HeartLife will Provide a Place of Safety and SupportChrist encourages us, “in this world you will have trouble, but fear not; I have overcome the world.”
Individuals who have experienced trauma and abuse really need this encouragement. We recognize how much abuse interferes with all aspects of our relationships, in addition to negatively affecting us emotionally, mentally and spiritually.Abuse distorts our self-perception and our relationship with God and others.
God promises to redeem the broken hearted, give freedom to the enslaved and punish evil, but this promise is difficult for individuals whose lives have been used for the selfish personal gain of others.
In Matthew 18 of the Amplified Bible, Jesus describes children as trusting, lowly, loving and forgiving. He stated that it would be better for the person who harmed a child to have a great millstone hung around their neck and cast into the sea. Jesus held those responsible for the abuse in great contempt, yet many who have been abused live with guilt and shame.
Professionals at HeartLife will provide a place of safety and support for those whose trust has been shattered and whose ability to give or receive love has been damaged because of abuse. We will help the once abused “find their voice” and their identity. In Christ there is hope and healing.
Types of Abuse
Emotional abuse includes any verbal form of control through the use of fear, humiliation, intimidation, guilt, coercion or manipulation. Verbal abuse comes in the form of criticism and demand.
Most emotional abusers convince their victims that they must submit to their demands in order to be loved or accepted. Recipients of abuse lose a sense of “who they are and develop distorted beliefs about themselves and others.”
According to statistics, four to six million relationships in the United States become violent and every 15 seconds a woman is abused by a current or former partner. Most people who assault a partner once, will assault a partner repeatedly. Many women and children become homeless to flee violent abusers.
Reports indicate that every second a child is being physically abused. Physical abuse does much more than wound the body, it often breaks the spirit of those abused and distorts their sense of value and worth.
The effects of sexual assault are devastating and the prevalence is staggering. According to statistics, 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. It is also reported that victims of sexual assault are 3 times more likely to experience depression, 6 times more likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder, 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol, 26 times more likely to abuse drugs and 4 times more likely to commit suicide.
The high incidence of sexual abuse means that each of us knows someone who has been abused. HeartLife’s clinicians have been trained to deal with a variety of abuse and trauma. If you or someone you know has been the victim of abuse of any kind we are prepared to help.
NOTE: If a child seen by a HeartLife professional is suspected of being a victim of child abuse of any kind, it is HeartLife’s ethical and legal obligation to report the abuse and refer to a childhood advocacy center for that child’s benefit and safety. We will work collaboratively with the appropriate agencies to achieve healing and wholeness for victims and families impacted by abuse.