This is a brief video for the ESV Grow! Bible, a new children’s Bible coming out in October. We can’t wait to share more!
Archive for July, 2011
What are specific ways family, friends, and pastors can help victims of sexual assault?
- Listen. Don’t be judgmental. Research has proven that the only social reactions related to better adjustment by victims were being believed and being listened to by others.
- Let them know the assault(s) was not their fault.
- Let them know they did what was necessary to prevent further harm.
- Reassure the survivor that he or she is cared for and loved.
- Be patient. Remember, it will take him/her some time to deal with the crime.
- Encourage the sexual assault victim to seek medical attention.
- Empower the victim. Don’t tell them what they should do or make decisions on their behalf, rather present the options and help them think through them.
- Encourage the survivor to talk about the assault(s) with an advocate, pastor, mental health professional, law-enforcement officer, or someone they trust.
- Let them know they do not have to manage this crisis alone.
- Remember that sexual assault victims have different needs (what may have been beneficial for one person might not work for another).
- Remember not to ask for probing questions about the assault. Probing questions can cause revictimization. Follow the victim’s lead and listen.
From Rid of My Disgrace by Justin and Lindsey Holcomb
From Rid of My Disgrace by Justin and Lindsey Holcomb
Myth: Men assault impulsively and out of biological need.
Fact: Sexual Assault is a criminal act of violence, using sex as a weapon. Men assault to express hostility and to dominate. Men assault because it allows them to express anger and to feel powerful by controlling another person. Studies show that 50% of sexual assaults are premeditated and well-planned, not impulsive, spontaneous, uncontrollable sexual acts.
Myth: Sexual Assaults are usually reported.
Fact: Sexual Assault is probably one of the most underreported crimes; researchers estimate that between 50 to 90% of sexual assault cases go unreported.
Myth: Husbands cannot sexually assault their wives.
Fact: Sexual Assault occurs whenever sexual contact is not mutual/consensual, when choice is taken away. Researchers estimate that sexual assault occurs in 10-14% of all marriages.
Myth: Most sexual assaults occur in dark alleys or to hitchhikers.
Fact: Most sexual assaults (60%) occur in a private home and the largest percentage of these assaults (38%) occurs in the victim’s home. The idea that most sexual assaults fit the “stranger-in-a-dark-alley” stereotype can lead to a false sense of security.
Myth: Sexual assault happens to careless people who are “asking for it” by the way they dress or where they are.
Fact: No one asks to be assaulted. All kinds of people, young and old, are sexually assaulted in all kinds of places and at all times.
Myth: People often lie about being sexually assaulted.
Fact: Police statistics show that the number of falsely reported sexual assaults is less than that of other crimes—2%.
Myth: If someone agrees to some degree of sexual intimacy, they want to have sexual intercourse.
Fact: Any person has the right to agree to any degree of sexual intimacy they feel comfortable with at that moment, and to not go any further if they do not wish to. A person may feel comfortable with one kind of sexual activity but not wish another—or they may decide they are not really ready for further intimacy.
Myth: It’s only sexual assault if physical violence or weapons are used.
Fact: Sexual assault is any unwanted act of a sexual nature imposed by one person upon another. Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior where consent is not freely given or obtained and is accomplished through force, intimidation, violence, coercion, manipulation, threat, deception, or abuse of authority.
Myth: The greatest danger is from a stranger.
Fact: Most sexual assaults, 80%, are committed by someone the victim knows (family member, friend, dating partner, spouse, neighbor, coach, teacher, doctor, therapist, etc.)
Myth: Men who rape other men are homosexual.
Fact: The vast majority of males who sexually assault other males (including children) are heterosexual. Men and women are assaulted for basically the same reasons: so the assailant can vent hostility and feel a sense of power. Fear of homosexuality ironically leads some men to sexually assault gay men. The motivations for same-sex assault are power and anger. Sexual orientation is not a motivation for sexual assault.
Myth: If the “victim” is aroused during the “assault” it is not really assault.
Fact: No-one ever enjoys sexual assault. In some cases a person may respond sexually during the assault, but this is purely a reflex physiological response, it does not indicate that the abuse was welcome.
Myth: Rapists are sexually unfulfilled men.
Fact: 30% of rapists are married and having sex regularly.
- I know how you feel.
- I understand.
- You’re lucky that ___________.
- It’ll take some time, but you’ll get over it.
- Tell me more details about what happened.
- I can imagine how you feel.
- Don’t worry, it’s going to be all right.
- Try to be strong.
- Out of tragedies, good things happen.
- Time heals all wounds.
- It was God’s will.
- You need to forgive and move on.
- Calm down and try to relax.
- You should get on with your life.
- I believe you.
- Thank you for telling me.
- How can I help?
- I’m glad you’re talking with me.
- I’m glad you’re safe now.
- It wasn’t your fault.
- Your reaction is not an uncommon response.
- It’s understandable you feel that way.
- You’re not going crazy; these are normal reactions.
- Things may not ever be the same, but they can get better.
- It’s OK to cry.
- I can’t imagine how terrible your experience must have been.
- I’m sorry this happened to you.
From Rid of My Disgrace by Justin and Lindsey Holcomb.