This is a guest post from a very special friend of iwokeupyesterday.
Sheila Hoadley is passionate about helping people grow in their awareness of the prevailing problem of sexual abuse. She loves her family and loves Jesus with reckless abandon. Her heart for people is tremendous and we are proud to call her our friend!
I was sexually abused.I was not equipped with a voice, so I shoved it into the dark.I was emotionally disabled, weakened by shame and guilt.I was a victim.
I am part of a staggering statistic…there are an estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse in America.
1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18.
Whether you were the abused, these statistics affect you. You/and or your grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts & uncles, cousins or someone you know has been affected. The effects of abuse spills and splatters out to all in its wake.
With 39 million survivors of sexual abuse, we are left with about 261 million people in the wake of the abused.
I dream of making a difference, the kind of difference that changes those statistics.
By educating and training adults, we can raise awareness and provide helpful information so parents can openly communicate with their children about sexual abuse. People working in youth organizations, schools and churches can be given the “four tools and seven steps” needed to protect our children. This is the first step of beginning a change and making a difference.
How can we create new statistics?
The statistics can change as we step out in faith and take ACTION. We bring something out of the darkness when we acknowledge it and bring it into the Light.
Once abuse is acknowledged, healing can begin. I chose to acknowledge my abuse, heal from it, talk about it and teach others to do the same.
God is healing my brokenness and deep wounds of abuse. He has made me a survivor and given me a passion to be an advocate to help others. He is taking what Satan intended to harm and wound me and is now using it as a weapon to promote awareness and healing to others.
God has given me a voice to make a difference.
How can this be done?
We can change these statistics by prayerful purpose and passion. Helena Beers and I have been trained to facilitate a Darkness to Light class that is a prevention and response program for adults.
We want to reach 5% of Martin County’s population with the message of Darkness to Light - which is 7,500 people. We believe this is an achievable goal and that God will work out the details as we move forward.
Studies have shown that when 5% of our population are trained and equipped, it will begin a tipping point to shift our thinking. We can go from “I don’t want to talk about that” or “I’ll never let my child out of my sight” to a bold, responsible and open approach.
Why should I take this class?
Everyone should consider taking this course. Your awareness of the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse will be heightened. You will be presented steps you can take to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to the reality of sexual abuse. Parents will be given tips and tools and a greater awareness.
YOU will become the first responders in reaching 5% of the people of Martin County.
YOU will become part of the hope and healing.
YOU will have the information you need to better protect every child you know.
Thank you to the people who have supported us in pursuing our dream and putting it into ACTION. Please pray for us as we facilitate this training. Pray that God will open the hearts of people and the doors of organizations who work with youth. Pray we will let our SOVEREIGN GOD guide us in our direction and steps in continuing this work of sexual abuse awareness.
This is our prayer…that GOD will bring HIS light to darkness.
My name is Sheila.I am a survivor of sexual abuse.I am now equipped with a voice and am choosing to shed light.I am emotionally, physically and spiritually stronger.I am victorious.
What fears or beliefs do you have that could stop you from talking openly about sexual abuse?
Comments and thoughts are appreciated.
If you are interested in taking this course,
Please contact Helena Beers for details @ 772.359.7707
To learn more about this program please visit here:Darkness to Light
- Sex is Safe, Jenny Price (iwokeupyesterday.com)