What Can the Church Offer Victims of Abuse and Violence?

It’s no easy task addressing serious issues such as abuse and violence. Even within the Church, where honesty and help should abound, such issues are often tucked away rather than tackled. That’s why I so appreciated the way Trillia Newbell handled this difficult topic. She displayed great grace and wisdom—and courage—in an article posted at The Gospel Coalition titled “Remember the Victims—Like Me.”

Newbell boldly calls on the Church to raise its awareness level regarding this issue because victims are closer to us than we might expect. She purports:

We know sex abuse, rape, and assault are widespread. But did you know that one out of six women in the United States has been raped at some time in her life? Do we realize that our sisters and brothers in Christ may have been victims?

Indeed, victims are among us. We, the Church, must be aware of this reality, and it ought to move us to extend grace to the hurting:

There is no better news for a suffering brother or sister than the Good News that Jesus Christ walked this earth perfectly, hung on a Cross, bearing the full weight of shame, sin, and wrath on his back, and defeated death, rising from the grave! Jesus is now—right now—seated on the throne at the right hand of the Father. He is interceding for you and for me (Romans 8:34).

This gracious and life-giving approach toward victims of abuse and violence is what the Body of Christ ought to be known for. As Newbell points out, victims are listening to what the Church is (or isn’t) saying, and they are in desperate need of amazing grace. May our response to the wounds of abuse and violence be a balm that soothes rather than salt that stings.

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