Giving the “Compassionate Response” to the adult victim of child sexual abuse


If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.

– Brené Brown, Daring Greatly


One of the most common emails I get is from people who say, “Joelle, my friend just told me that s/he was sexually abused as a child. I don’t know what to do.”

Now, you have somewhere to start.

My latest book THE COMPASSIONATE RESPONSE: How to help and empower the adult survivor of child sexual abuse is now available. It’s available in paperback and for the Kindle—and because it’s such an important topic, I am also offering the ebook for free here.



This short, easy-to-read book will give you an understanding of the survivor’s need to disclose; why he or she may have decided to tell you; finding help, resources and referrals; reporting to law enforcement; and (most important) how to be a healthy, empathetic support system.

Originally slated to be a chapter in my upcoming book, this information was not relevant to a parenting toolkit. But it’s far too important to cut completely. By giving away the information for free, I hope that we can get more survivors to disclose and report and change civil and criminal laws to help victims of sex crimes.

The information in this book comes from the work that I and others have done to help thousands of other survivors find a voice and speak out. Were it not for groups like SNAP, The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and their tireless work, I (and countless others) would still be sitting in silence.


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