I wrote this post for the blog I manage Know Your Value by Wonderfully Made ministry. I wanted to publish it to my personal blog as well, since this is such a prevalent issue in our society and we all need to be made aware of how far reaching it is.
During spring I can’t help but to think of new life. The grey, snowy, icy, and often dismal cold melts away to tulips popping up in different colors, fragrant jasmine and honeysuckle, with birds and bunnies everywhere. Spring brings a sense of freedom where I no longer stand stiff in a bunchy winter coat, but can swing my arms unhindered. It is a time of change and life, but especially with Easter and the sense of freedom in Christ that cycles in each spring.
Freedom in Christ is a powerful idea, and maybe an overly used cliché for the Christian today. But as April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, freedom in Christ is one truth that women can cling to, bringing hope to those who have experienced this trauma. Sexual Assault is a real issue. It is an issue that might carry the sting of judgments, feelings of shame, and broken hearts. This is an especially big topic for women in high school and college, as 44% of victims are under the age of 18 and 80% of victims are under the age of 30, according to RAINN Network. Women and girls who experience sexual assault are prone to abuse alcohol and drugs and suffer from depression.
This topic is not often talked about, which is why it is important for Wonderfully Made to address the seriousness of sexual assault. We want to see women living free in Christ! We want to stand behind girls to find counselors, get mentors, and the necessary support for sexual assault. Resources for you to connect with if you need to can range from seeing a counselor at your college campus, Rape Crisis Center, National Sexual Assault Hotline, and specifically for college students NotAlone.gov. At Wonderfully Made, we want to add the importance of freedom to the depths of your core and the bottom of your heart through Christ as the healer and redeemer.
If you have friends who have experienced sexual trauma, abuse, or assault, we want to encourage you to be their friend. Listen to their stories. And know that each story is important. God does not dismiss those who have been oppressed and healing can take time. If you yourself have experienced sexual assault- Know Your Value as being “fearfully and wonderfully made” and a Daughter of the King. Seek the help you need and trust that “the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” We are praying for your healing and freedom this spring.
We invite you to watch Ciara’s story of healing.