“If we could see the abuse victims around us;
if they wore signs screaming, “I am a sexual abuse victim,”
we would recognize how prevalent the damage is and jump right
in to help them. But this is an invisible pandemic, and we must shine
a light on the impact of sexual abuse and exploitation in our
Christian communities if we are to bring hope and healing
to the captives who need to be set free.”
– Trish Propson
“If we could see the abuse victims around us; if they wore signs screaming, “I am a sexual abuse victim,”we would recognize how prevalent the damage is and jump right in to help them. But this is an invisible pandemic, and we must shine a light on the impact of sexual abuse and exploitation in our Christian communities if we are to bring hope and healing to the captives who need to be set free.”
– Trish Propson
Welcome to Illuminate
Illuminate is a verb that means to make something visible or bright by shining light on it; light up; to help to clarify or explain. That is exactly what Illuminate the issue.org is designed to do. Illuminate exists to shine light on the impact of sexual abuse and exploitation in Christian communities by reaching Christian leaders who want to better understand the issue of sexual abuse and exploitation. By raising awareness, equipping leaders, and getting new conversations started, we can change the culture in Christian churches, schools, and community organizations to better minister to victims, perpetrators, and those closest to them from a Christ-centered and Biblical framework.
“He has sent me to heal those who are brokenhearted, to announce that captives will be set free and prisoners will be released. – Isaiah 61:1
Accepting the reality of sexual abuse and exploitation within the church is a real problem impacting individuals, families, and congregations.
We see the big cases like the SBC, megachurch, and Catholic church sex scandals splashed across the media. These are highly visible cases that shock us into demanding church discipline. God’s Word is clear that sexual abuse and exploitation in the church are not to be tolerated. But rarely do we see biblical responses that offer a healing path to the abused. These big cases often allow the church to take its eye off the true calling to shepherd the wounded so victims can encounter the living God and receive true hope and healing at the foot of the cross.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5
Sexual abuse and exploitation affect an estimated one in four women and one in six men in our country, although these statistics are old and probably far lower than the real numbers. Sadly, the statistics are similar in the church and other faith communities. But we know that true healing can only come from God as he transforms people impacted by sexual abuse and exploitation from the inside out.
So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36
“Sexual abuse is its own kind of evil because it strikes at the core of those assaulted, destroying their very identity as image-bearers.” –Trish Propson
Victims are not the only ones faced with the crisis of sexual abuse and exploitation. Family members, friends, caring adults, law enforcement officers, emergency response personnel, teachers, clergy, and everyday citizens may find themselves face-to-face with a victim of sexual violence. The impact of sexual abuse and exploitation on one victim can quickly destroy families, schools, organizations, churches, businesses, and entire communities. Many of the crises we currently face in our culture have roots stemming from sexual abuse including obesity, chronic health issues, illiteracy, pornography, prostitution, addiction, poverty, homelessness, mental illness, violent crimes, and suicide.
Take a look around and see if an Illuminate speaking event, training program, chaplaincy, or counseling service might be what you’re looking for to help you minister to those impacted by sexual abuse and exploitation and illuminate the issue in your faith community.
For over 20 years, Trish has been ministering under the names rekenekt, Broken or Beautiful, & Chaplain Resource. Illuminatetheissue.org is the new entity to focus ministry efforts more clearly on sexual abuse and exploitation in the church and other faith communities.
Illuminate now offers all of these ministry efforts in one place, including innovative teaching and new ways to help break the chains of sexual violence by raising awareness, impacting culture, and influencing change around this important topic. Every Illuminate program and service is strategically designed to shine light on the impact of sexual abuse and exploitation in Christian communities.
Are you looking for an engaging and interactive program to raise awareness to tackle the issue of sexual abuse and exploitation in your faith community? Do you need an impactful survivor story to influence change in your organization? Is your leadership looking for innovative practices to help people impacted by sexual abuse and exploitation find hope and healing? Illuminate trainings and events are available for:
• Christian Universities and Seminaries
• Christian Schools
• High school and college age groups
• Adult women of all ages
• Employee health & wellness programs
• Sexual abuse & exploitation survivors
• Community organizations
• Crisis Response Teams
• Law Enforcement
• Medical Personnel
• Forensic Nurses
“You were the only one that could get through the barriers to reach us. Thank you for being on-hand during our darkest hour.”
– Accident Victim
“This was so hard to hear. I never knew what victims of sexual abuse struggle with. This session gave me good tools and resources to help the hurting people in my life. I will look at them differently now.”
– Male attendee
“I never thought about sexual abuse being an issue impacting my church. I have never heard these things before. I am shocked, mad, and ready to make some changes.”
– Senior Pastor
“I tried to go to my Pastor. He didn’t want to hear about it. He referred me to a psychiatrist. That didn’t help. I know I need Jesus.”
– 34-year-old sexual abuse victim