Rescued and Restored
by June Hunt
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”
A. What Is Rape?
• Rape is sexual intercourse by threat, force or deception.
• The Latin word for rape is rapere, which means “to seize.”
B. What Is Statutory Rape?
• Statutory rape is sexual intercourse with a female or male under the legal age of consent, with or without force.
• The legal age of consent varies per state.
• Consent is not an issue.
C. What Is Aggravated Sexual Assault?
• Aggravated sexual assault is a legal term used in the prosecution of a statutory rape offense.
• The term aggravated also applies to the visible display of a weapon or the threat of death or kidnapping to anyone above statutory age.
“Women secretly want to be raped.”
No one wants to be a victim of a violent, criminal act. No one wants to be violated either emotionally or sexually by another person.
D. What Is Stranger Rape?
• Stranger rape is forced sexual intercourse by one who is unknown to the victim.
“Provocative women cause rape.”
No one causes one person to rape another. A person who appears vulnerable is the most probable victim. Regardless of how a person dresses or presents herself, no one deserves to be raped. The ultimate responsibility lies on the rapist, not on the victim.
E. What Is Mate Rape?
• Mate rape or spousal rape is defined as forced sexual relations by a husband.
• Many states exempt a husband from prosecution for the rape of his wife with whom he is currently living.
“A wife must be subject to sexual relations at any time with her husband. The Bible says wives are not to deprive their husbands sexually.”
“The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.” (1 Corinthians 7:4)
A wife is not a piece of property. Sexual expression was designed by God to be an act of love, not an act of violence. Forced sex is not motivated by love.
“Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” (Colossians 3:19)
F. What Is Acquaintance Rape?
• Over half of the rapes committed are by someone known to the victim (boyfriend, relative, coworker, neighbor, friend, spouse). These rapes are the most difficult to convince a victim to report.
— Date Rape
Three Stage Setup
|• Invades victim’s space
|• Tries not to be bothered
|• Pushes against victim’s sensitivity
|• Becomes accustomed to the intrusion
|• Gets victim alone
|• Feels need to be polite
|—remains passive and is ultimately raped
Q “I care about a young woman who said she was a victim of date rape, yet she was not aware of being raped. Is that even possible?”
Unfortunately, yes—especially with the increased availability of date rape drugs. For example, a very small amount of GHB (gamma hydroxy butyrate) slipped into a beverage quickly impairs a woman to such an extent that she loses the ability to resist unwanted sex. Usually losing total consciousness, she has no control of her body or mind; therefore she becomes powerless to protect herself against such an attack. Once under the influence of what is called “liquid ecstasy,” she becomes a prime target for date rape, which for some literally leads to death. The Bible gives this warning,
“A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but in his heart he harbors deceit. Though his speech is charming, do not believe him.” (Proverbs 26:24–25)
Q “What can I do to prevent someone from slipping me a date rape drug?”
Someone may plan to immobilize you with a date rape drug by putting it into your beverage without your knowledge. However, if you are discerning, you can avoid being caught in a covert sexual trap by following three basic precautions.
• Be observant to make sure the beverage handed you was poured from the original container.
• Do not drink a beverage handed to you by a stranger. Never leave your drink unattended. If you need to leave your table and don’t have someone you trust to watch your drink, order a new one when you get back.
• Do not date a man unless you or someone you respect can attest to his character.
“My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight.” (Proverbs 3:21)
A. Characteristics of an Acquaintance Rapist
Many rape victims live in fear of being raped again. Realize that those who appear most vulnerable are the most likely to be assaulted. Therefore, being aware of those around you can be your greatest protection. If someone displays a number of the following characteristics, you would be wise to avoid being in a place where he could take advantage of you.
• Does he …
— appear emotionally immature?
— ask intrusive questions about your life?
— act aggressive or too forward?
— use the “blame game” to make you feel guilty?
— view women as adversaries?
— command your attention when you are with others?
— see women as conquests?
— demand your compliance when you say no?
— lack empathy toward others?
