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I Never Told Anyone: Writings by Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

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A reissue of the now-classic anthology (with more than 60,000 copies sold) of deeply moving testimonies by survivors of child sexual abuse--with a new afterword by Ellen Bass, co-author of The Courage to Heal.


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A reissue of the now-classic anthology (with more than 60,000 copies sold) of deeply moving testimonies by survivors of child sexual abuse--with a new afterword by Ellen Bass, co-author of The Courage to Heal.

30 review for I Never Told Anyone: Writings by Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

  1. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Kowalski

    I finished reading this book a few months ago, and I did not want to share the work because of the pain and the shame. Who am I for reading this book, I am a survivor though I may not be female. I hate rating books like this because they are not good in the sense that they should not have to exist. Though since these things do exist we need these books. We need these books because these are not things that people always tell each other, and we have to know we are not alone or their are solutions, I finished reading this book a few months ago, and I did not want to share the work because of the pain and the shame. Who am I for reading this book, I am a survivor though I may not be female. I hate rating books like this because they are not good in the sense that they should not have to exist. Though since these things do exist we need these books. We need these books because these are not things that people always tell each other, and we have to know we are not alone or their are solutions, and survivors. This book discusses the very personal stories of a number of people and their very real pain. I need this book because I want to understand, others pain and my own, I want to know how to have the conversations that can heal one another because I know they can. I have seen stories and connections change people. I have seen caring make a difference.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Daisy Castaneda

    This book was really interesting. The story made you realize that abuse to children occurs really often... i didn't even think that abuse to children occurred. It made me so sad and mad that dads could do that to their children. There were many authors in the book, every story had it's author. I was glad that the children who got abused finally told someone about their experiences of been abused. "I am to weak to fight him off, but if i could fight him off for long, but he loves me, but he's pu This book was really interesting. The story made you realize that abuse to children occurs really often... i didn't even think that abuse to children occurred. It made me so sad and mad that dads could do that to their children. There were many authors in the book, every story had it's author. I was glad that the children who got abused finally told someone about their experiences of been abused. "I am to weak to fight him off, but if i could fight him off for long, but he loves me, but he's pulling hard. GO AWAY" The worst thing is that the children feel that they are been abused, but they think their dad loves them so therefore whatever he is doing to them is right. Not only do dads abuse their children but also grandpas, uncles, strangers, "friends", and even grandmas. "Yeah I'm blaming you, you prickhole prick fuck flap jack. I'm blaming you and I'm blaming you good. Yeah I'm telling you you're full of shit, your innocence." The children that were abused express them self with a lot of hate. I feel bad for the kids that had to go through this experience. "I heard the man's feet crushing the weeds behind me and I glanced back to see him getting closer." This quote reminds me of a scary movie, when something really bad is about to happen.Some parts of the stories were really sad and disgusting to hear, but it was all true. I liked this book because i liked that the people who got abused were able to stand up and not be ashamed and tell the world their stories.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda Rae Baker

    This is a groundbreaking anthology and must be read collection that will change your underlying thoughts of incest and abuse of all types. Although the primary focus is in getting 'your' personal story out, I found that reading others stories was inspiring! As I've read many recommended books in the resource section of this book, I'm finding that the most important thing to do is continue pressing for truth and revelation of what happened to me as a child and what happened to my children. I feel a This is a groundbreaking anthology and must be read collection that will change your underlying thoughts of incest and abuse of all types. Although the primary focus is in getting 'your' personal story out, I found that reading others stories was inspiring! As I've read many recommended books in the resource section of this book, I'm finding that the most important thing to do is continue pressing for truth and revelation of what happened to me as a child and what happened to my children. I feel a calling to DO something about it. My writing now is more focused and out of the box that I had previously built for myself. No longer feeling like I have to 'paint' a pretty picture, or that I have to regard 'other's feelings about what I write, my heart tells me that only the 'truth' will set us free. It is important to discover the truth is what matters most, irregardless of what others may think or do when they read what has happened in my family. While reading this anthology, as when reading other novels and memoirs of this type, I've discovered there is only one way to find deep healing and that is to talk about the secrets. Don't keep it bottled up inside...you're innocent...you are precious and special. You're not dirty and you didn't ask to be abused or to be mistreated. You are NOT the one that did anything wrong and it's important that you find your voice. Use it, say what you need to say...as in the song...say what is on your heart, what is in your nightmares and dreams, say whatever it is you need to say and get your story OUT. Don't bury it anylonger as this type of thing will never leave you until you do, in one way or another, share with someone...allow the emotions to surface and don't bury them any longer. You may not know it but what has been buried within your mind and heart and body all these years could be what has caused you many years of torment. By getting the story out and by saying what you need to say, I perceive that your health and happiness can be stronger and you can FINALLY life free. Free to be yourself, no shame in that, no insult or terror, but liberating truth that you are a very special person and you are meant to be happy. It was not your fault...(-:

