In recent posts we have discussed what the Bible has to say about abuse. In this post we will be looking at what the Bible says about rape.
According to the department of justice statistics for 2013, 15% of women in America have experienced rape. Rape has declined 60% since 1993, however, it still remains a large problem. In over 50% of rape cases, the perpetrator is either a friend, acquaintance, or family member.
What does the Bible say about rape?
Deuteronomy 22:25-27 states, “But if in the open country a man meets a young woman who is betrothed, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. But you shall do nothing to the young woman; she has committed no offense punishable by death. For this case is like that of a man attacking and murdering his neighbor, because he met her in the open country, and though the betrothed young woman cried for help there was no one to rescue her.”
So the rapist is convicted but the woman in this passage has committed no wrong.
Psalm 82:3 states, “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.”
God desires to see justice done for those who are afflicted. This would include those who have been victimized.
Some words for those who have been a victim of rape:
- It is not your fault.
- You are not guilty of doing anything wrong.
- Letting it happen does not mean consent.
- There is no circumstance that justifies being raped.
- Healing physically and emotionally takes time.
- Find someone to talk too, preferably a Christian counselor.
- Know that you are still a valuable human being.
- Your worth is not wrapped up in what happened, but in who you are.
- You are still worthy of love.
- God still loves you, and he grieves with you.
- You still have something to give to the world.
What can Christians do to help victims of rape?
First, Christians need to make sure that they are caring and supportive of rape victims regardless of the circumstances surrounding the rape. It does not matter if the person was drunk, it does not matter how the person was dressed, no rape is justifiable. It does not even matter if the perpetrator was a spouse. After showing care and support for the victim, Christians can help the person find a counselor for the victim to speak with and connect the victim with a church so that the individual can get help getting back on his or her feet. Yes, men can be raped too. We also need to raise awareness to the problems of sexual abuse in our churches and help our communities to know that the church is a place where victims can come to find relief and hope.
The pictures above come from Project Unbreakable. This project was started in 2011 by a photographer named Grace Brown. The project aims to empower survivors of rape by turning things said by their perpetrators into words of hope. The project is also aimed at raising awareness of sexual assault, Check out the site here: http://projectunbreakable.tumblr.com/ Watch Grace’s story below.
Today there have been over 2,000 rape survivors who have taken pictures for project unbreakable.
In the comic book world, sexism is also rampant and a new movement that has been gaining momentum is the Cosplay is not Consent Movement. Cosplay is the act of dressing like comic book characters. This movement reminds people that dressing like a comic character is not an open invitation for sexual harassment.
Anytime it is not consensual, it is not appropriate. I think this movement can be adapted to any area of society. Someone’s dress, personality, looks, status, ethnicity, or gender do not make it appropriate to harass someone.
No Means No
Let’s do what we can to raise awareness of these issues and make a conscious effort to make a difference in how we treat others. Let’s raise the standard in the culture around us.
For more information visit the following sites:
Rape and Sexual Abuse Information: