Sexual Abuse: The Child's Voice

Poppies on the Rubbish Heap

By first describing her methods and subsequently illustrating them with a selection of case studies, Madge Bray shows the reader how abuse can affect the mental well-being of children, and how the repair of the child's trust of adults is crucial to the process of healing. Guiding the reader and the child through the counselling process, she illustrates the devastation which abuse can cause, but also the resilience of children and the means they have to protect themselves from the reality of abuse. Sexual Abuse: The Child's Voice is a unique insight into the minds of abused children, providing a basis for therapeutic work.
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Press reviews for: Sexual Abuse: The Child's Voice

Community Care

This book deserves to be widely read by all who have a direct role, or interest in, investigative and therapeutic work with children who have been abused. Highly recommended.

Cognitive Behavioural Social Work Review

Her book allows her to portray the humanity and creative insight which flows throughout her direct work. She enables the readers to gaze into the perceptions and the pain of sexually abused children, but also to behold the resilience and potential for repair of these 'poppies on the rubbish heap'. The case studies open up our eyes and ears to the worlds and the language of children with whom the author has worked. With an admirable blend of lyricism and down-to-earth realism. bray captures the fears, pain and hopes of her subjects. What is demontrates too is the personal and professional insight, intuition and magic of her own practice.

Social Work Today

Highly readable, absorbing and revealing.

British Journal of Occupational Therapy

This is a welcome addition to the growing body of literature on child sexual abuse.


This publication is a unique insight into the minds of abused children which provides a basis for therapeutic work.

Child Care Forum

Offers heart, humour, compassion and a depth of understanding for those wishing to work effectively in child sexual abuse.

Mental Health Care

An unusual and in some ways exceptional book, it is intensely personal, but also enlightening on a much broader level as to creative ways to work with children who have been sexually abused. …[I]t is the description of Bray's own work and involvement with each child which casts the spell and keeps the reader engrossed.

International Journal of Children's Spirituality

Madge Bray has a gift for teaching and inspiring. Through her enormous respect and gentle care for the children she introduces us to, we are able to gain a greater understanding and empathy with them. The memory the book leaves is of the incredible courage and dignity of those children. Poppies on the Rubbish Heap has become a classic amongst the broad range of literature now available about the sexual abuse of children. It deserves its reputation as essential reading for all those with an interest in the field.

Helena Kennedy QC

Praise for the Previous Edition 'I wept and smiled and put the book down, finally, completely filled with admiration.'

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