Orleans journalist, tips over a religious rock and finds a nest of corruption, deceit, and despair. This proves to be a temperate, detailed investigation of a religious tragedy: pedophilia among Roman Catholic priests. 


Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church, by Boston Globe Investigative Team. (Originally Published June 2002; Paperback edition: Back Bay Press, April 2003), ISBN: 0316776750. 

Focusing on abuse in the Boston Archdiocese, BETRAYAL provides a detailed, devastating account of the Catholic Church's decades-long cover-up that has left millions of American Catholics shocked, angry, and confused. BETRAYAL brings into focus the scores of abusive priests who preyed upon innocent children, and the cabal of senior Church officials who covered up their crimes.


A Gospel of Shame: Children, Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church, by Frank Bruni and Eleanor Burkett. (Originally published 1993; Paperback edition: Perennial, June 2002) ISBN: 0060522321.


Brother Tony's Boys: The Largest Case of Child Prostitution in U.S. History, by Mike Echols. (Prometheus Books, July 1996). ISBN: 1573920517. 

The riveting true story of Pentecostal evangelist Brother Tony Leyva explains how he used his status as "annointed prophet of God" to systematically manipulate and sexually assault the young sons of his followers and procure victims for other "men of God."


Is Nothing Sacred?: The Story of a Pastor, the Women He Sexually Abused, and the Congregation He Nearly Destroyed, by Marie M. Fortune. (Pilgrim Press, March 1999), ISBN: 0829812709.


Child Sexual Abuse in Protestant Christian Congregations: A Descriptive Analysis of Offense and Offender Characteristics, Article, Andrew S. Denney, Kent R. Kerley, and Nickolas G. Gross

Utilizing data from 326 cases of alleged child sexual abuse that occurred at or through activities provided by Protestant Christian congregations, this study examines demographic and contextual characteristics of alleged child sexual abuse that took place within the most prevalent religious environment in the United States. 


Vatican Issues, Church Doctrine, Legal Issues

Justice Denied, What America Must Do to Protect its Children, by Marci Hamilton. (Cambridge University Press, April 2008) ISBN: 052188621X. 

Recent events such as the clergy abuse scandal in the Catholic Church have brought the once-taboo subject of childhood sexual abuse to the forefront. But despite increasing awareness of the problem, the United States has not succeeded in establishing effective means of deterring and preventing it, leaving the children of today and tomorrow vulnerable. Hamilton proposes a comprehensive yet simple solution: eliminate the arbitrary statutes of limitation for childhood sexual abuse so that survivors past and present can get into court. Removing this merely procedural barrier permits thousands of survivors to make public the identities of their perpetrators and to receive justice and much-deserved compensation. Standing in the way, however, are formidable opponents such as the insurance industry and the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. In Justice Denied, Hamilton predicts a coming civil rights movement for children and explains why it is in the interest of all Americans to allow victims of childhood sexual abuse this chance to seek justice when they are ready. 


Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church, by Leon J. Podles. (Crossland Press, November 2007) ISBN: 0979027993. 

Sacrilege explores the deep roots of the Catholic Church's sexual-abuse scandal, revealing its full depth and breadth. In horrifying yet necessary detail, former federal investigator Leon Podles surveys the full extent of the damage, showing how victims were failed by bishops, laity, therapists, police, courts, press, and even popes. Examining the history behind today's headlines, Dr. Podles reveals how centuries-old theological errors encouraged blind submission to hierarchy, by making obedience to authority the highest virtue. He also shines a light on the new theological errors, popularized since Vatican II, that glorify every type of sexual expression--including pedophilia. Sacrilege will prove an essential resource for all those concerned with the history and future of Catholicism. 


Holding Bishops Accountable: How Lawsuits Helped the Catholic Church Confront Clergy Sex Abuse, by Timothy B. Lytton. (Harvard University Press, 2008) ISBN: 0674028104. 

The sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy is arguably the most acute crisis Catholicism has faced since the Reformation. The prevalence of clergy sexual abuse and its shocking cover-up by church officials have obscured the largely untold story of the tort system's remarkable success in bringing the scandal to light, focusing attention on the need for institutional reform, and spurring church leaders and public officials into action.


Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II, by Jason Berry and Gerald Renner. (Free Press, March 2004) ISBN: 0743244419. 

