For Survivors / General

This is the category that prompted me to start thinking an online resource library is a good idea. There are two scenarios that led me to believe there is a need for such a library. First, there is the adult survivor who was abused decades ago, and now decides it’s time to come forward. You deserve solid information to understand what happened to you and how to find your way out of the labyrinth that is the internal struggle with child sex abuse. These materials are for you.

Second, there are the families where a child discloses that they have been abused. The shock is difficult to absorb, and parents and the child (anyone under age 18) immediately seek knowledge and wisdom. So do siblings, by the way. There are so many who have taken this path before, it is only humane to gather resources here for you to get some early understanding without the pain and triggering that can arise with googling this topic. These materials are for you.

They are also for anyone who wants to understand the basics of child sex abuse.

This section of the portal focuses on the big picture. Some of them are classics like Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score while others are new like The Gift of Forgiveness. Each one makes a distinctive contribution to understanding child sex abuse for survivors, their families and friends, and those who work with children. These materials not only can be helpful in one’s journey of healing, but also to assist anyone working with children who wants to understand it. They are valuable for understanding and prevention.

Everyone has their own best way to learn, which is why we have included suggested reading and viewing: books and articles, documentaries and videos, and online resources.

Here’s to enlightenment and healing!

— Prof. Marci Hamilton, Founder/CEO of CHILD USA


Our selected books are typically available in public and/or university libraries. The link provided is a path to purchase if you so choose.

The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis

This book combines personal experience with professional knowledge to provide explanations and suggestions throughout the survival healing process for victims and their loved ones.

The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker

Using a leading expert on violent behavior, this book offers specific ways to protect yourself and those you love from potentially violent situations.

The Sexual Trauma Workbook for Teen Girls by Raychelle Cassada

This book offers healing, real-life stories from survivors and powerful, evidence-based tools to help victims of sexual abuse heal.

The Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller

The best-selling guide on childhood trauma and the enduring effects of repressed anger and pain.

The Witch-Hunt Narrative by Ross E. Cheit

This book is an account of the social dynamics that have led to the denial of widespread child sex abuse cases in the past twenty-five years.

Medical, Legal & Social Science Aspects of Child Sexual Exploitation by Sharon W. Cooper

This book examines medical implications for victims and gives information about how perpetrators operate. 

Healing from the Trauma of Childhood Sexual Abuse by Karen A. Duncan

This book by a family therapist shares stories from 18 women abused as children.

Why Me? by Lynn Daugherty

Written by a Clinical Psychologist, this book shares stories from sexual abuse victims and provides step-by-step guidance to those seeking recovery.

Boys Don't Tell by Randy Ellison

The book is a comprehensive report about the cases related to Gerald Sandusky and his abuse of Penn State football players.

Maltreatment in Early Childhood by Kathleen Coulborn Faller PhD

This book examines strategies and ideas for professional training in child protection.

Who Gets What by Kenneth R. Feinberg

This book examines the practical and philosophical debate of using money as a way to address wrongs and reflect individual worth.

Joining Forces by Dr. Howard Fradkin

Based on the experiences of over 750 male survivors, this book helps to empower male survivors to develop skills to overcome the effects of their trauma.

Too Scared to Tell by Cathy Glass

This book tells the story of a six-year-old boy’s abuse and disclosure.

Trauma & Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence–from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror by Judith Herman

This book puts individual experience in a broader political frame.

Abused Boys: The Neglected Victims of Sexual Abuse by Mic Hunter

Written by a psychologist with extensive clinical experience treating male victims of sexual abuse.

Creating a Safe Place By NCH Children and Families Project

The book uses survivors’ experiences to illustrate the healing abilities of patient-centered therapeutic approaches.

Understanding Child Abuse by Terry Philpot

This book is the first to examine women whose partners are child sex offenders through a combination of theory, practice, and personal testimony.

The Gift of Forgiveness by Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt

Based on in-depth interviews and personal reflections, this book discusses learning how to forgive.

The Child Survivor: Healing Trauma and Dissociation by Joyanna L. Silberg

Using case examples, this book offers a comprehensive overview of the treatment of young people who have developed dissociative symptoms.

The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk

This book uses scientific research to show how trauma reshapes the body and the brain and explores innovative treatments for recovery.

