Kids Helping Kids: break the silence of sexual abuse. By Linda Lee Foltz. Lighthouse Point Press, Pittsburgh $21.95.
(pound;14 hb, pound;9.50 pb, available from Amazon) Fifteen children tell their stories of abuse in this book. Jill, for example, describes the night her friend's father came into her room when she was staying over. "He was standing beside the bed without any clothes on. I didn't know what to do."
The account goes on, and it makes difficult reading. They all do, including the ones that tell of an unexpected sort of abuse, like that suffered by Lee who, when he was seven, was regularly subjected to sexual bullying by a gang of teenage girls.
The stories are written to be read by children, and each of them is followed up by advice or comment such as: "If someone has sexually abused you, you might have many different feelings and reactions... that's normal.
It's your way of dealing with what has happened to you."
This is a powerful book, in the sense that it's a real defensive weapon for children who have been abused, or may be in danger of abuse. It demonstrates that the stories can be told, that your feelings are normal and have been shared by others, and that once you tell, then something better can follow.