— exhibit seething or short-tempered anger?
— lack social consciousness?
— project a macho message about himself?
— boast about his physical prowess?
— interject “we” words to include himself?
— include himself in your activities?
— speak negatively about women in general?
— behave jealously toward you?
— seek to separate you from your friends?
— act possessive of you?
— use his charm to lower your defenses?
— invade your personal space?
— ignore your stated boundaries?
— accuse you of being too uptight?
— try to touch you inappropriately?
“The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.”
B. The Three Stages to Recovery
#1 The Trauma Stage
For approximately two days to two weeks, the victim is in a crisis.
“I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
|—memory loss, sleeplessness
|—inability to eat, crying
|—severe muscle tension, fatigue
#2 The Teetering Stage
For a year or longer, perhaps until death, the victim will seesaw up and down, sometimes suppressing emotions and sometimes surfacing emotions.
“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”
• Fears of the Victim …
— being alone
— reactions of loved ones: rejection, abandonment
— being followed
— one’s ability to judge character
— strange places
— the dark
— venereal disease, AIDS
— the rape site
— intimacy with males
Q “How can I go on with my life since I’ve been raped? God seems far away.”
We are all impacted by our past, but God doesn’t want us impaired by our past. Rape is a sin, and God hates sin. So God hates what has happened to you. He knows your heart has been traumatized. It’s natural for your heart to feel numb. The Lord is not far away from you.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)
#3 The Trusting Stage
• The victim views the incident with a balanced perspective.
— Not trusting everyone, but selecting trustworthy friends
— Not trusting all circumstances, but trusting God, who is over all circumstances
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Q “How can I ever trust any man again after having been raped?”
Be aware of a tendency that many people experience after trauma: they “over generalize.” For you, that means ascribing one man’s sin to all men. There are godly men as well as ungodly men, just as there are godly women and ungodly women.
Would you consider the apostle Paul untrustworthy? And what about Joseph, who fled when his boss’ wife sought to seduce him—do you consider him untrustworthy? Many trustworthy men today have followed in the footsteps of Job, making a covenant before God to remain sexually pure.
“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.” (Job 31:1)
Q “What do I do when my wife, who was raped several years ago, continues to withdraw from me sexually? She says she even hates me at times.”
If you were on a running team and then you broke your leg, you would not expect to run like you did before. Likewise, your wife has been broken and the “break” may not have been set correctly. Thus, she remains emotionally crippled and unable to respond to you as she did before. Healing requires time and the correct setting.
Ask what she needs from you and what she doesn’t need from you, and then respond with compassion. Ask her to forgive you for any insensitivity on your part and to help you understand what you do that elicits feelings of hatred in her toward you. Instead of focusing on what she is withholding from you, see her as a broken creation of God whose heart needs healing.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)
III. Causes of Rape
A. Types of Rapists
|• Revenge rapist
|motivated by desire to punish
|• Assault rapist
|motivated by desire to punish
|• Power rapist
|motivated by a desire to control
|• Erotic rapist
|motivated by desire to experience increasingly perverted acts as seen in pornography
B. Cultural Causes
Rape is a crime of violence that is reported every six minutes in the United States.
• Decline of moral values
• Disrespect for the dignity of women
• Degrading pornography
• Delinquency of the legal system to prosecute the violators and protect future victims
• Decision of victims not to report rape
C. Root Cause
“I can exert power and control by having sex with anyone I choose because I have a need to feel significant.”
Sexual expression was created by God as a picture of intimacy and relationship. My significance is based on my personal relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine … Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life.’ ” (Isaiah 43:1, 4)
(Read also 2 Corinthians 5:17–21.)
IV. Steps To Solution
A. Key Verse to Memorize
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
B. Key Passage to Read and Reread
C. ABC’s of Response to Rape
Assure your own safety. (Read Psalm 23.)
• Breathe deeply.
• Repeat positive self-talk.
“The Lord is my shepherd.… I will fear no evil.” (Psalm 23:1, 4)
• Wrap yourself in a warm blanket.
