In a nationally representative survey of adults: Nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives. The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 4.5 million people trapped in forced sexual exploitation globally. What can we do to help end sexual violence?
On Wed, March 9th, Roots held a workshop with Nikole Lim, co-founder of Freely in Hope, to learn how ordinary people can join the struggle against sexual violence around the world as well as in our own communities. We learned some practical ways we can respond to people’s stories of sexual violence with compassion and love. We also heard stories of some of the women Nikole has worked with in Zambia and Kenya. Here’s a video featuring some of the women Freely in Hope works with:
Many different resources for ongoing learning and support were shared during the workshop. We wanted to share them here so we can all have access to them. If you have questions about any of this or need help getting connected to resources, feel free to contact Naomi at email@example.com.
Hotlines to Save in Your Phone:
National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline: 800-656-HOPE (4673)
National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888
Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
Breaking Free: A local nonprofit that provides direct services to victims and survivors of prostitution and sex trafficking
Minnesota Girls Are Not for Sale: MN Girls Are Not For Sale is a five-year campaign of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota to galvanize resources to end the sex trafficking of Minnesota girls.
Domestic Abuse Project: A local organization that works to stop and prevent domestic violence as well as provide services to victims. If you need help or want to get connected to resources, call: 623-874-7063
Christians for Biblical Equality: CBE exists to promote biblical justice and community by educating Christians that the Bible calls women and men to share authority equally in service and leadership in the home, church, and world. Their work contributes to ending the cycle of sexual violence by addressing the root cause for many–patriarchy rooted in the misuse of Scripture.
What To Say and What Not To Say to Survivors:
Graphics on the oppression surrounding survivors and their holistic needs:
A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity, by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
Counseling: We are thankful that Tiffany Ogden, a local therapist, was with us for the workshop. If you are a survivor of sexual violence and want someone to talk to, feel free to get in touch with Tiffany: firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-332-0926.
I am so thankful for the Roots folks who participated in this workshop. As Nikole said on Wednesday, the church has a vital role to play in ending the cycle of sexual violence. We can look to Jesus as an example of someone who stood up for vulnerable women and honored their inherent dignity and worth. One of the best things we can do as a church community to prevent sexual violence is by developing relationships with one another and creating an inclusive community. This workshop was a good starting point. I know the conversation will continue.