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New Book Offers Hope for Survivours of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Media Notice 

Issued  January 18, 2018,  Dublin, Ireland

New Book Offers Hope for Survivours of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Three Dublin Sisters Show that with knowledge and understanding healing is possible

The Kavanagh Sisters new book ‘Why Go Back? 7 Steps to Healing from Childhood Sexual Abuse’ offers a message of hope for fellow survivours of childhood sexual abuse. Their message of hope resonates throughout their book. It aims to change and challenge the current belief that sexual abuse is something that victims never really get over.

In 2011 The Kavanagh Sisters from Dublin wrote their first book calledClick, Click.’ Published by Hackett, that book when on to become a bestseller in Ireland and the UK. It was a deeply moving memoir that detailed the sister’s childhood experiences of sexual abuse at the hands of their father. A harrowing read, that brought the reader through a maze of emotions.

This new book is very different. It is written to help other survivours, and their family, friends and those working to support them to understand how the trauma caused by childhood sexual abuse effects its victims. It also includes practical steps that the Sisters developed based on their own recovery, and that others can follow.

The Sisters decision to write their second book came as a surprise to them. Joyce, the eldest of the Sisters explains, “when we wrote ‘Click, Click many people asked us how we got to where we were on our healing journey. The pervasive nature of sexual abuse means that its effects are widespread. It impacts the lives of so many people. We felt it was important to offer survivours, and their families hope that overcoming its effects was possible.”

The foreword of the book was written by Dr Marie Keenan, Lecturer at the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, University College Dublin. Dr Keenan said, “child sexual abuse and rape can leave a legacy of human pain and suffering that can reach far beyond childhood.  What we see in this book is how Joyce, June and Paula tackled such tragedy as they regained their power over its awful legacy, turning their tragedy into a source of great strength.  This is why Joyce, June and Paula’s book is so important.”

 Also speaking about the book, the Sexual Violence Center Cork who said, “it’s an amazingly human, touching, informed, wise resource …. a book for anyone and everyone who cares about child sexual abuse and those who battle with it.”

In addition to be being a resource for survivours of childhood sexual abuse, the book also highlights the need to provide support for the hidden victims of abuse. These are what The Kavanagh Sisters call secondary victims. Although these secondary victims may not have experienced sexual abuse themselves, they are nonetheless impacted by it as they support a loved one who has been abused. Many mothers, siblings, and friends of survivours don’t think that they have a right to access support but this, The Kavanagh Sisters say, is not the case. Knowing how to support a victim of sexual abuse This is essential for them to effectively help their loved ones.

In this book The Kavanagh Sisters challenge us to change how we view and report on pedophiles. They suggest that such change is necessary and the only way to make real change when it comes to child sex abuse is to support victims and perpetrators alike.


About The Kavanagh Sisters

The Kavanagh Sisters, Joyce, June & Paula, are from Dublin, Ireland. Born into a large family of ten children, each of the sisters were sexually abused by their Father throughout their childhood.

In 1990 they successfully prosecuted their father for this abuse and he was convicted and sentenced to a term of seven years. He was released having served five years and died a year later.

In 1992 The Sisters took part in a ground-breaking RTE documentary series entitled Tuesday File, Silent Scream (produced by Moya Doherty). This was the first time on Irish TV that the interviewee’s face was not hidden or had their voices distorted.

In September 2011 they wrote book about their childhood experience entitled ‘Click, Click’. Published by the Hachette Book Group, this book went straight to number one in the Irish non-fiction bestseller list.

Their message of hope has resonated with readers not only in Ireland but across the UK. Following their UK appearance on ITV’s This Morning with Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, on May 3rd, 2012 ‘Click, Click’ went straight to number four on the Amazon UK bestseller list and went on to number three in the UK nonfiction best-seller list and stayed in the top ten for 10 weeks.

Their story has attracted a lot of media attention because of their honesty and humour that is something that has not previously been seen in the media in relation to this type of subject matter.  They were also nominated for a number of awards and have shared their story with a number of groups in Ireland and the UK. They have also keynote speakers at conferences and events.

Notes to Editor

An excerpt of the book is attached. Full versions for the book are available for review.

For more information about The Kavanagh Sisters visit

For all media enquiries, please contact Siobhan Fitzharris / / 0876317363

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