This article showcases our top picks for the ‘Books For Abuse Survivors’. We reached out to industry leaders and experts who have contributed the suggestions within this article (they have been credited for their contributions below).
We are keen to hear your feedback on all of our content and our comment section is a moderated space to express your thoughts and feelings related (or not) to this article This list is in no particular order.
Free From Lies by Alice Miller
This product was recommended by Allan Borch from DotcomDollar
Miller presents in this book her theories that would help adults to express their inner selves better. This somehow is a true gem as it would aid readers to better understand themselves and the suppressed emotions within them. According to Miller, this could enhance communication between therapist and patient leading to utter healing of abused individuals who are trapped in those nightmarish memories.
It Wasn’t Your Fault by Beverly Engel
This product was recommended by Daniel Carter from Zippy Electrics
I used to believe that the traumatic shaming and treatment of my high school peers contributed to my timid personality. Though it was years ago, there were times that I questioned myself if I could ever break free from that thought until I read this book by Beverly Engel. It Wasn’t Your Fault is a great self-help book that has helped me understand that whatever happened in the past wasn’t bad at all as it helped me to mold who I am today. I am truly thankful that I have read this book as it taught me to reconcile with my regrets in the past and accept them as blessings that guided me to the right path of life and complete healing.
The Illustrated Happiness Trap by Russ Harris
This product was recommended by Robert Johnson from Sawinery
Ever since my wife shared this book, it has been the cherry on top of my book recommendations. It is fun to read, considering how sensitive or emotional the topic is. The concepts and words are highly put together by the author. This is also helpful in terms of teaching the best practices to live after an emotional abuse of someone or your surroundings. It also acts as a therapist without judgement. Whenever my friends ask me a book reco, I always suggest this book greatly in hopes that it will help them create new life fighting strategies and the power of acceptance therapy.
Supernormal by Meg Jay
This product was recommended by James Bullard from Sound Fro
This book presents the collective story of “supernormals” who have overcome their own stories of abuse. It is a good book for anyone whether you are a victim of neglect, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, domestic violence, or even drug abuse. Jay presents the story of individuals who had hidden their own battles but managed to overcome each of them. This would help you relate your own challenges to other individuals around you which leads you to understand that you are not alone in your battles.
Sleeping With The Devil’s Demon by Vee Barker
This product was recommended by Valerie VEE Barker from N/A
Sleeping With The Devil’s Demon is a raw, uncut, unedited, straight talk, self publshed, much needed relief detail of my personal survival of a horrible domestic violence trap, committed by a victimizer that, inflected physical harm, sexual torture, pyschological upheaval, financial tautness and mental injury upon my self. I pray that in sharing my experience another and others will be able to safely escape.
Being Whole by Cassandra Fay LeClair
This product was recommended by Cassandra Fay LeClair from Cassandra LeClair, LLC
For years, I pushed the memories and pain of my abuse aside. I did not realize how much of my life was ruled by fears and disordered thinking as a result. I knew that if I really wanted to heal, I had to be willing to accept all of the pieces of my identity-including being an abuse survivor. By processing and releasing the abuse I have been able to grow into the person I should have been allowed to be. You are worthy and deserving of living a life that does not keep you in the spaces your abusers created.
Listening to Ecstasy by Charley Wininger
This product was recommended by Alana Armstrong from Alan Aldous Communications
Getting back to the personal, I find rolling is like being alive, only a bit more so. At times I experience a lingering afterglow and a cumulative one as well, as if my body is thanking me, sometimes for days. As if it’s practically exclaiming, “I’d forgotten I could feel so good!” This at times is accompanied by an echo of that warm glow MDMA bestows in my chest, which reminds me of how open and loving I can feel toward others. In a city like New York, it kind of rehumanizes me. No, I don’t find myself going up to strangers and hugging them, but it’s a happy surprise sometimes to feel the urge.
Crazy Love by Leslie Morgan Steiner
This product was recommended by Ann Dypiangco from Resilient Rebound
This is one woman’s very honest account of her experience into and out of an abusive marriage. Through her story, we see how easily someone can end up in a harmful relationship as well as how manipulative abusers can be. Leslie Morgan Steiner nails her description of the painful and lasting effects of emotional abuse, how hard it is to leave, and also the hope that waits for survivors after.
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
This product was recommended by Ajmal Dar from Moccasin Guru
About 15 years ago, I watched the movie and fell in love with the storyline, so I searched it and found out it’s a 13-book series. I should say it’s a mix of fantasy and true-to-life happenings. The book is about three young siblings who went through a lot of struggles, abuses, and sadness. I like how they put up the pieces, which resulted in a great book – full of inspiration and adventures.
