Written by Christiane Sanderson
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The Spirit Within is about compassion and healing and aims to provide a unique opportunity for survivors, religious institutions and faith communities to gain a deeper understanding of religious sexual abuse (RSA). It gives voice to survivors’ experiences and through this enables others to listen, and respond more effectively to promote recovery. Its aim is not to be critical to any one denomination or faith, but to increase awareness and to revive the spirit of all who have been harmed by RSA.
Whether experienced in childhood or as an adult, RSA traumatises not only individuals but whole communities. The impact radiates out from survivors to families and partners, religious institutions, faith communities and society as a whole. The spiritual injury associated with RSA can destroy faith in religious institutions, god and that which is sacred. This can shatter spirituality, leading to a loss of spiritual identity, meaning and purpose in life, and isolation from the faith, or spiritual family.
To heal requires an understanding of the many factors that contribute to RSA, both individual and institutional. Listening empathically will promote more effective responses and genuine acknowledgement of harm caused. This will allow for more open and honest communication, and make it possible to help survivors move towards recovery and healing.
The focus is on enabling survivors of RSA to understand their abuse experience and the impact it has had on them and their lives. Most importantly, it emphasises that despite the traumatising effects of RSA and the erosion of faith and spirituality, it is possible to recover from RSA and revive the spirit within to find renewed faith in self and others.
It is only with renewed faith that those affected by RSA can heal, including families, partners, faith communities and religious institutions. Professionals will also find the book useful in supporting victims and survivors, especially counsellors, safeguarding officers, advocacy workers, legal professionals, police officers and those who work with perpetrators.
You can buy your copy today using the link at the top of this page. Alternatively you can send a cheque made payable to ‘One In Four UK’ for £11.94 (HQ address details on Contact Details page). Please include your name and address on the back of the cheque. Books will be posted within 3 working days of funds clearing.
Christiane Sanderson, a respected practitioner and trainer in this field, is the author of the companion volume ‘The Warrior Within’, a One in Four handbook to aid recovery from childhood sexual abuse and violence, published by One in Four and Counselling Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, The Seduction of Children: Empowering Parents and Teachers to Protect Children from Child Sexual Abuse, Counselling Survivors of Domestic Abuse and An Introduction to Counselling Survivors of Interpersonal Trauma, all published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.