VOWS OF SILENCE follows the staggering trail of evasions and deceit that leads directly to the Vatican -- and taints the legacy of Pope John Paul II. This book is a riveting account of Vatican cover-ups and the tumult they have caused in the church worldwide. VOWS OF SILENCE is not a book about sexual abuse; it is a book about abuse of power, throughout the Vatican. READ MORE

God vs. the Gavel, Religion and the Rule of Law, by Marci Hamiton.(Cambridge University Press, May 2005) ISBN: 0521853044. 

"Marci Hamilton has heroically and truthfully confronted the widespread American myth that all things done in the name of religion are good and deserving of constitutional protections. She has accurately named the harm done in the name of religion and how this harm is protected and enabled by the courts and law enforcement by way of the inaccurate application of the First Amendment. God vs. The Gavel is essential reading for those who insist that religion be true to its fundamental mission and not about victimizing people for the sake of power, privilege or financial gain." Thomas P. Doyle, O.P., J.C.D., C.A.D.C., Canon Lawyer, Advocate for those abused by Clergy.


Keep the Faith, Change the Church, by James Muller and Charles Kenney. (Rodale Press, March 2004) ISBN: 1579548903.

Co-authored by VOTF founding president James Muller and author Charles Kenney, Keep the Faith, Change the Church is a highly readable narrative of the founding story of Voice of the Faithful. While no single book can tell the whole story, Muller and Kenney articulate the steady advance of an awakening spirit in the laity that has moved from outrage to resolve in returning responsibility to Catholicism. From the first gathering in St. John the Evangelist School basement in Wellesley, MA through the 2002 convention in Boston, and on to the time of Cardinal Law's resignation, the authors describe the surprises, disappointments and revelations about Church dynamics and politics as well as survivors' prophetic courage, priests' struggles and Catholic activism. 


The Unhealed Wound: The Church and Human Sexuality, by Eugene Kennedy, (St. Martin's Press, May 2001), ISBN: 0312266375. 

Kennedy's book blends history, psychology, theology, and journalistic storytelling in a sophisticated and humane analysis of where and how Catholic teaching about human sexuality has gone wrong.


An Irish Tragedy by Joe Rigert, (Crossland Foundation, Village Square II, Suite 254, Baltimore, MD, 21210. $15 or 

An Irish Tragedy is describes precisely the end result of the continuum of excessive and superstitious piety, toxic clerical control and a twisted sexual morality which has all converged into too many cases of sexual abuse of minors and deceitful cover-up by bishops.  This book will help you understand the breadth of sexual abuse, the rank duplicity of the hierarchy from the popes on down and the deep roots the causality has in our culture, both religious and secular.   


Clergy Sex Abuse Litigation: Survivors Seeking Justice, by Jennifer M. Balboni, (First Forum Press, 2011), ISBN: 978-1-935049-37-1 

Why did victims of Catholic clergy sexual abuse wait so long to come forward, and what did their recourse to the courts finally achieve? ennifer Balboni explores the experiences of clergy sex abuse survivors who sought justice through the court system, highlighting the promise and shortfalls of civil litigation in providing justice. Additional information.


Psychological Effects, Healing from Abuse

Our Father, Who Art in Bed: A Naive and Sentimental Dubliner in the Legion of Christ, by J. Paul Lennon. (BookSurge Publishing, August 2008) ISBN: 1419676628 

From age 17 to 41 Paul Lennon was a member of the Legion of Christ, a lesser known but important Catholic Religious Order. Led by its charismatic Mexican leader, Fr. Marcial Maciel, who would be praised and supported by the late pope John Paul II, the Legion of Christ and its lay branch, Regnum Christi (Christ's Kingdom) has made deep inroads into the Traditional Catholic woodlands of North and South America and Europe. The author describes his long journey from idealism to disillusion and how his humanity survived this ruthless environment. With passion and poetry he tells the tale of companions who were victims of Maciel's sexual abuse. Extricating himself from such a controlling organization after more than 23 years was a devastating experience but Lennon was not the first or the last to leave and thrive.


Unfair Advantage: Sexual Abuse by Psychotherapists, Priests, & Police, by Terri Austin, Ph.D., J.D.  (Trafford Publishing, 2006)  

This book is about the abuse of power by trusted professionals in the mental health, religious, & law enforcement fields who abuse & exploit children & young adults, & the people & agencies who enable & cover-up these perpetrators' crimes. Unfair Advantage is intended to be a resource for:

* Victims & survivors of professional exploitation & abuse;
* Students of psychology & social work;
* School personnel;
* Police: newly-sworn officers & internal affairs investigators;
* The public.


