My Journey With the Book


The catalyst for You Can Help was a conversation I had with a close friend while still living in Los Angeles. My friend came to me one afternoon for guidance because she wanted to help someone dear to her recover from the ravages of sexual abuse. There was something redemptive in that exchange as I realized that I could transform the suffering from my own abuse into an instrument of healing. At the time, I found it surprising that there were no books addressing this need and realized then (and even more so now) that such a resource would help countless people and fill a big hole in the existing literature on sexual trauma. And so I began writing down the suggestions I gave to my friend. The book has been through numerous incarnations since then and what began as homespun wisdom turned into a decade long exploration and research project.

I have been fortunate to have many advocates for You Can Help and thanks to them and perhaps especially to RAINN (The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network which is the largest such organization in the county) and also to Dr. David Lisak of the Bristlecone Project, I was able to broaden my scope and begin a process of interviewing and selecting survivors for what was to become Part Two of the book. It is here that my research took a dramatic and powerful turn. Indeed, the overwhelming outpouring of brave victims' stories and experiences has been truly life changing. 

You Can Help is now available on Amazon and Create Space and will soon be in select book stores. I have been humbled by the support I have received thus far and am eager and ready to go wider with the book. 

Below, please see the table of contents.


Table of Contents


Chapter 1: My Trauma — A Brief History
Chapter 2: Permission to Talk
Chapter 3: A Compassionate Lens
Chapter 4: The Power of Praise
Chapter 5: No Excuses (For the Inexcusable)
Chapter 6: PTSD and the Long Haul
Chapter 7: Listening
Chapter 8: Fun
Chapter 9: The Whole Person
Chapter 10: Beginning Again 

(Each of the above chapters is followed by five "Practical Tips.”)


Chapter 11: Shame - the Glue That Binds Us
Chapter 12: Crimes of the Clergy
Chapter 13: Adult Sexual Assault
Chapter 14: Abuse by a Sibling                           
Chapter 15: Paternal Perpetrators
Chapter 16: Assault Within the Military
Chapter 17: Teen Violence
Chapter 18: In Our Schools
Chapter 19: Victims of Multiple Perpetrators
Chapter 20: Final Words / Final Tips

(Chapters Twelve through Nineteen each include 2 to 3 survivor stories with suggestions for helping loved ones.)