- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Seal Press; 1st Edition. edition (March 10, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1580051359
- ISBN-13: 978-1580051354
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 38 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #441,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Invisible Girls: The Truth About Sexual Abuse--A Book for Teen Girls, Young Women, and Everyone Who Cares About Them Paperback – March 10, 2005
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From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up–Written by a psychotherapist, this book sets personal narratives within a generalized discussion of sexual abuse of girls and young women. Feuereisen addresses myths about female sexuality and abuse, considers contributing family dynamics, and offers advice on preventing, reporting, and recovering from abuse. Individual chapters are given to father-daughter incest, other incest, abuse by teachers and clergy, and different types of rape. The writing is clear and frank, including sufficient details without becoming salacious. The personal voices are the strength here, reminding other victims that they are not alone and that healing is possible. Individuals of various races and ethnicities tell their stories within their cultural contexts. Carolyn Lehman's Strong at the Heart: How It Feels to Heal from Sexual Abuse (Farrar, 2005) is an equally impressive title with greater emphasis on the importance of telling one's story to aid in the recovery process. Linda L. Foltz's Kids Helping Kids Break the Silence of Sexual Abuse (Lighthouse Point, 2003), for a younger readership, offers similar treatment on the importance of speaking out, with less explicit detail.–Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS
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"If you are a teenage girl, this book may save your life. Invisible Girls will help you see the truth." -- InvisibleInsurrection.org, April 7, 2005
"Invisible Girls speaks the truth of sexual abuse like no other book has dared." ---Lyn Mikel Brown, author of "Meeting at the Crossroads," "Raising Their Voices," and "Girlfighting"
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I think it's a really well written and very helpful and hopeful book. Thanks, Dr. Patti!
This book was ten years in the making. Instantly I knew why, it truly is amazing. It helped me so much. I'm already re-reading it. I think what I like about it the best is that you managed to include everything a young survivor needs to hear in a way that is comforting and safe.
My healing would be totally different, and probably stalled at this point, if it weren't for me having this book to read.
Dr. Patti Feuereisen is a psychotherapist in New York City who has worked with young survivors of sexual assault for twenty-five years. Her co-writer, Caroline Pincus, is an editor. The collaboration resulted in a book that offers a well-written examination of the trauma of sexual abuse, its painful ramifications, and the healing journey.
The book opens with the authors' explanation of the Greek myth of "Pandora's Box." According to legend, Pandora received special gifts from the gods, including a box that she was told not to open. Feurereisen writes, "...in defiance of the patriarchy, she opened the box." When she opened the box, "out spilled all the misfortunes of the world." This sets an undertone of the entire book: the recognition that patriarchy fosters oppression of women, thereby perpetuating sexual assault upon young girls in our male dominated society. However, the authors do not make social commentary. They allow the survivors to tell their stories, thereby endorsing the fact that Pandora would rather know the truth (of what was in the box), reveal it, and release the trauma. By writing a book for young women, the authors hope that the pain of abuse is released early, thus allowing healing to start sooner.
The book is divided into four parts. Part One defines sexual abuse and its affects. Part Two tells survivors' stories of how girls got through the actual experience of being abused, such as by "disassociation." In Part Three, several survivors tell stories of father-daughter incest, sibling sexual abuse, abuse by those in authority positions, and acquaintance/date rape (it's an epidemic). Part Four explains different paths to healing, and encourages victims to seek support.
Dr. Patti uses questions from the web site she founded, [...] which is a resource for sexual abuse survivors. She answers specifics in "Invisible Girls" such as "Should You Confront Your Abuser" and "Should You Forgive Your Abuser." The authors also offer an extensive resource section.
Throughout the book, the authors emphasize to readers that victims are not alone, the abuse was not their fault, and "the best way to heal from sexual abuse is to talk about it." To tell the story is to be seen, heard, and validated, and therefore no longer invisible
The authors delve thoroughly into the box that is filled with the ills of sexual abuse that plague our society. The result is a book that understands victims' needs, thereby giving hope for healing.
Review by Lynn C. Tolson