How To Help Survivors Of Sexual Abuse
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The silence that surrounds sexual abuse and assault keeps survivors mute, isolated and in the shadows, forcing them into deeper cycles of trauma, shame and self-blame. It also protects and absolves their perpetrators. Silence is one of the biggest obstacles to stopping this taboo epidemic. Finding very few books to help chart a way through these rough waters, Rebecca Street felt called to act. A sexual abuse survivor herself, it took Rebecca ten courageous years to write You Can Help. She began by asking difficult and vital questions, such as: “How can we come together to bring light to this darkness? How can we end this taboo?” She invited other survivors to share their stories and gives practical tips for helping - such as words one can use to open the door and encourage the secrets to be brought into the light and shared. “Healing,” she notes, “doesn’t take place in a vacuum. We need others to participate.” Her gentle and infinitely compassionate book gives us a way to begin the conversation and find the path to healing that will help the women, men, teenagers, young adults and children that are suffering from the trauma of sexual abuse.
Meet This Episode's Guest
REBECCA STREET is a New York based TV, stage, and film actor. She lived in Los Angeles for twenty-four years where she raised her children and worked in TV and film. Though she has performed in many TV episodics, films, and commercials, she is perhaps best known for her 2 year portrayal of a woman with AIDS on “The Young & Restless." NY credits include HBO’s “Mildred Pierce,” "House of Cards," and playing Mary Tyrone in "Long Day’s Journey into Night" Off Broadway. In 2017 fshe was eatured in the new Gore Verbinski film, "A Cure for Wellness," which she shot in Berlin.
Rebecca is an incest survivor, having experienced 15 years of sexual abuse by her biological father. She is grateful that her journey to recovery has finally brought her to a place where she can be a public advocate for the many others who have suffered sexual trauma, and do so without shame. Hence, You Can Help: A Guide for Family and Friends of Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Assault. She has addressed both lay people and professionals at a variety of venues on the ramifications of sexual trauma and methods for facilitating recovery, including the NY State Office of Mental Health, the University of CA. Santa Barbara, Juilliard, and the Fordham Graduate School of Social Work. This Fall, Rebecca is offering a free 6 week online healing program designed specifically for survivors, entitled YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
You Can Help
"Rebecca Street’s book, You Can Help offers a miraculous blend of compassion and pragmatic advice about how to help survivors of abuse. Ms. Street shows great bravery and understanding as she explains her own journey from abuse to healing, and shares the knowledge she has distilled from it. She offers her expertise with a gentle directness that should ease the way for anyone struggling to comfort a loved one who has been subjected to violence. My research on adult development has taught me that the problem of abuse is widespread and profound. I hope this book reaches as many individuals as possible; it has great potential to speed the healing process."
— CONNIE GERSICK, Ph.D
Faculty Co-Founder, UCLA Women’s Leadership Institute
Visiting Scholar, Yale School of Management
Senior Research Associate, Lansberg, Gersick and Associates, New Haven, CT.
"Rebecca Street’s courageous, sensitive and well-written book, You Can Help is a much needed resource for educating and empowering survivors, their friends and family members, and the professionals who work with them. As a psychotherapist and social worker for over 20 years, sadly I have seen far too many people affected by sexual trauma, and I wish that I could have given this book to every single one of them."
— MARTHA E. MILLER, LCSW
Stress Resilience Educator and Consultant
Private Practice, New York, N.Y.
"Rebecca Street’s book, You Can Help is a great resource for family and friends of victims of sexual trauma as well as for the victims themselves. The author recounts her own story of recovery while providing hope, encouragement, and practical tips for those wishing to participate in the healing of a loved one who has been victimized. Street takes it a step farther by including stories from a wide range of other sexual abuse and assault survivors who share moving first-person examples of their own journeys to recovery."
— KIRK RAY SMITH, MS
Former President & CEO
Greater Springfield, MA.
If you have experienced trauma, you are not alone!
Please contact Susan for help if you are a trauma survivor and want specialized treatment. Fees are negotiable.
Some additional resources:
RAINN: The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline and carries out programs to prevent sexual assault, help victims, and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.
Darkness to Light: End Child Sex Abuse
Darkness to Light is an advocacy organization that educates adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to the reality of child sexual abuse.