10 Powerful Books by Male Survivors of Sexual Assault

Myth: Men can’t be sexually abused. Fact: Anyone can be sexually abused. Here are 10 books by brave men who have survived sexual assault.

Memoirs & Biographies Non-Fiction Poetry & Drama Recommendations
The back of an older boy who is look out at a serene lake with trees around it. There are 4 book covers on this feature image: Over the Top, Nice to Meet Me, Silent No More, and Raped Black male.

Trigger Warning: The following article contains discussions of sexual assault and child abuse that may be triggering for some readers. Please exercise personal care while reading.

Nearly a quarter of the male population are survivors of sexual assault, and yet there are stigmas surrounding this sad truth that keep men from speaking out. This is why it is so important that we hear their stories. When men share their experiences and journeys, they empower others to seek help and start their own path of healing. “Breaking the silence” is a phrase we’ve all heard before, and these books are just a handful of the voices out there who deserve to be heard.

While you are reading this, you may feel like you—or someone you know—could benefit from the resources available for male survivors of sexual violence. If this happens, look to the conclusion of this article for information about the essential resources and help offered by 1in6.org and NSVRC.org. You are not alone.

Chosen: A Memoir of Stolen Boyhood by Stephen Mills

What was supposed to be one of the safest places turned out to be home to a serial monster.

A heavily blue and black themed photo of a lake, trees, and lightly cloudy sky. The water of the lake is reflected in vivid shades of blue. The trees are silhouetted in black. Across the top of the cover in black text it says, "A work of shattering almost-unbearable radiance." A quote by Junot Diaz, author of This Is How You Love Her. Across the middle in large bold and blue text it says Chosen in all caps. Below that in smaller white text it says, A Memoir of stolen boyhood. Across the bottom in large bold and black text it says the author's name: Stephen Mills.

This is Stephen Mills’s story. Stephen was just 13 years old when he was targeted by the director of his Jewish summer camp, who first groomed and then molested him. He told no one, but his trauma chased him into adulthood. It finally caught Stephen when he made an earth-shattering discovery about his abuser. His monster was still active—moving from camp to camp and state to state—and still molesting goodness knows how many other boys. After this brought on a physical and mental collapse, Stephen chose to confront his painful past and begin his path to recovery. And then he bravely soldiered through a decades-long quest to stop this monster once and for all.

Spoiler alert: Stephen does finally find justice!

Raped Black Male by Kenneth Rogers Jr.

He teaches us all what it means to be Black, male, and a survivor of SA.

Pure white blank page as the background, with words printed in an antique typewriter font. It reads: Raped Black Male, A Memoir by Kenneth Rogers Jr.

This is Kenneth Rogers Jr.’s story of overcoming depression and coming to terms with being just eight years old when his sister sexually assaulted him. This book spans from his boyhood in the ’90s to the days of being homeless and facing mental breakdowns to his present life as an esteemed middle school teacher and celebrated award-winning author. Kenneth uses real journal entries from his childhood to tell his inspirational story about recovery from sexual abuse, the realities of what it means to be a Black male, and the wisdom he imparts to his seventh-grade students.

Silent No More: Victim 1’s Fight for Justice Against Jerry Sandusky by Aaron Fisher, Michael Gillum, and Dawn Daniels

He transforms from another nameless casualty into a leader for others to stop a monster.

A neutral earth tone for the background. This is a portrait of the author in a red shirt and jeans, sitting on a wooden chair. Across the top of the cover in black text, it reads: Aaron Fisher and Michael Gillum, M.A., with Dawn Daniels. Below that in bold large white text, it reads in all caps: Silent No More. And below that in black text again, it reads: Victim 1's fight for justice against Jerry Sandusky.

Aaron Fisher was the first survivor to speak up against Jerry Sandusky in what is now known as the Penn State scandal. Aaron was a bright 11-year-old when Jerry, Penn State’s famed football coach, brought him into his Second Mile children’s charity. Jerry groomed and isolated Aaron, and it escalated to sexual assault. And when Aaron did first come forward, the adults who were supposed to protect him ostracized him instead. With never-ending help from his mother, Dawn, and his psychologist, Mike, he inspired many other kids to step forward, and together, they stopped their abuser, resulting in the arrest and total conviction of Jerry Sandusky.

Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love by Jonathan Van Ness

Who gave Jonathan Van Ness permission to heal and be the amazing star he is today? No one, honey!

A vibrant bright blue background that fades to light blue as it gets close to Jonathan Van Ness, who is posing in a dark blue turtle neck cashmere sweater, dark blue long skirt with a long slit up the side, and black ankle boots with a stiletto heel. He is posing with one hand on his hip and one leg raised up in a burlesque dancer pose. Across the top of the cover in bold large white text, it says: Over the Top. In blue ink in handwritten style, it says: My Story. Near the bottom of the cover in the same white text it says: Jonathan Van Ness. There is also dark blue circle sticker midway on the cover on the right side. It says: New York Times Bestseller.

This person hardly needs any introduction. You may know Jonathan Van Ness’s from Netflix’s hit show Queer Eye. In this laugh-and-cry-out-loud book, he reveals the man behind the dress and shares his story of growing up in a small Midwestern town and finding fame as a model of self-care and acceptance. This memoir is about his whole journey and doesn’t focus on sexual abuse as a singular topic, but he is wide open about being HIV positive, his struggle with addiction to sex and drugs, and becoming a sexual assault survivor when he was young.

Healing the Man Within: Hope for Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse by Randy Boyd

A male survivor candidly discusses what it takes for men to heal from childhood SA.

