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About the Author

John is the author of 'Sexual Abuse Survivor’s Handbook: One Man Fights the Catholic Church' (2013) and soon to be published, 'One in Six' (2019), which is a personal memoir about John’s childhood abuse and recovery process. He is currently working on his third book - an uplifting novel about a man's spiritual awakening. John was a guest speaker at the Byron Bay Writers' Festival (BBWF) in 2013. In 2014, he appeared again at the BBWF, alongside esteemed journalists, David Marr and Joanne McCarthy, for an insightful conversation on child sexual abuse, entitled 'Secrets and Lies: Should the Catholic Church Confess?' (view here)


Amazon #1 Best Seller


One In Six (2019) 

Paperback and eBook 

Genre: Non-fiction; Memoir; Inspiration & Personal Growth

Synopsis: This memoir of Catholic Church abuse survivor, John Saunders, points a way towards healing. By examining pockets of his painful past, he uncovers a courageous heart, and challenges outdated cultural, family and self-imposed beliefs so that healing can take place. This book is a snapshot of 30 years of self-enquiry that taught John about his innate capacity to give and receive love, and how to help others do the same. 


Sexual Abuse Survivors' Handbook (2013)

Genre: Non-fiction; Autobiography; Self-help

Synopsis: John Saunders tells, with an open heart, the story of a man confronting and coming to terms with the sexual and physical abuse he endured at Catholic boys' schools.  It is a practical handbook to assist those who are wanting to confront their perpetrators through the justice system, and seek compensation.

Out of Print

One in Six​ - Book Reviews

“Recovery from childhood trauma is an expedition along concentric rings. For those who know it intimately—it is chaotic, terrifying and has a spirit of its own. John has captured, with determined elegance and potent authenticity, a chronicle of this journey that resonates with both survivors and their loved ones. His courage to indict his perpetrators and the system that protected them is epic.” 

~Lauren Elise Daniels, Author

"Every time a survivor finds the strength to tell their story, we all benefit. That John has been able to do this in such a beautifully articulate way is both powerful and inspiring. This is a must-read." 

~ Craig Hughes-Cashmore, Co-founder & Executive Director, Survivors & Mates Support Network (SAMSN)


“Reading One in Six will evoke compassion in those who have not fully understood the longtime psychological wounds of sexual abuse survivors and it will offer empathy and encouragement for the survivors of such abuse.”

~Catherine Ingram, author of In the Footsteps of Gandhi, Passionate Presence, and A Crack in Everything

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Guest Speaker
Book Reviews


One In Six discussion with Pamela Pine from Stop The Silence: Stop Child Sexual Abuse Inc., May 2019

2019 Book Festival Logo with date.jpg

USA - High Desert Book Festival - Writers Workshop Presenter - October11, 2019

John is facilitating a writers workshop designed to help people understand and embrace storytelling as a way to help heal past trauma. 

When: 10.30am, Friday 11th October

Where: Hesperia Library Community Room, 9650 Seventh Ave, Hesperia, California 92345

USA - High Desert Book Festival - October12, 2019

John is the guest speaker at the High Desert Book Festival in Hesperia, California, where he will discuss his memoir, 'One in Six'.

When: 4.30pm, Saturday 12th October

Where: 15833 Smoke Tree St, Hesperia, California 92345

Public/Professional Forum 'Life After Sexual Abuse: Trauma and Healing with Survivor, John Saunders'

John's forum, 'Life After Sexual Abuse', is a unique opportunity for survivors, healthcare professionals, and members of the community to engage in a conversation about stigma, trauma, and how we can better meet the needs of survivors in our communities. John is available to present the forum in Australia and overseas. Read more about the forum, here.

Keynote Speaker/Guest Presenter

John is available to speak at writers' festivals, book tours, conferences, schools, or any other related event, to discuss his books and the themes he has raised in them. John resides in Byron Bay, Australia. He is available to travel interstate and internationally.


October 2019                                                                  'One In Six'

2019 Book Festival Logo with date.jpg

John is the guest speaker at the High Desert Book Festival in Hesperia, California, where he will discuss his newly released memoir, 'One in Six'.

When: 4.30pm, Saturday 12th October

Where: 15833 Smoke Tree St, Hesperia, California 92345


July 2014                                                                         'Secrets and Lies: Should the Catholic Church Confess?'

This was one of the more provocative sessions at the 2014 Byron Bay Writers Festival, and the intensity of the session proves the issue has by no means been put to rest. The issue being the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, the decades of fierce cover-up and obstinate denial by the church hierarchy.

This panel comprised of child sexual abuse survivor, author and advocate, John Saunders, alongside journalists David Marr and Joanne McCarthy. John Saunders is the author of Sexual Abuse Survivors Handbook and the soon to be released One In Six. McCarthy won a Gold Walkley for her revelations that led to a state inquiry and Royal Commission, and Marr penned the Quarterly Essay ‘The Prince: Faith, Abuse and George Pell’.

Footage courtesy of ABC TV Big Ideas

Writers' Festivals
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