Sexual assault—any sexual assault—is a violation of the mind, body, and spirit. It leaves behind a residue of shame and self-blame as well as the sense that we are never safe. Many of us retreat to a basement—a protective but limiting world where we try to escape the memories, the feelings, the emotions. 

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Out of the Basement

Out of the Basement is an invitation for survivors to step into the light and follow the healing path of BE, DO, SHARE. At the heart of this journey is a five-step process of personal reflection and contemplation. These steps are based upon the healing sojourn of author Deborah K. Halvorson and of the countless survivors she has connected with personally and professionally.

From here, our journey leads us to helpful guidelines to create safe and supportive healing communities. And at last, our journey culminates with a collection of deeply personal and uplifting stories from survivors who have gone ahead on this path.

Profound yet practical, straightforward yet eloquent, Out of the Basement is an invitation to access our inherent courage, resilience, and strength. To learn how to live beyond surviving. To step into healing, hope, and empowerment. To rediscover who we truly are and reclaim what was taken from us.

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See Inside

“Everything you need to make it through
the most painful, difficult, and challenging issues of your life exists within you. Do not under any circumstances doubt your power!”
—Iyanla Vanzant

What others are saying

Out of the Basement brings the reader on a clear healing journey without judgments, pathology, labels, or promises. It’s an accessible easy to read invitation for survivors to reclaim all parts of themselves taken by the perpetrator. From the must-read introduction Note to the Reader through the courageous healing stories from survivors, the reader embarks upon a reclaiming rescue mission—a rescue of their strong, resilient Self. By rescuing all fractured parts of themselves, the reader is given the opportunity to heal, build community with other survivors, and break the isolation caused by the sexual assault. This book brings home the message so many sexual assault survivors need to hear: we are not alone-we heal together.
Dawn E. McClelland, PhD, LP
Cofounder and Director at Midwest Center for Trauma and Emotional Healing
With candor, strength, and hope, Halvorson’s Out of the Basement provides a clear and practical guide to recovery from sexual assault. Written in accessible, relatable prose, this book’s 5-step program for healing offers survivors a step-by-step path out of shame into empowerment through spiritual grounding and peer support. Halvorson is a most capable guide, whose voice promotes safety and courage, as do the stories of numerous survivors’ incredible resilience that conclude the book. If you or someone you know is in need of healing from sexual assault, Halvorson’s book is a must read!
Sharon E. Preves, PhD.
Professor of Sociology and Director of Public Health Sciences at Hamline University. Author of Intersex and Identity: The Contested Self and Classic and Contemporary Perspectives in Social Psychology
If you have been sexually assaulted or if you think you may have been sexually assaulted, you will find yourself walking along with Deborah, step by step, through your journey of expanding awareness into wellness.
Sherod Miller, PhD.
Coauthor of Awareness Wheel Workbooks
Out of the Basement is not an ordinary read—it is an experience. Never has a book known my inner world so deeply. It catalyzed a level of healing I didn’t realize I needed, much less believed was possible. It is.