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Supporting Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

Supporting Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

A Mimetic Theory Approach for the Local Church

Catherine Beaumont. Foreword by Christopher Cook, illustrated by Steve Beaumont

Quick Overview

For anyone engaged in pastoral theology or church leadership, this supportive book shows how churches can change behaviour towards adult survivors of sexual abuse to foster more healing communities and help survivors on their way to health and wholeness. Based on real life experiences, the successful case studies offered provide hope and guidance.
Details Price Qty
Paperback / softback
2020, 8.98in x 5.91in / 228mm x 150mm, 144pp
ISBN: 9781785925016


Offering a model of care that the church can use with survivors of sexual abuse, this supportive book is backed up by René Girard's Mimetic Theory throughout.

The book proposes that the treatment survivors receive in churches could be greatly improved if instead of adding to a survivor's sense of guilt, difference or isolation or trying to change survivors' thoughts, feelings or behaviour they adopt the role of God as benevolent other. It shows that by adopting these beliefs churches can move past unintentional scapegoating of sexual abuse survivors and into a healing community where survivors feel included on churchgoers' journeys towards health and wholeness.


'Too often churches confuse healing with conformity, pastoral care with the prescription of ideals, and located the problem with the survivor, not the community. Catherine Beaumont's stunning intervention shows how the problem is collectively owned in ways which stem from our rivalry with God and each other, and why support must begin in non-rivalrous love. Experientially, theoretically, and lovingly driven, this book should shape how we think about church.'
- Dr Marcus Pound, Associate Professor of Catholic Theology, Durham University

'What glorious sanity! Catherine Beaumont shows how the relationship between survivors of abuse and their Churches goes to the heart of the Gospel. Wonderfully clearly written, full of vivid local examples and the wisdom of lived experience. Any churchgoer could benefit personally from this book, as I did, yet no expert need be ashamed to learn from its pages.'
- James Alison, Catholic Priest and Theologian

'Dr Beaumont delivers a powerful call for change. While churches continue to protect their reputation for righteousness-framing survivors as 'problematic'-the damage of abuse is compounded. Her uplifting vision for Gospel communities that vindicate rather than scapegoat is modelled on God "who never comes against us". Love in action.'
- Rev Dr Susan Shooter, author of ‘How Survivors of Abuse Relate to God: the Authentic Spirituality of the Annihilated Soul’.


By (author): Catherine Beaumont
Foreword by: Christopher C. H. Cook
Illustrated by: Steve Beaumont