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At a very young age Amy Madden was exposed to the kind of inconceivable treatment no one, let alone a defenseless child, should ever have to endure. A brutal stepfather with a murky and painful history of his own found himself in an environment in which he was free to continue the cycle of trauma, committing unspeakable acts of sexual and emotional abuse against Amy and her siblings. Meanwhile, her struggling, overworked mother was unable to see the awful pain and damage that were being inflicted on her children. Amy felt ashamed, hurt, angry, and, most of all, unable to talk--to anyone--about what was happening to her. She felt as though it was her fault. The only route to dealing with the anguish was to submerge herself into a distrustful, insecure, depressed state. As have many survivors of abuse, Amy felt abandoned, unable to see who she really was, unable to hold on to any glimmer of hope. Only through a long, soul-searching process that involved a combination of therapy, study, prayer, and the eventual strong faith in the power of her own inner strength and spirit--the innocence and beauty she had once possessed as a child--was Amy finally able to reach a place of understanding and peace. Stolen Beauty is a poignant and necessary book for anyone who is seeking guidance through their own recovery from abuse, or for anyone who works to help survivors and abusers alike.

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