The Spirit Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Religious Sexual Abuse Across All Faiths
is another, most welcome, publication from One in Four; the second to be penned by Christiane Sanderson, a much respected practitioner and trainer in this field. I would recommend this book to be read alongside The Warrior Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Sexual Violence
, as they definitely complement one another.
Both publications follow a very clear, 'user-friendly', structure - with a colour-coded key of icons to help guide the reader; this book also has the useful addition of online pointers towards the One in Four website, offering further help.
I have been particularly struck by the 360 degree approach that The Spirit Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Religious Sexual Abuse Across All Faiths
takes; presenting abuse by religious leaders of their followers/members of their congregation, as well as *within* the hierarchy of all religious organisations (more senior figures on less senior figures). The book provides essential learning for counselling practitioners, as well as advice as to how to work best with clients who are survivors of religious sexual abuse; in turn it offers a tremendous amount of support and guidance to the survivors themselves.
Christiane Sanderson starts by saying that 'this book is about compassion and healing', before charting the complexities of religious sexual abuse and the impact of spiritual betrayal and loss of spiritual trust. I can honestly say that it leaves the reader with a real sense of HOPE for the survivors of religious sexual abuse to be able to 'reclaim the spirit within', through the information presented by the author - not to mention the list of helpful organisations at the end of the book - as well as the detailed bibliography.
I can only hope that One in Four and Christiane Sanderson continue to produce publications of this nature and that they are made widely available for survivors of abuse, counselling practitioners, all medical practitioners and organisations; they are an invaluable resource.