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Newport’s Ocean Unity church will welcome author Connie A. Baker this Sunday, July 7, for a reading from her book, “Traumatized by Religious Abuse: Courage, Hope and Freedom for Survivors.”

Baker wrote the book to serve as a comprehensive resource for those who have experienced religious abuse, be it psychological, verbal, sexual or financial. With authenticity, openness and careful consideration of many different faith traditions, she provides a path to hope and healing.

“The #metoo and #churchtoo movements are creating conversations in popular culture as we become more aware of abuse and misused power within religious institutions,” Baker said. “Traumatic wounds suffered in a place that should represent safety, security and comfort can be some of the most confusing wounds of all.”

The book shows how religious ideas are used to manipulate followers and how fear, shame, guilt and superstition can be leveraged for control. She points out that spiritual and religious abuse is not confined to any one type of religion or cult.

Baker, who lives in Portland, is a licensed professional counselor with a Master of Arts in Counseling, a clinical supervisor, trauma recovery specialist, master’s level university instructor, conference speaker and seminar teacher.

She writes from the perspective of a professional therapist who teaches and counsels survivors, and from her own perspective from being a survivor of religious abuse.

“When I went through horrible religious abuse back in 1990, I was completely confused and without resources to get clarity and healing,” she said. “I never want anyone to go through what I did after abuse. This is the book I needed back then and didn’t have.”

Sunday’s reading will take place at 10:30 am at 407 SW 9th Street.

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