This month, I promised a writer I would gather a list of publications and publishing houses that specialize in stories of sexual abuse survival.
Offhand, I feel readers have been inundated with novels of suspense that feature sexual assault in order to justify gruesome revenge, permitting an unambiguous triumph of the victim over the assailant while satisfying readers’ preference for violent content. I’m not sure where this trend leaves quieter books about the long-term effects of incidents of sexual abuse, which often are unresolved. The mainstream of U.S. readers seems to bypass stories if they’re unsettling or don’t have reassuring, fairytale/superhero conclusions. As a consequence, small, independent presses must accept the challenge of bringing the more nuanced works to the public.
Following is a list of website, book, and journal publishers specializing in stories, education, and research about sexual abuse. Many more publishers that are not on this list offer individual books and stories of survival among the wide variety of works they publish.
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse (Taylor & Francis)
My Duty to Speak (Military Rape Crisis Center)
Seal Press (Hachette)
TeenBreaks (Rosetta Foundation)
Also of interest
Where to Send Your Writing about Sexual Assault
a list compiled in 2015 by poet and essayist Sonya Vatomsky
Critical Representations of Sexual Assault in Young Adult Literature
The Looking Glass: New Perspectives on Children’s Literature
Sexism and Sexual Assault in Literary Communities
Survey of Current and Recent College Students on Sexual Assault
The Washington Post & the Kaiser Family Foundation
Please leave a comment if you’d like to recommend a small-press title on the topic of sexual abuse that, in your opinion, deserves more readers. If you don’t know the name of the publisher, I’ll be happy to look it up.