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The Secret Tribe cover

Book Details:
  • 162 pages
  • Black & White
  • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
Available Formats:
  • eBook (epub, mobi, pdf)
  • Paperback
  • Hardcover
  • 978-1-5255-0885-1 eBook
  • 978-1-5255-0884-4 Paperback
  • 978-1-5255-0883-7 Hardcover

Memoir, sexual abuse, guide for survivors, sexual abuse support, childhood sexual abuse, overcoming childhood abuse, survivors and resilience

The Secret Tribe
A Memoir of Resilience by Janet A Handy

The Secret Tribe is a powerful, insightful memoir about one woman’s survival from childhood physical, sexual and psychological abuse. Janet A. Handy offers a new perspective on resilience; in the moment of abuse the critical question of “How do I stay alive?” is at the core of the fear response. This book is her effort to explore both the moment itself and how the meaning survivors make of this moment evolves into resilience.

The Secret Tribe uses stories from Handy’s own childhood woven together with her unique perspective from years of working with victims and survivors. She discusses denial and its various manifestations, forgiveness, belief in something greater than ourselves, the transformation of silence about abuse into having a voice, and overcoming the tendency to self-annihilation. Written primarily for other survivors, this memoir will also be a useful tool for the practitioners who work with them and families and friends who want to understand how their loved ones might think and feel. Handy is a former Anglican priest, an educator who has taught child, adolescent and family development at Ryerson University Toronto and has worked with survivors of sexual abuse for over thirty years.

In this highly commendable, innovative and elegant work, Janet Handy uses personal narrative and professional expertise to combine theory with memoir, revealing insights about harm, trauma, and resilience, as well as about the context of Canada in the twentieth century. It is an excellent read. Rebecca (Jaremko) Bromwich, Ph.D. Co-Author of Incarcerated Mothers: Oppression and Resistance

In a poetic, reflective voice, Jan courageously describes the experience and the impact of abuse on all aspects of development of the self. She brings new meaning and understanding to the concept of resiliency and how to walk the path to living wholeheartedly. A hauntingly beautiful book. Shelley Pomerantz, B.A., Dip. C.S, Reg. Psychotherapist

Author of What Your Mother Never Told You About Love, Sex and Power

A powerful memoir by a woman whose journey from childhood trauma took her through religious commitment to social activism. Jan Handy illuminates child sexual abuse from the perspectives of survivor, advocate and champion of abused children. Judy Steed, author of Our Little Secret: Confronting Child Sexual Abuse in Canada.

Janet A Handy photo

Janet A. Handy is a former Anglican priest, an educator who has taught child, adolescent and family development at Ryerson University Toronto and has worked with survivors of sexual abuse for over thirty years.

She is the co-author of Violence Against Women: Abuse in Society and Church and Proposals for Change, Anglican Church of Canada Task Force Report (Anglican Press, 1989) and the lead author of The Gatehouse: Enhancing Resilience in Adults Manuals 1 to 3, a series of mentor training manuals for The Gatehouse Adult Support Network TM (c. The Gatehouse). Her essay Regarding Forgiveness appears in Restorative Justice: Transforming Society by Art Lockhart and Lynn Zammit with Randy Charboneau, Rick Owens and Rupert Ross (Inclusion Press, 2005).

Janet is an artist and animal lover and lives in the Niagara region of Ontario with her spouse, Nancy, of twenty-four years and their cat and two dogs.


Janet A Handy

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