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Judith Lewis Herman
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description


The book is evenhanded, logical, well researched, and thoroughly gripping. It may have taken a while to get to, but it was truly hard to put down...Herman's thesis [is] that incest is the furthermost extension of male domination in a patriarchal society whose men do not share equally in child raising...The bulk of Dr. Herman's book, apart from her considerable historical analysis, is an anecdotal and statistical study of 40 incest victims and their families. She compares these families with 40 families in which the father had been merely seductive...In summary, this is an excellent book that weaves together theory with the very practical therapeutic guidelines. Most fascinating is the way Dr. Herman brings to life the family dynamics of an incestuous family. In the end, the family members take on a mythic quality, like characters in a Grimm's fairy tale. "Father-Daughter Incest" should be required reading for anyone treating a victim of incest. -- Judith Blitman, M.D. "American Journal of Psychiatry"

Product Description

Through an intensive clinical study of forty incest victims and numerous interviews with professionals in mental health, child protection, and law enforcement, Judith Herman develops a composite picture of the incestuous family. In a new afterword, Herman offers a lucid and thorough overview of the knowledge that has developed about incest and other forms of sexual abuse since this book was first published.

Reviewing the extensive research literature that demonstrates the validity of incest survivors' sometimes repressed and recovered memories, she convincingly challenges the rhetoric and methods of the backlash movement against incest survivors, and the concerted attempt to deny the events they find the courage to describe.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4705 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (1 Nov 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #221,317 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unflinching Eye. 21 Nov 2013
By j abbot
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is comprehensive and well organized. The author thinks and writes clearly and with conviction. I would recommend this account to anyone wishing to understand the nature of incest imposed by fathers upon daughters. Victims will gain a clearer insight into what was done to them, and should be helped by understanding the true nature of their experience, as opposed to the notions of society and the lies of the perpetrator.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I read this book when I was starting to get to grips with my Father's betrayal of my trust. Twenty years later I wrote Sexual Abuse & Incest (Little Book Series of Emotional Health for Emotional Wealth)which is based on my training and professional experience and the lives of so many women trying to survive. If your Father or Step-Father touched you or spoke to you inappropriately then please do read Herman's important book. She changed my life and she might just be able to help you change yours.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative but dated in places 19 Sep 2008
By Sue C
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Up until 1986, there were only 13 peer reviewed articles on incest in the professional journals. Nobody knew much about the subject.

This book was written in the 80s, when the subject was first discussed publically, by lay people as well as professionals. For the time, this book was innovative and groundbreaking.

Since then, knowledge and understanding have moved on. Much of what the author says is still true but if you want more up to date thinking, look at her later books, such as Trauma and Recovery from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror, also available from Amazon.

Judith Lewis Herman is regarded as the international authority on the subject.
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11 of 18 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book starts with the history of written knowledge that Incest has always existed but has remained a very taboo subject. It then goes on to describe different types of offenders and suggests why they might abuse their children. As an incest victim myself, I found the book to be a little too impartial and it did not offer much support to the victim. At times the book was very heavy going but I stuck it out to the end hoping for a positive outcome, which unfortunately didn't arrive.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insight for those who don't understand 13 Mar 1998
By A Customer - Published on
As a text about the 'whys' and ways of incest, this is among the best. It explains why children go along with the parent, why they do not report it, and in some cases, may even want to continue the sexual relationship once it has begun. This is hard for some to understand, but you need to remember that a child will accept what they perceive as love from a parent any way they can get it. This is one of the best texts on incests that i have read.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding the past in order to survive the present and thrive in the future 15 Nov 2008
By Jennifer Cameron-Smith - Published on
I think that there are three separate (and possibly overlapping) audiences for this book.

First, those professionals who work with incest survivors will find the results of knowledge gained from Dr Herman's experience studying this particular field of sexual abuse and working with those directly affected. Secondly, those who work with abuse victims in any care-giving capacity will find some guidance through the minefield of taboo and denial that tends to accompany this topic. Thirdly, this book is invaluable to some of the survivors who themselves can deal face the reality of the past while trying to understand that it isn't their fault and they are not necessarily alone in the conflicting feelings they have experienced.

Dr Herman's work in this area is well-presented and relatively easy to follow. By relying on facts, by incorporating case studies, and through referring to the history of the various incest taboos and practices, Dr Herman makes it easier for sufferers and caregivers alike to discuss the undiscussable.

One could wish that such studies were not necessary, and that no parent ever abused their position of power and authority. One could also wish that care and help was readily available to each child who has suffered at the time that the abuse was first experienced. By opening the topic to discussion and through publishing books which deal with behaviour in context and the consequences for individuals, families and communities, society is better equipped to help sufferers become survivors. Or so I hope.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars in depth 22 Mar 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Joyce Barrows,
This book is an in depth detailed account of child molestation/incest and the ramifications of the act and the future of the child put under such a devestating stress. I personally am a fan of memoirs, enjoying the real more so than the imagined. This book offers the real life accounts of people when they were children and the pain that they must have had to endure. It is also a moving book, similar to that of Nightmares Echo by Katlyn Stewart and Beauty For Ashes by Joyce Meyers. Though this book is a bit more clinical
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every father-daughter sexual abuse survivor should read this 5 Aug 2013
By Sammy Miller - Published on
I'm a Father-Daughter incest survivor. My father molested me. My mother knew it was going on and didn't protect me. I never understood why, until now. I took more from this book than from all the therapy I've had and materials I've read over the years. For the first time in my life I feel that my finding peace is possible.

I'd like to share three gems from the treasure chest that this was for me as examples.

*If you cannot say no, then you cannot say yes.

*Sexually abused daughters are taught from early in the incest that they don't have the right to protect themselves.

*Father-daughter incest is never about sex; it's about dominance and abandonment.

Read the book. For the love of all things beautiful, read the book. I hope that if you do you might begin to find your own peace, too.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By D. Jones - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is not easy reading. It is much like reading a textbook. However, it is very informative but very disturbing because the medical, phsyciatric, legal and law enforcement communities combined to ignore the evidence and blame the victims or not believe them. Disgusting profesional behavior for years and years. Your heart goes out to the victims. These little girls were not safe at home and either they were blamed or not believed. The emotional injuries last forever.
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