Resourceful Books To Help Survivors Heal From Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault is a rampant epidemic with little help for survivors. Read on for our recommendations on books that may help a survivor cope with their trauma.

Lifestyle Non-Fiction Recommendations Self Help Wellness

Trigger Warning: The mention of sexual assault and rape may be triggering for some readers. Please exercise personal care when reading.


Sexual violence is dauntingly common; everyone needs to be better educated on what SA is and its long-lasting effects. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. 1 out of every 10 rape victims is male. Transgender college students are at higher risk for sexual violence.

Sexual violence does not discriminate against any group of people, making it an epidemic (specifically in the United States). The survivors of this trauma deserve nothing less than the full, unwavering support of their community and peers. It is not only a trauma to the body, but it is also a trauma to the mind. The books below are written by either doctors, therapists, or first-hand survivors who wish to help those who are also survivors and enlighten others.

Read on to find a few books that adorn the shelves of therapists and can provide healing techniques for those who have experienced sexual trauma.

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.


[Trigger Warning: Mention of assault]

The Body Keeps the Score is the key to understanding how to deal with the stress that comes from traumatic experiences. This #1 New York Times bestseller, written by the world’s expert on trauma, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. explores stories of survivors and suggests forms of trauma treatment. He uses scientific advances to show how trauma including molestation, alcoholism, and physical violence reshapes the brain and body affecting all areas of that person’s life. He suggests meditation, sports, yoga, and more to aid in stress and trauma release.

Healing Sexual Trauma Workbook by Erika Shershun, MFT


[Trigger Warning: Mention of assault, rape]

Healing Sexual Trauma Workbook is a therapist-recommended workbook that helps those who have experienced rape, sexual abuse, molestation, or sexual trauma find their sense of self and safety again. Marriage and family therapist Erika Shershun created a step-by-step guide to overcome the mind-body effects of sexual trauma. This workbook provides information and comfort while also allowing the reader to answer questions and re-establish their confidence. Shershun’s goal with this workbook is to show anyone who has experienced sexual trauma that they are able to live a full and meaningful life after their experiences.

Even If You’re Broken by Katie Rose Guest Pryal


[Trigger Warning: Mention of assault]

In Pryal’s Even If You’re Broken, we are walked through her journey of silence to one of courage. She discusses her fear of speaking out in order to succeed in her career, but how one day she decided to say something, changing her life forever. Pryal gives her readers multiple witty essays about her life that she believes many women may relate to. This book does not only cover Pryal’s personal experiences, but she also comments on cases such as Bill Cosby and the musician Kesha.

Pryal uses her stories and her comments on the #Metoo movement to reshape our understanding of assault and allows us to open our hearts to other survivors and their stories.


To feel safe at all times is a basic human right; let’s work to make this world physically and mentally safe for everyone.

Help is available at National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

If you are interested in reading about authors who have written about their trauma experiences, please click here.