The Long Shadow of Sexual Abuse: Developmental Effects across the Life Cycle by Calvin A. Colarusso

Developmental Effects across the Life Cycle has one simple purpose- to describe the profound interferences with normal developmental processes that occur in every subsequent developmental phase throughout life as the result of chronic child sexual abuse.




Treatment of Childhood Sexual Abuse: An Updated Review By Marissa Cummings, Steven J. Berkowitz, and Philip V. Scribano

This article reviews current literature on the treatment of CSA, including psychosocial interventions, pharmacotherapy, and early preventative interventions. It also provides an update on the short- and long-term sequelae of CSA and implications for future research directions.


The Child Protection Pretense: States’ Continued Consignment of Newborn Babies to Unfit Parents by Professor James G. Dwyer

This Minnesota Law Review article discusses the many gaps in child protection law and agency practice, increasing the likelihood of unchecked, repeated, and inter-generational abuse.


New York Times “It Will Always be a Part of My Life” by Concepción de León

This article discusses Chanel Miller’s story before and after her Stanford sexual assault case.


Recommended Reading from SNAP


Recommended Resources for adults from Snap


How We Are Failing Children: Changing the Paradigm by the Canadian Center for Child Protection

Proposed set of principles for action that prioritizes the protection and rights of children in the removal of child sexual abuse images and harmful/abuse images.


Out of the Shadows: Shining Light on the Response to Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation a report from The Economist

60-country benchmarking index that examines how countries are responding to the threat of sexual violence against children.


Now more than ever, prevention matters by Teresa Huizar

This article by Teresa Huizar, the Executive Director of National Children’s Alliance, discusses the increased need for child abuse prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic.


A Prospective Investigation of the Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse on the Development of Sexuality by Jennine G. Noll, Penelope K. Trickett, and Frank W. Putnam

This article looks at the impact of child sexual abuse on the development of sexuality in women in a longitudinal, prospective study.


Information on Flashbacks from SNAP


Child Sexual Abuse Assessment and Professional Ethics: Commentary on Controversies, Limits and When to Just Say No by David L. Corwin


Is the Child Victim of Sexual Abuse Telling the Truth? by Kathleen Coulborn Faller

Scholarly article detailing steps for evaluators to approach children disclosing sexual abuse.


New York Times Series on Child Porn by Michael H. Keller and Gabriel J.X. Dance

This article explains the NYT’s investigation of child pornography and policy failures.


The Complex Experience of Child Pornography Survivors by Science Direct

This scholarly article identifies themes and implications for child pornography survivors.


Global Threat Assessment: Working together to end the sexual exploitation of children online by the WeProtect Global Alliance

This global threat assessment discusses the impact to victims and the wider societal impact of online child sexual exploitation


Child Abuse & Neglect

The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Documentaries & Videos


A Path Appears, Episode 1

A moving 1-hour and 23-minute documentary uncovering global sex trafficking.

11-minute video of Tyler Perry on the trauma during his childhood, his success, and his philanthropy for children.

Julia Cordua Ted Talk

A 14-minute video of social entrepreneur Julia Corduo discussing her potential technological solution to dismantling the communities normalizing child sexual abuse of children in images and videos on the internet.

ACE Study DVD – Executive Summary by the Academy on Violence and Abuse

This 14-minute video summarizes the Academy on Violence and Abuse’s interviews with the co-founders of the CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Study.

5-minute video of Busy Phillips and Ellen Degeneres sharing stories about being survivors of child sexual abuse.

Sexual Assault Inside ICE Detention: 2 Survivors Tell Their Stories I Times Documentaries

This 10-minute video details the stories of two women being sexually abused by guards under the custody of ICE.

Child Pornography: The Abuse that Never Ends video by Sam Klausen

This 9-minute video discusses the importance of child pornography awareness and offers policy suggestions.

Online Resources


The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC)

National Children’s Alliance

CHILD USA Survivor Tool Kits

Legal tool kits to help inform child sex abuse survivors of the relevant laws in their state and what their rights and legal options are.

Online Resources for Survivors: Websites and Resources Offering Support and Help by NSVRC

Toolkit on Grooming by the #MeToo movement

Project Arachnid

Operated by the Canadian Centre, Project Arachnid is a tool to combat the growing proliferation of child sexual abuse material on the internet.