‘Traumatized by Religious Abuse: Courage, Hope and Freedom for Survivors’ is a comprehensive resource for those who have experienced religious abuse, be it psychological, verbal, sexual or financial. With authenticity, openness, and careful consideration of many different faith traditions, Connie provides a path to hope and healing.
In ‘Traumatized by Religious Abuse’, the author answers the following questions:
How does abuse happen in religious institutions?
What is unique about religious abuse?
How are power and control used in religious abuse?
What are the hallmark characteristics of abusive leaders and abusive religious cultures?
What are the implicit and subtle messages used by abusers?
What are the emotional, mental and existential damages after abuse?
How can a survivor recover and heal?
Connie A Baker covers in depth how religious ideas are often used to manipulate followers and how fear, shame, guilt and superstition can be leveraged for control. She points out that spiritual and religious abuse is not confined to any one type of religion or cult. This dynamic of abusive behavior can be found in many types of spiritual communities.
She writes from the perspective of a professional therapist who teaches and counsels survivors, and from her own perspective from being a survivor of religious abuse. “When went through horrible religious abuse back in 1990, I was completely confused and without resources to get clarity and heal. I never want anyone to go through what I did after abuse. This is the book I needed back then and didn’t have.”
Reviews for the Book
This material, and the way Connie Baker delivers it, has the power to pull back blinders and give people who are willing to see, the ability to see what has been hidden - whether you are a voiceless victim or a faith leader pressing in to lead with greater love. This is dividing wall demolishing stuff! This is get in the dirt and love without fear kind of stuff! This material begs a response from the heart! It begs me to look with love and not power, to lead with the courage to empower rather than control out of fear. It is stunning to me how it has impacted empathy growth in me personally and revealed even more strategies in my imagination for building faith communities with representational faithfulness to live out the God they know with integrity to His nature. I think there was a fear for me that in reading this material, or becoming aware of these issues, I would walk away jaded about faith communities, with more judgement to overcome and a cynical pessimistic vantage point (a perspective I’ve wrestled to avoid for some years). Instead in the month that has gone by since my reading of this book I have found myself looking into, and speaking into, heart wrenching stories close to me with more hope, more empathy and more courage. It’s as if I can see the tough stuff and now I know what tools to use to not let the tough stuff define/control me. I know where to use my courage to stay and where to let things go and move on. I’m not a blind person standing on busy street corner, overloaded with sounds, smells and feels, none of which tell me where to go . . . I have my eyes open, I can find the crosswalk in the midst of the chaos and I can learn to navigate a city with the hopes of knowing and loving it with ease someday. - Joy
About the Author: Connie A. Baker
Connie is a licensed professional counselor with a Master of Arts. Connie is a clinical supervisor, Masters Level University instructor, Seminar speaker, and Workshop Facilitator. Connie is a Trauma Recovery Specialist, trained life coach and the author of her new book, ‘Traumatized by Religious Abuse-Discover the Cultures and Systems of Religious Abuse and Reclaim Your Personal Power’.
Connie is sought after for guidance, radio and television interviews, and contributions to magazines for support and education about religious abuse and spiritual crises.
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