The background is made to look like a faded light photo of a boy resting his head on his arm and looking off to the left. Across the top in black text, it says: A guide to healing from the pain of sexual abuse. Across the middle it says: Hope for victims of childhood sexual abuse, Healing the man within, written for male survivors by a male survivor. Below that is a black strip across the cover, with white text across the center that says: Practical tools to turn pain into power. Below that is an olive green strip and then the authors name, Randy Boyd, in black text. Below that it reads: Founder of the Courageous Healers Foundation, with excerpts and contributions from authors including Dan Griffin, M.A., Jerry Moe, John Lee, Allen Berger, PhD, and Mic Hunter, PsyD.

This is Randy Boyd’s story. Healing the Man Within is part autobiography and part self-help book, offering other survivors and their families insight into why survivors of sexual assault act out the way they do and ways to start a path of healing. He candidly shares the effects of male sexual abuse, the correlation between sexual assault and drug and alcohol addiction, and what it takes for a man to heal from childhood trauma.

Beyond Survivor – Rising from the Ashes of Childhood Sexual Abuse: A Collection of Writings by Jan L. Frayne

Poetry and prose are powerful tools used to advocate for male survivors of childhood SA.

Solid black background and in the center is a small boy curled up on his side. Across the top in bold yellow font, the title reads: Beyond Survivor Rising from the Ashes of Childhood Sexual Abuse, A collection of Writings. Across the bottom portion of the cover, it reads: Jan L. Frayne. There is a quote by Nicola J. Davies that reads: "Never have I read such a heartbreakingly honest yet poetically eloquent account of surviving male childhood sexual abuse. The language is raw and goes straight to the heart of the reader."

Jan L. Frayne shares his journey through a collection of poetry and prose. He hopes his own history will help other victims find the strength to seek professional guidance and bring awareness to the general public. Beyond Survivor features a boy who faces his demons—ending in scenes of success as he prevails against the nightmares of his past.

Boys Don’t Tell: Ending the Silence of Abuse by Randy Ellison

His intensely personal and factual reporting turned his journey into a mission to motivate others.

Photo of a young boy turned away, and partially out of frame. He is wearing a dark plaid shirt. The rest of the background is out of focus. Across the top in large blue font it says: Randy Ellison. Below that in white and brown text it says the title: boys don't tell, ending the silence of abuse.

Randy Ellison discusses the abuse he suffered at the hands of a trusted minister and the years of therapy he worked through before he was able to make a formal complaint to the Church and file a lawsuit. For the estimated 20 million male survivors out there, Boys Don’t Tell gives voice to lives damaged by sexual abuse and shows others why it isn’t as simple as the “get over it and move on” mantra so many survivors have to hear.

Nice To Meet Me by Chris Carlton

This is his journey through therapy to meet the boy he left behind.

cover shows a earth toned wall that fades to darker around the edges. On the wall is a row of framed art depicting silhouette heads on white background. There is a classic brown leather couch, like people associate with therapist's offices. Across the top it says: Nice to meet me, one man's journey through therapy for sexual abuse to meet the boy he left behind. Above the couch it says: Chris Carlton.

Chris Carlton is a former college athlete, a U.S. Navy Intelligence Officer, and an advertising executive. He invites you to witness his journey in the therapist’s office as he pieces together his past and reconnects with the boy he used to be. If you are looking to heal from childhood abuse—or to understand a loved one who has been abused—Nice To Meet Me is an inspirational story for men struggling with the sudden surfacing of suppressed memories.

Never Let Me Go by Chuck Rosenthal

His only dream was to make the basketball team.

Cover shows a teenage boy, wearing basketball shorts and a white t-shirt, in a locker room, sitting on a bench. He's resting his arms on his knees and facing left at a row of lockers. On the ground before him is a basketball. Around the bottom of the cover it says: Never let me go, a memoir, by Chuck Rosenthal.

Chuck Rosenthal’s story takes place in the ’60s, a time when things like this were most especially swept under the rug. Chuck was just 13 when he made the grade school basketball team, and his coach began grooming him, leading to sexual abuse. Never Let Me Go is a great book for those who have ever felt trapped in a cycle of abuse, denial, and secrecy and need to find a way to take the first steps toward a happier adulthood.

Coreyography: A Memoir by Corey Feldman

A survival story that blows the lid off of Hollywood’s darkest secret.

A headshot glamour photo of the celebrity Corey Feldman. Across the top in white text, it says: A deeply personal and revealing Hollywood-survival story. Along the bottom portion of the cover, it says Corey Feldman Coreyography, A Memoir.

Growing up in the spotlight, Corey Feldman was an international teen idol by 15, finding fame starring in movies like Gremlins, The Goonies, and Stand by Me. Coreyography is a shocking behind-the-scenes memoir, where he tells the truth about surviving physical and sexual abuse in Hollywood, the dysfunctional family he emancipated himself from at 15, and his slow crawl through recovery and healing. Today, Corey continues to lobby for improving legislation that better protects kids in the entertainment industry.

By sharing their stories, these men have broken the silence surrounding the stigma associated with being a male survivor of sexual assault. Their voices have changed policies and laws and strengthened support services. Every story helps raise awareness and encourages others to realize they are not alone, and they CAN find their path of healing.

If you or someone you know needs help, there are resources out there.

1in6.org has a 24/7 confidential helpline: 1-800-656-4673.

They also post a schedule for their Support Group Chat facilitated by a trained counselor, which meets weekly, online, and anonymously.

Additionally, the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline and online chat service will put you in contact with a crisis center local to you: 1-800-656-4673, or access the chat service here.

For more information or to access the full directory of organizations ready to support survivors and their families, visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and go to NSVRC.org/find-help.

Discover more poetry by survivors of sexual assault here.

To browse more books on consent and bodily autonomy, visit our “No” Is a Complete Sentence: Books About Consent shelf on Bookshop.