If the Man You Love Was Abused: A Couple's Guide to Healing, by Marlene M. Browne, Esq. and Marie H. Browne, RN, PdH. (Adams Media Corporation (February 2007) ISBN-10: 159337643X. 

The scars left on the hearts and souls of childhood abuse survivors run deep; they require time, patience, and support to heal. Written with the needs of both the abuse survivor and spouse/partner in mind and informed by case studies from real patients in her practice, psychologist Dr. Marie Browne combines practical applications with authoritative research to offer you the ultimate guide for getting through this difficult situation. You'll learn how to help him get the support he needs, and make sure not to neglect your own needs in the process.


Strong at the Heart: How It Feels to Heal from Sexual Abuse, by Carolyn Lehman. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, November 2005) ISBN: 0374372829. 

This groundbreaking book brings readers face-to-face with nine survivors who speak with candor and courage about the sexual abuse they experienced, how they have healed, and how they are moving forward with their lives. Includes an interview with a teenaged boy and SNAP member who was abused at the age of ten by his parish priest. White, black, Latino, and Native American, these everyday heroes come from a wide range of communities and have found different ways to cope with and overcome sexual trauma. Through moving personal stories and striking photographs they take readers into their lives, offering insight and hope for anyone affected by this all-too-common childhood experience. In this book about healing, young readers and their families will find additional information in the resource section, a comprehensive guide to the best help lines, books, films, and Web sites on healing and resilience. Read excerpts from author's interview with Jonathan, one of our youngest SNAP members.

From the Foreword:
This powerful book is filled with the distinct, diverse voices of people who experienced rape, molestation, and incest when they were young. With remarkable honesty they tell how they stopped feeling victimized and reclaimed their lives the choices they made, the people they turned to, the inner strength they discovered.  Laura Davis, author of The Courage to Heal


Abused Boys: The Neglected Victims of Sexual Abuse, by Mic Hunter. (Ballantine Books, June 1991), ISBN: 0449906299.

This myth-breaking study explains the ways in which boys are molested and the reasons why men remain silent about it later in life. Thirteen firsthand "survival stories" offer inspiration to readers. 


Victims No Longer: Men Recovering from Incest and Other Sexual Child Abuse, by Mike Lew. (Perennial Library, February 1990), ISBN: 0060973005. 

For millions of men who are survivors of childhood sexusal abuse, this ground-breaking work offers hope, understanding and essential advice for healing. Written by a nationally recognized expert on recovery for male survivors, VICTIMS NO LONGER addresses survivors with compassion, intelligence, and respect.


Leaping upon the Mountains: Men Proclaiming Victory over Sexual Child Abuse, by Mike Lew. (North Atlantic Books, March 2000), ISBN: 155643345X. 

Presenting the first real investigation of what male survivors themselves identify as most important during various stages of their recovery. This book is about the successes. Its contributors speak eloquently and persuasively of the reality of recovery.


The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis. (Perennial Library, 3rd Edition, June 1994), ISBN: 0060950668. 


The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse, by Wendy Maltz. (Quill, Revised Edition February 2001) ISBN: 0060959649. 

Considered a classic in its field, this comprehensive guide will help survivors of sexual abuse improve their relationships and discover the joys of sexual intimacy. Based on the author's clinical work, interviews, and workshops, this guide is filled with first-person accounts of women and men at every stage of sexual healing.


The Survivor's Guide to Sex: How to Have an Empowered Sex Life After Child Sexual Abuse, by Staci Haines. (Cleis Press, April 1999) ISBN: 1573440795.


Don't Tell: The Sexual Abuse of Boys, by Michel Dorais. (McGill-Queens University Press; July 2002) ISBN: 0773522611.

Don't Tell examines the effects of sexual abuse on the emotional and sexual life of men, including their sense of self and their personal relationships. Using the first-hand accounts of victims Dorais shows that certain reactions are specific to male victims of abuse as they attempt to preserve a sense of physical integrity and masculinity.