  4. 5 out of 5

    Susanna Sturgis

    When this book came out, I was a feminist bookseller. Why didn't I read it then? Because I Never Told Anyone flew off the shelves without my help. So many, many women were looking for this book and for Voices in the Night, which came out around the same time. And so many of my friends were survivors of incest and other sexual abuse. I heard their stories firsthand. I read their poems and stories. So why now? One of the two viewpoint characters in my novel in progress is a sixth-grade girl who's b When this book came out, I was a feminist bookseller. Why didn't I read it then? Because I Never Told Anyone flew off the shelves without my help. So many, many women were looking for this book and for Voices in the Night, which came out around the same time. And so many of my friends were survivors of incest and other sexual abuse. I heard their stories firsthand. I read their poems and stories. So why now? One of the two viewpoint characters in my novel in progress is a sixth-grade girl who's been incested by her stepfather in the past and is being threatened again. Whenever I tried to show her at home, my mind recoiled as if it were touching hot metal. All the stories I've heard were told by adult survivors. They'd managed to escape. Trying to imagine myself into the mind and body of an 11-year-old with no way out was just too hard. Kids are so powerless, and when the authority figures in their lives are abusive or untrustworthy -- well, the mind has good reason for recoiling. Reading this book has helped strengthen my imagination, my courage, and my belief in the story I'm trying to tell. Though it was published in 1983, most of the stories could have happened in this decade. Similar stories are taking place right now. When I went looking for books on incest, most of what I found was written by and aimed at therapists who work with survivors. I wish there were more first-person anthologies like this one and Voices in the Night.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Lee-Tammeus

    This is on my therapy shelf and I decided to read it through to make sure I wanted to recommend it for a women's group I am thinking of putting together. This book is older - edited in 1983 - but unfortunately the subject matter is as as new as today. This is a collection of women writers who are survivors of sexual molestation and rape. Reading this gave me vivid dreams and actually prevented me from an outing in which I would have been alone in the evening - the stories are so raw and powerful This is on my therapy shelf and I decided to read it through to make sure I wanted to recommend it for a women's group I am thinking of putting together. This book is older - edited in 1983 - but unfortunately the subject matter is as as new as today. This is a collection of women writers who are survivors of sexual molestation and rape. Reading this gave me vivid dreams and actually prevented me from an outing in which I would have been alone in the evening - the stories are so raw and powerful, they made me ache. A few brought tears to my eyes. Each of these women are powerful in their words and haunting in their memories of the loss of their innocence at the hands of someone who they should have been able to trust. I recommend this to anyone who would like to understand this subject matter more - it will stay with you.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Laurice Grae-Hauck

    Being a survivor of sexual abuse can be very isolating. Often the abuser intentionally isolates their victims. You can feel alone and as if there is no one who understands. This collect of writing from other survivors of sexual abuse will help you to know that you are truly not alone and that there are other women who have lived to tell their tales.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    A powerful book that is difficult to read, yet it must be read. There is so much power in sharing stories.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kells Perry

    Liked the book, only thing I wished for was an account of stepfather/daughter incest as that applies more directly to my case.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Emotionally difficult book to get through, but the first hand accounts of abuse are extremely honest, eye-opening and powerful.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    painful, but again, a good start along the road to "i am not crazy". painful, but again, a good start along the road to "i am not crazy".

