The Dinah Project
Churches respond to sexual violence
Sexual violence is rarely discussed in church, despite the rising incidents of rape, sexual assault, molestation and incest. The Dinah Project, which gets its name from Genesis 34 – the rape of Dinah, Jacob’s daughter – was borne out of the author’s decision to start healing through the church after being raped. What resulted is this book and an entire ministry program to assist churches in responding to sexual violence.
The Dinah Project describes programmatic ways in which a local church can respond to the crisis of sexual violence in the community. By sharing the lessons of one church, this book proposes detailed methods for instituting a church program. The Dinah Project provides church activities ranging from providing resources for members to ways to organize a full-time church ministry, and many stages in between. Topics include planning worship services, conducting community education workshops, working with local agencies, establishing a board of directors and holding therapy groups at the church. With checklists, forms and detailed explanations, this user-friendly book guides any interested individual from basic information about sexual violence to tips on budgeting for programs.
“Combining personal testimony with theological sensitivity, Coleman offers psychological, pastoral, and – most important – practical responses to sexual violence. Her guidelines offer not only a vision of a compassionate G-d but also the means for creating a restorative community. This book, and the Dinah project it describes, should find a home in every church.”
Amy-Jill Levine, Ph.D.
E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies
Director, Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender and Sexuality
Vanderbilt Divinity School and Graduate Department of Religion
“There are many volumes of scholarly inquiries into the treatment of abusers and those who have been abused. There are volumes of inspiration books conveying the ‘stories’ of persons who have been harmed by sexual violence. There are few resources available for those interested in organizing a positive and effective response to the epidemic of violence in our culture. Rev. Coleman has addressed that need in a most helpful way.”
Gene Kraus, Parish Life and Ministry Team
Office of Church Life and Leadership, United Church of Christ
“I have been counseling victims of sexual violence for 10 years and Ms. Coleman has addressed this issues surrounding the spiritual part of healing that is so difficult for each survivor. Ms. Coleman’s book is so hopeful and promising to the church community. She offers a wonderful array of materials to offer any church the tools to get started. Her story is powerful and offers hope to survivors everywhere.”
Char Creson, Ed.D.
Clinical Therapist, Rape and Sexual Abuse Center of Middle Tennessee
“Thanks to Monica Coleman, church folks have no more excuses for failing to deal with sexual violence! Church leaders and parishioners alike have been socialized with the same rape myths and misinformation as the rest of our communities. There is no better starting point than this book for learning to minister to the survivors sure to be found in any congregation. Rev. Coleman’s trailblazing plan for addressing sexual assault and abuse in our churches has been laid out in a concise, easy-to-follow format, in order to be a blessing to faith communities everywhere.”
Lori S. Robinson
Author, I Will Survive: The African-American Guide to Healing from Sexual Assault and Abuse
“Monica Coleman has gifted the church with an invaluable spiritual resource that provides the church with a theology, language, blueprint, and practical ministry plan to help the church say to persons who have suffered from sexual violence that their tears are understood.”
Rev. Frank A. Thomas
Pastor, Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, Memphis, TN
Author, They Like to Never Quit Praisin’ God: The Role of Celebration in Preaching, What’s Love Got To Do With It? Love, Power, Sex and God and Spiritual Maturity: Preserving Congregational Health and Balance
Co-Executive Editor, The African American Pulpit