Victims No Longer: The Classic Guide for Men Recovering from Sexual Child Abuse

Overview

For millions of men on the path to recovery, Victims No Longer is the next step.

The first book written specifically for men, Victims No Longer examines the changing cultural attitudes toward male survivors of incest and other sexual trauma. Now, in this Second Edition, this invaluable resource continues to offer compassionate and practical advice, supported by personal ...

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Victims No Longer: The Classic Guide for Men Recovering from Sexual Child Abuse

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Overview

For millions of men on the path to recovery, Victims No Longer is the next step.

The first book written specifically for men, Victims No Longer examines the changing cultural attitudes toward male survivors of incest and other sexual trauma. Now, in this Second Edition, this invaluable resource continues to offer compassionate and practical advice, supported by personal anecdotes and statements of male survivors. Victims No Longer helps survivors to:

  • Identify and validate their childhood experiences
  • Explore strategies of survival and healing
  • Work through issues such as trust, intimacy, and sexual confusion
  • Establish a support network for continued personal recovery
  • Make choices that aren't determined by abuse

Psychotherapist Mike Lew has worked with thousands of men and women in their healing from the effects of childhood sexual abuse, rape, physical violence, emotional abuse, and neglect. The development of strategies for recovery from incest and other abuse, particularly for men, has been a major focus of his work as a counselor and group leader.

Thoroughly updated and revised, and including an expanded Resources section, Victims No Longer educates survivors and professionals about the recovery process -- speaking to the pain, needs, fears, and hopes of the adult male survivor.

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Editorial Reviews

Hank Estrada
“Victims No Longer will remain for years to come the original resource manual for adult male survivors.”
Dan Sexton
“We finally have a book which can offer men support on their journey towards recovery and healing.”
Judith Herman
“Male victims carry a particular burden of shame. Victims No Longer helps to lift the burden.”
David Fineklhor
“Passionate and compassionate , both speaking out on behalf of male victims and illuminating a number of pathways toward healing.”
Richard Gartner
“Accessible, moving, and validating... a beacon of hope for sexually abused men and their loved ones..”
Reverend - Anne C. Fowler
"As an Episcopal priest...I depend upon Mike Lew’s insights in my daily work."
Ernesto Mujica
"A touchstone of gtuidance, hope and understanding that helps therapists, survivors and their loved ones."
Vicki Polin
“Victims No Longer sits on my desk as a reference guide for both myself and my clients.”
Howard Fradkin
“The first book I recommend to new clients.”
Joe Amico
“The definitive book on men who were abused. I refer other professionals to the book and make it required reading.”
Ken Singer
“Victims No Longer breaks the isolation, shame and sense of uniquness that most male survivors struggle with.
The Reverend Anne C. Fowler
“As an Episcopal priest...I depend upon Mike Lew’s insights in my daily work.”
-Ernesto Mujica
“A touchstone of gtuidance, hope and understanding that helps therapists, survivors and their loved ones.”
Wendy Maltz
“The most important resource for men healing from past sexual abuse. Comprehensive, compassionate and clear, it offers hope....
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060530266
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/11/2004
  • Edition description: Updated and Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 130,974
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Mike Lew, M.Ed., a psychotherapist and group therapy leader, is co-director of The Next Step Counseling and Training Center in Newton Centre, MA. He provides public lectures, professional trainings, and workshops for survivors nationwide, and he has appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Sally Jessy Raphael," and many other television and radio programs.

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Read an Excerpt

Victims No Longer (Second Edition)

The Classic Guide for Men Recovering from Sexual Child Abuse
By Lew, Mike

Quill

ISBN: 006053026X

Chapter One

Sexual Child Abuse:
Myths and Realities

And those that create out of the holocaust
of their own inheritance anything more than a convenient
self-made tomb shall be known as "Survivors."

-- Keith Jarrett, The Survivor's Suite

Child abuse. The term has entered our vocabulary with an eerie everyday familiarity. It is an enemy we can all rally against. Good people everywhere unite in condemnation of the few evil, sick individuals who abuse children. We talk confidently about the need to protect our children from these weird, trench-coated strangers who lurk about schoolyards with molestation on their minds. We create programs that teach kids not to accept rides or candy from strangers. We assume we know what child abuse is.

