Coping with Childhood Sexual Abuse


About my newest book (released December 2018)

#MyFamilyToo! was first published in 1989 by Magnificat Press and titled How Our Family Coped with Incest. It was not  easy to write, and it was even harder to find a publisher. Editors I met at writers’ conferences told me I was an excellent writer and our story needed to be told, but they did not want to publish a book about incest.
For five years and through forty-two rejection slips I kept looking for a publisher. Had I given up, I’m certain Write His Answer Ministries and the Greater Philly and Colorado Christian Writers Conferences would not exist today.

Much has changed since the 1970s when our family struggled to help my half-sister, Mandy, who had been sexually abused by her father. There was no social media or #MeToo movement to encourage those who had been abused to tell their story and receive the help they needed to recover. There were few professionals trained to provide hope and healing to victims or to extended families who stepped in to help.

We tried. We often failed. But we kept trying. It would have been easier to give up, but we chose to keep loving Mandy and keep trusting the Lord for the strength and wisdom we lacked. And He was and is faithful!

Today, Mandy is safely home with the Lord. She “fought the good fight” and is at peace. And now, there’s no longer a need to use my pen name, Jessica Martin.

Father, please use #MyFamilyToo! in Ephesians 3:20 ways to encourage many to “Live Your Answer.”


What others are saying . . .

“For years, Marlene has been dedicated in helping others Write His Answer through her conference ministry. This is the inspiring story of how she and her husband were called to Live His Answer to provide a safe place within their family for her younger sister to escape a sexually abusive father. Marlene shares a sensitive message in an honest way to take the reader along a difficult faith journey into the healing presence of a loving Father.” 

~ Verna Bowman ~ Author, Speaker

“Some issues are hard to think about, let alone live through. Incest is one of these topics. How does someone come alongside the victim and offer hope and faith when God seemed absent for years? Marlene came to the rescue of her half-sister, offering a safe home and modeling the unconditional love of God. With honesty she shares the triumphs and the failures of the five years she and her family cared for Mandy. Highly recommended.”

~ Gayle Roper ~ A Widow’s Journey, Plain Truth