Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Jerry Sandusky And Monsignor Lynn Found Guilty - Author Jeanne McElvaney Offers An Insightful Journey Into The World Of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Jeanne McElvaney is the author of 'Spirit Unbroken: Abby's Story', an insightful journey into the world of childhood sexual abuse and dissociated trauma memories. McElvaney believes these latest high profile trials should not be seen from the perspective of shame, but instead should be seen as healing in nature

It’s only been thirty years since Judith Herman's newly published book labeled sexual abuse a crime, challenging social belief that it was harmless. Survivors began telling their stories. For the first time in history, social attitudes began supporting the victims of perpetrators.

Jerry Sandusky's recent conviction for child abuse and Monsignor Lynn’s conviction for child endangerment are another step in the right direction if we want to stop a crime that thrives in secrecy and silence. Jeanne McElvaney's book, 'Spirit Unbroken: Abby's Story', gives us a powerful glimpse of child abuse - from the victim's perspective.

"It’s easy to forget," Jeanne McElvaney stated, "that sexual abuse is about disempowering the victim. Sex is the weapon. As the young adults in the Sandusky trial came forward to testify, they had to overcome the shame that is inherent in this kind of abuse. They not only gave evidence, they placed the shame where it belongs."

Rape was not considered a crime in all 50 states until the 1970’s, after The National Organization for Women (NOW) initiated rape reform legislation. By the late 70’s most mental health professionals were still unwilling to question old assumptions that child sexual abuse was rare and seductive children were the problem. Sandra Butler's book, 'Conspiracy of Silence', brought credibility to these issues. Louise Armstrong wrote, 'Kiss Daddy Goodnight', and broke the silence of survivors. 'Spirit Unbroken: Abby's Story' is a gripping and powerful story that turns the world upside down, as readers witness innocence celebrated and violated. The book has been called a 'tremendous contribution to childhood trauma literature.' The book is currently listed as a Finalist by Readers Favorite in the Women's Fiction category.

"I wrote 'Spirit Unbroken: Abby's Story' because I wanted to take the reader on a journey of insight," McElvaney continued, "so they could understand dissociated trauma memories - how they pull a person out of everyday reality so that person can survive the moment. I wanted readers to know how our minds work to protect us, but also leaves us with memories we can't recall even though they continue driving our choices, feelings, and beliefs."

A recent reviewer and therapist stated 'Spirit Unbroken' is "a resource as much as it is a novel. Dry, academic explanations of this condition are unable to touch the complex, nostalgic, and deeply moving way this author has been able to take the reader directly into the depths of this state of mind."

"I also hope to create awareness," McElvaney continued, "that abusers, as we have recently seen, are not one-dimensional bad guys. They are not strangers - 90% are someone the child and family know. 1of 4 women and 1 of 6 men are survivors of sexual abuse - that's 39 million of us."

Jeanne McElvaney is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at jeanne@gotospirit.com. 'Spirit Unbroken: Abby's Story' is available at Amazon.com and at her website. More information on all of Jeanne McElvaney's books is available at the site.


Jeanne McElvaney is an author of women’s empowerment novels. She has done extensive research in childhood sexual abuse and is a survivor herself. Her blog, “Sexual Abuse Insights”, supports survivors in healing.


Jeanne McElvaney