Author’s Bio

Author M Dolon HickmonFather, Husband, Author

M Dolon Hickmon is a child abuse survivor, a writer and an anti-abuse activist. He married his wife in 2007, and they have one daughter together.  Mr. Hickmon dedicates his time and skills to advocating on behalf of mistreated children, often in cooperation with children’s rights groups and other advocates. His writing has been amplified on news websites including AlterNet, Salon, and via The Spiritual Abuse Survivor’s Blog Network, and his opinions have appeared in newspapers such as The Scotsman, The South Lake Press, The Post-Searchlight and the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Mr. Hickmon’s original research continues to be cited by many and  was included in a 2010 civil rights presentation to a committee of the US Congress. (see footnote 16.) His hobbies include pleasure reading, songwriting, and playing acoustic and electric guitar.

 

Published Biographical Information

Mr. Hickmon has shared his personal story of surviving and overcoming religiously motivated child maltreatment in articles and interviews seen and heard around the world. Below are a selection of publicly available information about the author of 13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession.

My Father Repented of “Christian Spanking” Too Late

My father’s old-fashioned discipline was rooted in the advice and example of his community, his parents, and his church.

For me, the photos of the injuries Adrian Peterson inflicted on his young son stirred a particularly difficult memory: In it, I stand at the foot of my parent’s bed, frail and blond. Behind me, my father utters yet another masculine grunt of exertion. The belt licks my bare skin, and the pain is alarmingly severe — something of a surprise for a preschooler who’d grown accustomed to losing count after forty lashes. The edge of the belt rips a gash, and a slick of wetness forms on my back. I plead: “Daddy, stop! I’m bleeding!”  He goes on chopping, not missing a beat. With each lash, I grow more certain that this is the time that he will go on long enough to kill me. Read the rest of this article by M Dolon Hickmon, Author of 13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession at OnFaith.

 

Breaking The Generational Cycle of Child Abuse

by M Dolon Hickmon

“How do you approach parenting in order to not replicate the abusive patterns of your past?”

This question was most recently posed to me by philosopher and Patheos blogger Dan Fincke, but as a father, who is also a survivor of- and an outspoken campaigner against religiously motivated child maltreatment, it’s a question that I am often asked. Or, rather, it’s the question that polite people should ask. Unfortunately, the sentiment is more often presented, not as an inquiry, but as a seemingly sympathetic statement: “You must feel very strongly about protecting your daughter from the horrors of your childhood.” 

The constraints of time usually prevent me from properly answering. 

I don’t want my daughter or any human being to suffer maltreatment. But the unspoken assumption that underlies such questions and statements is that survivors’ pasts exert an invisible pull that they must continually struggle against, lest they fall into the trap of behaving like their abusers. 

As a father, I have never struggled – not even a little bit – with that. 

Indoctrinate my daughter with the scary, demeaning religion of my childhood? Wouldn’t even consider it. Whip my preschooler until she pleads to heaven for mercy? Don’t even want to think about it. Allow my daughter to witness her parents verbally and physically abusing one another? Never going to happen. 

And that is why this essay is not about how I fight the undertow of my past, but rather about why I don’t have to…

Read the rest of this article by M Dolon Hickmon, Author of 13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession at Camels with Hammers.

 

INTERVIEW: MENTAL ILLNESS AND THE LOCAL CHURCH

MDOLONHICKMON600x800Seattle Washington, March 18, 2014 – M Dolon Hickmon went on the air with Doug Bursch of AM 820, to discuss a research study published in volume 12(2) of the Journal of Religion, Disability & Health.

Written by Matthew S. Stanford PhD and Kandace R McAlister, the study is entitled “Perceptions of Serious Mental Illness in the Local Church”.  Participants were self-identified, mentally-ill Christians who responded to an online survey. Results included the following observations:

* 41% reported that someone at their church had suggested that they did not have a mental illness, even though a mental health professional had diagnosed them with one.

*28.2% reported that someone suggested that they stop taking psychiatric medication.

*36.5% reported that they had been told their mental illness was a result of personal sin.

*34.1% reported that they had been told that their mental illness was a result of demonic involvement.

During the second segment of the radio program (you can listen below) M Dolon Hickmon and host Doug Bursch examined the biological mechanisms of trauma to understand why counseling based on the sin and forgiveness model fails to give relief to many child abuse survivors.

Listen to the interview with M Dolon Hickmon, Author of 13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession via 1324book.com

 

A Survivor’s Conversation with Christianity

A Survivor’s Conversation with Christianity

[An earlier version of this article appeared on the website No Longer Quivering]

SIX years ago I sent a letter to the husband-and-wife authors of a well-known Christian parenting guide. Criticized for its emphasis on corporal punishment and for being circumstantially linked to at least two child-abuse deaths, their book has nevertheless attracted a faithful following. As a result of their book’s polarizing effect, the guide’s authors have for many years featured in public spanking debates.

When I wrote to these authors, I was newly reconverted to the faith of my childhood. It was to be my second go-around with Christianity. The first ended at the age of seven, when I realized that my prayers were doing nothing to keep my abuser from terrorizing my brother and me with the belt. As a second-grader, I struggled to understand how a living God could be so utterly disinterested. I resolved the dilemma by blaming myself. By puberty, I was privately thinking of myself as an atheist.

Still, when I contacted the married authors through a form on their ministry’s website, I was Christian. How that came to be was complicated. Fittingly enough, the story began with an act of God.

Read the rest of this article by M Dolon Hickmon, Author of 13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession at The Freethinker