Naming Our Abuse
Schmutzer, Andrew J.; Gorski, Daniel A.; Carlson, David
Schmutzer, A. J., Gorski, D. A., & Carlson, D. (2016).

Naming Our Abuse: God’s Pathways to Healing for Male Sexual Abuse Survivors

About the Book:
Naming Our Abuse: God’s Pathways to Healing for Male Sexual Abuse Survivors (Kregel, April 2016)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.
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Naming Our Abuse: God’s Pathways to Healing for Male Sexual Abuse Survivors

Following their trauma, survivors can roam through life believing nothing has happened. I lived for over thirty years under the delusion that the abuse had not merely left me unaffected, but it had never occurred at all. (p.39)

Naming Our Abuse follows the stories of three men who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Through this short book you get a glimpse into each of their stories as they take the reader through 4 major transitions: the first part discusses the wreck of abuse, how the abuse happened and the context of its occurrence.  The second part discusses the accident report of the abuse, namely the areas of life that were profoundly affected in the lives of the authors by the abuse that they suffered.  The third part discusses rehabilitation, or the way that the authors sought healing and wholeness in their lives, and the struggles that they faced along the way.  The fourth section is about driving again, or the vision of healing and wholeness that each author has. The book concludes with an epilogue, which consists of each author’s letter to their own childhood self.

Throughout the book, the reader is drawn into the stories and given opportunities to dig into their own stories of abuse as well. There are some well thought out questions at the end of each section for the reader to examine their stories and take steps toward areas of potential healing in their lives as well. If you are a male sexual abuse survivor you may find that you relate to much of what the authors have written and gain a further understanding of of yourself in the process. The book is well written and gives the reader just enough insight into their abuse without getting overly detailed.

I really don’t know of too many resources like this book available today and believe this book does an excellent job of helping male sexual abuse survivors survey the wreckage in their own lives and take steps toward healing and toward repairing their relationship with God as well. This is a book that should serve as a valuable resource for an area that is often a gap in most recovery and discipleship programs.

Healing isn’t the absence of pain but a redefinition of what it means to hurt. (p.97)

About the Authors:
Andrew Schmutzer is a professor of biblical studies at Moody Bible Institute (Chicago) and a graduate of Dallas Seminary (ThM) and Trinity (PhD). He writes about integrative issues surrounding abuse, trauma, lament, and spiritual formation and speaks regularly on issues of sexual abuse. Find out more about Andrew on his Facebook: Andrew.Schmutzer

Daniel Gorski is a thirty-year veteran software engineer, having worked for AT&T, Lucent Technologies, Alcatel-Lucent, and Nokia. He earned a BS in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Illinois and an MS in Computer Science from Kansas State University, specializing in expert systems and software automation.

David Carlson is a special education teacher, working in the suburbs of Chicago for the majority of his adult life. He takes great pride in being an advocate for his students and their families, helping them to navigate whatever challenges life may present. He is committed to encouraging and supporting male survivors through the various stages of their healing.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.