FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPRLog (Press Release) - May 10, 2013 - TORONTO, Canada -- A 58-year-old male college coach is seen anally raping a 10-year-old boy in the shower and the main witness describes it as “sexual activity.” A 31-year-old female school counsellor is arrested for sodomizing a 13-year-old boy, and the investigators report that the two had an “ongoing sexual relationship.” What’s wrong with this picture? Theo Selles, in his startling new book, The Heart of the Pearl – How to Completely Heal from “Sexual” Abuse, takes direct aim at the sexualization of abuse and provides a step by step practical program of recovery for people who have been victimized.

 Drawing on twenty years’ experience as a Family Therapist, the author makes the case that abuse and assault are NOT sexual and should not be referred to as such. In fact, a significant reason so many people who were violated experience an ongoing struggle with healing is that they have confused abuse with sex and feel guilty and ashamed, as if they were somehow participants rather than victims. Never afraid of provocation, the author challenges the reader with tough questions such as, “If you were a 10-year-old boy and a man was sticking his penis up your anus, how sexual would that be for you?”

  According to Selles, sexuality needs to be removed from abuse. No longer should we use the terms “sexual abuse” and “sexual assault.” Separating sex and assault will free abuse victims so that they may deal directly with having been raped, molested, violated, fondled, groped, etc. As the author says, “We need to call it what it is, not confuse it in the minds of the victims, which contributes to their feelings of shame and guilt and contaminates their own natural, healthy sexuality. Victims of abuse need to know that, even if their bodies responded physiologically to the abuse, they did not participate in sex. The abuser, the witnesses, the police, and the media might have thought or said that the abuse was sexual, but that doesn’t mean it was.

 The Heart of the Pearl provides a step-by-step program which shows abuse victims how to move from being victims to thrivers, completely free to love and be loved to their full potential. The author intentionally uses the term “victim” rather than the more popular term “survivor” as a challenge to readers because, as long as they allow the abuse to have an impact on their lives, they are still being victimized. Readers are encouraged not to settle for merely surviving, but to do the work that will allow them to thrive.

 Selles uses an intriguing analogy to illustrate how abuse victims harm themselves in their attempts to avoid feeling pain and shame associated with abuse: A pearl is formed through the oyster’s attempts to alleviate pain from the intrusion of a foreign object. An oyster is helpless to remove the irritant from its tender, vulnerable flesh so it does the only thing it can—it layers a smooth substance over the foreign object. The problem with this is that the attempts at avoiding pain make the object larger and more intrusive. The layering/covering cycle continues until the oyster dies. The author points out that continuing to cover up the abuse is harmful for the victim and that, in the long run, it only serves the interest of the abuser. What is needed is to delve into the heart of the pain and eliminate it for good.

 The Heart of the Pearl offers a radically different view of abuse and provides the reader with detailed instructions on how to put shame, guilt, and embarrassment onto the abuser where they belong. Abuse victims are advised to never use the terms “admit” or “confess” when they talk about what was done to them because, in fact, they did nothing wrong. Confession, admission, guilt, and responsibility belong to the abuser. 

Using case examples from his practice as well as an examination of the news coverage of the Sandusky trial, the author clearly and compassionately offers a path to complete recovery for people who have experienced being violated. Also, those who have not been abused will learn how they can support a loved one who was abused. As one reader wrote, “The Heart of the Pearl has the potential to save people’s lives.”  

Purchase the book through  Contact Theo Selles for interviews and speaking engagements at 647-686-0116.