Customer Reviews for

The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2015


    Very thorough and well written. I am reading to understand what a friend is going through and it has been helpful. It is intense reading and addresses the issues. Good for anyone who wants to better understand the impact of sexual abuse.

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  • Posted December 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Spiritual Concepts for Personal Growth

    The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse by Dan Allender, Ph.D, attempts to answer the question of what we should do about our inevitable pain. The forward (by Dr. Larry Crabb) states that the book¿s message is ¿to think biblically about topics not directly addressed in Scripture.¿ Throughout the book, there is the presumption of the readers¿ belief in God. Dan Allender wants to help those who have been abused to make sense of their indescribable pain. A victim cannot make sense out of the crimes of abuse, or why the perpetrator chose to be abusive. But Dr. Allender, a minister, professor, and therapist, can guide a victim toward an understanding that makes healing a valuable achievement. This is encouraged via personal and spiritual growth. Dr. Allender urges the reader to explore a higher purpose, a higher power, and a bigger vision for life. The Wounded Heart is written in three parts: The Dynamics of Abuse, The Damage of Abuse, and the Prerequisites for Growth. In parts one and two, the concepts cover the intense feelings of victims, including shame and ambivalence. In part three, Dr. Allender explains complex beliefs, such as repentance. Although the writing style is careful and thorough, there is a burden on the victim to understand betrayal, contempt, and powerlessness and their consequences. This is the case in our culture: the responsibility for understanding is on the survivors, while the perpetrators make no apologies. Dr. Allender does not sugar-coat the actual abuse, the resulting trauma, or the difficulty in healing. He does, however, make it clear that his Christian position and opinion is one of deep faith and hope. He tries to convey this to the reader without being dogmatic. Not every victim will be able to absorb the Bible verses he uses to explain both the suffering and the growth.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    A very helpful book.

    This book is to impart understanding of the effects of abuse from childhood into adulthood, to those who have been abused or are acquainted with those who have been. It is somewhat upsetting and should not be read through quickly. Not a good read before bed or just before work. Addresses what might be needed to help someone be a more functional and healthy adult after such atrocities have happened.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010


    I would like to shake the hand of Dr. Dan Allender for bringing order out of chaos to a very misunderstood crime to the soul, for it is indeed that. Childhood sexual abuse shuts down the heart, doesn't trust and despises oneself. As a child perhaps, it is understandable why one would 'shut down the heart' in order to survive [it], but children of course grow up, and self protecting styles of relating [in adulthood] only produce a deeper cry of the soul; to be loved, wanted and accepted, than to live with the abuse [from others] on a daily basis. Abuse it seems attracts abuse, and since we do not remember a time we were loved [having shut down the heart as a self-protective means and thereby unable to receive love], we only ever hear judgment and condemnation, never love and mercy. We do not have the ability to 'stand up for ourselves' nor do we even understand [sometimes] why we have such problems relating to other [adults]. For some of us, we still feel as though we are a child [in a man or woman's body]. While 'we' grew physically (of course), 'we' stagnated emotionally, wondering how it is possible to be 'this old' already?; "When was I ever a child?" is a consistent inner question It feels as though [even if distant; a lifetime ago], that no-one [in our family] was ever truly responsible for us, nor protected us. It sets up a even greater spiral of contempt and self-condemnation; feeling unworthy and producing greater [inner] loneliness. How do we now [as adults] love our spouse [in the way God intended] or our children? How do we interact as adults with the maturity that reaches out to others who need our help, and our love when we still feel (internally) so much like a child? As a Christian myself I appreciate the honesty, the candor that the author so eloquently addresses. Sexual abuse is 'swept under the carpet' in an attempt to deny the damaging affects, and I, for one have been hurt by 'the church's' evident unqualified and inability to help. But I would prefer that leaders in the church would humbly confess this than make me feel as though again the fault is mine, for not simply "forgiving and forgetting" [it all] as though it were really that simple. Yes, I believe in a God who redeems and heals, but as with us all, there is a process; a road that is often very dark and lonely, not one that automatically delivers you from the ache on the inside, overnight. For anyone who is seeking answers on this painful and difficult subject (especially followers of Jesus Christ), I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK, and if Dr. Dan Allender ever reads this review: thank you Sir. Only in Heaven will you ever know how deeply you have helped me in my quest for the truth about my past, and how much your book "mirrored" what the Holy Spirit had already revealed to me personally; BEFORE I even read your book. Your book then was evidence; affirmation that I was not crazy, a freak or abnormal; there were reasons why I had suffered and felt the things I had and you articulated things in a way that I do not know how I could have done so with as much eloquence as you did. Thank you again for taking the time to write this book, for your service in your profession to the confused and afraid (who have suffered this in their childhood) and for allowing the Holy Spirit to use you in a much needed way in our society. Too many people have been sexually abused, but pretending it doesn't happen does not help real people

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2009

    Life Changing

    I am 33 years old and an adult victim of childhood sexual abuse. God put this book in my hand and I am changed after just finishing reading it and doing everything it said to do. Allender knows what he is talking about. My life is changed and that deep pain I have felt all my life is gone. There is nothing like the power of Christ to work in our lives. If you don't know Christ, you cannot effectivly be healed because the world has nothing to offer the kind of pain felt from sexual abuse. It is a tearing of the soul and heart. The other book I found deeply helpful was Cry of the Soul by Allender. If you are still suffering from sexual abuse from your childhood or know someone who is and you want to help... GET THIS BOOK! It has been the only one that truly spoke to the depths of my soul (besides the bible) Christ has used it powerfully in my life. If you know someone who has been abused, read the back part where it talks about what you need to do to help the person you love who is suffering from it AND DO WHAT IT SAYS AND STAND BY THE PERSON UNTIL THE END! Standing by someone and seeing them completely through the healing process is invaluable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2007

    Impacting and very pivotal

    Dan Allendar wrote this book 17 years ago and it is still the benchmark work for the non-professional -and many professionals too- on the topic of sexual abuse. Even if you think that you have not been affected by the issues of abuse -most are- someone you know has and this will offer you a opportunity to begin dealing with the wrenching effects of abuse on one's life. Its not a light read, but will disrupt and engage the reader whereever they are in dealing with their own issues.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2001

    A must read for adult survivors of sexual abuse!

    Dr. Dan B. Allender writes from the heart. As a therapist, reading this book helped me to better understand my clients dealing with the aftermath of chilhood sexual abuse. The author writes from a Christian perspective and gives unique insight into this topic, as he himself is also a survivor.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2000

    Know how sexual abuse profoundly affects your life.

    As a 49 year old and a Believer in Christ who has struggled all of her life not knowing why I did all the things I did and reacted the way I did. This book has shed a lot of light and hope on the issues of childhood sexual abuse. This book has also showed me a way back to GOD.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2000

    Good book

    This is the first book I read on the subject of childhood sexual abuse, as a survivor and Christian it helped me tremendously.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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