At the same time we create an image of the perfect family. Television shows and movies portray wise, caring fathers and loving, nurturing mothers imparting decent values to their children in an atmosphere of trust and openness. When problems arise, Dad has a fatherly talk with Sonny and gently guides him to the path of reason. Mom sits on the edge of Sis's bed and talks about her own childhood, dispensing motherly wisdom liberally laced with hugs. Or the family sits down together at the dining room table to solve the little problems of childhood through easy communication and folksy stories. We create a fantasy of family life whose problems can be solved within the episode, and then we believe our own creation. We assume that we know what family life is.

What is Abuse?

If you have decided to read this book, it is likely that your own experience was dramatically different from this ideal. If you were abused as a child, your memories of family life present another picture. Dad's "fatherly talk" was anything but reasonable, and his guidance far from gentle. Mom's own childhood memories may have been of violence and sexual abuse. And mealtimes were occasions to be endured or avoided. You may remember absent, unavailable or nonprotective parents -- unable to help you because they couldn't help themselves. A family evening at home might have included screaming fights, bouts of drunkenness, episodes of physical violence, cowering children hiding in fear, nightmares, tears, confusion, stony silences, unreasonable blame, ridicule, repeated beatings, missed meals, helplessness, attempts to protect a parent or sibling ... or sexual abuse. Your memories may include not being believed and having no source of protection. You may have little or no detailed memory of your childhood, positive or negative, and wonder why you can't recall those happy times -- those "golden childhood years." Some of you pretended it was otherwise, imagining your family as happy, wise, healthy, and harmonious. In this way you attempted to protect yourself from the abuse, holding on to the fantasies as long and as tightly as you could manage until reality forced its way into the picture. You may still find yourself tempted to rewrite your family history to bring it more in line with the way you wish it had been.

As a society and as individuals, the images of family life we've created are pleasant and comforting. It is no wonder we cling to them so fiercely -- we defend them against the intrusion of a harsher reality. Even when we are in the midst of an abusive situation, it is often easier to pretend it is otherwise. In fact, your fantasy of an ideal family may have been the only refuge available to you as a child. Realizing this makes it easier to understand a child's insistence -- in the face of blatant evidence of abuse -- that nothing is wrong. In my clinical practice I have heard many people tell heartrending stories of brutality and violence, only to have them react with surprise when I refer to their childhood as abusive. This begins to make sense only when we combine misinformation about the nature of child abuse with the mythology of perfect family life.

"The Family" is a sacred construct in most cultures. Politicians are elected on the basis of their commitment to Family Values. Educators and clergy decry the "erosion of Family Life." No one is willing to risk violating the sanctity of The Family. Along with the value placed on the family, Americans cherish the concepts of Privacy and Independence.

"A man's home is his castle." Within this castle, the king and queen rule absolutely. Few people are willing to make suggestions as to how children should be raised, let alone interfere with their treatment. It is seen as solely the parents' responsibility. This combination of cultural values leaves parents (who may themselves be products of abusive childhoods) isolated when dealing with the stresses of family life. It creates an environment wherein children (and wives) are seen as property. "Ownership" confers license to treat a child as one wishes.

Our respect for independence and diversity provides leeway for a wide range of parental behavior. The importance we ascribe to individual and family privacy allows some harmful and shocking behavior to go unnoticed (and extremes of abuse to go unreported). Only recently has the need to protect children from abusive parents begun to be recognized. But change is slow and tentative. Interference with the family by child protective agencies is viewed with suspicion.

The reality is that abuse exists. It is real and it is common. It takes many forms, some blatant and others subtler. The spectrum of child abuse ranges from neglect to physical violence. It includes torture, beatings, verbal and psychological maltreatment, child pornography, and sexual abuse (ranging from seductive behavior to rape). Abuse of children is seldom limited to one of these manifestations. Abuse appears in varying combinations, duration, and intensity. All forms have devastating, longterm effects on the child.

In the face of absolute parental authority, a child loses all "adult" rights -- to privacy, independence, and even control over his or her body. We continue to maintain the fiction that abusive behavior by those closest to the child is less severe than that which is perpetrated by strangers.

Continues...

Excerpted from Victims No Longer (Second Edition) by Lew, Mike Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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First Chapter

Victims No Longer (Second Edition)
The Classic Guide for Men Recovering from Sexual Child Abuse

Chapter One

Sexual Child Abuse:
Myths and Realities

And those that create out of the holocaust
of their own inheritance anything more than a convenient
self-made tomb shall be known as "Survivors."

