The Long Journey Home

A new edited book is available on ministering to those who have experienced sexual abuse. The book is titled The Long Journey Home. It is edited by Andrew J. Schmutzer with contributions from Diane Langberg, Terri Watson, Phil Monroe, Gary Strauss, and many more. In fact, there are 23 chapters organized in three main sections: (1) Understanding Sexual Abuse Through the Social Sciences; (2) Engaging Sexual Abuse Through the Theological Disciplines; and (3) Addressing Sexual Abuse Through Pastoral Care.

Each chapter is quite accessible to the lay counselor or person who is looking for information to minister to others. The chapters also end with helpful discussion questions and suggestions for further reading.

I co-authored a chapter with my colleague and friend, Dr. Elisabeth Suarez. That chapter is titled, “The Impact of Sexual Abuse on Sexual Identity: Exploring the Relationship between Childhood Sexual Abuse and Adult Sexual Identity.” We address an area that is often a point of discussion (or at least assumption) in Christian circles by reviewing the relevant research and theories in this area.

I appreciate the editor’s commitment to bring together theologians, psychologists, and pastoral care providers to address a sensitive and important topic. I think many readers will find this resource to be a practical guide that will stretch their thinking. The book will fill definitely fill a void in the literature.