Begin a support system of help.
• Report incident to the police. (In order to preserve physical evidence, do not wash or shower.)
• Ask a friend to take you for medical care to check for injuries and/or venereal diseases.
• Seek legal advice to learn the rights of rape victims.
“Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.” (Proverbs 23:12)
Call on others for emotional support.
• Call someone you trust.
• Call a rape crisis center.
• Seek professional counseling.
“There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)
Q “What can I do on behalf of my teenage daughter who was raped by an older student at school? The school principal refuses to meet with me, and the police are barely responding.”
Since the principal is so unresponsive, you could appeal to a higher authority and then keep the incident constantly before the authorities until appropriate action is taken. Consider these other avenues of appeal.
• Contact the President of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). Advocate before the school board and PTA for rape prevention to be addressed within the school. If you know a law enforcement officer, ask for advice as to how to proceed. Contact your local newspaper and television station if all else fails, appealing to them to report the situation. Make sure these agencies agree to keep your daughter’s identity confidential.
• Contact an attorney to be your advocate. Investigate the school’s liability if the school takes no action against the boy. What happens if he rapes another student?
Note that when the apostle Paul was being treated unjustly by the Jewish Court, he appealed to Caesar’s Court. Thus, appealing to a higher authority is indeed biblical.
“I have not done any wrong to the Jews.… I appeal to Caesar!” (Acts 25:10–11)
Tell Yourself the Truth
Perhaps more than any other group of people, rape victims experience an ongoing battle and frequent defeat because of the lies they believe—lies about themselves, lies about the future, lies about God. The best way to combat the lies is to continually tell yourself the truth. Assess the lies you have believed, then every single day simply determine that you will believe God’s truth.
“The truth will set you free.”
“I just can’t get through this.”
The Lord, your God, will walk with you all the way through to the end.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:2)
“I don’t think I’ll ever quit crying.”
In time, your weeping will wane, and joy will return to your heart.
“Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)
“I will always feel dirty.”
A dirty-minded person did something despicable to you, but you are not dirty! Every day, claim your true identity in Christ—you are holy and without blemish.
“Now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.” (Colossians 1:22)
“No good could ever come out of this.”
God promises that what others do for evil, He will use for good. In time, you will see this promise lived out in your life.
“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
“I feel totally alone. God’s not even here with me.”
When you allow Christ inside your heart, you are never alone. As you wake up every morning, repeat this passage to God,
“When I am awake, I am still with you.” (Psalm 139:18)
“No one will want to marry me.”
Until the Lord brings a husband into your life, He promises to be your husband, your provider, your protector.
“For your Maker is your husband—the Lord Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.” (Isaiah 54:5)
“I will never want sexual intimacy. My memories are too painful.”
The Lord is able to heal all emotional hurt, no matter how severe the memories.
“Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.” (Jeremiah 17:14)
“I don’t have the strength to go on.”
When you don’t have strength to live from day to day, the Lord Jesus will give you His strength.
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) (Read Isaiah 40:28–31.)
“My life is now too damaged to ever be used by God.”
You can now have compassion for those who have experienced the same trauma.
You can now reach out with true care and compassion.
“Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:4)
“I will always be consumed by fear.”
All people experience fear when their lives are truly in danger; that is normal. But the Lord will deliver you from excessive fear because of His presence within you.
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
“I have no hope for the future.”
Because God is a God of hope, your future is safe in His hands.
“ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ” (Jeremiah 29:11)
D. The Sacrifice of Suffering
Dr. Helen Roseveare is no stranger to terror. This medical missionary lived in the Congo for over 12 years. Then one day she experienced the trauma of her life. During a time of severe disunity between the blacks and the whites, a civil uprising erupted.
Why? Oh God, why? The why in life is the most common question of all … especially during a time of terror.
During a 10 week siege, thousands of black natives were butchered. As a result, the whites became enemies of the blacks, and 27 missionaries were slaughtered. The remaining missionaries were taken captive, and on one horrific night Dr. Helen Roseveare was flung to the ground, kicked, beaten and raped; her teeth broken, her ribs bruised, her mouth and her nose severely gashed.
