Wednesday 23rd April 2014,


Attention! For immediate help and resources, we suggest visiting Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or RehabINFO.

Pornography Header

What Does Jesus Say?

At HeartSupport, we’ve spoken with many young men (and women) who would say “Isn’t pornography harmless? I’ve never seen Jesus say anything about it? And isn’t masturbation just a natural part of life?”

Is it really harmless???

The reality is that pornography actually rewires brain functions! MRI research shows that exposing a young person’s developing brain to pornography rewires neural connections to create a lasting addiction to pleasure-inducing brain chemicals and can create a chemical addiction in the same way cocaine does. According to the research, when you look at porn the images are not only linked in the brain to feelings of lust, but to other responses you might be feeling such as anxiety or shame. As an addiction forms, lust becomes permanently linked with the more negative emotions. William Struthers, a bio-psychologist, explains the effects on men:

“Men seem to be wired in such a way that pornography hijacks the proper functioning of their brains and has a long-lasting effect on their thoughts and lives.”

In addition to rewiring your brain, porn actually fuels the sex trade and it is the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world. The primary way porn fuels the sex trade is by building the demand and the sex trade consists of supply and demand. Thousands of children and women are victimized in this way every year. The trafficking industry would not exist without the demand that pornography provides, so ask yourself, “Is it really harmless?” Or are you helping supply the demand?

Jesus actually DID talk about it. And masturbation.

In Jesus’ famous sermon on the mount he says this:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.” (Matthew 5:27-30)

Can you honestly say you can look at pornography without lusting?

Jesus repeatedly uses the Greek word porneia when addressing sexual immorality, which is where we get our modern day word “pornography”. Jesus is not condemning in this verse but rather pointing out the bondage that your heart is in when you’re a slave to lusting after a woman (or man) and gratifying those thoughts that gradually master you.

Pornography and masturbation does not typically quench sexual desire, rather it intensifies it. As with most things, the more you feed it, the more it grows. In general, masturbation becomes habit forming and enslaves us to desires for greater sexual relief through greater self indulgence rather than greater self control.

Ask yourself these questions:

1. Can you masturbate without lusting?
2. Can you masturbate with a clear conscience, without shame?
3. Can you masturbate to the glory of Christ?

Think these things through. Ask God what he’s telling you through his scriptures.

Helpful scriptures on pornography/lust

1) Romans 13:14 shows that one must get radical with sinful desire and in the case of lust that means doing all you can do to make no provision for it:

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

2) Jesus recommends, in Mark 9:47-48, a holy violence toward your sin in light of hell-fire:

47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.

3) The answer to the inferior temporary sinful pleasures that pornography and lust bring is the superior eternal and righteous pleasures of God. Psalm 16:11 states,

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

4) Pornography is sinful sexually visual intoxication. Proverbs says that this sexual intoxication is only to be between a married man and woman:

Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
19 a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated always in her love.
20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?
21 For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his paths.
22 The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin

5) As a Christian, according to Colossians 3:1-5, you put lust to death in you because you have already been made alive in Christ and placed in him:

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Stats and facts

Pornography Infographic

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References and resources

It's All About Me BookIt’s All About Me: The Problem With Masturbation

Sale Price: $3.59
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Porn Again Christian BookPorn Again Christian

View it FREE here
Spanish version is available here








We would love to hear your story and share it with others here!  Send us an email at sharing your heart!


Helpful scriptures on Depression

1) Isaiah 61:2-3 shows how Jesus lifts up the depressed, mourning, and grieving and gives comfort, gladness, and praise:

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;

2) If depression is due to personal sin Micah 7:8-9 is helpful:

8Rejoice not over me, O my enemy;
when I fall, I shall rise;
when I sit in darkness,
the Lord will be a light to me.
9I will bear the indignation of the Lord
because I have sinned against him,
until he pleads my cause
and executes judgment for me.
He will bring me out to the light;
I shall look upon his vindication.

3) All of Psalm 42 is a classic way of dealing with depression (See Martyn Lloyd-Jones Spiritual Depression) here is verses 5-6:

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
My soul is cast down within me;
therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
from Mount Mizar.