-- Keith Jarrett, The Survivor's Suite

Child abuse. The term has entered our vocabulary with an eerie everyday familiarity. It is an enemy we can all rally against. Good people everywhere unite in condemnation of the few evil, sick individuals who abuse children. We talk confidently about the need to protect our children from these weird, trench-coated strangers who lurk about schoolyards with molestation on their minds. We create programs that teach kids not to accept rides or candy from strangers. We assume we know what child abuse is.

At the same time we create an image of the perfect family. Television shows and movies portray wise, caring fathers and loving, nurturing mothers imparting decent values to their children in an atmosphere of trust and openness. When problems arise, Dad has a fatherly talk with Sonny and gently guides him to the path of reason. Mom sits on the edge of Sis's bed and talks about her own childhood, dispensing motherly wisdom liberally laced with hugs. Or the family sits down together at the dining room table to solve the little problems of childhood through easy communication and folksy stories. We create a fantasy of family life whose problems can be solved within the episode, and then we believe our own creation. We assume that we know what family life is.

What is Abuse?

If you have decided to read this book, it is likely that your own experience was dramatically different from this ideal. If you were abused as a child, your memories of family life present another picture. Dad's "fatherly talk" was anything but reasonable, and his guidance far from gentle. Mom's own childhood memories may have been of violence and sexual abuse. And mealtimes were occasions to be endured or avoided. You may remember absent, unavailable or nonprotective parents -- unable to help you because they couldn't help themselves. A family evening at home might have included screaming fights, bouts of drunkenness, episodes of physical violence, cowering children hiding in fear, nightmares, tears, confusion, stony silences, unreasonable blame, ridicule, repeated beatings, missed meals, helplessness, attempts to protect a parent or sibling ... or sexual abuse. Your memories may include not being believed and having no source of protection. You may have little or no detailed memory of your childhood, positive or negative, and wonder why you can't recall those happy times -- those "golden childhood years." Some of you pretended it was otherwise, imagining your family as happy, wise, healthy, and harmonious. In this way you attempted to protect yourself from the abuse, holding on to the fantasies as long and as tightly as you could manage until reality forced its way into the picture. You may still find yourself tempted to rewrite your family history to bring it more in line with the way you wish it had been.

As a society and as individuals, the images of family life we've created are pleasant and comforting. It is no wonder we cling to them so fiercely -- we defend them against the intrusion of a harsher reality. Even when we are in the midst of an abusive situation, it is often easier to pretend it is otherwise. In fact, your fantasy of an ideal family may have been the only refuge available to you as a child. Realizing this makes it easier to understand a child's insistence -- in the face of blatant evidence of abuse -- that nothing is wrong. In my clinical practice I have heard many people tell heartrending stories of brutality and violence, only to have them react with surprise when I refer to their childhood as abusive. This begins to make sense only when we combine misinformation about the nature of child abuse with the mythology of perfect family life.

"The Family" is a sacred construct in most cultures. Politicians are elected on the basis of their commitment to Family Values. Educators and clergy decry the "erosion of Family Life." No one is willing to risk violating the sanctity of The Family. Along with the value placed on the family, Americans cherish the concepts of Privacy and Independence.

"A man's home is his castle." Within this castle, the king and queen rule absolutely. Few people are willing to make suggestions as to how children should be raised, let alone interfere with their treatment. It is seen as solely the parents' responsibility. This combination of cultural values leaves parents (who may themselves be products of abusive childhoods) isolated when dealing with the stresses of family life. It creates an environment wherein children (and wives) are seen as property. "Ownership" confers license to treat a child as one wishes.

Our respect for independence and diversity provides leeway for a wide range of parental behavior. The importance we ascribe to individual and family privacy allows some harmful and shocking behavior to go unnoticed (and extremes of abuse to go unreported). Only recently has the need to protect children from abusive parents begun to be recognized. But change is slow and tentative. Interference with the family by child protective agencies is viewed with suspicion.