On the night of her rape, she couldn’t understand why all this was happening to her. She literally wanted to die because she knew the brutality that fellow missionaries had experienced. Yet God quietly spoke to her, “Could you thank Me for trusting you with this experience even if I never tell you why?”
Helen thought, God, I thank You. I haven’t a clue why or how, but I’ll take it from You that You know what You’re doing, that You can never make a mistake. You cannot fail. Your promise must stand true. So, God I’ll thank You for trusting me with this even though I haven’t any idea how anybody could ever be helped by it.
Soon afterward, Helen received the death sentence along with the other missionaries. As they were herded away in a group, she had to lean against others to walk because her body had been so brutalized.
When the leader of the rebels spotted her, he asked, “Who made you in that mess?”
She answered, “One of your lot.”
The rebel leader responded, “You’re a liar.”
She said, “I’ll name him for you.”
So, the rebel leader called a People’s Court. However, before they assembled he instructed the tribesmen to yell, “She’s a liar.… She’s a liar!” after her testimony.
The time came for her trial. She truthfully told this large assembly the details of the assault. Then something miraculous happened. When she finished, the voices of 800 men were heard weeping. They recognized that this was their doctor speaking. She had birthed their babies, cared for their cuts, and nursed their wounds. Yet, to their dismay, one of their own had raped her.
To her amazement, over the weeks and months that ensued, a spiritual breakthrough occurred for the first time in 12 years—a breakthrough that had never occurred before. People were saved … hearts were touched because finally they identified with her suffering. Even the Greeks in the area wanted to know how to come into this relationship with Jesus Christ, and they were saved.
Later, back in her native country of England, Helen was a frequent guest speaker. One evening she was led by the Lord to take the rare opportunity to refer to her rape. There were two girls still left in the auditorium after she had finished speaking. One girl asked, “Can you speak to my sister?… Five weeks ago she was raped … for five weeks she has not spoken a word to anyone.”
The other girl ran, sobbing uncontrollably, and flung her arms around Helen. For three hours this young victim of rape talked nonstop about the incident. Ultimately, the two who had shared the same experience parted—both with peace in their hearts. What made the difference? The young girl simply said,
“No one ever told me that I could thank Him for trusting me with the experience even if He didn’t tell me why.”
|“Not till the loom is silent and the shuttles cease to fly Shall God unroll the canvas and explain the reason why. The dark threads are as needful in the weaver’s skillful hand As the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned.”
—part of a poem given to Helen Roseveare as a teenager
Seek, through prayer, God’s supernatural help to overcome the negative consequences of rape.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” (1 John 5:14–15)
Understand that Christians are not immune to misfortune, but are called to suffering.
“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21)
Forgive the offender, and leave the revenge to God. (Ask God for the power of Christ to do this in you—you cannot do it yourself.)
“Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)
Forgive others (family members and friends) and most of all yourself.
“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13)
Exchange your old identity for your new identity in the person of Christ.
“Whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.” (Philippians 3:7–9)
Remember, the Lord is your Shepherd.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:1–6)
Incorporate reading and meditating on Scripture along with listening to praise music as a daily habit.
“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)
Notice and encourage others around you who are hurting. Your sensitivity and compassion for others will be a blessing to them and healing to you.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3–4)
Glorify Christ by allowing His splendor to be displayed through you.
“Before I was born the Lord called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name. He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver. He said to me, ‘You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.’ ” (Isaiah 49:1–3)
E. Practical Precautions for Rape Prevention
In the Home
“He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.”
• Install a reliable security system.
• Install deadbolt locks on all outside doors.
• Install a peephole in the front door.
• Do not open the door to anyone you are not expecting.
• For emergencies, have strangers wait outside. Keep the door locked and offer to make a phone call for them.
• Ask for identification from repairmen.
• Install electrical timers for lights to come on when you’re not at home.
