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The Cry – understanding church abuse and abusers

by Marlene Hickin


for everyone who wants to eliminate this critical problem and to support the victims of abuse

ISBN 978-0-9923258-0-0
Paperback, 2nd edition September 2013, 270 pages
Purchase details below
About the Author: Dr Marlene Hickin graduated from London University in Arts, Theology and Education, and held a doctorate in Applied Theology from the United States. (Marlene died in 2015.)

Formerly a Ministry Training officer in an Anglican Diocese in London, she was on the Board of the Churches’ Child Protection Agency in the UK and Series Editor of Pastoral Care Handbooks published by Harper Collins UK.

An international conference speaker, she was a Consultant in Personal and Professional Development to clergy and chaplains in the UK and Australia for the past 25 years. She was a member of the Ethics Committee of the Sydney College of Divinity and the Ethics Consultant to the NSW College for Clinical and Pastoral Education.
“Reading this book has taken away the shame. I wish I’d read it years ago.” - a Christian survivor of
          childhood sexual abuse
“Essential reading” - a healthcare worker in a Christian agency
Other reviews and comments below
   Price per copy Aus$20 plus postage

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Further comments and reviews

Canon Dr David Claydon and Robyn Claydon write:

This is a very significant and timely tool for all leaders throughout the church, both clerical and lay.

Although Christians now know that abuse happens – and that it has been happening for decades – there has been little analysis of why it happens and of spiritually appropriate responses to it. Dr Marlene Hickin offers a thorough view of this complex issue.

Justice Caroline Taylor AM, Head of the Social Justice Research Centre in the School of Psychology and Social Science of Edith Cowan University, writes:

You are right to use the small ‘c’ in relation to the ‘church’ as an institution. In responding to child sexual abuse the ‘church’ hierarchy have betrayed, ignored and abandoned many victims. Their defensiveness in the light of the abundant proof that children and young people have suffered heinous sexual abuse is another illustration of their lack of moral compass and true leadership.
Ian Westmoreland, church elder, writes:

What an eye opener and wake-up call The Cry has been for me! I have been a Christian for nearly 40 years in two denominations in Australia and New Zealand and in a leadership position for the past 12 years.

Based on my rather sheltered view I had assumed that just a few isolated incidents of sexual abuse in our churches had given rise to all the publicity – how wrong I was! I have moved from initially questioning Marlene over the extent of the issue to strongly believing that this book is compulsory reading for every Christian leader and highly recommended for everyone who wants to eliminate this critical problem and to support the victims of abuse.

It is time that all Christians took a strong stand on this horrific issue.
Irene Voysey, journalist and author, comments:

The once-rarely reported incidents of abuse within the church, and the life-long effects on victims of abuse, had been of little concern to me until I worked with Marlene on editing this manuscript. The whole subject had simply been too unpleasant to dwell on while I was occupied with other ministry endeavours.

From the first draft of this book I became increasingly ashamed of my earlier disinterest in the topic. The Cry opened my eyes to the psychology of abuse and to how horrifyingly easy it is to sexually abuse a child. Media reports today tell all of us about the betrayal of trust and its life-long effects on victims. It is essential, and scriptural, for every one of us to learn how to protect the most vulnerable among us.

The Cry is a gift to the members of every church.
A healthcare worker in a Christian agency writes:

The Cry is a very insightful study of why abuse has gone on for so long unchecked within the church, allowed to continue even when there was clear evidence that it was happening.

Released in a timely manner, with the Royal Commission now underway, this book is for Christians and non-Christians alike. I would recommend it to anyone who is distressed by these disturbing issues. With a lot of thought-provoking material such as the psychological profile of abusers, it gives answers to our questions and hope for a safe future for children.

Society must rid itself of this terrible cloud that hangs over our confidence regarding leaders within the church.
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