  11. 5 out of 5

    Angie crosby

    Great to help you feel not so alone

  12. 4 out of 5

    Janelle DeRubeis

    A little dated but sadly I don’t think much has changed since this has been published. We may never know the true extent of how children (girls AND boys) are subject to horrifying sexual abuse at the hands of trusted adults, parents, siblings, or other family members. Definitely a difficult read, I had to prepare myself and be in the right mindset to be able handle reading this book every time I opened it. While it wasn’t easy to read, I do think its important for this topic to be talked about m A little dated but sadly I don’t think much has changed since this has been published. We may never know the true extent of how children (girls AND boys) are subject to horrifying sexual abuse at the hands of trusted adults, parents, siblings, or other family members. Definitely a difficult read, I had to prepare myself and be in the right mindset to be able handle reading this book every time I opened it. While it wasn’t easy to read, I do think its important for this topic to be talked about more, as taboo as it is. I believe these stories need to continue to be shared as much as possible. Children need to feel heard and believed when confessing their abuse to adults. Adults need to believe children (and anyone for that matter), when they reveal that they have been abused. Children need to be taught from an early age that they have bodily autonomy. Very many of these stories had similarities and you can definitely see common tactics that abusers across the board use. If you are a survivor of CSA or any sexual abuse, I would use caution when reading this. Make sure you have supportive people or other resources to fall back on if you get retraumatized while reading through the stories.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amberc

    Reading this book was very eye opening even if it’s a bit dated. This is a book that everyone should at least read once in their life. The stories of these survivors/authors are raw and will leave you mouth opening. While reading this book, I had to take pauses because of how overwhelming the stories can be. These stories give you a great POV of what these survivors went through and overcame to finally be free and heal their inner child. These authors finally found their voices and were able to Reading this book was very eye opening even if it’s a bit dated. This is a book that everyone should at least read once in their life. The stories of these survivors/authors are raw and will leave you mouth opening. While reading this book, I had to take pauses because of how overwhelming the stories can be. These stories give you a great POV of what these survivors went through and overcame to finally be free and heal their inner child. These authors finally found their voices and were able to tell their stories. I hope this book can help others reach out to anyone who’s having a difficult time not being able to speak out about past molestation.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alexander

    It was very helpful to read these.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Senobio

    Ignorance is only blissful for the dumb, for those of us that can think it is a willful disregard for the truth, and "all that is necessary for evil to triumph, is that good men do nothing." In this vein I picked up this book to gain perspective about some things I know nothing about. A visceral and evocative collection of story's that strike to the heart of the subject matter and while it could never completely convey the horror and violation of the survivors it has helped me to better see the Ignorance is only blissful for the dumb, for those of us that can think it is a willful disregard for the truth, and "all that is necessary for evil to triumph, is that good men do nothing." In this vein I picked up this book to gain perspective about some things I know nothing about. A visceral and evocative collection of story's that strike to the heart of the subject matter and while it could never completely convey the horror and violation of the survivors it has helped me to better see the shadow on the wall.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jacquie

    This is a powerful collection of essays and poems by female-identifying surviviors of CSA. To read this book is to listen and to pay homage to the strength and resilience these women have exhibited and the pain and suffering they have endured. Fellow survivors reading this may find themselves deeply understood and connected to others who have shared similar experiences, but may also struggle with being triggered by the stories as many are rather graphic in nature. Still, this book is powerful fo This is a powerful collection of essays and poems by female-identifying surviviors of CSA. To read this book is to listen and to pay homage to the strength and resilience these women have exhibited and the pain and suffering they have endured. Fellow survivors reading this may find themselves deeply understood and connected to others who have shared similar experiences, but may also struggle with being triggered by the stories as many are rather graphic in nature. Still, this book is powerful for its honesty and truth, and its collective triumph over the shame of sexual assault.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Julia Balderrama

    This book so far is a really good book, but is really sad it has made me angry and sad. i don't know how anyone could sexually abuse their child and not have any regret of doing so...like that is sick, for these dumb people who have sexually abued their children or that matter sexually abused anyone..u should feel ashamed for what you have done. This book was crazy it just makes you realize what things you really have to look out for in your real life. It also shows what people you can really tr This book so far is a really good book, but is really sad it has made me angry and sad. i don't know how anyone could sexually abuse their child and not have any regret of doing so...like that is sick, for these dumb people who have sexually abued their children or that matter sexually abused anyone..u should feel ashamed for what you have done. This book was crazy it just makes you realize what things you really have to look out for in your real life. It also shows what people you can really trust in your life and the people you can't trust. Also reading this book makes you realize what people are mean and are really thinking to do mean things to you instead of thinking nothing bad about you at all. This book isn't something you think about on a daily bases. things like this are going on all around the world every minute of the day. This book really gets specific and mentions the things these guys would do to these girls, and how horrifying these things were for these girls. These girls told their stories and what their own dads would do to them and how it affected their lives now a days. These girls have trust issues, socialible issues things just got so crazy for them and it was so sad just to read about their stories. this made me an emotional reck, it just made so many things run through my mind. It made me realize what things to really watch out for. Knowing that thee girls dads were the ones who were melesting them just made me so sick to my stomache, it just mad me feel like these guys thought of them as nothing except a piece of ass. In this book many guys got asked what they really thought of girls and most of them said that they thought of girls as just sexual use was all they were good for, but also to cook and clean but the most important thing for the women was sexual pleasure for the men.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Shi Hernandez