Sanity and Grace: A Story of Suicide, Survival and Strength, by Judy Collins. (J.P. Tarcher Press; September 2003) ISBN: 1585422606. 

Popular singer and writer Collins centers this "monograph of tears" on her 33-year-old son's suicide in 1992, and the result is a frank and revealing personal work that should resonate with readers who have suffered a similar loss. Using excerpts from her journals, she details her own painful attempts to understand her son's actions. The book's beauty is that Collins never presents her search for understanding in a mawkish or self-centered way. Her spiritual renewal, her efforts to reach out to others through suicide survival groups, and her commitment to "friends, therapists, habits of work and of life that take the power out of the depression" will be an inspiration and a comfort to those left behind.


Healing the Sexually Abused Heart: A Workbook for Survivors, Thrivers and Supporters, by Dr. Jaime J. Romo.

39 million people in the United States have experienced sexual abuse in some form. Sadly, most victims live among us with near-invisibility. Healing the Sexually Abused Heart: A Workbook for Survivors, Thrivers, and Supporters is a valuable resource for victims of sexual abuse, their support groups, and others impacted by abuse and neglect. Practical, inspirational and hopeful, this book will literally help save lives.

Victor Veith, executive director of the National Association to Prevent Sexual Abuse of Children shares, "In eloquent, understandable prose, Dr. Romo offers a helping hand to the millions impacted by the sin of child sexual abuse."

This workbook offers insightful personal testimony coupled with practical exercises. Mental health professionals, survivors of sexual abuse, those who feel betrayed by authorities, spiritual guides, or anyone who wishes to help end sexual abuse will find the exercises and insights, here, key in helping victims recover from sexual abuse.


Books by Survivors

Say Sorry: A Harrowing Childhood in Catholic Orphanages by Ann Thompson (Penguin Books, June 2009) ISBN: 978-0-1430118-4-2. 

Conceived out of wedlock in 1941, Ann was just two months old when she was placed in the care of St Joseph's Catholic Orphanage for Girls in Christchurch. From the beginning, she was taught her mother was sinful and that she would be too unless the devil was beaten from her soul. In both St Joseph's and later Nazareth House she was physically and sexually abused by religious and lay staff and was forced to work long hours on the orphanage farm, in the laundries and later in the kitchens. Read more (PDF). 


2nd Edition Release, The Unbreakable Child Oct 1st 2010, by Kim Michele Richardson, ISBN:978-1933016917 

Kim Michele Richardson's groundbreaking memoir about growing up during the 60's in a rural Roman Catholic orphanage run by nuns and a priest. It interweaves present-day with past, where Kim and other children suffered brutal childhood abuses. These abuses finally came to light in 2004 through a nationally recognized lawsuit initiated by attorney William McMurry. This man of courage stepped forward in the cause of justice, and Kim and forty-four former orphans (including her sisters) were the first in United States history to receive monetary settlement from a Roman Catholic order of nuns, arising out of decades of institutional abuse.
To read more visit:


The Hopeville Fire Department: A story of a boy's betrayal by one of New England's most notorious priests(Paperback) by Tony Lembo (Prose & Pictures, March 2007) ISBN: 978-0-9793491-0-2. 

The book about the Connecticut State Police chaplain and pedophile that launched a scandal. In the heartland of working-class, 1970s New England, few took notice of police and fire chaplain Father Stephen C. Foley racing around in an official-looking car full of teenaged boys and young men, visiting firehouses, chasing fire engines, showing up at fire scenes and pretending to be firemen. This is the story of one of those boys whom Foley attacked, a look inside one of the most bizarre and callous cases ever uncovered among the Catholic clergy, and the catalyst for a brewing scandal over who protected him for forty years, and why.


The Tricky Part: One Boy's Fall from Trespass into Grace, by Martin Moran (Beacon Press, June 15, 2005) ISBN: 0807072621. 

To everyone else in the Denver neighborhood where he grew up in the '70s, Moran was a studious Catholic boy. No one knew he carried a secret that would fester for 30 years and lead to extreme anxiety, sexual compulsion and suicide attempts. At age 12 he met Bob, a church camp counselor in his 30s who, for several years, took Moran hiking and camping, and had sex with him. Moran painfully recounts the inner workings of a lonely, insecure adolescent who, out of a desperate need for friendship and acceptance, continued a sexual relationship with a man 20 years his senior. Feeling guilty and shameful regarding the affair and his homosexuality, Moran lived a life in which the erotic and the illicit fused, and compulsive sex became a means of self-punishment. Moran's Catholic-American gothic differs from other abuse/recovery/ coming-out memoirs in that it examines a uniquely gay mind/body split as it subtly reflects on a gay man's spiritual quest for self-determination and love. Read Review.


