Statistics aren’t convincing enough? You know a Survivor. #SAAM2015 Book Giveaway

 

 Did you know:

  • 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.

I’m here to tell you there’s hope.

I’m here to tell you there’s healing.

Statistics become survivors.

With your help.

April is Sexual Assault And Abuse Awareness Month. Visit RAINN or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center for more information. 

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 support of Sexual Assault and Abuse Awareness Month, I’m giving away a SIGNED COPY of How Sweet the Sound. Enter your name and a comment below for your chance to win. I’ll announce winners via Twitter and my Facebook Author Page Friday.

References available at https://rainn.org/get-information/statistics/sexual-assault-victims

When hard is a place you find yourself.

Hard.

It’s not just an adjective anymore.

Hard is a place.

Maybe you know it…icy stone walls shadowed by unsought shame, the front door locked by defeat, windows draped by misunderstanding and hopelessness.

Too many strain in the hard unaware that even a crack of the window lets in light, air, a current of hope. We long for someone to burst through the front door for us, a sword-wielding Savior to cut back the vines and overgrowth surrounding our foundations, a friend who’ll sit with us until the electricity comes on again and the furnace of truth warms our toes.

Hard is a place, yes.

But hard is also a season.

Like winter, we’re forced to hunker down in the silence and be still while the snow falls white and gentle around us.

And soon, like the Morning Sun, a Savior will come.

But He will knock first.

And spring and the loose, cool earth will be fertile once again.

*****

crushed

*****

Excerpts from 2 Corinthians 4

“Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods … We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this … For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” … And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

About that burden on your back…

Do you carry a heavy load today?

Shame, a swollen burden pressing against your broken heart?

Be still.

Let go.

Let Abba love you.

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