One In Six (2019)
In publication. Due to be released January 2019.
Genre: Non-fiction; Memoir; Self-help
Synopsis: One in Six is the courageous story of healing broken hearts. Unique only because accounts are not commonly published. Horrific because recent international investigations have revealed that child abuse is not only not uncommon, but highly organised and continues to destroy millions of lives worldwide. This memoir of Catholic religion abuse survivor John Saunders points a way towards healing. By examining pockets of his painful past, he uncovers a courageous heart and questions outdated cultural, family and self imposed beliefs so healing can take place. His therapeutic storytelling leads the reader to the greater understanding of a healing pathway and that all suffering that is a consequence of child abuse will be overcome by sharing - that all human suffering that comes from the isolation that is a consequence of guilt and shame will one day fall away. It is a compressed compilation of 30 years of significant healing moments that taught John about his innate capacity to give and receive love and now help others do the same.
John works directly with male and female adult survivors of child abuse. His natural compassion and ability to emotionally relate to his clients whilst having a deep understanding of their suffering, comes from his own direct experience. This, coupled with his therapeutic experience, deeply assists clients to heal and to embrace a new life perspective.
John Saunders is an accredited counsellor who specialises in childhood abuse trauma and recovery.
In November 2013, author and Catholic Church sexual abuse and bullying survivor, John Saunders, collaborated with the Byron Shire Council to create a public forum, “Community Q & A: How Does Institutional Child Abuse Affect Community?”, to address the effects of institutional child abuse on individuals, families and communities. The event’s purpose was to raise community awareness about child abuse and initiate a dialogue about some of the issues raised in John's book, Sexual Abuse Survivor’s Handbook: One Man Fights the Catholic Church.
Since its inception, John has presented the forum a number of times, including several community forums and a forum tailored for a foster care agency and other care workers in the region.
Through these forums, John seeks to educate and support victims, families and communities that have been affected by child sexual abuse. The forum is divided into 2 parts. The first half consists of John telling his personal story, which he has broken down into six powerful topics:
2. Adult Survivors
3. Intimate relationships
4. Family, friends & community
5. Impacts of government & institutional policies on abuse survivors
6. The human spirit and our humanity
The second half of the forum consists of a combined panel of experts from various professions that have direct experience working with child sexual abuse survivors. These include: abuse survivor, John Saunders; therapists; lawyers; social workers; sexual abuse crisis workers; and spiritual ministers. The audience are invited to ask (or write down) any questions they may have to any or all of the panelists. Anonymity is assured, and there are therapists positioned in the audience to provide immediate support to anyone who may be triggered.