From Hurt to Healing: Childhood Abuse by a Catholic Priest - one woman's story, by Mona Villarrubia. (PublishAmerica, June 2004) ISBN: 1413722598. 

A victim of childhood sexual abuse by a Catholic priest, tells the story of her profound suffering and also of the ultimate survival of her faith. According to Fairfield University theologian Paul Lakeland, author of "The Liberation of the Laity", "[Villarrubia's] words inform the ignorant, console the afflicted, and challenge the church to take seriously the cries of all those who have fallen victim to the abuse of power."


Sins of the Abused, by Marco Bernardino, Sr. and Helen J. Wisocki. (All Things That Matter Press, June 12, 2011) ISBN: 0984639276.

While living in bliss with his grandparents, young Marco is whisked away to a new school when his parents come back in his life. Befriended by Father McCool, Marco is groomed with methodical precision, exclusive indulgences, and thrilling sports outings. Slowly the boy is introduced to alcohol and porn, molested, and programmed for life with sexual perversions.

Years later, Marco self-medicates, unknowingly, to suppress the lurid childhood memories of dark secrets behind closed doors at the rectory. Unable to control the beast's insatiable appetite for morally depraved behavior, Marco struggles to prove to himself there is a virtuous self, hiding deep inside. 

When he finds a therapist whose patience and understanding enlighten his psyche, the reconstruction of his twisted life begins. By now the rippling effect of the abuse has spread throughout his dysfunctional family. With impressive strength and determination, Marco crawls, wobbles and falls, then gets back up, and strides through therapy sessions on a painful, yet heroic journey to be able to separate his true self from the shameful creature . . . all while juggling single parenthood, his career, and his own internal battles.

The Priesthood

Sex, Priests and Power: Anatomy of a Crisis, by Richard Sipe. (Brunner-Routeledge, April 1995) ISBN: 0876307691. 

The author--a psychotherapist and former priest married to a former Maryknoll nun--looks at the question of why priests abuse and discusses the church's hostile treatment of women. He finds that sexual abuse within the church is a manifestation of a deeper problem: the abuse of power within a strongly hierarchical structure. 


Celibacy in Crisis: A Secret World Revisited, by Richard Sipe. (Brunner-Routeledge, October 2003) ISBN: 0415944732.

Sipe, a psychotherapist and former priest, reexamines the Roman Catholic Church's policy of mandatory clerical celibacy in light of the recently exposed sexual misconduct scandals. Placing the evolution of the celibacy concept firmly in historical context, the author provides the background information necessary for contemporary analysis. Using hundreds of candid interviews conducted with priests, their sexual partners, and victims of clerical sexual abuse, he provides overwhelming evidence of the physical and spiritual failure of the celibacy ideal. Significantly, he enfolds this discussion within the archaic position of the church on human sexuality in general, arguing persuasively that the two issues are intimately and inextricably entwined. 


Soul Survivors- Intimate Perspectives of Two Priests on the Catholic Church as the Ultimate Abuser, by Harold Luneau and Frank Kenney. (Xlibris Corporation, September 2005). ISBN: Hard cover-1413494749; Soft Cover-1413494730.

Soul Survivors offers an unprecedented look behind the scenes at the mysteries of life in a Catholic Seminary and the priesthood. These two priests describe their reasons for choosing the priesthood and the physical and emotional trauma that made them leave the institutional priesthood in order to survive. Their journeys' penetrating analysis reveals an insider's view of what must be done if the Church is to remain bearable for the priest and laity. Their final dialogue assesses what their lives as priests have taught them. It ends in an interview with a confessed pedophile priest, in an effort to shed further light on the emotionally stunting, dehumanizing practices meant to make saints of mere men. Their suggested remedies offer Catholics hope for their own survival in an institution that often causes them needless pain and confusion. This is a book about relationships and emotions as much as it is about the practice of Catholicism.


