John Saunders with Byron mayor Simon Richardson is presenting a child abuse forum tonight.
John Saunders with Byron mayor Simon Richardson is presenting a child abuse forum tonight. Contributed

Critical conversations around child abuse

IMAGINE having to deal with the legacy of having been sexually abused as a child.

Not only has John Saunders worked to overcome this hurdle, he is working hard to help others do the same.

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 (2017), which is a personal memoir about John's childhood abuse and recovery process.

John assists survivors of childhood sexual abuse through counselling, education and advocacy.

He delivers public information lectures and designs and facilitates community forums.

One such forum is to be held tonight at the Byron Community Centre between 7pm and 10pm.

Along with Byron mayor Simon Richardson, John is inviting you to be a part of a critical conversation.

They will be joined by a select panel of local professionals from the mental health, legal and spiritual sectors to discuss the impact child sexual abuse has on children; woman and men, intimate relationships, family, friends and community, impacts of government andinstitutional policies, the human spirit and healing.

A Q&A with the audience will provide a safe and supportive environment for all those attending to ask questions to John and the panel directly, or have them answered discreetly.

"(When) one in three women and one in six men are sexually abused before the age of 18...this crosses all social classes with devastating impact on human life,” he said.

The forum is also an opportunity for members of the health, legal and spiritual professions to increase their awareness about child sexual abuse, so they can better address the issue in their professional practices.

On the panel will be barrister Frank Coorey, Heartfelt House CEO Kate Loubet and registered psychologist Elaine Pollen.


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