Dr. Sandra Glahn invited me to write this 19 part series on rape culture for her blog, Aspire2.com. All 19 parts to the series are listed below. By the end of this series, I hope that you will be able to see examples of rape culture in your daily life, understand that these cultural narratives dominate media, and take steps to help change these dynamics.
Every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. Women and girls experience sexual violence at higher rates than men and boys. Eighty-two percent of all juvenile victims are female, and ninety percent of adult rape victims are female. Sexual assault affects everyone around us, yet most of the perpetrators walk away. Out of 1,000 rapes, 995 perpetrators will not go to jail. Because of this fact and many other reasons which this series will cover, many people do not report crimes to the police. Only 230 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are even reported to authorities. That means about three out of four go unreported.*
As my now husband and I were dating, we felt shame for our sexual desires. We chose to avoid sex before marriage, but longed for “oneness.” No one told us this was normal, healthy even, and that God created us as sexual beings. The fact that we desired sex revealed that we were two healthy humans. Instead of praising God for our heathy bodies, we felt embarrassed for desiring something off limits.
Enter sexual shame into our relationship.
This was not the first time I experienced shame. I felt the need to hide my sexual desires as a young single woman. I felt shame after going too far with my high school boyfriend, and after my dad found a hickey on my neck, and after experiencing sexual abuse.
Many things can make us experience sexual shame. We feel sexual shame when… (more…)
Every 98 seconds, an American experiences sexual assault. Raped my freshman year of college, I joined the 321,500 victims (age 12 or older) who experience rape and sexual assault each year in the United States. As a victim of sexual abuse, I joined the many women who spoke out in the #MeToo movement.
After last October, when the #MeToo movement went viral, I posted on Facebook and Twitter. It felt empowering to think—others struggle too. This wasn’t the first time I posted online for the whole world to see about my abuse. I’m a blogger who often writes about my abuse. But for the first time, others joined me in speaking out. Friends I had known for years, speaking out for the first time. Friends I could connect with and share how Jesus had healed me from the emotional destruction of sexual abuse. However, #MeToo has created more than cathartic relief. (more…)
With countless unanswered questions and tears in my eyes, I surrendered my life to Jesus. I still doubted that he could heal me, but I believed I needed a Savior. On my own, I would never find healing. My heart was a wreck and I needed Jesus to give me a new one.
Maybe you, just like me, often wonder, is healing even possible? How do I find healing? Could Jesus really heal me from the pain of sexual abuse? Let me share one important truth with you… (more…)
As a victim of rape, I thought the rape was my fault. I did not fully understand that I was experiencing the result of sin until years later. No matter the reason for the rape, it still wounded me deeply. Because of my hurt and pain, I often wondered why God would allow His children to suffer.
During the months following my abuse, God felt closer than ever before. He never moved. When I cried out in agony, He was by my side. When I prayed with tears streaming down my cheeks, He was there. When I begged Him to take away the pain, He held my hand.
He was there.
Right beside me, holding my hand, and helping me find healing. He was there and He knew this would happen…
Maybe you were saved at a young age and you fear your story isn’t as powerful as others. Or maybe just like me, you struggle believing that God could use your broken past for his good. I want to share with you that no matter your story, it’s powerful.
My story began in college when Christ softened my heart through a horrible experience. God had been pursuing me all my life, but it wasn’t until college that I finally realized my need for a Savior.
During my freshman year of college, on day three, I was date raped. I became depressed, I lived in shame, and I hated my life. But God pursued me. God used rape to bring me to my knees and allow me to see my need for a Savior. That year I was beginning to experience a love that I had never felt. My freshman year of college I became a follower of Christ, but it would take years for me to start sharing my story with other women.
At the end of this post, I will share with you one example of how God used my story in a powerful way. For now, I want to dive into a passage that talks about how our stories are powerful. (more…)
I’ve been there. I was a college freshman who was lost searching for what would give me an identity. What would give me hope. What would make me feel loved. As a college student, one desires to fit in and find her place and to meet a guy.
My time in college was nothing like what I planned. I entered college thinking I was a Christian. I believed in God, but I didn’t know Him. I didn’t know His heart, His character or that He was the only one who could satisfy the longing in my heart to be loved.
Instead, I thought that hole in my heart could only be filled by a guy. (more…)