In the Aftermath, Past the Pain of Childhood Sexual Abuse
BCC Staff: Here is an interview with Pam Gannon who co-authored In the Aftermath (with Beverly Moore). We hope you will find their book helpful.
1. What is the book about?
Our book, In the Aftermath, Past the Pain of Childhood Sexual Abuse, is written for those who have experienced childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and for those trying to help others with that past experience. It was our desire to compassionately address the nature of suffering and bring true biblical help in overcoming the many struggles that a person may have as a result of this kind of suffering: shame (feeling alone), guilt, forgiveness, fear (often expressed as PTSD), anger, relationships (trust), and sexual struggles.
2. Why did you write the book?
Our desire is to bring hope to those who may have lost all hope because of the evil they have endured at the hands of others. We each speak from our own experiences, both in having lived through the evil ourselves and in counseling others. We desire to share the beauty and joy of walking with God through pain and walking in victory “past the pain.” Because Jesus also suffered at the hands of evil people, we know that He understands and is able to help us discover true joy and real purpose in the aftermath of abuse. We desire for people to know that rather than being trapped in a “CSA sufferer identity,” they can be a living testimony to the grace of God.
3. Isn’t child abuse a difficult topic? Most people will shy away from a book about child abuse. Can you convince our readers that this is something that they should take the time to read?
Yes, CSA is an especially difficult topic. Because this is true, we purposefully didn’t fill the book with heartbreaking details that stir up painful memories for people who have suffered CSA. Rather we focus on the comforting truth that God understands, cares, and restores broken and desperate people who turn to him for help.
Even for those who are not victims of CSA, this is an especially difficult topic. People don’t want to believe the magnitude of the problem. It often remains a silent evil as it is unpleasant to acknowledge. And this is exactly why we needed to address it. With child pornography and human trafficking on the rise, we will be confronted unavoidably with more and more people who have suffered in this way. To know how to gently approach people with this past and help them work through the struggle is vital for all believers in care-providing roles. It is also important for those who work with children to be able to see warning signs and intervene. They may save a life.
4. Did you learn anything in writing the book that surprised you?
The research on CSA prevalence was surprising (and disturbing). Almost a quarter of women will acknowledge they have been sexually abused at some point in their lives. This is no minor issue!
We were also delighted to see how the truth of God’s Word powerfully ministers to the brokenhearted when we shared with others what we were learning while we worked on the manuscript.
5. What hope does God and his Word have for those who have been abused as a child?
The hope the book brings is that there is a way past the pain; God’s way out is beautiful! One day all will be made right, but until then, God will comfort those who mourn; he will bring beauty out of ashes, joy instead of mourning, and praise instead of despair! His justice is perfect. His comfort is refreshing. His truth brings confidence and peace. And his love is enough.