The particular place of shame when Christian campuses confront rape

Stephen Woodworth

Stephen Woodworth
September 22, 2015

A new study outlines the prevalence of campus rape. Here's how Christian colleges sometimes complicate the problem.

Bonnie Nicholas
September 23, 2015

Thank you so much for calling attention to this topic. I've also heard many, many stories of rape and sexual assault, not all of them in a campus setting. One women's words continue to haunt me. Unlike the vast majority of cases that never get reported, and the even larger number that do not result in any criminal prosecution; she courageously chose to go forward with her case. The one who raped her was found guilty and went to prison. She stopped going to church after being raped because she said, "At work and in other places, I felt support; people understood that this wasn't my fault and were sympathetic. But when I went to church, everyone treated me like I was a horrible person." How sad for this woman, that her sisters and brothers in Christ would increase the deep pain, the loneliness, and the isolation that she was already experiencing.

May we, as we follow Christ, learn to listen and come alongside those who have been wounded. May we seek justice and hold accountable those who cause harm. May we raise our children to respect and value others. May the Lord have mercy on his Church.

S.L. Woodworth
September 28, 2015

Bonnie- thank you for reading the article and your willingness to share your story here. I pray with you that the church can become the "safest place on earth" for victims of injustice. In a sexualized culture, greedy for power and control, the church needs to be a counter-cultural narrative for women that affirms their God-given identity, value and worth. Keep offering yourself as a sanctuary for the hurting.

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