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is about sexualy abused children.There are many women who told there stories in "I Never Told Anyone.I am glad they had the courage to finally come out and talk about it. I know it must have took a lot of courage to recall the horrific insidents that happened when they were younger. It actually pretty much took me a day to read this book.There were times when I wanted to stop reading it beacause of all the anger I had. Well I was reading I had a lot of emotions come upon me. I felt di This book is about sexualy abused children.There are many women who told there stories in "I Never Told Anyone.I am glad they had the courage to finally come out and talk about it. I know it must have took a lot of courage to recall the horrific insidents that happened when they were younger. It actually pretty much took me a day to read this book.There were times when I wanted to stop reading it beacause of all the anger I had. Well I was reading I had a lot of emotions come upon me. I felt disgusted that people can do that to children. Kids have no controll over what they did to them,I mean they are just LITTLE kids. I was also angry in how some of the mothers knew what thier husbands were doing, and yet they did nothing because they to were scared. I was hurt and sad at what these kids went through. They must have felt horrible, I mean I know if I went through something like this I would feel horrible. Most of the stories in the book are of there own family memebers. Father,grandfather,brothers,uncles,grandmothers those are they people yoouare suppose to trust the most. Also some were trusted famliy friend even pastors and priests wow that shocked me. Yet some were still by starngers that they didn't know. The women in the book tell how it took so long to tell someone. Overall this book informed a lot about how there are some really cruel people in this world!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Fed

    I read this book to understand the problem and the victims for counselling purposes. This book made me cry many times. This heinous act must stop! Among the social issues of our society this is one of the issues that angers me the most. Many think that sexual abuse is about pleasure and sex addiction, but truly it is about power. Children who suffer such abuse go through incredible psychological issues which without freedom from it, will plague them for life. Abuse done by family members is the w I read this book to understand the problem and the victims for counselling purposes. This book made me cry many times. This heinous act must stop! Among the social issues of our society this is one of the issues that angers me the most. Many think that sexual abuse is about pleasure and sex addiction, but truly it is about power. Children who suffer such abuse go through incredible psychological issues which without freedom from it, will plague them for life. Abuse done by family members is the worst, it changes children's understanding of love making it something that hurts instead of the beautiful thing that Love has been created to be.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    While the stories in this are okay -- some are hard to read because they lack details or what I percieve as a depth of feeling / emotion (I believe part of this is because of the time period in which these writers were writing) -- this book didn't provide me what I was looking for, which is why I'm rating it low. I also expected more out of a book co-edited by Ellen Bass, because of how useful I found The Courage to Heal. While the stories in this are okay -- some are hard to read because they lack details or what I percieve as a depth of feeling / emotion (I believe part of this is because of the time period in which these writers were writing) -- this book didn't provide me what I was looking for, which is why I'm rating it low. I also expected more out of a book co-edited by Ellen Bass, because of how useful I found The Courage to Heal.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tola Cream

    Gosh its sad. These people and their stories, how can some people be so cruel and twisted. All of the stories wasnt true but i can surely tell you there base on true stories.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shelly

    Sad, but inspiring. I'm glad so many of these women were able to go on and live good lives. Sad, but inspiring. I'm glad so many of these women were able to go on and live good lives.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brianne

    Wow. What amazing stories of surviving. This was really deep and difficult to read sometimes, but it really spoke to the downfalls of a patriarchal society.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mersadez

    So far of what I'm reading this book is so sad and crazy how the men do this to children and half of them are related to the kids, its sick! So far of what I'm reading this book is so sad and crazy how the men do this to children and half of them are related to the kids, its sick!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    This book made me cry.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Shelley Diamond

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shailiz

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jane

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sundry

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ben

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