Darryl Smith: A Bibliography

Darryl Smith is a survivor and advocate from New Zealand. A prolific author of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, Darryl has an extensive bibliography of works that contain valuable perspectives, insights, and information that can be valuable for survivors throughout the world. Click here to see a listing of the books and volumes authored by Darryl; we are sure there is something that will resonate for you.


Ways of Renewal - A Guidebook for Women

Ways of Renewal - A Guidebook for Women: Natural Methods for Clearing Sexual Trauma, Balancing the Emotions and Resurrecting the Spirit approaches rape trauma from a fresh perspective - that of approaching it as a treatable injury. Just as a broken arm will heal correctly if the bones are set and the arm is immobilized for a period, the trauma suffered by rape or sexual assault survivors also requires intervention, but of a different nature. This concise book leads the reader to a basic understanding of the ancient art of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, offering specific acupuncture point prescriptions to use with detailed explanations. The book also describes other related healing modalities which are effective for treating this "invisible injury".

Find the book on Amazon.


The Gifts of Adversity: Reflections of a Psychologist, Refugee, and Survivor or Sexual Abuse

In The Gifts of Adversity, Dr. Carolee Tran vividly recounts her harrowing escape out of Vietnam with her family during the fall of Saigon and the obstacles they faced in pursuing the American dream, including the traumas of the Vietnam War, polio, forced relocation to the U.S., bullying, and experiences of racism. She also describes her history of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest for seven years, its impact on her life, and how she found the strength to extricate herself from the perpetrator’s control. Dr. Tran reflects on how overcoming these adversities have given her some great gifts—what she refers to as “the gifts of adversity.” This moving and inspiring book is a human story about trauma, hope, resilience, and the power of the human spirit to survive and thrive under the most difficult circumstances.

Find the book on Amazon.


Things Fell Apart, but the Center Held

Dianne Darr Couts released her memoir, Things Fell Apart, but the Center Held in Early May. Dianne is the President of MK Safety Net, a SNAP Chapter that helps missionary kids (MKs) who experienced trauma overseas in Protestant mission settings.
SNAP board member, Christa Brown, says this of Dianne's book:"Resurrecting a 'maelstrom of memories,' Dianne Couts brings her missionary kid upbringing to life in this poignant memoir spanning continents and generations. It's a story with much beauty but also one in which the saving of African souls often took priority over the suffering of children."   
Dianne's book fleshes out in frank but candid terms how sexual abuse can impact a victim's body for life in ways that no amount of forgiving, forgetting or praying can make go away. It also shows how unflinching love in action on behalf of an abused child makes all the difference in the world.
Inky Gumpel 
Inky, a term of endearment given to Neal by his Mother. This story is based on interviews with Screenwriter Neal Gumpel and is told in short story form. It takes us from his funny yet disturbing upbringing in Westchester New York, Catholic School, his life as one of Jehovah's Witness and later his descent into drugs, alcohol, and Hollywood. Inky is also a peek into the crazy fallout victims of sexual abuse face and the effect it has on the victims family and loved ones. Inky is a fun ride despite the dark issues addressed and provides the reader with insight into the awful decisions often made by people who struggle with inner demons. Easy bedtime stories which will leave you laughing and hopefully informed.

Men Too: Unspoken Truths About Male Sexual Abuse by Dr. Kelli Palfy, Peaks and Valleys Publishing (January 15, 2020), ISBN: 9781999292515 (print), 9781999292508 (ebook)

This book is for male survivors, their supporters and helping professionals. It is a psycho-educational book intended to support and educate the public and male survivors. In this book, Dr. Palfy discusses the different types of offenders, how they chose and groom their targets and common responses to sexual abuse. She also provides facts about parental and sibling abuse, and through the stories of 13 male victims, she provides research about why boys and men seldom seek support. It is written from their perspective, with the wisdom of retired police officer and psychologist, Dr. Kelli Palfy.
You Have the Right NOT to Remain Silent by Terri Austin, PhD, JD, Independently published (February 26, 2021), ISBN-13: 979-8709752795   
You Have the Right NOT to Remain Silent explains the importance of sexual abuse victims speaking out about their experiences, despite abusers trying to silence them. Issues such as lifetime psychological & physiological effects of sexual abuse are described, as is the impact of educational programs so as to help prevent sexual abuse and to inspire victims to come forward. This book is a reminder to victims that the abuse is NEVER their fault.
recommended reading resources

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