Church Leaders are Called to Minister to the Sexually Broken.
The darkness of hidden sexual sin has been destroying lives since the beginning of time. The first accounting of sexual abuse and exploitation in the Bible is in Genesis 34 in the story of Dinah. We have the case of Bathsheba raped by King David, his daughter Tamar raped by her half-brother, an unnamed concubine in Judges 19, and the Samaritan Woman– All stories of women sexually abused and exploited. The crimes have not changed. The perpetrator’s motives have not changed. The victim response has not changed, and the overall approach to sexual sin and caring for those impacted by it has not really changed.
That is why illuminating the issue and rewriting this narrative is so critical in our culture. Hidden sin unaddressed destroys people. God calls out sexual sin as one of the most pervasive sins for destruction and death. It is its own kind of evil because it strikes at the core of those assaulted. It is a sin that attacks the very identity of God’s chosen image bearers-the image bearers in our churches and other faith communities.
I have long believed we cannot separate the issues of sexual abuse and exploitation. While all sexual abuse victims will not be exploited or trafficked, all trafficking victims have been sexually abused. I did not become a sexual abuse victim the first time I was raped at age 13, or an exploitation victim the first time I was sold for sex at age 15. I became a victim of both when I was four–the first time I was molested.
I am not alone. Statistics reveal that at least one in four (more likely three) women will be the victim of some sort of sexual abuse in her lifetime. The victims walk among us and the ripple effect of one sexual abuse victim who does not receive care and healing can wreak havoc. Bullying, addictions, self-harm, suicide, inappropriate sexual behavior, and other societal issues can hold sexual abuse victims captive and keep the victim cycle perpetuating in individuals, families, churches, and entire communities.
The church can offer Hope for people impacted by sexual abuse and exploitation.
How do we reconnect people impacted by sexual abuse and exploitation with Hope? First, we have to connect them with the God of the Bible. We can then help them discover who they were created to be and how they can interact with their world despite the sexual violence they have endured. Every business, church, organization, school, and community has sexual abuse survivors within their midst. Would you like to offer Hope and healing to the hurting victims among you? An Illuminate training program can make a difference in the lives of people impacted by sexual abuse and exploitation. Using personal stories and practical tools, together, we can help illuminate the issue and shine a light on the impact of sexual abuse and exploitation.
Professional Master-level training programs can provide executive-level training from a subject matter expert for Continuing Professional Education. Illuminate offers leadership training, best practices program development, and practical interactive case study training. Professional training can be presented in a simple one-hour lunch and learn session, a half-day seminar, or a full or multi-day conference.
Any Illuminate topic can be customized for your group or organization. Illuminate training programs are geared towards:
- Church leaders & staff
- Seminary student
- College students in any major
- High school & college-age small groups & clubs
- Adult women of all ages
- Sexual abuse & exploitation survivors
- Employee health & wellness programs
- Sexual abuse & exploitation perpetrators, inmates
- Community organizations
- Crisis Response Teams
- Law Enforcement
- Medical Personnel
Illuminate unapologetically follows Biblical principles for training and healing for those impacted by sexual abuse and exploitation. So, Illuminate is a Christian faith-based organization. Fully respecting the need for division between church and life in some cases, many of the programs designed for faith-based settings are also adapted to fit into universities, public schools, secular organizations, and corporate settings. If you are looking for a sexual abuse and exploitation professional training program, contact Trish to see how an Illuminate training program can be adapted to best meet the needs of your audience.
“That you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.”
Difficult topics everyone needs to hear.
Illuminate training programs help attendees understand the victim cycle and take an active part in challenging the narrative surrounding sexual abuse and exploitation in Christian culture. All topics can be customized to meet the specific needs of sacred and secular audiences.
“I had no idea that sexual abuse victims feel the way they do. I have never been exposed to this before and realize now that I need far more training.”
– Seninary Student
“I have had a hard heart towards sexual assault victims because of my own sexual sin and the cases of false reporting I have dealt with. I need to spend some time with God surrounding the things we discussed today.”
– Senior Pastor
I know I have had children in my classes who are sexually assaulted. Thank you for helping me see the signs and understand the biblical responses that might help.”
– Sunday School Teacher
“It is so big. How do we even start to help these women and children? The information in this training opened up an entirely new world to me. I want to be part of the solution.”
– Young Adult Pastor
“Not sure about all the Bible stuff, but thanks for not preaching at us. The content has changed me and I know I can do better at helping my patients.”
– Dental Hygienist
“I encounter sexual assault victims every day. I have always just shut them out and made excuses for perpetrators. You put a face to the people I serve.”
– Law Enforcement Officer
“I believe in Jesus. I attend and serve in church but these spiritual disciplines I have learned will help me be more like Jesus. I’m excited to get started.”
– Women’s Ministry Director
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