IN SPRING 2019, not a week passes without the discovery of long-hidden sexual abuse in front-page headlines. Most Americans now know someone wrestling with the aftermath of such abuse—often for many decades. That’s the story you’ll find in the honest-and-inspirational pages of Light Shines in the Darkness, by survivor, counselor, minister and teacher Lucille Sider.
This column explains:
- the importance of Lucille’s book,
- the value of organizing a small-group discussion
- and the way to inquire about an appearance by Lucille Sider.
How Can I Help Survivors of Sexual Abuse?
FIND HELP—As Lucille says in her book, the first and most important response is: Ask for help! And, report the abuse! The Study Guide that appears as the final section in her book begins with several pages explaining the importance of finding help—and reporting what has happened. She lists vital resources, agencies, web links and phone numbers.
INVITE FRIENDS TO DISCUSS THE BOOK—Lucille’s honest and inspiring story is perfectly suited for small-group discussion in a wide range of organizations and classes—from secular settings to congregations. The core principles Lucille highlights in her healing journey draw from secular best practices. Are you part of a small group of professionals looking for a compelling speaker on these issues? Consider Lucille and her book. Then, because of her own use of various spiritual resources in coping with her trauma, this book also is appropriate for a discussion in your congregation’s small groups and Sunday School classes.
How can you get friends interested? Start by simply using the social-media sharing links at the top of this column to share this column with friends.
VISIT THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE—You also can visit—and send friends—to the official Home Resource Page for Lucille’s book via this easy-to-remember web address: www.LightShinesInTheDarknessBOOK.com
Among the many resources on that page are:
- Multiple bookstore links to order Lucille’s book from Amazon or other retailers. (Plus, a special email address to inquire about group orders.)
- Links to several important magazine stories about Lucille’s book and her ongoing work. (These are great to share with friends to encourage their interest.)
- Endorsements of Lucille’s book from prominent men and women, including the Rev. Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, General Superintendent Emerita and Ambassador of The Wesleyan Church.
How to Schedule a Lucille Sider Appearance
INVITE LUCILLE TO SPEAK—Right now, Lucille Sider—a clinical psychologist and clergywoman based in the Chicago area—is scheduling appearances with groups nationwide to encourage constructive small-group discussions. Contrary to myth, such trauma does not fade away with the passage of time. Lucille herself is a survivor both of childhood abuse—and the crippling psychological effects after years of secrecy. That’s why she is encouraging survivors, their families and friends to organize group discussions—even if a current revelation involves abuse that took place decades ago. Her message is: To heal, we need to talk! That’s why her book includes a complete discussion guide for small groups.
In Light Shines in the Darkness, she tells her own remarkable story of overcoming both abuse and the debilitating psychological after-effects of that trauma. Then, she adds to that story her professional insights as a long-time counselor, minister and teacher—to help survivors consider options that can be healing.
Now, in Spring 2019, Lucille is planning to add to the considerable resources in her book by offering to make public appearances to help spark discussions. Now, she is considering invitations for the balance of 2019.
Formats for these author appearances could include:
An Invitation for a Video Visit with Your Group—Lucille has devoted her professional life to counseling, teaching and pastoral care and is a veteran of talking with small groups. She’s based in the Chicago area, and your group may not have the financial resources to bring her to your city—however, you still could organize a “group read” of her book and invite her to appear with you for a discussion via one of the popular live-video services, such as Skype.