4) Zephaniah 3:17 is a freeing text for those who are downcast as it pictures God singing over his saints:

17The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing

5) The depressed soul needs soul-rest, and Psalm 116 shows how rest of soul comes from reflecting on all that God has bountifully done for you:

Return, O my soul, to your rest;
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
For you have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling;’

6) Take heart those who are depressed, people like Elijah (who didn’t die but got a flaming chariot straight to heaven) were deeply depressed (19:4-5 especially). 1 Kings 19:1-8 states,

Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophetswith the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.

7) Thought not contextually about depression, the withness of God’s presence in Matthew 28:20 should bring hope to any depressed and lonely soul.

And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

8) Romans 15:13 says that God is a God of hope to the depressed and one who brings joy and peace by the power of the Holy Spirit:

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

9) Ed Welch says that the depressed should make Psalm 86 and 88 their personal prayers.

10) The depressed should be encouraged by 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 not to lose heart because though life may be bleak glory is coming:

16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Stats and Facts

1)  One out of four young adults will experience a depressive episode by age 24.

Nearly half of all college students report feeling so depressed at some point in time that they have trouble functioning.

If left untreated depression can lead to suicide. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for those aged 15-24 and the second leading cause of death of college students.

Many young people are coming to college with an existing diagnosis and treatment history. Some of those students might not have made it beyond high school in previous generations, but this means that more young people need access to comprehensive mental health care.

2)  Students reported during the last school year feeling the following:

- Over 60% of the students reported feeling things were hopeless one or more times.
– Almost 40% of the men and 50% of the women reported feeling so depressed that they had difficulty functioning one or more times.
– 10% of the students reported seriously considering attempting suicide at least one time.

~Source:  Healthy Minds

3)  Depression affects nearly one in 10 adults each year—nearly twice as many women as men.

~Source:  Healthy Minds

4)  Six percent of undergraduates and 4 percent of graduate students reported seriously considering suicide within the 12 months prior to answering the survey. Therefore, the researchers posit, at an average college with 18,000 undergraduate students, some 1,080 undergraduates will seriously contemplate taking their lives at least once within a single year. Approximately two-thirds of those who contemplate suicide will do so more than once in a 12-month period.

~Source: APA Press Release in August 2008

5)  Number of suicide deaths: 32,637 (2005)
Deaths per 100,000 population: 11 (2005)
Cause of death rank: 11 (2005)

Source: CDC


References and resources


- Mike Emlet on Depression:
- David Powlison: “Help I’m Always Sad”
- David Powlison: “Is Depression Purely Biological?”


Freedom From Guilt BookFreedom From Guilt: Finding Release From Your Burdens

Sale Price: $3.19
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 Depression BookDepression: A Stubborn Darkness, Ed Welch

Sale Price: $12.69
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We would love to hear your story and share it with others here!  Send us an email at sharing your heart!


Helpful scriptures on Cutting/Self Harm

1) I like the parallel of the harm of self-cutting and the gospel goodness pictured in Isaiah 49:15-16 where God engraves the self-cutter who trusts Jesus on the palm of his hand:

15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. 16 Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.

2) The Gerasene demonized man in Mark 5:1-20 who cuts himself (5:5) gives a great picture of how God in Christ makes whole those who do the same:

They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. 2 And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. 3 He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, 4 for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. 6 And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. 7 And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” 8 For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9 And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” 10 And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. 11 Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, 12 and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” 13 So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea. 14 The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. 15 And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 16 And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs. 17 And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region. 18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. 19 And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.

3) If I understand correctly, some of the psychological issues behind self-harm is that of externalizing emotional pain by inflicting physical pain. One antidote to externalizing emotional pain in this way is to “cast” the pain on God not “cut” the pain into oneself. Therefore 1 Peter 5:7 may be helpful:

7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

4) By the stripes of Christ and lacerations on his back, he makes self-cutters whole. Because he was cut for you, you don’t have to cut. Isaiah 53:5 states,

But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.

5) The beast marks his people on the hand and forehead (Rev. 13:16), and God marks his people’s forehead with the Father’s name in Revelation 14:1:

Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.

6) Deuteronomy 14:1-2 makes clear that God’s kids aren’t to cut themselves because they are God’s treasured possession. He treasures you—body, soul, and spirit—and therefore does not want you to harm it:

“You are the sons of the LORD your God. You shall not cut yourselves or make any baldness on your foreheads for the dead. 2 For you are a people holy to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

7) According to 2 Timothy 1:7 God does not give the kind of emotional experiences that are involved in self-mutilation but of power, love, and self-control:

…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

8) In the Old Testament cutting yourself was used in idolatrous worship practices and self-mutilation of this kind is contrary to dignity of being created in God’s image and for his worship. See 1 Kings 18:28: 28

And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them.


