During the last few months, we’ve been subjected to numerous reminders of how women are mistreated, undervalued and sexually assaulted.
Whether or not you support one political candidate or the other, the truth is still a reality – no matter who is guilty of the crime.
Women are being disrespected, verbally and emotionally abused and sexually assaulted – in every country every day.
The next time you’re in a group of people, look around at the women.
At least 25% of them have been sexually assaulted or will be during their lifetimes. One out of four were sexually abused and/or traumatized as children, according to Child Safe Education.
One out of four women will be sexually assaulted and/or raped as adults, but only one out of ten will ever tell anyone.
A majority of these women will struggle through depression and low self-esteem while every one of them will experience some type of grieving behaviors, whether or not they recognize them. They may struggle with insomnia, binge eating and/or anorexia, cutting, the loss of relationships, the inability to trust or even to make simple decisions.
One of the most debilitating results of sexual assault is the sense of shame that torments and haunts. These women have been told the lie that the rape was their fault. “You dressed too provocatively. You wanted it. You asked for it. You deserved it.”
Shame began in the Garden of Eden when Adam pointed to Eve and told God, “This woman you gave me…she did it.” Adam blamed and shamed Eve for the original sin, then refused to admit his own failure.
The stats are daunting and we believe the percentages are actually higher, because some women will never report rape or childhood abuse. Some women are hiding their memories so deep, they don’t even remember the trauma.
Then one day something triggers the memory and life completely falls apart.
At GateWay of Hope, we work to help women identify the truth, face the pain and work through it. But as much as we respect women and want to help them, someone else loves them even more.
In the book of Lamentations from the Bible, the prophet Jeremiah writes, “My eyes flow with rivers of tears at the destruction of my people. My tears will pour out in a ceaseless stream until the Lord looks down from heaven and sees us. My heart is grieved when I see what has happened to the women of the city” (Lamentations 3:48-51 Good News Translation).
These verses underscore the fact that God loves women and he is grieved with what is happening to them.
He cries with each little girl who is abused, and he takes that assault seriously. Someday he will judge those who have injured his precious daughters.
He empathizes with women who struggle through depression and grief because he knows how difficult it is to feel alone, rejected and sad.
He comforts women who have been assaulted by the people they trusted most. He promises to be their eternal husband and maker as well as taking special care of their children.
God grieves over his daughters because he knows how wonderful they are. He planted within them brave giftings that have not been respected, tender hearts that have been bruised and strong minds that have been tormented.
He cares. He grieves and he promises to make it right. “Your innocence will be clear to everyone. God will vindicate you with the blazing light of justice shining down as from the noonday sun” (Psalm 37:6 The Living Bible).
Someday, justice will be complete. God will judge those who have hurt his daughters and he will bring wholeness and healing to all the women he so dearly loves.
In the meantime, he is available and eager to comfort his daughters.
At GateWay of Hope, we help women embrace that truth and show them how to trust the God who grieves for women.
©2016 GateWay of Hope – Hope, Healing and Wholeness for Women