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I just stumbled upon your web site and I think that it's great that the increased awareness level has reached the World Wide Web. I happened to find your web site because I'm looking for some information on how to help someone (who is very close to me) deal with the aftermath of this ordeal. I'm a student at the University of Nevada, Reno and I've talked to many of my professors and also looked up info on abnormal psychology. I haven't been able to find and tips or methods to help (her) become a "survivor". Can you please direct me into the right path? I've known (her) for almost ten years and she means so much to me, but I feel that our friendship/relationship has been severely affected by this and I don't know where to start besides to be supportive by listening to her and being really patient. Thank you for your time.

Thank you for your note and for being such a true friend. I'm not sure what exactly your friend is a survivor of, so I'm hoping that my recommendations are helpful regardless. Also, if it is any form of abuse.....unfortunately then this is more "normal" than "abnormal" with as many as one in four girls who experience some form of sexual abuse before the age of 18. (The situation isn't much better for boys, who are one in seven times likely to have similiar forms of abuse happen to them before the age of 18).

As for books, I would try Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman, who is an expert on abuse and trauma and who has written extensively on this subject. There is also The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis. Visit the FEMINIST.COM Bookstore for these titles and other ideas.

As for Groups.....there is the Center for Trauma and Recovery based in Denver, CO and many other smaller groups on a community level.

I haven't personally, explored this outlet, but there are probably "chat rooms" on-line dealing with this same topic. You might also check out our Violence Against Women resources for more support and ideas.

If you need further suggestions, please let me know, especially if I am making the wrong assumptions. In addition to being informative, I think these books help to heal and "move forward."


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