Tuesday 26 February 2013

If you read French, this is a MUST read

Autrement que victimes : Dieu, enfer et résistance chez les victimes d'abus sexuels (Not just victims: God, anger and resistance in the voices of sexual abuse victims)

Authors: Jean-Guy Nadeau ;  Carole Golding ;  Claude Rochon
Publisher: Novalis
Date: 2013

The publisher's blurb in French. I have done a broad translation of the French (I hope the authors aren't too upset by my paraphrasing at points but I think that I have retained the essence of the blurb.)

Fruit d'un travail de plusieurs années, cet ouvrage offre aux différents intervenants psychosociaux des informations qui leur permettront de mieux travailler avec les croyances religieuses de leurs patients et de les intégrer dans leur thérapie.  Si des victimes trouvent dans la foi ou dans la religion un soutien pour survivre à l'abus, d'autres assimilent ce drame à un abandon ou à l'opprobre de Dieu ; elles se sentent alors davantage coupables, ressentent un sentiment d'exclusion, bref tardent à sortir de leur traumatisme. Enfin, les enfants éduqués chrétiennement vivent très tôt, et avec peu de ressources, l'expérience douloureuse des questions radicales sur les relations entre Dieu, la souffrance et le mal. De nombreux témoignages viennent illustrer ces positions et enrichir la réflexion par des cas concrets.

The fruit of many years of labour, this book offers much information for psychosocial counsellors that will allow them to work more effectively with the religious beliefs of their patients and to integrate these beliefs into their clients’ therapy. Some victims find in their faith or their religion a support that helps them to survive the abuse. Other victims describe their response to this abuse as abandonment by God or as contempt for God; they then feel more guilty, and also feel excluded from the belief system. In short, they take a long time to resolve the issues raised by their traumatic experience. Lastly, with few resources, children who are educated (raised) as Christians live from a very early age with the painful experience of facing radical questions on the relationship between God, suffering and evil. The book contains many firsthand examples that illustrate these issues and the discussion is enriched with these concrete cases.

I have only started to read the book and after reading different chapters and sections, I already feel that it is definitely a wonderful addition to the literature on the impact of the Christian belief system on victims of child sexual abuse within that system. This is not just because they have a lengthy discussion of my Psalm and Eulogy (pp. 104-118) - guess I am a the*logian, whether I like it or not. It is well balanced between those who, like me, felt abandoned and angry at the failure of the belief system to address our needs and those who have found support in the system.

The authors should be looking for a publisher for an English translation so that it can reach a wider audience.

I will comment further after I have finished the entire book. (After all, French isn't my first language and it takes more time to integrate what I am reading!)

1 comment:

Sheila Redmond said...

Just heard from one of the authors - they are looking for an English publisher. Let's hope that they are successful!

So. You know what is left out of the discourse????

 Children Just Saying ........... The discourse of rape culture, of course, in the academic literature, of course. Just struck me as I was r...