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No Secrets No Lies: How Black Families Can Heal from Sexual Abuse Paperback – March 8, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (March 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767913450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767913454
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Expanding on an article she wrote for Essence, where she is a former executive editor, Stone advocates many standard methods for recognizing and coping with abuse. But while the rates of sexual victimization, Stone shows, are the same for blacks and whites, "Black American women were more likely to have withheld reports of attempted rape from authorities" and "were more likely to blame their living circumstances" for an attack. It is Stone's detailed discussion of the probable reasons for such disparities, and her insights into them, that make this book unique. Drawing on her own experience, she argues that the "splitting" or dissociation used by the black community during slavery in order to cope psychologically with lifetimes of abuse is the same technique many African-Americans now use to deal with everyday racism and with sexual abuse. Stereotypes of African-American hypersexuality and of African-American women's mythic "strength" add further complications, which Stone unpacks with unflinching care and with the help of stories of abuse she has collected from black women. Chapters on "Helping Boys and Men" and "Challenging Abusers" offer more techniques for conversation and confrontation, and the book ends with "Reconciliation...and Moving On" and an appendix of resources. Stone's understanding of, and empathy for, incredibly painful situations comes through on every page, and her techniques for beginning to deal with them are compassionate and straightforward.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“Robin Stone's NO SECRETS, NO LIES is an honest and illuminating look at the soul-shattering effects of sexual abuse. She guides the reader through the shame, denial and devastation of sexual violence–and on the journey toward healing. Stone’s courage in facing her own painful experience helps break the silence in the African-American community and move Black women and men toward understanding and recovery. This book is our needed gift.”
--Susan L. Taylor, Editorial Director, Essence magazine

"Inspiring and empowering, Robin Stone's NO SECRETS, NO LIES fills a critical gap in the literature on surviving and healing from child sexual abuse. Robin's vivid, insightful narratives reflect the struggles and resilience of a community that has been difficult for many activists and professionals to reach. This excellent book is long overdue."
-- Laura Davis, author of The Courage to Heal and I Thought We'd Never Speak Again

“Powerful, positive, and right on time, Robin Stone's NO SECRETS, NO LIES demystifies sexual abuse in the Black community and empowers survivors. A must read for anyone who cares about the health of their family and of children everywhere.”
-- Farai Chideya, author of The Color of Our Future and Don't Believe the Hype

“NO SECRETS, NO LIES courageously breaks the silence about sexual abuse within the black community. Robin Stone makes a major contribution to the well being of black children and families. This important book should be widely read and discussed.”
-- Alvin F. Poussaint, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and Judge Baker Children's Center

“In NO SECRETS, NO LIES Robin D. Stone provides invaluable insights and tools for both families and mental health professionals to address the ever-present problem of sexual abuse that has been hidden too long.”
-- Kim Singleton, Ed.D., Clinical Psychologist, and author of Broken Silence

“NO SECRET, NO LIES presents an empowering and healing approach to childhood sexual abuse from a culturally relevant perspective.  It provides insight into dysfunctional family dynamics and abuse patterns from the view of victims and perpetrators.  Without pathologizing victimization, Robin D. Stone systematically fosters the development of ego strength and survival strategies. Every psychologist and therapist should use NO SECRET, NO LIES as an invaluable guide and resource with clients who have experienced sexual trauma.”
-- Darlene Powell-Garlington, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist and author of Different and Wonderful: Raising Black Children in A Race  Conscious Society  

From the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

ROBIN D. STONE is an independent journalist whose work focuses primarily on health, children, families, and parenting. She is author of No Secrets, No Lies: How Black Families Can Heal from Sexual Abuse (Broadway Books, 2004). Stone edited and contributed the Afterword to My Times in Black and White: Race and Power at the New York Times (Lawrence Hill, February 2010), the memoir by her late husband, Gerald M. Boyd. Stone was also lead writer and project editor for Essence magazine's "The Black Woman's Guide to Healthy Living."

Stone has written and edited for several publications, including the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Detroit Free Press and Essence and Heart & Soul magazines and

Stone is also a holistic health coach, supporting busy women like herself to reach health goals such as losing unhealthy weight, boosting energy and stressing less.

The Detroit native lives in New York City with her son.

