Many clergy and pastoral-care professionals are unprepared to assist the victims of domestic violence who sit in their churches’ pews, observes Dr. Christy Gunter Sim in “Survivor Care: What Religious Professionals Need to Know About Healing Trauma,” a book recently released from the Publishing Office of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, The United Methodist Church’s leadership development agency.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in three women and one in nine men experience some form of assault or intimate violence in their lifetime. Sim explains to clergy the complexities of violence and care and offers concrete guidance on standards of care, healing and confidentiality. She also advises pastors and support staff on how to avoid common practices that can do more harm than good.
“In my world, where I deal with survivors of violence daily, I see women in particular leaving the church in order to find healing elsewhere. The space that should be welcoming, loving and supportive becomes a source of greater agony and pain,” writes Sim. “… It is time to pay attention to this crucial issue in our faith communities, and this book is a guide for how to do that.”
Sim is an expert in trauma healing and in training for the prevention of domestic violence, sexual assault, family violence and secondary trauma. She serves on multiple crime-victims councils in North Texas and is an expert with the Scientific Review and Advisor Database for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She holds her doctorate in global health and wholeness from Saint Paul School of Theology as well as a master’s in divinity from the Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri.
“Survivor Care” has received rave responses from experts in trauma care, prevention advocates and domestic-violence survivors.
“Kudos to Christy Sim for breaking the silence about abuse in all communities. Victims are strong, but we need compassion, awareness and resources to break the cycle of abuse,” writes Leslie Morgan Steiner, author of the New York Times bestseller “Crazy Love.”
Wesley’s Foundery Books is an imprint of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church. Representing the rich diversity of the church, Wesley’s Foundery Books offer a disciplined and balanced approach. GBHEM’s Publishing Office produces books that engage, nurture, and advocate for the intellectual life of The United Methodist Church.
About GBHEM: As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s mission is to build capacity for United Methodist lay and clergy leaders to discover, claim and flourish in Christ’s calling in their lives, by creating connections and providing resources to aid in recruitment, education, professional development and spiritual formation. Every elder, deacon and licensed local pastor benefits from our training and candidacy programs. Many young adults find help in clarifying their vocation and God’s call in their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.