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I recall having a discussion many years ago with my mentor and clinical supervisor, at the time. We were discussing domestic violence and sexual assault of women, when she made a startling statement. She said:  “When you have a female drug abuse client, it’s seldom a question of “if” she has been a victim of sexual assault, the question is “when” was she a victim.”

The fact is that nearly 45% of women in physically abusive relationships are raped and/or assaulted during the course of the relationship.  Just as startling, 25% of women will become victims of severe violence at the hands of an intimate partner in their lifetimes.  For men, that number is 1-7.

Sexual assault and/or domestic violence are traumatizing events that are deeply disturbing to one’s psychological, emotional and spiritual state of being. Very often, these victims seek assistance from their minister or other counselors in the church. Too often, the church is ill-equipped to deal with such issues. Mary Kate Morse addresses policy, ethical and other issues on this topic in an article in Outreach Magazine, “How the Church Can Care for Those Seeking Healing from Abuse.”

From the article, here is a trauma victim’s prayer: Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings, I will take refuge, until the destroying storms pass by (Ps. 57: 1). Read more:

Pensive older Black woman clutching pillow

Source: JGI/Jamie Grill / Getty

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline or visit the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline operated by RAINN. For more resources, visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.