In joann kerschner

This is How It Goes!

This is How It Goes!- Education and Resources for Communities

Many persons I have come in contact with over the last two years did not and still do not know how to help me heal or what to do for me, so they were silent, or gradually faded away from having interactions with me. I took this personally at first, but then I realized they don’t understand nor do they want to think about childhood sexual abuse, it is an uncomfortable topic and most also have the assumption that you should just move on, forget about it, it happened in the past.

Did it really happen in the past?

My answer to everyone is, yes the act itself may have happened in the past, but the effects are still happening today!

Today it goes like this, “JoAnn, what can I do to help you?”

I state, “You can educate yourself if you truly care”, and then I share, suggest or deliver an article or a book that helped my husband understand, it is titled:

Secret Survivors, Uncovering Incest and Its Aftereffects in Women

Authored by E. Sue Blume


The book describes my life, those individuals who meant, “JoAnn, what I can do to help you?” read the book.  I received a call one night from someone who is now so special in my life, she said,

“JoAnn, I had no idea of all of the effects of childhood sexual abuse and what you have and are going through. I am here for you, to listen, to hug you, and to spend time having fun together.”


I started crying almost instantly, and then just started babbling out so many things to this person. She listened, we talked about childhood sexual abuse, we talked about funny things, and we talked for an hour. It felt so great to know she really cared, she still does, we talk, we have fun, and we learned about making a difference together.


It is important to remember that boys also are sexually abused (1:6).  This is a great book to read:


Broken Boys/Mending Men: Recovery from Childhood Sexual Abuse

By Stephen D. Gruban-Black


I have since then discovered and have referred to other books that truly educate, support survivors, and bring awareness to the community. I urge you to read one of these books, pass it on to a friend.



Incest and Sexuality: A Guide to Understanding and Healing. Wendy Maltz and Beverly Holman. Lexington, MA

The Courage to Heal. Ellen Bass and Laura Davis. New York: Harper and Row, 1988.

The Courage to Heal Workbook. Laura Davis. New York: Harper and Row, 1990.

The Monster’s Game: A Poetic Look Into the Child Behind The Mask Of a Survivor.  Littlegirl413. Outskirts Press, 2012.

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  • E. Sue Blume
    Apr 11, 2015 at 09:29 pm

    JoAnn, I am so touched that my book was helpful to you and that you speak so highly of it. And–you nailed it! One of the goals of Secret Survivors is to describe, for survivors and those close to them (and therapists and society at large!) the way that incest impacts ALL ASPECTS OF survivor’s life, AND TO HELP HER (or HIM) and everyone understand that the survivor is not crazy, incest is. Warm thoughts to you in your journey.

  • JKerschner
    Apr 16, 2015 at 02:46 pm


    I am touched that you took the time to respond! Your book not only saved my life, it validated that my feelings were like that of others, and gave me courage. When I searched for books to read, Secret Survivors, spoke to me. I read it that same day and started giving it out, I re-read it several times, and still return to read again. I display this book in my classes, I just had a participant ask for my class copy, of course I gave it to them and requested they pay it forward. I went to the book store this week to buy a new copy for my educational classes.

    Thank you so much for sharing and caring, you truly have an impacted me, a survivor, and I am paying that forward!

    JoAnn Kerschner
    Executive Director
    Shattered Canvas Inc.

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