This book provides a well-researched biblical and scientific overview of abuse. A broad overview, it deals with the various types of abuse, the various effects of abuse, and the means of healing. Abuse can be sexual, physical, neglect, spiritual, and verbal. The chief arguments pursued throughout the book are:
(1) abuse is far more rampant than most Christians realize, but due to human depravity and satanic influence, widespread abuse is predicable.
(2) All types of abuse create profound, long-term soul damage due to the way abuse perverts various aspects of the image of God.
(3) God is the healing redeemer. Human salvation came through horrible physical abuse.
(4) Healing must take place in the context of relationships.
Humans are deeply impacted by others due to being made in the image of God. Just as surely as abusive relationships have tremendous power to wound the soul, so healthy relationships have tremendous power to nurture and heal the soul. Questions answered in the book include:
- How can a genuine believer abuse a child?
- Why would someone abuse a child?
- How can parents and children's workers identify abusers?
- How can abuse victims heal?
- What does genuine healing look like?
- Is anger appropriate or hurtful for abuse victims?
- Where does forgiveness fit in?
This second edition has been updated to reflect research conducted and published in the past 15 years on abuse and trauma. It accounts for the significant social changes and increased mental health struggles in our culture, including dramatic escalation in rates of depression, anxiety, suicide, and isolation, which exacerbate the effects of abuse and complicate the healing process. Based on their now-extensive trauma care experience, this new edition helps readers how to minister to new domestic and global victims such as sex trafficking survivors, foster children, refugees, and survivors of genocide. Examples and illustrations are updated with more recent ones from high-profile abuse cases and the aftermath of the #MeToo movement.
Appendixes that include lists of helpful resources for child protection policies, worker/parent child abuse education, warning signs of potential abusers, and general abuse resources (books, internet sites, and organizations) to equip ministry leaders are provided in appendices along with illustrations, case studies, and art therapy drawings are included in the audiobook companion PDF download.