(Photo by Selma Komisky)
WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS CONTENT FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY
A Note from the Editor: April, 2019
The Overcomer Issue
By Sarah Komisky
In 2017 something happened. Our nation got real. For the first time, the national conversation changed. We began talking and what we talked about was abuse. With the rise of the #MeToo movement, suddenly we had men and women courageously speaking up and reminding the public survivors we aren’t alone. But it also brought the issue into the light, revealing secrets hidden for far too long. Soon the new hashtag #ChurchToo emerged that enabled sexual abuse survivors to share those stories of abuse that occurred in the church. Since then, the allegations have continued. The breaking news stories have emerged. More movements have been born. We’ve become a little more educated as while as proactive. The conversation started and silence ended but we at Marked Ministry believe it’s not over.
Abuse or trauma is an umbrella term for misuse and maltreatment that could be emotional, verbal, physical, spiritual, sexual, or a mixture of types. While men are often seen as perpetrators and women as victims, this is not the true picture. Trauma affects both men and women from child to the adult.
According to some statistics:
- 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will be sexually abused in their lifetime.
- A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds.
- 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.
- 1 in 14 children have experienced emotional abuse by a parent or guardian
- 63.55% of women and 36.45% of men felt fearful or uncomfortable in a past relationship
- Nearly half of all women and men in the United States have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime (48.4% and 48.8%, respectively).
- 66.8 percent of students said they were bullied once or twice in the school year; 33 percent were bullied at least once or twice a month during the school year; 4.2 percent were bullied almost every day.
- Four out of every 10 non-churchgoing Americans (37 percent) said they avoid churches because of negative past experiences in churches or with church people.
Overall the statistics speak for themselves and something must be done, for ourselves, for our loved ones, and also for the safety and integrity of our churches where this issue is an unfortunate reality.
Speaker and Bible teacher Beth Moore who spoke at the evangelical #MeToo summit at Wheaton College this past December along with Christine Caine, and Max Lucado (all abuse survivors) said, “What if I’d heard my pastor or my teachers or any of my leaders address what I was going through, call it what it was, say that I wasn’t to blame and not to be ashamed?…What if I’d known I wasn’t alone? What if I’d known there was help?”
Jesus quoted Isaiah 61 when He first began His earthly ministry. “He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captive and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.”
Following in the footsteps of Jesus, we must do something. We must bring a message of hope to a broken and hurting world. This is why Marked Ministry is shedding light on this topic, partnering with friends, and sharing real stories of pain but also of triumph. Stories of beauty from the ash all penned by imperfect people loved by a perfect God. One we call our Healer.
So whether you yourself are a survivor or know someone who is, this MM issue is for you. Our desire at Marked Ministry is that we stand in solidarity for the victims of trauma, stand with them as we share real stories and experiences in hope that they will know they are not alone, they are loved, and that healing is possible in the name of Jesus.
But we also hope this issue can also challenge you to become aware, educated, equipped, and brave enough to take necessary action to end this epidemic and provide a safe place for others facing trauma.
In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I dedicate this note to Fighting For Me and The Warpaint Campaign who is partnering with us to a stand against abuse as we fight for ourselves and others we know who are survivors. Make a statement and take your own warpaint pic or video and proclaim that you, your loved one, or someone you know is worth fighting for their recovery! Be a warrior and tag 3 people today using the hashtags #warpaintcampaign and #worthfightingfor!
May this issue provide hope, healing, inspiration, comfort, to all who read. To all my survivors, I, along with the MM team stand with you in hope.