A rape victim once wrote, “I became depressed, ashamed, and so afraid that I felt I no longer wanted to live.” These same words, articulating feelings of shattered self-worth, could be uttered by the over 300,000 victims of sexual assault in the United States each year.
But there are ways to recover from the mental and emotional damage that accompanies rape. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network), “Rape trauma is similar to other types of trauma, such as losing a child or parent. That means that there is no set time for recovery — it may take several months or many years. But there is one thing many rape victims have in common: they do recover and are able to move on with their lives.”
Many victims, male and female, find significant help through psychological counseling and support groups. Others find restoration to wholeness from finding self-worth in their connection with the divine. The results of discovering this can be life-changing, as the following account shows.
The book Healing Spiritually tells the story of the woman quoted at the beginning of this article, who had been held hostage and raped. After being released, she found her whole sense of worth and identity had been crushed. In this nightmarish state, she felt she had nowhere to turn but to the divine.
She stated, “Because I felt at wits’ end so many times, I felt it was imperative to turn to God for reassurance of my reason for being. I read everything I could from the Bible…about God’s tender love for [me]. I was certain that no other help could offer complete release.”
Through her Bible study, she found comfort and a deepening conviction of God’s love for her as His own child. She realized that her spiritual identity had not been touched by violence, but was always strong, protected and fortified by divine Love.
Finding this tender relationship strengthened her resolve to continue on living and eventually brought complete freedom from recurring evil thoughts. She no longer felt victimized, but whole once again.
Whether or not you’ve been victimized, or know someone who has, like this woman, everyone can trust that we each have an inviolable spiritual identity, and that “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (Bible verse II Timothy 1:7).