Monday, December 28, 2015

Stop Sexual Attacks In 2016; It’s On Us

            In 2013, World Health Organization deemed violence against women as a “significant public health” issue.

            It’s been a year since the White House launched the “It’s On Us” campaign to battle sexual assault in schools, colleges and universities. This initiative, although relevant to USA, should be actively considered by all and sundry because sexual assault is plaguing all countries. UK, USA, India, Sweden and South Africa are among the top countries listing rape crimes.

            Sexual assault trended recently in India because a juvenile convict, who heinously raped and murdered a 23 year old physiotherapy student in a moving bus, was recently released from prison1 and assigned to an NGO. Cause for such horrendous evil is known; Satan imprisons depraved humans to carry out such heinous crimes.

            The statistics on sexual assault is terribly high. “UN Women” research declares that 35% of women have experienced sexual assault by a non-partner and 70% of women have experienced sexual assault from an intimate partner.2 A 2012 study at New Delhi reported that 92% of women experienced sexual assault in public domain and 88% have experienced sexual assaults of the verbal nature.3 The plague of sexual assault is prevalent and will continue to be prevalent if we remain silent or ignorant.

            What’s the impact of sexual assault?

            The impact is severe, for sexual assault adversely impacts both the physical and the mental health of the survivors. Victims of sexual assault are quite likely to have sexually transmitted infections, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, sleeplessness, high cholesterol, hypertension and obesity.4 They could suffer emotionally from depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, eating disorders, and could be suicidal.5

            Therefore, it’s on us to pledge to stop sexual assault.           

            What can we do to stop sexual assaults? The victims of sexual assault could be unknown to us but by no means are we immune to such gory violence.

            “It’s on us” campaign offers useful tips to prevent sexual assaults:  

            “1. Talk to your friends honestly and openly about sexual assault.

            2. Don't just be a bystander -- if you see something, intervene in any way you can.

            3. Trust your gut. If something looks like it might be a bad situation, it probably is.

            4. Be direct. Ask someone who looks like they may need help if they're ok.

            5. Get someone to help you if you see something -- enlist a friend, RA, bartender, or host to help step in.

            6. Keep an eye on someone who has had too much to drink.

            7. If you see someone who is too intoxicated to consent, enlist their friends to help them leave safely.

            8. Recognize the potential danger of someone who talks about planning to target another person at a party.

            9. Be aware if someone is deliberately trying to intoxicate, isolate, or corner someone else.

            10. Get in the way by creating a distraction, drawing attention to the situation, or separating them.

            11. Understand that if someone does not or cannot consent to sex, it's rape.

            12. Never blame the victim.” 6

            While these tips are pertinent to both Christians and non-Christians, how should the Christian community, especially the churches, respond to sexual assault? In other words, what have the churches done so far to prevent sexual assault?

            The Christian social justice organization, Sojourners, report a disappointing response by the churches, “If you made a short list of the issues the American church doesn’t talk about from the pulpit, you’d probably find sexual and domestic violence topping out the list.” 7

                How often do pastors preach about sexual assault? Is there a dedicated ministry in the local church to prevent sexual assaults and heal the survivors? If your answer is in the negative to both these questions, then your church joins the list of the majority of churches that ignore sexual assault.

            Should the Christian community be concerned about sexual assault? Yes! Active churchgoers are being sexually assaulted.8 Hence, it is a given that the church should actively minister to prevent and heal the survivors of sexual assault.

            Why do majority of local churches not actively minister to prevent and heal the sexually assaulted? The June 2014 IMA World Health Survey “Broken Silence: A Call for Churches to Speak Out” 9 reported that awareness among the church leaders to deal with sexual assault is low. But on a positive note the report declares that the leaders would do more if they possess proper tools and resources.

            What could the local church do to help the survivors of sexual assault? Churches could learn from “Godly Response to Abuse in Christian Environment” (GRACE), which engages six damaging entailments from sexual abuse (denial, identity, shame, guilt, anger and despair) to minister to the survivors of sexual assault.10

            The local church should educate its members so to help prevent sexual assaults and to minister to those who have been assaulted sexually. Resources for pastors and leaders interested in preventing and healing the sexually assaulted are available at Sojourners,,,, and

            If your church does not have a ministry to help prevent and to minister to the sexually assaulted, probably you could be a catalyst to launch this ministry. It’s on you!  

            Sexual predators are lurking. Innocent people are being victimized. The pain experienced by the survivors is immense. The need is critical.

            It’s on us to help prevent and heal. Yes, it’s on us.


Websites referenced were last accessed on 28th December 2015



3 Ibid.


5 Ibid.




9 Ibid.



4 comments: said...

Excellent! Thank you.

Raj Richard said...

Thank only hope is that the churches would take this matter seriously and act

sarah said...

I think to start with, parents have to make children aware of the danger very tactfully,.

Also support our children when they come back and tell us someone tried to vioalte them.

Some churches and schools in India do take the intitiative.


Raj Richard said...

I agree with you, Sarah. The responsibility of sex education is at home and with the parents. I also think that the churches that have an active ministry to help prevent and minister to the survivors should take an initiative to share their ministry experience with the other churches.
Thanks much for your thoughts.