Hope for Victims of Sexual Assault

If you were sexually abused as a child, you’re not alone. Read Maureen’s story, or for a male perspective, read Shane’s story.

Tonia was 15 years old the first time she was raped. She went to swim in an outdoor pool. There was another family there and she felt safe enough. But when the family went back to their room it was just her and this man and he had ideas that had not crossed her mind. He followed her up to her room, “Just to make sure she was okay.” And then he followed her inside. Afterwards he ran a bath for her and that’s where they found her the next morning, sitting in a tub full of cold water.

When she was 21 it happened again. She thought she was going out to watch movies with her boyfriend and a few friends. She had no idea that she was going to be the “entertainment” that night.

It has taken years for Tonia to work through the shame and guilt of what happened to her, even though what happened was NOT her fault. She had to learn to forgive herself and that started with understanding that she is not defined by what happened to her. In time she came to understand that she is worthy of love and that God loves her very much.

God loves you too. We were made for relationship: not just with other people, but with God. He created us for himself–but we were selfish and proud, turning our backs on God when we thought we could handle life on our own, and that sin separates us from God. But God sent his only son Jesus to redeem us. We have nothing to offer him, but he came to offer us a way out of our sin and back into a close relationship with God.

“…because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, ‘Abba, Father.’” (Galatians 4:6, NLT)

Just as you are longing to be whole again, God is longing to call you ‘precious son’, ‘beloved daughter’. The way to that relationship is through Jesus Christ, his divine son. Jesus is offering each of us the rare, beautiful feeling of loving adoption.

He has made the way simple.

1. Tell God that you are sorry for your sins, that you don’t want to turn your back on Him any longer.
2. Affirm that Jesus died to pay the consequences of your selfishness.
3. Acknowledge that Jesus was raised to life and offers that eternal, abundant life to you too, and ask God to take control of your life, leading you into his goodness.

If this sounds like something you want, then you can use this prayer or your own words to give your life to God and become a true member of his family:

God, I long to know you. I want to know your unconditional love. I’m sorry for hurting others with my words and actions. I’m sorry for turning away from you and trying to find my own way when You know what is best for me. Thank you for sending your son Jesus to die for my sins. I want to be a part of your family, to call you ‘Father’. Please show me how to lay down my pride and live for you. Amen.

Did this prayer express the desires of your heart? If you just prayed it, you might be wondering, ‘What’s next?” We would like to connect with you. Please click the button below.

If you have been deeply wounded or assaulted and need someone to talk to, we’re here to help. Use this form to request a mentor and you’ll hear back, usually within a couple of days. (All mentoring is done by email and is free and confidential.)

11 Responses to “Hope for Victims of Sexual Assault”

  • Elkay says:

    Victoria, there are no words to tell how very sorry everyone who reads about your experience and how much I/we wish it had never happened. It is just so totally wrong for others to treat you as they have but fortunately as the article says, “you are not defined by what happened to you.”

    Although no one knows why God allows tragic events like yours, it has been said that
    when trials put us on public display, we can turn the tables on Satan’s attempt to deface God’s glory by a biblical response to our troubles and demonstrate clearly God’s worthiness to be worshiped. The way you are using your experience to help others who have gone through this nightmare shouts loudly that you are responding in a caring and loving manner and growing in Christ-likeness. James 1:2–4 states that we should count it all joy, knowing that the process will contribute to a life that is becoming “mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Thank you, Victoria, for your efforts to help others.

    “Heavenly Father, we don’t fully understand what is behind so many tragic events in our lives but we know You will never leave or forsake us. Victoria’s life has been marred by others who have abused and hurt her and so we come to Your throne of grace to find healing from these wrongs. We thank You for the grace You have given her so that she can work to help others in similar circumstances and we ask that You bless her efforts. We also ask that You form a hedge of protection about her so that she is never abused again by evil deeds of others. This i sour prayer in Jesus’ holy and powerful name. Amen.”

  • To all victims says:

    I was molested from age 3-8, then raped st 12 by 6 men. Then taped 14. Then raped at 21. Why we go through this? I never understood, but i have used my bab experience, to help other child who have went through this nightmare.
    God bless all
    Victoria

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Brian, Let me clarify your comment: you were sexually assaulted as an 11 year old? You just recently reported that abuse at the age of 50? Who did you report that to? What have they told you to do? In many places there are limits of how many years can pass for action to be taken on a revelation like yours. Do you know if that is the case where you live?

