[trigger warning: rape and sexual abuse]
Rape and sexual abuse has been in the news quite a lot lately. The horrific torture, gang rape, and murder of Jyoti in India, as well as the recent attack on a Swiss tourist. There is the fall-out and legal battle emerging over alleged cover-up of alleged sexual assaults at Sovereign Grace Ministries. The ongoing legal battles of many missionary kids who suffered abuse in their boarding schools in southeast Asia. Locally, we have heard in the past couple of years absolutely staggering news about sexual assaults of teenage girls and subsequent uploading of the images to Facebook, as well as the vicious bullying and subsequent suicide of a young high schooler. And then there is the rape trial in Steubenville, Ohio which has exposed a disgusting culture of rape and entitlement.
(These are the stories I think about when people tell me that feminism isn’t really needed any longer. Oh, really?)
This week, several friends and online acquaintances of mine are engaged in some redemptive truth-telling and courageous vulnerability about rape, abuse, and the Church’s response to both.
I don’t have much to offer these discussions myself. So I am learning here. I am praying. I am angry and grieving. And I am listening.
But I want to give room on my little platform here to call attention to the voices and stories of survivors.
You are men and women of valour. And I’m standing with you.
In the meantime, friends and readers, please take a bit of time for survivors this week. Start here:
Steubenville High School football players found guilty of raping 16-year-old girl (<—- This is a MUST-read.)
Rachel Held Evans’ week-long series called Into the Light: A Series on Abuse and the Church
Spiritual Abuse Survivor Week hosted by Hannah of Wine and Marble, Shaney Irene, and Joy of Joy In This Journey.
How Not to Respond to Abuse Allegations by Rachel Held Evans
Why We’re Not Staying Silent Anymore by Elora Nicole (and all week long, Elora is sharing anonymous stories of survivors on her blog. I pray we can surround these brave survivors with our support.)
Edited to add: My friend Tamara Rice is also part of a group seeking justice through G.R.A.C.E. for abuse suffered while on the mission field. Her article here called Where is the victory? is very powerful.