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Has sexual abuse poisoned you with heartache and self-hate? Discover strategies to break out of survival mode and turn your life around for good. Do the scars of past abuse still haunt you today? Are you sabotaging your health and happiness with self-destructive behaviors? Do you feel ashamed or unworthy of love? Author Denise Bossarte overcame childhood sexual abuse at the hands of her grandfather and took charge of her life. And now she’s here to help you transform your trauma into a brighter future. Thriving After Sexual Abuse: Breaking Your Bondage to the Past and Living a Life You Love contains step-by-step actions that will free yourself from the burden of victimhood. Through Bossarte’s methods, you’ll learn to identify and re-shape the negative thought patterns and practices that prevent you from healing. You’ll also discover the exact tools and activities she used on her journey from a life of misery to a happier existence. In Thriving After Sexual Abuse, you’ll discover: - How to break the cycle of self-blame and create a new sense of self-worth - How to stop letting the past define you, so you can start to define yourself - Detailed activities and practices for breaking destructive habits and building confidence - Daily mantras to challenge your harmful self-talk and champion positive affirmations - How dedication to self-improvement can help you attain a lifestyle you love, and much, much more! Thriving After Sexual Abuse is the must-have guide for anyone suffering from sexual trauma. If you like candid advice from a survivor, simple instructions, and inspirational true stories, then you’ll love Denise Bossarte’s life-affirming handbook.

Quarter Finalist

Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
Overall: 9.25 out of 10


Idea/Concept: In an eloquent and empathetic manual, Bossarte recounts her own traumatic experience with childhood sexual abuse before laying out a blueprint for other survivors to heal themselves. Emphasizing that the work is not a “tell-all” of her own abuse, but instead a helping resource, Bossarte offers tangible strategies for readers to reclaim their lives and move forward. 

Prose: Bossarte writes with fierce candor as she shares her memories of her abuse and its enduring impact on her life. She freely expresses her rage, her feelings of confusion and loathing, and how the experience of abuse forever changed her. The book’s tone transitions into one more pragmatic, as the author shares tips and suggestions for readers to seek help, self-reflect, and pursue healing through a range of activities.

Originality: Books devoted to the topic of sexual abuse aren’t uncommon. Bossarte’s book is unique in that the author comes at her awareness through personal experience, which she openly shares with readers. Bossarte’s integration of questions for self-reflection invites readers to be proactive in their own healing process.

Execution: Bossarte’s advice for abuse survivors ranges from heartfelt assurances to more concrete suggestions for working through particular challenges. Bossarte gently instructs readers on confronting an abuser or family member who had knowledge of the abuse; dealing with triggering circumstances; and piecing together fractured memories, among other topics.

Date Submitted: January 30, 2020


Thriving vividly captures the confusing impact of incest on a developing girl and achieves a needed goal for a book about incest—she takes the shame out. Through her candid account of what she endured and her sharing of the concrete steps she took in the aftermath, Bossarte reveals how she came to understand herself and the world, giving the reader both guidance and permission to do the same. Highly recommended. Patricia A. O’Gorman, PhD, psychologist, speaker, and author of Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting, The 12 Steps to Self-Parenting for Adult Children, and The Resilient Woman

Denise Bossarte courageously shares her experience of healing from childhood sexual abuse in a way that is vulnerable and accessible. In openly sharing her journey, she provides a rich resource for others embarking on, or in the midst of, their own journeys toward recovering with childhood sexual abuse. D. Skeetz Edinger, MS, LMFT-Associate, family therapist, Houston, TX.

Denise Bossarte’s book Thriving After Sexual Abuse speaks from the heart about her childhood experience with sexual abuse. Her book is written in an easy to read format and provides a wealth of information for sexual abuse survivors. As a mental health professional, I believe this is an incredibly valuable resource to have on my shelf of go to books when working with clients. I highly recommend hriving After Sexual Abuse. Julie Burden, M.Ed., LPC  

Like sitting down to coffee with an understanding friend, Denise Bossarte offers companionship on the healing journey after sexual abuse. Drawing from personal experience and research she provides a trail guide filled with creative healing tools, mindful reflections and valuable resources that empower. You are not alone. This book can help you create a personalized path that takes you from surviving sexual abuse to thriving in your life. Rev. Jeniffer Hutchins, founding minister Unity Arts Ministry   

Denise Bossarte offers a straight-forward, practical guide to anyone who has experienced sexual abuse and is exploring the first and next steps in addressing the personal and extended pain and hopelessness that this recognition can bring.  This is a practical book, born of her personal trauma and struggles to deal with it. The solutions she offers will apply to many, if not all, of those seeking a way through these particular hells and offer a step-by-step guide toward healing. Jake Lorfing, Psychiatric RN (retired), Meditation Instructor   

Like a trusted friend, Denise takes you gently by the hand and guides you step by step on your path to healing from sexual abuse. Her gift of organization makes the book easy to read. At the end of each chapter, she encourages you and leads you to take action as you move closer toward wellness. By learning what has helped her transition to a life of thriving, you can create your own plan by incorporating what resonates with you. This book will bring comfort and guidance. Learn from Denise. She has paved the way for you. Kristin Fitzgerald Gutweiler, PA, yoga instructor. 

I recommend Denise Bossarte's Book Thriving After Sexual Abuse to anyone who has gone through this experience. Denise offers her readers a smooth, compassionate and honest read on a difficult subject. She is genuinely interested is assisting others who share her experience so that they can Heal and Create the Life they Desire. This book offers Helpful & Practical suggestions on how a person surviving sexual abuse can begin and stay on the course of their personal healing journey. This information is coupled with simple and effective worksheets to keep the reader on track and focused. A HUGE THANK YOU to Denise and her very special and important book.Selise Stewart, Yoga Instructor 

Denise Bossarte shares her inspiring journey of healing while assisting readers on their own journeys. Through meditation and other enriching methods, she discovered that there was a space between her negative thinking and who she really was—whole and complete. Her path from Survivor to Thriver is filled with curiosity and creativity. Celeste Budwit-Hunter, Meditation Instructor. 

Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Review

Reviewed By Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite

Thriving After Sexual Abuse: Breaking Your Bondage to the Past and Living a Life You Love by Denise Bossarte is the heartrending memoir of the author's story, that of being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and overcoming incest by her maternal grandfather. The book not only chronicles her traumatic sexual abuse but also speaks about the details of her healing journey. This book is for all survivors of sexual abuse and partners of survivors, and though the author's personal sexual abuse story might not resonate with theirs, it will definitely connect with their emotional, psychological, mental, and spiritual trauma. This memoir is about the author's story of healing, becoming a thriver and a survivor, and getting her life back on track to a brighter tomorrow.

Denise Bossarte's story is heartbreaking and her story will definitely help readers overcome abuse, become a thriver, and live the life they love. The book is raw and honest and every chapter has a working space with detailed information in the form of questions that can be used by readers if they need it. The tips and strategies to break out of survival mode, self-destructive behaviors, and unworthiness will help many readers whose lives have turned upside down due to sexual abuse. It will also help survivors of abuse to change their thinking patterns and take them on a path to a happier existence instead of leading a life filled with self-hatred, anger, disgust, and negativity. The author shares tools on how to break the cycle of self-blame and gives positive affirmations to practice. Her story will also help readers break free from their self-destructive behaviors and rebuild their self-confidence. Thriving After Sexual Abuse can be used by therapists and counselors to help their patients to heal from the trauma of sexual abuse.