Episode Summary:

Latest statistics indicate that about 20% of Americans have experienced attempted or completed rape. That is over 430,000 American victims each year, 1 rape every 73 seconds. Yet only 5 out of 1,000 rapists go to jail. What has led to tolerance of sexual violence and trauma? Why is this the most underreported and under-prosecuted crime in this nation? Why are so few perpetrators held accountable? What can we do to end sexual violence, compassionately meet the needs of victims and show perpetrators that we take this crime seriously? Our guest, Lisa Saruga, shares how to heal from sexual trauma and violence.


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Quotables from the Episode:

  • Not everyone who is the victim of sexual assault is a survivor. This title is used to empower victims, but some victims carry a burden of trying to live up to that title. Do the hard work of surviving.
  • God doesn’t forget our experiences. He wants to heal us, but we have to be open to the work that healing entails. God didn’t purpose for you to be abused, but he can use all things for his purpose.
  • I have learned to trust God, his timing, and his faithfulness. He showed me in a powerful way that when we are working to chip away at walls that stand in the way of healing, we have no idea what kind of powerful work he is doing on the other side of that wall.
  • Often justice doesn’t look like we think it should, but God is just!
  • Only 2.5% of all rapists go to jail.
  • Sadly, in our justice system, if there is no conviction of a perpetrator, there is no protection of the victim.
  • While God does not purpose for us to experience trauma, he can use our trauma for his purposes if we let him. Sometimes he is up to great things when we don’t even sense that he remembers our trauma.
  • I encourage victims to find a support network and talk about the experience. Hiding it away on a back shelf in our brain does not work forever.
  • If you’ve been the victim of sexual assault, you first have to decide what is right for you. Some people want to report the assault, but others don’t because of the resulting blaming and shaming. But definitely seek a support system to walk you through the healing process. Know that it takes hard work to be a survivor.
  • We all experience bad things in our life. We can heal from trauma with appropriate help, but tragedy results when we don’t heal from the trauma.



Scripture References:

  • Romans 8:28 (NLT) And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
  • 2 Corinthians 1:4 (NLT) He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
  • Psalm 27:13 (NLT) Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.


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Lisa Saruga, Keynote SpeakerLisa is a licensed professional counselor, keynote speaker, author, and legal and ethical specialist. She specializes in therapy for victims of sexual violence. Her own story resulted in the reopening of her thirty-five-year cold case, when someone finally reported the identity of the man who wore a ski mask when he assaulted Lisa as a freshman in college. The man was never arrested because of archaic laws and loopholes that protect perpetrators over victims. Lisa regularly meets with legislators to advocate for laws to protect victims of sexual violence. She believes that, although God doesn’t purpose for us to experience trauma, he can use every event in our lives for his purposes.


Hosted By: Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Audio Technical Support: Bryce Bengtson