Hebrews 4:16 says, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
Domestic and sexual violence affects millions of individuals across our nation. According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence Fact Sheet, almost 25% of women are beaten or raped by a significant other during adulthood. Moreover, "approximately 2.3 million people are raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend" (NNEDV Fact Sheet). Young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of violence from an intimate partner. If young males are exposed to physical abuse, sexual abuse, and domestic violence, they are nearly 4 times more likely than other young men to engage in violence as adults, according to a large study.
1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before they see their 18th birthdays. Half of sexual abuse cases involve incest. Children who have to deal with domestic and/or sexual violence are more likely to attempt suicide, turn to drug and alcohol abuse, run away from home, engage in teenage prostitution, and commit sexual assault crimes.
The cost of intimate partner violence in the U.S. is in the range of the billions and at least 1/3 of workers have lost jobs, at least in part, due to domestic violence. Also, there is a positive correlation between the number of domestic violence victims and the number of welfare recipients.
These are just some of the stats on this major issue. But what can we do to help? We can become mentors to those who have been abused, or volunteer our services for those in need. We can help to carefully intervene if we see the beginning signs of an abusive relationship. God wants to use us to be a blessing to those who, because of what they have been through as it relates to domestic or sexual violence, might have lost their hope.
Psalm 31:24 reminds us to, "Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD."
If anyone knows of any resources that can truly help someone who might have been abused by another, please feel free to respond and provide links to websites with information about how to access those resources. Thanks!
(Check out http://dvam.vawnet.org/materials/index.php for more information.)