Wednesday, November 6, 2013

REVIEW: I Didn't Know . . . by Yvette Allen-Tatum

Date:                         10/25/13
Title:                         I Didn’t Know: Identifying, Confronting, and Overcoming Child Sexual Abuse
Author:                     Yvette Allen-Tatum
ISBN 13:                    978-0-9883126-7-8
Pages:                        107
Publisher:                 iScribe Publicaiton LLC
Cover:                        Paperback
Rating:                      4 Stars

I Didn’t Know: Identifying, Confronting, and Overcoming Child Sexual Abuse is a
good resource for both victims of child sexual abuse and their parents.  This book can assist parents in identifying the signs of sexual abuse in their child.

Often times, especially in certain cultures, we are taught that we don’t tell, or we don’t repeat what goes on in within the walls of our homes. And “within the walls” doesn’t necessary refer to a dwelling. The majority of child sexual abuse crimes are committed by a close friend, church member, family member, such as an uncle or step-parent or actual parent. Often times the child is made to believe they did something wrong to deserve the act that is committed against them and are further convinced that if they tell anyone, they will not be believed, ostracized or even killed.

Although scripture and bible references are used all throughout this book, author Yvette Allen-Tatum doesn’t just preach. She gives her readers “steps” to follow in the healing process. One of the most important steps in the healing process is acknowledgement. Many children who are abused fail to identify, acknowledge or admit the abuse even happened due to reasons described in the preceding paragraph.

Two things that I can appreciate about this book are that the author talks about forgiveness. So many children grow up with guilt and unforgiveness that it consumes them and they become miserable, non-productive and resentful adults. It is true and very important to understand that forgiving yourself and forgiving your abuser has nothing to do with them—if you are to be a productive, progressive and positive adult, you must forgive. Forgiveness allows victims to let go of that burden and put it into God’s hands.

The second part of this book that I appreciated was acknowledgement of the cycle of abuse. Because victims are taught to keep abuse to themselves, they tend to go on to have children who are ultimately abused. And, as parents, they fail to recognize or identify abuse in their own children or simply brush the issue under the carpet.  It is important to stop the cycle now. By continuing to ignore it, we will continue to raise a “Revelations” generation in which our children will have no hope for a decent future.

It’s a hard issue, but I’m glad the author is keeping this topic in the forefront. This would be a great guide for church counselors and other counselors to share with victims.

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