Janet Heimlich Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment

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Book Description
Release date: June 21, 2011
High-profile cases such as the child sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church and "faith healing" deaths in certain fundamentalist Christian congregations have made the public aware that religion can sometimes mask deviant and harmful behavior. But the extent of the problem is far greater than most people realize. In this revealing, disturbing, and thoroughly researched book, award-winning journalist Janet Heimlich exposes a dark side of faith that most Americans do not know exists or have ignored for a long time, religious child maltreatment.

After speaking with dozens of victims, perpetrators, and experts, and reviewing a myriad of court cases and studies, Heimlich explains how religious child maltreatment happens. She then takes an in-depth look at the many forms of child maltreatment found in religious contexts, including biblically-prescribed corporal punishment and beliefs about the necessity of "breaking the wills" of children; scaring kids into faith and other types of emotional maltreatment such as spurning, isolating, and exploiting; pedophilic abuse by religious authorities and the failure of religious organizations to support the victims and punish the perpetrators; and religiously-motivated medical neglect in cases of serious health problems.

In concluding chapters, Heimlich proposes changes in improved legislation and societal attitudes to protect children from harm and emphasizes the importance of respecting children's rights.

While fully acknowledging that religion can be a source of great comfort, strength, and inspiration to many young people, Heimlich makes a compelling case that, regardless of one's religious or secular orientation, maltreatment of children under the cloak of religion can never be justified and should not be tolerated.

Janet Heimlich
About the Author
janet Heimlich Breaking Their Will janet Heimlich Breaking Their Will

As a freelance reporter for National Public Radio, Janet Heimlich won nine journalism awards, including the prestigious Katie, given by the Press Club of Dallas; the Houston Press Club's "Radio Journalist of the Year"; and the Texas Bar Association's Gavel Award. In addition to her radio work, Ms. Heimlich has written non-fiction articles for such publications as Texas Monthly, the Austin American-Statesman, the Texas Observer, Tribeza, and Edible Austin. Her book BREAKING THEIR WILL: SHEDDING LIGHT ON RELIGIOUS CHILD MALTREATMENT is the first to take an in-depth look at child abuse and neglect in the United States that is enabled by religious belief.


* Paperback: 397 pages
* Publisher: Prometheus Books (June 21, 2011)
* Language: English
* Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Child Abuse

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