Making Out Like a Virgin endorsements

This book offers an emotionally powerful lesson in the complex reality of sexual violence. Through a diversity of voices and perspectives--all the richer for having included the oftentimes marginalized experiences of boys and men--we ultimately rediscover our common humanity. Those who have experienced abuse will find inspiration in these stories. And all of us will be transformed in knowing that regardless of how profoundly we may be hurt by others, it is within our power to not let ourselves be defined by suffering and abuse. Justin Trottier, Executive Director of the Canadian Association for Equality


An essential book about sexual trauma that chronicles the many ways that people move forward. The contributors tell many stories—of not just surviving but thriving, of naming and acknowledging feelings yet not having them define oneself, and of letting go for what comes next in each of their lives. Though of different countries, races, genders, orientations, backgrounds, and experiences, their tales weave together a tapestry of courage, strength, resourcefulness, resilience, and hope. Luca Maurer, program director and co-author of The Teaching Transgender Toolkit


Unlike other stories by survivors, these have been fully processed, some beautifully written, all self-reflective and showing insight uncommon to victimization narratives ...immensely helpful to those who call themselves victims and those who call themselves survivors and those readers looking for a more complex understanding of sexuality after trauma, growth, recovery, and healing. Sharon Lamb, Ed.D., Ph.D., ABPP, winner of the Books for a Better Life Award, for Packaging Girlhood, and the Society for Sex Therapy and Research Book Award for Sex, Therapy, and Kids


As a senior program officer who has been working to change the cultural acceptance of violence against women and children, I can't say enough about how important the stories are. Their tales of resilience offer hope to others who have been traumatized, to those who work in the helping/healing field, and to those of us who envision a world in which the forces of light have prevailed. Karen Heck, Senior Program Officer, The Bingham Program, Tufts Medical Center


These stunning essays of courage and transcendence remind us that the human soul is mighty, and that love is always possible. They will make you weep with joy. Karin Anderson, Honorary Board Member, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and former Maine Women’s Fund Executive Director


The powerful stories of redemption told in “Making Out Like a Virgin” offer a lifeline to anyone who is raped or sexually abused — an unforgivably gigantic number of women and men, girls and boys, still, despite decades of struggle to end the scourge. Hearing people describe in their own voices how they reclaimed their bodies and their lives is essential reading for anyone abused —  and for those of us who love, parent and teach them. Carol Ness, Editor and writer, UC Berkeley


Through these powerful, beautiful stories we recognize that life is complicated, messy, painful, and damaging. But like the phoenix from the ashes, healing hope, driving passions, and a deep love of self can be born amidst the rubble. What a sweet and inspiring gift to receive: stories that promise a life beyond the trauma – one that is vibrant, passionate, and full of possibility. Auburn L. Watersong, Associate Director of Public Policy, Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and Episcopal Priest


A poignant, diverse and courageous collection of experiences of sexual trauma that celebrate our resilience as human beings to survive, heal, and live full, satisfying lives. Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault


This collection fills a gap in available literature about survivorship and healing, and is a gift for those of us working alongside survivors and those of us who are survivors ourselves. These are stories of survivors coming back into their spontaneity, their vivaciousness, and their desire. Jen Friedlander, Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs


The common thread through this collection of moving essays is courage, hope, and inspiration. What a gift to anyone recovering from sexual trauma or anyone wanting to accompany them on their journeys to recovery and fulfillment. David Walsh, Ph.D. Psychologist and author of Why Do They Act That Way? A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen


Finally, a book that explores the effects of sexual assault on both women and men. Understanding that sexual assault is a systemic problem, and tackling it on an individual, community, family, and societal level is essential to the elimination of sexual assault as an acceptable norm in our communities and societies. But until then, survivors can hear from other survivors that healing is attainable. Thank you for writing this book, and readers and Freedom Fighters, thank you for reading it. Wendi Dragonfire, Founder, Shuri-Ryu and Empowerment Self Defense, Netherlands and Germany


I wish I had read the book with a highlighter in hand so that I could create the mosaic within it that is “my story.” More than that, I bless all of the story tellers and collectors for presenting the first book about child sexual assault that has ever made me feel understood, heard, accepted into a community, and healthy in my recovery. The telling of our stories is not only part of personal healing, but I hope a part of a global healing that must begin. Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman, International Empowerment Self-defense Advocate and CEO/Co-founder El HaLev NGO


After 26 years of working with well over 800 male survivors and a couple dozen female survivors, I am well aware of the range of losses (or thefts) experienced by survivors of sexual abuse. However, the greatest theft is the loss of true intimacy—emotional, psychological, or sexual. The testimonies offer specific examples of the real possibility of regaining one's natural, joyful, and fulfilling sexual and emotional connectedness. It's not just a lovely sounding theory, this book gives concrete examples and thereby a newfound hope. Don Wright M.Ed., Founder/Executive Director, BC. Society for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse, Vancouver, BC, Canada


As a faculty member who teaches mostly young college women and those with sexual and gender minority identities, not a semester goes by without at least one student telling me of a recent experience of sexual trauma, and all too many sharing histories of trauma and abuse. Some ask me if they will ever “recover” and be able to reclaim their full selves. I tell them it is a long, slow, non-linear process, but yes, I believe it is possible. With the publication of this book, my students will no longer have to take my word for this! Jacqueline S. Weinstock, Ph.D., Human Development & Family Studies, University of Vermont


Rich in honest details, these stories are compelling reading. Each writer shares a unique and powerful story of healing from sexual trauma. I came away enlightened by the variety of their experiences and inspired by the commitment of each writer to heal, grow, and thrive. Cheryl Burghdorf, Professor of English, retired