Academic journal article Family Relations

How Long Does It Hurt? A Guide to Recovering from Incest and Sexual Abuse for Teenagers, Their Friends, and Their Families

Academic journal article Family Relations

How Long Does It Hurt? A Guide to Recovering from Incest and Sexual Abuse for Teenagers, Their Friends, and Their Families

Article excerpt

Mather, Cynthia L. with Debye, Kristina E. (1994). How Long Does It Hurt? A Guide to Recovering from Incest and Sexual Abuse for Teenagers, Their Friends, and Their Families. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 265 pp. Paper ISBN 1-55542-674-3, price $15.00.

The author is a survivor of sexual abuse and incest. Her collaborator Kristina Debye is coordinator of the Baltimore County Sexual Abuse Treatment Program. In the preface, the author states that the focus of the book is directed primarily toward teenagers, an assertion that does not jibe with the subtitle of the book.

The volume contains four parts that are divided into 15 chapters. The major sections are: Did abuse happen to you?; Blowing the whistle, survival, and forgiving; and Information about offenders.

Case illustrations and case quotations are liberally spread throughout the text to illustrate the varied topics. The 60 items in the bibliography are not relevant to teenagers as a whole, who are not likely to find academic and clinically oriented texts helpful.

Part One is a reader's digest of our present knowledge about sexual abuse and incest. Cute cartoons highlight the major findings of American studies in this area.

Part Two goes on to detail what happens when one discloses the abuse, including going to court. The penalties for the abuser are also described.

Part Three covers healing techniques for the victim. Therapy is mentioned in a few pages, and then the author proceeds to list and review the various sociopsychological symptoms and behaviors that victims of abuse encounter. …

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