Stats and Facts

1) In general studies on adolescents in community samples report a lifetime prevalence of between 15-20%. These numbers are higher in clinical populations.

In other words, a good portion of kids who injure report also experiencing suicidal ideation (40-80%). Research in community samples report that approximately 30% or adolescents who self-injure have also made a suicide attempt at some point in their lives.

~Source:  SAFE

2) Statistics on Cutting in 2009:

90% of self-injury individuals begin harming themselves during their teen years or younger. Cutting and other self-injury behavior crosses all cultures and socio-economic norms. Cutting and self-injury is a method used by individuals to take care of themselves, their feelings and actions.

40% of all individuals who commit self-injury type behaviors are males. Almost 50% of cutters or self-injury individuals have reported being sexually abused. Almost 50% of self-abusers begin at the age of 14 and continue into their 20’s.

~Source: Scott Counseling


References and resources

twlohaOur friends at To Write Love On Her Arms are a great resource and leaders in raising awareness and providing help on how to overcome self-harm, cutting, and mutilation.  Vist their site or check out their facts section for additional awareness and resources.







Cutting BookCutting: Understanding and Overcoming Self-Mutilation

By: Steven Levenkron

Sale Price: $10.85
Buy it here






Cutting Away the PainCutting Away The Pain

By: Summer Foovay

Digital Price: $0.99
Buy it here








We would love to hear your story and share it with others here!  Send us an email at sharing your heart!

Sexual Abuse Header

Helpful scriptures on Sexual Abuse

1) Psalm 34:4-5 shows how looking to Jesus removes the shame and fear wrought by sexual abuse:

4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.

2) Psalm 56:8-9 shows how enemies may sexually perpetrate against you, but in Christ God is for you and will never be against you:

8 You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
9 Then my enemies will turn back
in the day when I call.
This I know, that God is for me.

3) In Luke 22:32 Jesus forgave the violent sins of evil men perpetrated against him as an innocent man–so should you:

34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.

4) 2 Samuel 13:11-14 reveals the pain and wickedness of sexual abuse in King David’s family:

11 But when she brought them near him to eat, he took hold of her and said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister.” 12 She answered him, “No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this outrageous thing. 13 As for me, where could I carry my shame? And as for you, you would be as one of the outrageous fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you.” 14 But he would not listen to her, and being stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her.

5) Judges 19 gives the horrific story of a sinful gang rape of a female concubine (as well as an unfulfilled desire for sinful homosexual relations), as a picture of how far God’s people drift when they forget his covenant and follow the practices of idolatrous nations.

6) 1 Tim. 1:9-11 (NASB) shows that kidnapping and the sexual abuse that takes place in sex trafficking is unrighteous and not in accordance with sound doctrine or the gospel of Jesus:

realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

7) According to Psalm 11:5 God hates the violent. This includes the sexually violent, as sexual abuse is more about violence than it is about sex.

The LORD tests the righteous,

but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.

8) God comes to rescue and save those who are weak, feeble, anxious, and fearful due to evil actions like sexual abuse. God comes in recompense and with vengeance to make right what sexual abuse has made wrong. Isaiah 35:3-4 states,

3 Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
4 Say to those who have an anxious heart,
“Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God
will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
He will come and save you.

Stats and Facts

1)  Sexual assault is not just forcible rape. Sexual assault is any type of sexual behavior or contact where consent is not freely given or obtained and is accomplished through force, intimidation, violence, coercion, manipulation, threat, deception, or abuse of authority.

2)  At least 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men are or will be victims of sexual assault in their lifetime.

3)  Approximately 80% of victims are assaulted by an acquaintance (relative, spouse, dating partner, friend, pastor, teacher, boss, coach, therapist, doctor, etc.).

4)  According to most recent statistics, every two minutes someone in the United States is sexually assault.

5)  One out of six women in the United States has been raped at some time in their lives. African-American women are assaulted at a higher rate than white women, and are much less likely to report it and get help.

