Thursday, May 26, 2016

Naming Our Abuse by Andrew Schmutzer, Daniel A Gorski, and David Carlson

A stunningly vulnerable look at the horrific realities of sexual abuse and how to overcome them. Male sexual abuse is increasingly in the news, from scandals in the Catholic Church to exploitations at Penn State. Yet books and programs about healing are still overwhelmingly oriented toward the female survivor of abuse. As men who experienced childhood abuse, the authors of this book are uniquely qualified to address the healing process of male survivors.

Using the metaphor of a car accident, Naming Our Abuse leads the survivor from the Wreck to the Accident Report to Rehabilitation to Driving Again. This four--step model illustrates that healing is a process to be nurtured rather than something that can be healed in a single telling. Following the authors' examples, readers are invited to find solidarity with other male survivors and develop an understanding of their own wounding through journaling exercises.

My review:

   Occasionally I will review a book that doesn't pertain to me, but is one that has something I want to learn more about or is something I review just to help get the word out about the book to people who it may pertain to. This book falls into both categories.

  The book is written by three men who were sexually abused as boys by adult males. One was abused by his own father, one by a priest, and the other by a vice principal and drama teacher. It is heart wrenching to read their stories, which are told in as brief of details as possible. The authors set the book up as a car accident, with each author relating their own story in relation to that section.

The first section is "the wreck", the actual abuse.

The second section is the "accident report", where they try to grasp the extent of their abuse as survivors.

The third section is "rehabilitation", the earnest desire to heal the broken areas of their lives.

The fourth and final section is "driving again", where the abuse survivor adapts to life and have come through support groups and counseling,

  Each section is followed by questions for the reader about their own abuse.

 The book ends with a letter from each author to their "little boy selves".

   I was never abused - thankfully - but I can still appreciate the book and these three men coming forward and stripping themselves bare to tell their stories and help others who have gone through the same thing, The book is honest, compassionate, and very helpful. And it isn't just written for men who have been abused. Friends and relatives of abused guys would do well to read it, and it would be a great tool for pastors. I highly recommend it.

 I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Naming Our Abuse is available from Kregel Publishing.

Thanks to Kregel for the review copy.