The reality is that abuse exists. It is real and it is common. It takes many forms, some blatant and others subtler. The spectrum of child abuse ranges from neglect to physical violence. It includes torture, beatings, verbal and psychological maltreatment, child pornography, and sexual abuse (ranging from seductive behavior to rape). Abuse of children is seldom limited to one of these manifestations. Abuse appears in varying combinations, duration, and intensity. All forms have devastating, longterm effects on the child.

In the face of absolute parental authority, a child loses all "adult" rights -- to privacy, independence, and even control over his or her body. We continue to maintain the fiction that abusive behavior by those closest to the child is less severe than that which is perpetrated by strangers.

Victims No Longer (Second Edition)
The Classic Guide for Men Recovering from Sexual Child Abuse
. Copyright © by Mike Lew. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2004

    Groundbreaking and Comprehensive

    The very act of reading 'Victims No Longer' validates its title. If you have been a victim of child sexual abuse, it means you have taken the first step in your recovery. If you have not been a sexually abused child, you have delved into a subject with unending ramifications for all of us, providing a reason ¿ rather a need ¿ to examine and reexamine the very humanity of our lives. As author Mike Lew says, ¿Even the best childhood is no picnic,¿ laden with confusing and conflicting messages uttered by larger and older people whose very physical perspective is beyond the reach of a child. So what happens to the abused child, and the sexually abused, whose very core of trust is shattered? And what happens to the millions of male children, traditionally raised to be stoic and unemotional? Here, in 'Victims No Longer,' there is a finally a safe ¿place¿ ¿ a beacon lighting the way to recovery. With vast knowledge in both psychotherapy and cultural anthropology, Lew brings a multifaceted approach to a subject that sadly crosses every cultural and economic group. Filled with wisdom, and written in an easy, humane style, Lew¿s book is accessible to both victims and professionals. And the testimonies and focus subjects are heartrending and courageous, providing a counterpoint in style and emotionality. Resisting the pedagogical urge to quantify and qualify, Mike Lew knows that this is a subject that necessitates inclusiveness. Victims should not have to compete for the frequency and duration of their abuse; their abuse alone requires the tenderest care. As Lew says, ¿The most striking feature about sexual abuse is the similarity of its effects on adult survivors.¿ And as he repeats throughout, ¿No one ever died of feeling.¿ 'Victims No Longer,' while depicting the basest in human nature, elevates us to the grandest ¿ the ability to recover from bestiality and lead a healthy, productive life. Although this is an updated and revised edition, including a much-needed, new chapter on Clergy Abuse, 'Victims No Longer' fills a significant gap in child abuse literature and, like most true classics, is both universal and specific and grows even more relevant with time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2004

    The Ultimate recovery book

    With the revised and updated edition of Victims No Longer available to all those men who have yet to speak out and gain the support they deserve and need, Mike's book shows that they are not alone, and never were. It also shows that we experience the same negative thoughts, fears and feelings when abused, and grow up feeling that way. Mikes insight and shared views, show us that as male survivors, we have unlimited personal resources we sometimes dont see, but we are survivors, not victims! As Survivors, we share a common theme, and Mike's book shows the courage and strength we all have, even if we dont think we have it. Steve Survivors Swindon

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2012

    The book tells "stories" or case histories of survivo

    The book tells "stories" or case histories of survivors but does not weigh in very well on the healing modalities available to men who have experienced this trauma.

    It kind of only goes "half-way". There are better books out there on this topic, this book just happens to have had the luck of being the only game in town for a long while.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2008

    Welcome to the Safe Place

    From chapter one you feel comfortable allowing the author to buddy up to you, in a non-threatening way, giving you time to peek your head out just a bit to see whether you can trust him with this part of you that you have hidden away for so long. He's gentle in his approach. You don't feel like you need to run away, retreat. You don't feel fearful. Instead you want to tag along a little bit longer to see where it is going to take you. Personally, thought it was much too long of a read but packed with valuable insight.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2006

    The Barnes and Noble.com area for YOU!

    I reviewed this book and decided to give it a taste of my own title. This book has a lot of rules and a lot of dicussions that make men think but it doesn't really stop them. It just makes people and men aware that the book is there just incase someone needs to revise it or talk to it!! This helps many people get rid of the feeling or nasty mood they are in and is good for men with sexual needs because it is interesting and they need to know that it's wrong. If they're insane, then that's a whole new another level but if they aren't then this book is just right. Not all men do it, women do it too! Not all men are insane, women can be too!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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