6)  The National Center for Juvenile Justice reports that one of every seven victims of sexual assault (or 14% of all victims) reported to law enforcement agencies were under age 6 and that approximately 70% of the victims know their offender.

7)  Researchers have estimated that sexual assault occurs in 10-14% of all marriages.

8)  Studies estimate that incest is experienced by 10 to 20 percent of children in the general population. One study reported that as many as one-third of all girls and one-fifth of boys have experienced incest.

9)  Regarding the age breakdown of sexual assault, 15% of sexual assault victims are under age 12, 29% are age 12-17, and 80% are under age 30. The highest risk years are ages 12-34 and girls ages 16-19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of sexual assault.

10)  Most victims of child sexual assault know their attacker: 34.2% of assailants were family members, 58.7% were acquaintances, and only 7% of the perpetrators were strangers to the victim. Of child sexual abuse victims, approximately 10% of victims are 3 and under, 28% are between ages 4-7, 26% are between ages 8-11, and 36% are 12 and older.

11)  Those who experienced childhood assault are at a higher risk of adult re-victimization. Childhood sexual assault is especially common among sexually assaulted women and men (59% and 61% respectively). Women who had been sexually assaulted in childhood are at least twice as likely to be assaulted in adulthood. It was found that the respondents with more physically and emotionally severe adolescent sexual assault experiences were at a significantly greater risk of re-victimization. They are 4.4 times more likely to be re-victimized than the respondents who had not experienced adolescent sexual assault. The findings regarding male victims are even more dramatic. One study reports that 61% of men who report a sexual victimization during adulthood also report having been sexually assaulted as a child. Men who experienced sexual assault as adults are five times more likely to have a history of childhood sexual assault than men with no adult sexual assault experience. Two major studies have shown strong correlation between childhood sexual victimization and subsequent adult sexual victimization.

12)  The National Statistics of Crime and Safety Survey 2002 found that 93% of perpetrators were male. The Bureau of Justice found that 99% of perpetrators are male.

13)  Most sexual assault perpetrators are white, educated, middle-class men. With only seven percent of the perpetrators armed, sexual assault is the least likely to involve a weapon than any other violent crime.

14)  The figure often used by sexual violence experts for estimating falsified reports is 2 percent, which is a slightly lower rate than other crimes.

15)  According to the FBI, sexual assault is “one of the most under-reported crimes due primarily to fear and/or embarrassment on the part of the victim.” One research report claims that between 5% and 20% of sexual assaults may actually be reported. At the most, less than 40% of all sexual assaults were reported to law enforcement.

Sources for Stats and Facts

R. Hall, Ask Any Woman (London: Falling Wall Press, 1985); M. P. Koss, C. A. Gidycz, and N. Wisniewski, “The Scope of Rape: Incidence and Prevalence of Sexual Aggression and Victimization in a National Sample of Higher Education Students,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 55 (1987): 162-170; M. P. Koss, “Rape: Scope, Impact, Interventions and Public Policy Reponses,” American Psychologist 48 (1993): 1062-1069; D. G. Kilpatrick, B. E. Saunders, L. J. Veronen, C. L. Best, and J. M. Von, “Criminal Victimization: Lifetime Prevalence, Reporting to Police, and Psychological Impact,” Crime and Delinquency 33 (1987): 479-489; D. G. Kilpatrick and A. Seymour, “Rape in America: A Report to the Nation,” a technical report (1992), National Victims Center, Arlington, VA, and Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, Charleston, SC; M. P. Koss and T. E. Dinero, “Discrimination Analysis of Risk Factors for Sexual Victimization Among a National Sample of College Women,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 57 (1989): 242-250; P. Tjaden and N. Thoennes, “Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey,” Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, 1998; and S.B. Sorenson, J.A. Stein, J.M. Siegel, J.M. Golding and M.A. Burnam, “The Prevalence of Adult Sexual Assault: The Los Angeles Epidemiologic Catchment Area Project,” American Journal of Epidemiology 126 (1987): 1154–1164. An estimated 20% to 25% of college women in the United States experience attempted or completed rape during their college career (B.S. Fisher, F.T. Cullen, M.G. Turner,  “The Sexual Victimization of College Women,” Washington , DC: Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice; 2000).  On college campuses, 74% of victims knew their assailant and 9 out of 10 offenders included boyfriends, ex-boyfriends, classmates, friends, and acquaintances (Timothy Hart, “Violent Victimization of College Students,” 2003, U.S. Department of Justice: Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report. Available at

