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Right to Innocence: Healing the Trauma of Childhood Sexual Abuse [Hardcover]

Beverly Engel
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 1989
"A practical and powerful must-read book for all who have suffered childhood sexual abuse, their family members and loved ones, and for all mental health professionals."
Harold H. Bloomfield, M.D.
Author of MAKING PEACE WITH YOUR PARENTS
As a trained therapist and sufferer of sexual abuse herself, Beverly Engel knows that there is probably no trauma a child can suffer that makes her or him feel more alone than sexual abuse. This helpful book offers hope for recovery with exercises, visualizations, and techniques that support you through a seven-step program, that will aid you in: facing the truth, releasing your anger, confronting those responsible with facts and feelings, forgiving yourself, and more healing advice and information.
--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Product Description

From School Library Journal

YA-- Two books, intended for victims of childhood sexual abuse, with different approaches. Step on a Crack is written in first person and tells a narrative horror story that is interspersed with sections of letters to the abused offering advice and counsel. The Right to Innocence is more in the style of a self-help manual. It includes a chapter for the mates and loved ones of survivors. Camille's book is more thorough and specific, while Engel's book is good as a general overview of the subject. Both books conclude with a resource/bibliography section that provides a good beginning for more information and help.
- Carolyn Henebry, Episcopal High School, Bellaire, Tex.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Cannot recommend May 14 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am a Clinical Psychologist with over 20 years of experience in treating all types of victims. I read this book in search of materials to recommend to my patients. I cannot recommend "The Right to Innocence" because I am very concerned about the assertions the author makes about how to know whether you have been sexually abused. She makes claims such as, "If you have any suspicion at all, if you have any memory, no matter how vague, it probably really happened" (p. 23). She lists pages of symptoms, every one of which is related to many different histories and disorders. Then she writes, "If you found yourself saying 'That's me!' to many of these symptoms and if you suspect you were abused, the chances are very high that you were a victim of childhood sexual abuse" (p. 31). It is simply not true that if you have any suspicion that you were abused that you can assume that you were. It is also not true that if you have several of the symptoms she named that you necessarily have a history of sexual abuse. Abuse victims do have many of those symptoms, but so do people who have suffered many other kinds of difficult or traumatic experiences in their lives. Memories of sexual abuse should be believed. Suspicions of past abuse should be taken very seriously and further explored. I believe, however, that it is irresponsible to encourage people to draw conclusions based on suspicions alone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Response to review from Pasadena therapist June 25 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm sorry that the Pasadena therapist cannot recommend my book. Since it was written almost 15 years ago hundreds of therapists have recommended it to their clients and the book is considered a classic in the field. It has been described as compassionate, insightful, supportive, straightforward, and easy to read. While it is true that some of the items listed in the book can be symptomatic of other problems, taken in its entirety, the list describes those who have been sexually abused. I also think the therapist missed the point when I encourage people to trust their suspicions. Throughout the book I offer ways for readers to explore their suspicions and memories--not to just assume they were abused. But with all the denial that usually surrounds an abuse victim, encouragement to trust their instincts is definitely in order. Please take a look at the book before trusting one therapist's point of view. Thousands of people have been helped by the book and I stand by what I have written.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Starting Point for the Journey of Healing March 2 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When I was 24 I went to see a therapist because my life was completely falling apart. At the recommendation of my therapist I read this book. When I finished the book and my therapy I no longer felt a victim, but empowered to trust myself and let the hurt and self-destructive behavior go. I have not read the book in over 15 years, but over the years I have given much credit of my healing to this book and have recommended it repeatedly. I remember that there were times I had to put down the book because what the author was saying would cause me to feel so much anger/pain. I would pick up the book later and ironically almost the next paragraph the author would speak about the anger and/or pain I had been facing. My experience has been that only someone who has gone through the pain of childhood sexual abuse can truly understand those painful steps of healing. And YES you can heal from this kind of abuse and this book is a good starting point.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful and very supportive March 4 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've read several books on child sexual abuse but many of them overwhelmed me. This book is concise and to the point and the examples are not horrific. I learned a great deal about incest and about my family situation and found out that my reactions are normal considering what I've been through. The book helped me come out of denial more and left me feeling empowered knowing that there are steps I can take to achieve recovery. I especially liked the sections dispelling common myths because they it provided me with ammunition when family members try to talk me out of my feelings.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for beginners in recovery. May 18 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
By the time I found this book, I'd already read many others dealing with the harsh & painful topic of sexual abuse in childhood. I wish this book had been the first book on recovery I'd found. It is one which I buy to loan or pass on to friends new to recovery. All books on abuse are difficult to read, but 'The Right to Innocence' makes the step into recovery more bearable than some of the other books available.
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