Keeping Mum: The Silent Cost of Surviving Childhood Sexual Abuse


I have known since I was a tiny child, that there are some things I could never say.

Even if I could have told my mother in words, she wouldn’t have saved me. I did tell her without words in so many ways, and she didn’t save me.

There was only one way to live through my childhood. ‘Keeping mum’ was the silent cost – my only possibility – of survival.

Keeping Mum explores the relationship between the abused child and the ‘non-offending parent’ who fails to prevent, and even enables the abuse. This complex dynamic is often hidden, minimised or rationalised.

A weave of personal recollections, Keeping Mum breaks open a primal betrayal, and the pain of the child who must stay silent to survive. Compelling vignettes invite the reader to grapple with the cost, and the freedom, of refusing to ‘keep mum’.

This book challenges health practitioners to listen for the story behind the story, and respond sensitively. It provides new insights for those working in the context of family violence and trauma. Many survivors of abuse will find chords that resonate with their own experience.

Keeping Mum is the poignant sequel to Fragments of Home: Piecing Life Together after Childhood Sexual Abuse.

Includes full-length CD of songs by Monique Lisbon.


Purchase the book

Purchase Keeping Mum in the Living Hope Resources online shop.

Also available for purchase as part of a double-pack in a slip case along with the book/CD of Fragments of Home: Piecing Life Together after Childhood Sexual Abuse.


eBook version

Keeping Mum can also be purchased as an eBook. The eBook includes a link and password to download MP3 recordings of the 11 songs included in the book.



Click here for a review of Keeping Mum by Dr Vivienne Mountain

Vivienne has been involved in the design and delivery of units of study in the area of children and families ministry at the University of Divinity. Currently she provides professional supervision for Counsellors and those in Christian Ministry.