CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Halliday, Linda.

Toronto, Guidance Centre. Faculty of Education, Universiiy of Toronto, c 1985. 81pp. Paper, $10.00, ISBN 0-7713-0205-3.CIP

Reviewed by Glenn DiPasquale

Volume 14 Number 4
1986 July

The author of this book is the founder of Sexual Abuse Victims Anonymous (SAVA), a Vancouver area self-help group modelled somewhat on Alcoholics Anonymous. The book is based almost exclusively on the data and experience gathered from that project, and though the findings could probably be generalized extensively, there is little evidence that the author attempted to do so in any scientific way. The book is really more of a booklet, only eighty-one pages in length, and each of the twelve chapters is quite short. It can be read and digested easily in a morning, and is well organized.

Because the content is extremely important, and at times shocking, this book easily holds your attention. It must be said, however, that this is in spite of, rather than because of the writing style. Although Halliday writes adequately, there is no polish to her prose and on occasion it is almost awkward. Clarity suffers at times, as well. For example, chapters one and three are largely lists of data and statistics that make tedious reading and could have been better presented in a few tables or charts. Also in chapter three, the author describes the use of the "Genogram" to chart abuse over the generations in a family (an example accompanies the book on a separate sheet). This description is very unclear and the keys given on page 19 are confusing, and seem to be partly missing.

Despite Halliday's shortcomings as an author, however, her message is simply too important to be ignored. Chapter two, which describes the signs of abuse, chapter four, which focusses on the victim's mother, and especially chapter six, which describes the difficulties inherent in confronting and attempting to deal with the offender, are excellent and provide new insights and fresh perspectives. These, and a few other high points of the book, make it well worth acquiring.

In summary, this is a very uneven, but very important little book. It lacks style, but delivers substance, which is certainly better than the other way around. It is recommended for any professional who works wilh children, and is a must for those involved in counselling abused children and their families.

Glenn DiPasquale, York County Board of Education. Richmond Hill, Ont.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works