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Episode Summary:

In the US, 10% of all children experience some form of sexual abuse before they turn 18. These numbers are likely low since sexual abuse is underreported. The victims are most likely to be female (75%), but these numbers are rapidly changing as boys are increasingly the targets of molesters. A whopping 90% of the children who are abused know their abuser which often points to a family member, teacher, scout leader, or coach.

With an American sexually assaulted an average of every 68 seconds not enough attention is given to the survivors. Most feel a sense of shame, confusion, and condemnation. They think, how could this have happened to me? But God still has a plan for your life despite the abuse.

While sexual abuse within the Catholic Church has been well publicized, evangelical churches have started to draw up policies and abuse reforms the problem is not the sole dominion of it any single church or institution. Can happen anywhere, in families, in schools, and even in church organizations survivors of abuse hear a lot of messages that condemn, confuse, and wound. This should never happen but often does. Join me with Melissa Heiland as we discuss what is sexual abuse and offer hope for sexual abuse survivors.


Quotables from the Episode:

  • God still has a plan for your life despite the abuse.
  • Your hopelessness in the present does not change God’s plan for you to prosper and give you a hope for the future.
  • After experiencing sexual abuse, it’s important to separate the lies we’ve believed from God’s truth.
  • Your experience of sexual abuse does not determine who you are. God calls you loved, worthy, and accepted.


Scripture References:

  • Isaiah 61:7 “Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.”
  • Romans 12:19 “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘it is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”


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Melissa Heiland, authorMelissa Heiland holds a Master of Education from Central Missouri State University. She has worked in pregnancy care ministry for over 25 years and served as Executive Director and Board Member. She served as a full-time missionary with the International Mission Board and has led volunteer mission teams since 2000. She is the founder of Beautiful Feet International, a mission organization that has planted more than 70 pregnancy centers in over 20 nations. Melissa trains pregnancy center staff and volunteers throughout the U.S.



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


Sexual abuse can occur anywhere - in homes, schools, even churches. But hope & healing are possible. Don't miss our eye-opening discussion with Melissa Heiland on the pervasive issue of sexual abuse in the US. Learn about the shocking statistics and join us in offering hope to survivors!