One study suggests the rate of abused males may be far higher, between 20% and 30%. See John N. Briere, Child Abuse Trauma: Theory and Treatment of the Lasting Effects (Newbury Park, London: Sage, 1992), 4.  A 2005 study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, on San Diego Kaiser Permanente HMO members, reported that 16% of males were sexually abused by the age of 18 (S. R. Dube, R. F. Anda, C. L. Whitfield, D. W. Brown, V. J. Felitti, M. Dong, and W. H. Giles, “Long-Term Consequences of Childhood Sexual Abuse by Gender of Victim,” American Journal of Preventive Medicine 28 (2005): 430-438). A 2003 national study of U.S. adults reported that 14.2% of men were sexually abused before the age of 18 (J. Briere and D. M. Elliot, “Prevalence and Symptomatic Sequelae of Self-Reported Childhood Physical and Sexual Abuse in a General Population Sample of Men and Women,” Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal 27: 1205-1222). A 1998 study reviewing research on male childhood sexual abuse concluded that the problem is “common, under-reported, under-recognized, and under-treated” (W. C. Holmes and G. B. Slap, “Sexual Abuse of Boys: Definition, Prevalence, Correlates, Sequelae, and Management,” Journal of the American Medical Association 280 (1998):1855-1862). A 1996 study of male university students in the Boston area reported that 18% of men were sexually abused before the age of 16 (D. Lisak, J. Hopper, and P. Song, P., “Factors in the Cycle of Violence: Gender Rigidity and Emotional Constriction,” Journal of Traumatic Stress 9 (1999): 721-743). A 1990 national study of U.S. adults reported that 16% of men were sexually abused before the age of 18 (D. Finkelhor, G. Hotaling, I. A. Lewis, and C. Smith, “Sexual Abuse in a National Survey of Adult Men and Women: Prevalence, Characteristics, and Risk Factors,” Child Abuse & Neglect 14 (1990): 19-28). Within the past few years, North American researchers have found that one out of six boys is a victim of sexual abuse. See M. Dorais, Don’t Tell: The Sexual Abuse of Boys (Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2002), 16.

G. R. Holmes, L. Offen, and G. Waller, “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil: Why Do Relatively Few Male Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse Receive Help for Abuse-Related Issues in Adulthood?” Clinical Psychology Review 17 (1997): 69-88. Only 16% of men with documented histories of sexual abuse considered themselves to have been sexually abused (C. S. Widom and S. Morris, “Accuracy of Adult Recollections of Childhood Victimization: Part 2. Childhood Sexual Abuse,” Psychological Assessment 9 (1997): 34-46).

U.S. Department of Justice, 2007 National Crime Victimization Survey, 2007. According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey, in 2007, there were 248,280 victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault and these figures do not include victims 12 years old or younger. What this means is that every two minutes someone in the United States is sexually assaulted.

P. Tjaden and N. Thoennes, “Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey,” Washington (DC): Department of Justice (US), 2000.

Callie Marie Rennison, Criminal Victimization in the United States, 1999: Statistical Tables (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, January 2001); Aaronette White, “I Am Because We Are: Combined Race and Gender Political Consciousness Among African American Women and Men Anti-Rape Activists,” Women’s Studies International Forum 24, no. 1 (2001): 12-13; and Aaronette White, “Talking Feminist, Talking Black: Micromobilization Process in a Collective Protest Against Rape,” Gender & Society 13, no. 1 (1999): 97.

Aaronette White, “I Am Because We Are: Combined Race and Gender Political Consciousness Among African American Women and Men Anti-Rape Activists,” Women’s Studies International Forum 24, no. 1 (2001): 12-13.

Some studies show that sexual abuse may be as high as 54% for girls and 16% for boys. (Herbert W. Helm Jr., Jonathan R. Cook, and John M. Berecz, “The Implications of Conjunctive and Disjunctive Forgiveness for Sexual Abuse,” Pastoral Psychology 54 (2005): 23-34. These statistics are consistent with an earlier study, D. Finkelhor, Sexually Victimized Children (New York: Free Press, 1979). One study reports that 93% of child sexual assault victims know their assailant (U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2000 Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement, 2000).