  • Brian says:

    You say if ther is a perpatrator who commits a crime a person 18 or older sex assaulting a ckild to settle between them the bible says obey the law the law says to report a crime as in this case if it isnt dealt with harshly it continues on was a 11 year old victom a few times by the same guy i thot i was the only one now i expose it at 50 and find out he had others the law says a crime must be dealt with accordingly help me out

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Donisha, I am so sorry that you were further hurt by your ex-boyfriend. There is a risk of being open with people because you never know what hurt they are dealing with from their past and how your revelation will impact them. But it is better that you find out sooner than later so that you can either work through that with him or step away from the relationship.

    It is also important to remember that everybody is broken to some degree and no one is going to react perfectly to your hurt, just like you are not going to react perfectly to their hurt. That’s why our primary source of hope, love and security needs to be in Jesus. He is perfect and He will always react perfectly to our hurt. He will also lead our response to other people’s hurts and guide our relationships. Jesus said that our love for other people will be a distinguishing characteristic of those who follow Him (John 13:35). Jesus knows that this world is full of broken people who will hurt us, which means that we will face trouble in life, no matter what. But He gives us hope because He has overcome the world and will lead us to know how to respond no matter what others might do to us (John 16:33).

    I am glad that you are looking to Jesus for help and have prayed to know Him better. Let me encourage you to go to theLife.com and join in on the community there that is focused on following Jesus in every part of their life. You will find people who will walk with you and help point you to Jesus, you will find teaching and challenges to help you learn to trust Him more and more. A good place to start is http://thelife.com/series/knowing-jesus-personally, a 4 part series that will help you to understand what a life with Jesus is all about. Let me know what you think of it.

    Lord God, I pray for Donisha and ask that as she has prayed to know you better that You would help her to see the ways You are revealing Yourself to her. Bring godly people into her life who will point her to You and who will walk with her on this spiritual journey. I pray that You would heal the hurt that she has had for so long and free her from the weight of those memories. Amen.

  • Donisha says:

    I understand you Claire and i have let go but it’s hard to have a loving relationship with another man..i tried but when they hurt me i feel raped all over again. ..even if the hurt they caused wasn’t sexually. ..i opened up to my ex about what happened to me he said he understands and he had my back and i would never have to worry about him hurting me in anyway. ..i feel like after that he changed. ..i became weak to him i wasn’t as strong as he thought. .he talked to me like i was trash that he didn’t mind throwing away. ..i left him but gee i thought by sharing that with him he’d be a lil more compassionate towards me but absolutely not …im hurt because i told him at least let’s not be mean and be friends be he continues his harshness. ..don’t get me wrong we had other issues before i told him about my rape but i thought if he knew where my pain was coming from that he would try to meet me halfway. ..i prayed this prayer and im trying please give me some advice and scriptures. ..thanks

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Christy, I’m not sure where you’re getting the sense that we would ever say that rape is the victim’s fault. If you re-read my comment from earlier I was talking about being cleansed, not forgiven, but CLEANSE, from the things that other people have done to us. I think you’d agree that when a person is raped he or she carries a wound from that, often accompanied by a huge blow to self-esteem and the way the person sees themselves. God comes in and says, I see you as a whole an undamaged person, let me help you in the work of restoring yourself. I’m genuinely not sure how you’re interpreting that as saying that the victim needs to be forgiven for something that happened to them. I can promise you that is NOT what I am saying.

  • Esther Esther says:

    In Matthew 6:12 It is written that ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors’. Just as God forgives us, we too ought to forgive those that offend us. Better still, for healing to be a complete process, we need to also forgive ourselves so that we rid ourselves of the guilt and unforgiveness.

  • Christy says:

    where in the bible does it say that? I don’t need to be forgiven for somebody else’s sin. Only he is responsible for what he did.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Christy,

    We’re definitely NOT saying that rape is EVER the victim’s fault. That’s really important. There is a concept in the Bible that talks about how God’s forgiveness cleanses us not just from the things we’ve done but from the things that other have done to us. Tragically, rape happens to people from all walks of life, all stations, all faiths, even all ages.

  • Christy says:

    So what about somebody that already has a relationship with God? Saying that God will forgive you of your sin may as well be saying that the rape was the victims fault, when it wasn’t. That’s messed up!

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