Divine Invitations by ArDenay Garner
This product was recommended by ArDenay Garner from ArDenayGarner
Divine Invitations – The 7 Spiritual Lessons of Relationships, by ArDenay Garner, offers hope to those who have experienced abuse. It is a heartfelt nonfiction narrative that teaches every woman how to move through the daily challenges of intimacy to experience more peace, positivity, and purpose. In Divine Invitations, I will show you how to L.E.A.D. so that you can live the courageous and authentic life that you desire after surviving abuse: Let go of hurtful memories from your past, Express compassion for yourself and others, Awaken your inner creativity and entrepreneurial spirit; and Discover lessons in self-betrayal that are counterproductive to the life you desire. If you want to find purpose in the messiness of your relationships, Divine Invitations, is the book for you!
Half the Child by William J. McGee
This product was recommended by William J. McGee from Half the Child
HALF THE CHILD is a novel that chronicles an underreported phenomenon–Parental Alienation, the emotional manipulation and abuse when one parent damages the child’s relationship with the other parent. In this novel a devoted and loving father fights for the return of his young son after an overseas abduction. As one victim notes, If emotional abuse left the scars of physical abuse, it would be a felony.
Inside Incest by Madeline A. Garner
This product was recommended by Madeline A. Garner from GarnerInsideIncest
Inside Incest: Psychotherapy and Energy Healing Transform This Therapist, and a Guide for Survivors, written by Madeline A. Garner, is an eye-opening self-help memoir that will educate readers on different kinds of incest experiences and incest family behavior. Garner explores the why, what, and who of different sorts of trauma treatment that will help determine what could be the best method for someone who is suffering or repressing their past. These coping methods will help bring the survivor back to the person they were born to be. The book will support survivors and show friends, family, and loved ones how they can understand the survivor in their lives.
How to Be an Ally to a Loved One Experiencing Domestic Violence by David Mandel
This product was recommended by Tressa Jumps from Safe & Together institute
This book is for family and friends who know a loved one experiencing domestic violence and coercive control, and would like to know how to best support them. Family and friends have a unique opportunity to help and support survivors, who often choose to seek their support before calling police or engaging services. A positive first experience talking about the abuse can make the difference between safety, and increased isolation and entrapment for a loved one. Knowing what to say and what not to say can help family and friends play the role they want to play: a source of support and safety for their loved one.This book is to be used to assist you in supporting a loved one who is navigating domestic violence and coercive control. It is not meant to replace professional assistance, court orders or involvement of law enforcement where appropriate. Rather, this book is designed to provide you with information, language and suggestions about how to respond to a very challenging, harmful and potentially dangerous situation. The concept behind this guide came from a survivor and was developed with input from other survivors. It represents their ideas about what they wanted and needed to hear from their loved ones. The guide offers information about how to identify domestic violence. It explains how coercive control, even when there is no apparent violence, can be very harmful and dangerous. It offers specific concrete steps that family and friends can take to support a loved one who is being abused.
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
This product was recommended by Sarah Reidenbach from Rabble Rousers’ Trousers
As an abuse survivor myself, Chanel’s beautifully written memoir of her assault and subsequent court case was validating, invigorating, and gave me a sense of community. She was honest and covered the brutality of injustice as well as the hope of rising above it. I consider it an absolute must read for all human beings, especially survivors. It was equivalent to at least 50 therapy sessions, so it was a good deal too.
Survivors by Gregory Moffat
This product was recommended by Gregory Moffatt from Choosing Therapy
This book addresses various types of trauma and how people survived successfully. Also known as positive psychology, this book looks not at those who failed, but those who survived despite insurmountable odds – physical trauma, abuse, assault, and even the holocaust.
The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis
This product was recommended by Geninna Ariton from Trendhim
You’re 17 and your mother is physically aggravating on top of her verbal abuse, your father couldn’t care less and is barely at home being a workaholic, and you’ve recently discovered that you are in love with your best friend, who turns out to be a boy like you. Abuse comes in different forms for the main character and we see him grow emotionally and mentally in this book.
The First Seven Days by Robert Longley
This product was recommended by Robert Longley from Sexual Abuse Coaching
There are lots of books for direct victims, but I thought it was important to write a book for parents so they could have a better understanding of what their child was dealing with.
Recovering from Rape by Linda E. Ledray
This product was recommended by TL Robinson from THE U.P.
I’m a rape survivor. It’s a very heavy emotional, mental and physical burden that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I had and still have so many questions about why I was raped; understanding the type of person commits a sexual crime; what issues I will have to face; etc. This book addresses a vast majority of concerns and questions that survivors may have. Once I accepted that the crime happened to me, this book became a valuable tool that helps me to have a survivorship journey that is led less by hysteria and more by being trauma informed. I want the same thing for all other sexual assault and abuse survivors.
Healing Sex by Staci Haines
This product was recommended by Carol Queen from Good Vibrations
The first truly sex-positive book on getting your life back after abusive experiences is still the gold standard! This author walks the talk and started a nonprofit, generationFIVE, to end child sexual abuse.
Writing Ourselves Whole by Jen Cross
This product was recommended by Carol Queen from Good Vibrations
I facilitated writing circles with Jen for years and she is profoundly compassionate and insightful–and she specializes in teaching writing to those who have dealt with abuse. Finally her heart and wisdom are part of a writer’s guide for those seeking inner resources to help them process trauma.