R. K. Bergen, Wife Rape: Understanding the Response of Survivors and Service Providers (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1996); D. Finkelhor and K. Yllo, License to Rape: Sexual Abuse of Wives (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1985); D. E. H. Russell, Rape in Marriage (Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press, 1990); P. Mahoney and L. Williams, L, “Sexual Assault in Marriage: Prevalence, Consequences and Treatment for Wife Rape,” in Partner Violence: A Comprehensive Review of 20 years of Research, eds., J. Jasinski & L.M. Williams (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1998).

J. Briere and M. Runtz, “University Males’ Sexual Interest in Children: Predicting Potential Indices of ‘Pedophilia’ in a Nonforensic Sample,” Child Abuse and Neglect 13 (1989): 65-75; D. Finkelhor, G. Hotaling, I. A. Lewis, and C. Smith, “Sexual Abuse in a National Survey of Adult Men and Women: Prevalence, Characteristics, and Risk Factors,” Child Abuse & Neglect 14 (1990):19-28);  D. Russell, “The Incidence and Prevalence of Intrafamial and Extrafamilial Sexual Abuse of Female Children,” Child Abuse & Neglect 7 (1983): 133-146.

Jean Renvoize, Innocence Destroyed: A Study of Child Sexual Abuse (New York: Routledge, 1993).

U.S. Department of Justice, 2004 National Crime Victimization Survey (2004).

U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2000 Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement (2000).

D. Finkelhor, “Epidemiological Factors, in the Clinical Identification of Child Sexual Abuse,” Child Abuse and Neglect 17 (1993): 67-70.

A. H, Maker, M. Kemmelmeier, and C. Peterson, “Child Sexual Abuse, Peer Sexual Abuse, and Sexual Assault in Adulthood: A Multi-risk Model of Revictimization,” Journal of Traumatic Stress 14 (2001): 351-368.

Diana M. Elliot, Doris S. Mok, and John Briere, Elliott, “Adult Sexual Assault: Prevalence, Symptomatology, and Sex Differences in General Population,” Journal of Traumatic Stress 17, no. 3 (2004): 203.

Diana M. Elliot, Doris S. Mok, and John Briere, Elliott, “Adult Sexual Assault: Prevalence, Symptomatology, and Sex Differences in General Population,” Journal of Traumatic Stress 17, no. 3 (2004): 203-211.

N. N. Sarkar and Rina Sarkar. “Sexual Assault on Woman: Its Impact on Her Life and Living in Society,” Sexual and Relationship Therapy 20 (2005): 407-419.

Diana M. Elliot, Doris S. Mok, and John Briere, Elliott, “Adult Sexual Assault: Prevalence, Symptomatology, and Sex Differences in General Population,” Journal of Traumatic Stress 17, no. 3 (2004): 203-211.

A. Coxell, M. B. King, G. C. Mezey, and D. Gordon, “Lifetime Prevalence, Characteristics, and Associated Problems of Non-Consensual Sex in Men: Cross Sectional Survey,” British Medical Journal 318 (1999): 846-850; and S. Desai, I. Arias, and M. P. Thompson, “Childhood Victimization and Subsequent Adult Revictimization Assessed in a Nationally-Representative Sample of Women and Men,” Violence and Victims 17 (2002): 639-653.

Scott Lindquist, The Date Rape Prevention Book: The Essential Guide for Girls and Women (Naperville: Sourcebooks, 2000), 52; Federal bureau of Investigation, Crime in the United States 2000 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2001), Table 44; and Helen Benedict, Recovery: How to Survive Sexual Assault for Women, Men, Teenagers, Their Friends and Families (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994), 9.

Callie Marie Rennison, National Crime Victimization Survey: Criminal Victimization 2001 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, September 2002), 8.

Aaronette White, “Talking Feminist, Talking Black: Micromobilization Process in a Collective Protest Against Rape,” Gender & Society 13, no. 1 (1999): 97.

Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Report (1973), 15.

Menachem Amir, Patterns in Forcible Rape (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971), 27-28.

Shannon M. Catalano, “Criminal Victimization, 2005,” Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2006.


References and resources

Rid of My DisgraceRid of My DisGrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault

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Sexual Assault BookSexual Assault: Healing Steps for Victims

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