Customer Reviews

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lynn C. Tolson on July 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Review of No Secrets, No Lies: How Black Families Can Heal From Sexual Abuse by Robin D. Stone, 2004, Broadway Books, NY. Hardcover ISBN 0- 7679-1344-2
The author of No Secrets, No Lies is a survivor of sexual assault. She has been an editor for Essence magazine, The New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Detroit Free Press, and Family Circle. She also teaches journalism at New York University. This impressive writing experience is evident in her clear, concise, compassionate, and culturally enlightening work: No Secrets, No Lies. Throughout the book, Stone offers "Fast Facts" in the margin, adding relevant material to the readers' knowledge. For example, Stone states, "Blacks are sexually victimized in childhood at the same rate as Whites. In one survey, they reported being more severely abused with greater force." Stone cites her sources in an extensive "notes" section. She also offers a valuable resource list and index.

The title of the first chapter is: "Was It Sexual Abuse?" Stone writes, "For many of us, we have buried sexual abuse so deep into our psyches that we would never connect it to today's physical illnesses and pain, our depression or addiction, our inability to hold a job, get out of debt, find satisfaction in a relationship, nurture our children, or simply say no to people or situations that do us harm." Indeed. No matter the gender, race, religion, socio-economic class, or ethnicity, victims of sexual abuse will experience the devastating ramifications. Victims suffer initially with the abuse, then again with each result that limits our human potential. Stone tells the reader: "in addition to the trauma of sexual violation, survivors must also deal with the trauma of being born and raised in a racist and sexist culture.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers on July 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Several years ago and still today, the term sexual abuse was not talked about in the African-American community. NO SECRETS, NO LIES: HOW BLACK FAMILIES CAN HEAL FROM SEXUAL ABUSE by Robin D. Stone, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, is a book that discloses the actual stories as told by the victims. In each chapter, Stone provides us with self-help instructions in overcoming such a devastating act of violence.

In most cases of sexual abuse, the victim is ignored or made to believe that what happened was just their imagination. Children are easy prey because the perpetrator can easily entice them with money, candy or toys, etc. The perpetrator can be anyone - a family member, the next-door neighbor, a school employee or the well-respected member of the church. Threats of bodily harm to the victim or members of his/her family, aids the perpetrator in committing this violation.

We are all under the assumption that only women are sexually abused, but there are a vast number of men who are abused by men and in some cases women. Most males do not report that they have been abused because of the label placed on them by society as growing up and becoming gay. They also deal with issues concerning their masculinity and have feelings of being inadequate and vulnerable.

Once a victim has revealed that they have been sexually abused, some are shunned by family members or made to feel that what happened was their fault. Victims with understanding family members, such in the case of Ms. Stone, sometimes years later, still suffer from being abused. Through Stone's self-help guides at the end of each chapter, and each survivor that shares their story, victims of sexual abuse will understand that what happened was not their fault.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Angelique C. Henderson on January 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Robin D. Stone, a former executive with Essence Magazine, Boston Globe and New York Times has covered every possible aspect and cause of sexual abuse in her newly released book, "No Secrets, No Lies - How Black Families Can Heal from Sexual Abuse." She accurately discusses the reasons and terrifying consequences that are plaguing numerous African-American families that have suffered from sexual assault. The powerful resource guide seeks to assist families to thoroughly understand, prevent and overcome the devastating impact of sexual abuse on adult survivors.

Ms. Stone, an abuse survivor herself, realistically has written a one of a kind book that addresses the physical, emotional and psychological scarring and horrific effects of sexual abuse within the dysfunctional family. Through a collection of powerful and deep personal interviews with abuse victims, abusers and additional family members, "No secrets, No Lies" speaks out to survivors, parents, caregivers, family members and friends designating and furnishing detailed and practical steps for imperative healing.

The book is divided into three distinct parts. It covers immensely important material on the background and "WHYS" of child sexual abuse, interviews with more than thirty survivors and then easy to follow guidelines by professional experts who work with and treat the survivor and the abuser. Included also are compelling advice, poignant anecdotes, as well as contact information for legal help, therapists and advocacy groups throughout the USA. It provides invaluable insight necessary for overcoming and understanding the horrific, overwhelming experiences and effects for recovery and resolution.

This book is an eye opener that sexual abuse is wide spread, vastly occurring and must be recognized.
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