• As you drive into the garage, be alert and inspect your surroundings. Wait until the garage door fully closes before getting out of the car.
• When alone at night, do not enter your driveway if headlights are following you.
• Have a “safe room,” with a deadbolt lock and a phone, inside your home.
• Keep working flashlights in several rooms of the house.
• Don’t give out personal information over the phone.
“The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.”
Away From Home
“Preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight.… Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.”
(Proverbs 3:21, 23)
• Trust your instincts, and exercise caution whenever you sense danger.
• Look confident and assured when walking.
• Always be alert and aware of your surroundings.
• Check the backseat of your car before getting in.
• Have your keys ready to unlock car doors quickly, and lock them again immediately as you get in.
• Park in busy, well-lit parking lots.
• Never go over to a stranger’s car to answer a question.
• In elevators, make eye contact with other passengers and be alert.
• If possible, travel with a cell phone with 911 programmed.
• Don’t shop alone in malls or grocery stores late at night.
• If leaving shopping malls late at night, ask the security guard to walk you to your car.
• Beware of staged incidents and requests for help.
“A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge,but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”
|Rape is not merely an impulsive act of passion, but rather a venomous act of violence. It can poison the identity and value of the victim, often leaving the victim feeling worthless and unworthy. The Lord, however, is your Redeemer, offering total recovery. He gives every believer a new identity—His identity. Indeed, the Lord is your Shepherd who promises to restore your soul.
|Practical Do’s and Don’ts when Helping a Rape Victim
Don’t react with shock or horror.
Do … Respond with compassion.
Don’t suggest the victim could have avoided it.
Do … Affirm that the victim is not at fault in any way.
Don’t ask for details of the incident.
Do … Suggest the victim write down the details for authorities.
Don’t offer quick and simplistic answers.
Do … Encourage the victim with God’s unfailing love.
Don’t press the victim to initiate immediate forgiveness.
Do … Refer the victim to professional counseling.
Don’t criticize choices or decisions made by the victim
Do … Strongly suggest the victim report the crime.
Don’t infer that this was God’s chastisement for sin.
Do … Encourage medical treatment.
Don’t change the subject.
Do … Urge the victim to write out her feelings.
Don’t speak at all if you don’t know what to say.
Do … Comfort with your presence.
“[There is] a time to be silent and a time to speak.”
“The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.’ ”
Anderson, Neil T. A Way of Escape. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1994.
Botkin-Maher, Jennifer. Nice Girls Don’t Get Raped. San Bernardino, CA: Here’s Life, 1987.
Coblentz, John. Beauty for Ashes: Biblical Help for the Sexual Abused. Harrisonburg, VA: Christian Light, 1999.
Crime in United States 2001 U. S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, October 28, 2002. http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_01/01crime.pdf.
Fortune, Marie Marshall. Sexual Violence: The Unmentionable Sin. Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim, 1983.
Gaddis, Patricia Riddle. Dangerous Dating: Helping Young Women Say No to Abusive Relationships. Colorado Springs, CO: Shaw, 2000.
Hunt, June. Counseling Through Your Bible Handbook. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2007.
Hunt, June. How to Forgive … When You Don’t Feel Like It. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2007.
Hunt, June. How to Handle Your Emotions. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2008.
Hunt, June. Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2008
Kirk, Victoria L. Satan Tried … Hallelujah I SURVIVED! Written by the Survivor of a Sexual Assault. Continental, OH: Victor, 1999.
Koh, Me Ra. Beauty Restored. Ventura, CA: Regal, 2001.
Roseveare, Helen. Why Does a God of Love Allow Suffering? Barrie, Ontario: Women Alive, n.d. audiocassette.
Scott, Kay. Sexual Assault: Will I Ever Feel Okay Again? Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 1993.
Walters, Candace. Invisible Wounds. Portland, OR: Multnomah, 1987.
 Hunt, J. (2008). Biblical Counseling Keys on Rape Recovery: Rescued and Restored (1–19). Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart.