1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.
Fifteen percent of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 12.
Seven percent of girls in grades 5-8 and 12% of girls in grades 9-12 said they had been sexually abused.
Three percent of boys grades 5-8 and 5% of boys in grades 9-12 said they had been sexually abused.
In 1995, local child protection service agencies identified 126,000 children who were victims of either substantiated or indicated sexual abuse.
Of these, 75% were girls.
Nearly 30% of child victims were between the age of 4 and 7.
93% of juvenile sexual assault victims know their attacker.
34.2% of attackers were family members.
58.7% were acquaintances. Only 7% of the perpetrators were strangers to the victims.
Victims of sexual assault are:
3 times more likely to suffer from depression.
6 time more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
13 times more likely to abuse alcohol.
26 times more likely to abuse drugs.
4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.
And if these statistics aren’t reason enough for you to become aware of (at the least) or become involved in the fight against sexual assault and abuse, maybe knowing that I was a child victim would help.
The issue is as old as humanity. My first novel, How Sweet the Sound, is a modern day retelling of the story of Tamar in the book of 2 Samuel in the Bible, a woman raped by her brother and left to live in desolation. In my book, however, the Tamar figure (named Comfort) learns to find hope and healing.
Share this story with someone you know today who needs hope, or even if you need to find hope, yourself.
In the throws of depression, grief, tragedy, I’ve often asked for prayers and felt unable to pray for myself.
But…maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be.
Maybe when He feels farthest we need to look closer.
Maybe God is near, but not in the ways we suspect. Not in a loud voice or a burning bush. Not in an earthquake or a storm, but rather…
…in the prayer of a friend who cries out for you.
…in the steady fall of rain on a spring garden.
…in the memory of someone who believed in you years ago.
…in the taste of warm soup on a cold winter day.
…in the curl of a dog’s wagging tail when you get home in the evening.
What about you?
What are some of the still, small ways God is with you that maybe you haven’t looked close enough to see?
In my new novel, Then Sings My Soul, the main characters (Jakob and Nel) are asking the same question. What they find you. Read their story and how they find hope. Available wherever your favorite books are sold.