The blog this month has been more difficult to write. Being fully transparent, these are topics that I do not find pleasant to research or share about. That being said, it may be one of the most important blogs that I have written for the Pregnancy Resource Center. I pray it brings awareness and education to two topics that many people never talk about.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. First, it is important to realize why awareness is needed.
Know the Stats
Here’s a list of statistics about sexual assault in the U.S.:
- Nearly 1 in 5 women in the United States have experienced rape (or attempted rape) at one point in their lives. 1 in 4 women have been sexually abused.
- 1 in 67 men in the United States have experienced rape (or attempted rape) at one point in their lives. 1 in 6 men have been sexually abused.
- Every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.
- Only 5 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison (which is why it is so important to speak out if this happens to you).
- The majority of sexual assaults happen at or near the victim’s home, often by someone they know, and/or trust.
- Rape is the most under-reported crime; 63% of sexual assaults are not reported.
With staggering numbers showing that 1 in 4 women experience some form of sexual abuse and 1 in 6 men, you have absolutely met a survivor. While you may never know it, it is likely you have met many survivors, or you may even be a survivor yourself. Survivors rarely share their stories because of the shame that accompanies sexual abuse, but they should not be ashamed. No one chooses to be violated, groomed, or exploited. If only the silence would be broken, shame shattered, more healing could come. If someone trusts you enough to share their experience, it is important that they are supported, believed, and reassured that they were not at fault.
Change the Narrative
So many predators walk free among us because the victims carry too much shame to report the abuse; this is a narrative that must be changed. It is very common for children to recant their story because they don’t feel believed or reassured. The reality is, it is extremely uncommon for a child to make up a story of sexual abuse.
You may wonder, “Why is this even being discussed by the Pregnancy Resource Center?” Good question! Sexual abuse creates roots of anger, bitterness, shame, and many other negative thought patterns in adulthood that our client advocates want to assist our clients in overcoming. Our educational program, Brightcourse, has entire courses on Parenting without Shame and Unraveled Roots to help our clients break the bonds of abuse. It is only through acknowledging the abuse that true healing can begin. That is why awareness is so important!
April also happens to be Abortion Recovery Awareness Month. At the Pregnancy Resource Center, we strive to provide education and support to all women regardless of the choice that they make. Of course, we desire that all women would choose life for their baby, whether that looks like adoption or parenting. With abortion being such a prevalent choice in the US for the past fifty years, it is clear that there are many women walking among us each day that made that decision at one point.
The primary purpose for awareness of Abortion Recovery is that these women need healing. Throwing Scriptures and judgement at them will not lead them to healing. Many women do not understand the far-reaching effects of abortion over their lives and only realize it once it is too late. The abortion industry wants to sell abortion as a ‘quick fix’ when it is anything but. If you have had an abortion, the Pregnancy Resource Center will support you, pray with you, and love you. There is hope and healing after abortion.