The #MeToo movement has revealed sexual abuse and assault in every sphere of society, including the church. But victims are routinely ignored by fellow Christians who deny their accounts and fail to bring accountability to the perpetrators. All too often, churches have been complicit in protecting abusers, reinforcing patriarchal power dynamics, and creating cultures of secrecy, shame, and silence. Pastor and survivor Ruth Everhart shines a light on the prevalence of sexual abuse and misconduct within faith communities.
Katz is cofounder of the Mentors in Violence Prevention Program (MVP), and his focus is on prevention—his intended audience is not violent men who need help changing their ways, but all men, who, he says, have a role to play in preventing male violence against women.
Kevin Giles surveys available scientific information and notes the consensus that the most sure indicator of higher incidences of abuse is found in communities where men are privileged and expected to be in charge.
Answering his title question in the affirmative, Giles forcefully argues that “headship teaching can encourage and legitimate domestic abuse and it must be abandoned if domestic abuse is to be effectively countered in our churches.”
Through her book, The Courage Coach, Ashley Easter brings her life experience and training to those who have lived with harmful relationships. As someone who has followed her North Star out of abuse and toward health and healing, Ashley invites anyone who has lived through damaging relationships into a safe space. This book is a space where victims and survivors can be heard, affirmed, and equipped. Whether you have experienced abuse yourself or whether someone you love has experienced abuse, Ashley offers a warm presence and practical advice.
Domestic abuse is a horror. It lurks beneath the surface of our collective existence, sometimes raising its ugly head where least expected—in the church or within families of faith. Are we—individually or collectively—ready to respond? What can, or should, congregations and their pastoral leaders do?
Speaking into current #MeToo and #ChurchToo conversations, this book shows that the body of Christ desperately needs to understand the forms power takes, how it is abused, and how to respond to abuses of power.
My advice: Buy this book. Read it slowly. Chew on its words. Digest its content. Let its truths tutor your mind, penetrate your soul, and motivate you toward embracing, modeling, and conveying a more humble, Christlike expression of power.
Adults in your church, small group, or other Christian organization are silently suffering the tragic consequences of having been sexually abused as children or youth. Why aren't they coming forward for help? Their reluctance may be related to wounds given by the faithful—religious people they trusted, who said things like "well, it wasn't rape" or "it's been thirty years—why is this such a big deal?" Such responses from people with religious authority deepen victims' need to shrink into anxiety, depression, and self-degradation. This book offers you the tools needed to undertake caring ministry to adults suffering in the aftermath of childhood sexual abuse. Once you understand the scientific research on such topics as trauma memory, consequences of abuse, and forgiveness, you will appreciate how caring collaboration can create hope and healing. In these pages every reader will find helpful content that will take you from feeling out of your depth to knowing you are empowered to be an effective companion in God's transforming work in the lives of survivors of abuse.