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I Never Told Anyone: Writings by Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse Paperback – April 10, 1991


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I Never Told Anyone: Writings by Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse + The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, 20th Anniversary Edition + The Courage to Heal Workbook: A Guide for Women and Men Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (April 10, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060965738
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060965730
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A pioneer in the field of healing from child sexual abuse, Ellen Bass currently teaches in the MFA program at Pacific University in Oregon. Her poetry books include Mules of Love and The Human Line.


More About the Author

A pioneer in the field of healing from child sexual abuse, Ellen Bass currently teaches in the MFA program at Pacific University in Oregon. Her poetry books include Mules of Love and The Human Line.

Customer Reviews

I stayed up all night and read it from cover to cover.
C. Lawton
I've always felt really alone in my experience, and reading the stories in this book helped at least a bit to open my eyes and mind up again.
writer's block
I would highly recommend this book to anyone having been through abuse as a child.
C. Barone

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By C. Lawton on January 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book provides insight into the inner workings of child sexual abuse and why victims don't tell. The stories range from a quick one-time exposure to unthinkable brutality. Some perpetrators were strangers; others were family members. All caused lasting emotional damage. The accounts are so honest and true that they allowed me to recognize for the first time that I had been molested, and it completely changed my life.

I read "I Never Told Anyone" about twenty years ago, when I was still living with my parents, not long after I graduated from college. My mom had checked it out from the library, and the title haunted me because I, too, had a secret I had never told another living soul. I read the back cover and then kept moving the book away from wherever I was in the house, terrified of what was inside. Finally, I couldn't resist. I stayed up all night and read it from cover to cover. I saw my own story in the things that were said, the feelings that were expressed... For the first time I realized that maybe I wasn't evil; that maybe I didn't deserve to die; that instead, as an innocent child, I had been manipulated and molested.

It was the most difficult thing I have ever done, but because of this book, I did tell, and I got help. Child sexual abuse is extremely devastating, but there can be happy endings, and I am living one. Thank you so much, Ellen Bass and your courageous contributors, for your part in that.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By "poetmnw" on December 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
For me as a trauma survivor of childhood sexual abuse.. it helped me to realize the power of my words to give the pain inside an outlet. And it also made me realize how much my writing,in much of the ways of the people in the book, it can give insight to help on this long and hard journey of healing. I do only recommend this book if you are in therapy or if you have a strong support team. It may contain many triggers for some one in healing so be aware of that for yourself or if you get it for a friend. A book to have a box of tissues by your side as it uncovers their pain and or yours.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By a reader on May 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
This collection of short true stories from women sexually abused in childhood is still all too rare (despite the media nonsense about "getting on the popular bandwagon of sexual abuse/incest"). I have yet to see one survivor speak out in public about this experience without difficulty because of all the social taboos that still exist about speaking these truths. These stories are especially useful to anyone wanting to understand the "variations on a theme" of sexual molestation. The stories are all unique in specifics of the abuse itself as well as some of the physical and psychological ramifications of abuse, but they also eerily make clear the universality of the experiences; the familial and social patterns of thinking that allow and even encourage sexual predators and the silencing of survivors. In a local survivors group, we're using this book as well as Heather Harrison's "Yesterday's Warrior"--another great survivor story--to explore abuse issues beyond just the theoretical frameworks. Some areas theory just can't reach. I would have liked to see more contemporary stories, but the fact that they show a "historical lineage" of sorts is also a powerful thing.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By janet sonier on November 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
an excellent book. As a psychotherapist who specializes in working with sexual abusers, I have found this book to be very helpful in helping clients to realize the long term effects of abuse. It is moving, and one of the best books I have read in terms of the trauma of sexual abuse
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
I read this book several years ago when I first went into therapy to come to grips with my own molestation. What I learned from this book was valuable for me, because as the title says "I hadn't told anyone". I learned was that the range of emotions that I was experiencing was normal for a survivor. Once I realized what was going on, I felt like I could take the next step in my healing process. If you or someone you know is trying to make sense of their own feelings and has never talked with other survivors, I recommend this book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jen (jenvoice@erols.com) on November 3, 1997
Format: Paperback
This is a book for those who have a deep awareness of the pain of sexual abuse as well as a strong belief in the value of creative therapies, including writing. Each woman's story is painfully honest and amazingly brave. This is a particularly good book for counselors to have on hand.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 16, 1998
Format: Paperback
i felt alone, and the women in this book shared their experiences. i could relate to them. it helped me to see alot about myself. HIGHLY RECOMMENED. only if you are already in therapy!!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Clara M. Fuller on June 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
I found this book a wonderful resource for my work with survivors. Not only did it give me insight into their pain, trauma, and feelings, but it also gave the survivors support. I often shared this book with survivors who were so moved that there were others out there who had experienced similar events and had the courage to write about it. Many survivors I worked with and shared this book with were grateful for the opportunity to hear others' stories and inspired to summon their own power to heal themselves. If you are looking for therapeutic techniques, research, or anything else, this is not the book for you - it is strictly stories of survivors who are brave enough to finally tell.
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