No Secrets No Lies
How Black Families Can Heal from Sexual Abuse
By Robin Stone
(Three Rivers Press, Paperback, 9780767913454, 304pp.)
Publication Date: March 8, 2005
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With a foreword by Joycelyn Elders, M.D., No Secrets, No Lies is a powerful and daringly honest resource guide for families seeking to understand, prevent, and overcome childhood sexual abuse and its devastating impact on adult survivors.
An estimated one in four women and one in six men is abused by age eighteen, most often by someone they know. Most of these sexual assaults are never disclosed, much less reported to the police.
No Secrets, No Lies demystifies the cultural taboos and social dynamics that keep Black families silent and enable abuse to continue for generations. Among them:
• Fear of betraying family by turning offenders in to "the system"
• Distrust of institutions and authority figures, such as police officers
• Reluctance to seek counseling or therapy
• A legacy of enslavement and stereotypes about black sexuality
Through compelling personal accounts from everyday people, Robin D. Stone, a sexual abuse survivor herself, illuminates the emotional, psychological and hidden consequences of remaining silent, and provides holistic, practical steps to move toward healing.
No Secrets, No Lies candidly speaks to: survivors, telling them they are not at fault, not alone and how they can seek help; parents, guardians and caretakers, explaining how they can keep children safe and help survivors recover; and family, friends and other loved ones, showing ways to lend support.
ROBIN D. STONE is a former Executive Editor of Essence magazine and the founding Editor-in-Chief of Essence.com. She was also an editor for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Detroit Free Press, and Family Circle, and has written for numerous publications, including Essence and Glamour. As a 2002-03 Kaiser Media Fellow, she researched the impact of sexual abuse, with a focus on Black families. A Detroit native, she lives in New York City with her husband and their son.
“Robin Stone's NO SECRETS, NO LIES is an honest and illuminating look at the soul-shattering effects of sexual abuse. She guides the reader through the shame, denial and devastation of sexual violence–and on the journey toward healing. Stone’s courage in facing her own painful experience helps break the silence in the African-American community and move Black women and men toward understanding and recovery. This book is our needed gift.”
--Susan L. Taylor, Editorial Director, Essence magazine
"Inspiring and empowering, Robin Stone's NO SECRETS, NO LIES fills a critical gap in the literature on surviving and healing from child sexual abuse. Robin's vivid, insightful narratives reflect the struggles and resilience of a community that has been difficult for many activists and professionals to reach. This excellent book is long overdue."
-- Laura Davis, author of The Courage to Heal and I Thought We'd Never Speak Again
“Powerful, positive, and right on time, Robin Stone's NO SECRETS, NO LIES demystifies sexual abuse in the Black community and empowers survivors. A must read for anyone who cares about the health of their family and of children everywhere.”
-- Farai Chideya, author of The Color of Our Future and Don't Believe the Hype
“NO SECRETS, NO LIES courageously breaks the silence about sexual abuse within the black community. Robin Stone makes a major contribution to the well being of black children and families. This important book should be widely read and discussed.”
-- Alvin F. Poussaint, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and Judge Baker Children's Center
“In NO SECRETS, NO LIES Robin D. Stone provides invaluable insights and tools for both families and mental health professionals to address the ever-present problem of sexual abuse that has been hidden too long.”
-- Kim Singleton, Ed.D., Clinical Psychologist, and author of Broken Silence
“NO SECRET, NO LIES presents an empowering and healing approach to childhood sexual abuse from a culturally relevant perspective. It provides insight into dysfunctional family dynamics and abuse patterns from the view of victims and perpetrators. Without pathologizing victimization, Robin D. Stone systematically fosters the development of ego strength and survival strategies. Every psychologist and therapist should use NO SECRET, NO LIES as an invaluable guide and resource with clients who have experienced sexual trauma.”
-- Darlene Powell-Garlington, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist and author of Different and Wonderful: Raising Black Children in A Race Conscious Society