Rid of My Disgrace
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Author: Justin Holcomb & Lindsey Holcomb
Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault
Part of the Re:Lit series.
The statistics are jarring. One in four women and one in six men are or will be victims of sexual assault in their lifetime. But as sobering as the statistics are, they don't begin to speak to the darkness and grief experienced by these victims. Because sexual assault causes physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual pain, victims need clear help, hope, and healing.
In Rid of My Disgrace, a couple experienced in counseling victims of sexual assault explains how the grace of God can heal the broken and restore the disgraced. Justin and Lindsey Holcomb outline an approach for moving from destruction to redemption.
While avoiding platitudes and shallow theology, Rid of My Disgrace combines biblical and theological depth with up-to-date research. This book is primarily written for those who have been assaulted (either as children or adults) but also equips family, friends, pastors, and others to care for victims in ways that are compassionate, practical, and informed.
About the authors:
Justin S. Holcomb (PhD, Emory University) is an Episcopal priest and teaches theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Reformed Theological Seminary. He serves on the boards of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in Christian Environments) and REST (Real Escape from the Sex Trade). Justin and his wife, Lindsey, live in Orlando, Florida, with their two daughters.
Lindsey Holcomb (MA, Reformed Theological Seminary) holds a master's degree in public health with a focus on violence against women, and counsels victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. She has provided crisis intervention to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence and conducted a variety of training seminars to service providers, and she worked as a case manager at a sexual assault crisis center and domestic violence shelter.
"Careful research, lots of Scripture, and a demonstration that the work of Christ says 'you are washed clean' to those who feel like outcasts, which will speak to victims of sexual abuse." ~Ed Welch, Counselor and Faculty, The Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation
"I can't express how grateful I am that someone is tackling this subject with both a pastoral heart and an understanding of how the devastating effects of sexual assault can wreak havoc for decades after the abuse. It is an epidemic issue where resources are scarce. There isn't a weekend that goes by where we aren't told a gut-wrenching tale of innocence stolen and left trying to help a man or woman make sense of their pain. I praise God for the gospel that can heal and restore and for the Holcombs that had the courage and wisdom to write this book for us." ~Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor, The Village Church, Highland Village, Texas; author, The Explicit Gospel
"God sees, knows, heals, restores, and redeems. This is the message of hope this book offers, to all who have suffered from abuse. How desperately needed this message is in our culture today! In my interaction with teens and young adults, I have heard many stories of sexual abuse. I am so thrilled that there is a resource like this book that offers relevant, practical, biblical hope and healing words of life." ~Rebecca St. James, singer; author; actress
"Having experienced much sexual brokenness in my own life and now having pastored a church that ministers to thousands of broken people, I can say with confidence that this book is desperately needed. Justin and Lindsey write to help the abused and to help those who help the abused. It is a must-read for all those who live and minister in this sexually broken world." ~Darrin Patrick, Founding Pastor of The Journey Church, St Louis, MO; author, Church Planter
"Justin and Lindsey demonstrate a unique level of compassion and concern for victims of sexual assault and the hope for them for healing. The gentle and empathetic tone, along with a sincere belief that victims can experience healing, makes this book indispensable for both victims and those who care for them." ~Craig Groeschel, Senior Pastor, LifeChurch.tv; author, WEIRD: Because Normal Isn't Working
"The world--and too often the church--encourages victims of sexual assault to do more. Self-help advice just adds more layers of guilt and a sense of powerlessness. The authors of this excellent book have good news: literally, a gospel that answers our disgrace with the grace of God in Christ. For anyone who suffers from abuse--as well as those who minister to them--Rid of My Disgrace is powerful, healing medicine." ~Michael S. Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California
"Where will you find a 'Theology of the Victim' from a Reformed theologian? You just found it. If you've been the victim of abuse, you won't find yourself blamed in this book. You'll find yourself embraced by the love of a God who meets you in your pain. This will be required reading for all of my students." ~Chuck DeGroat, Academic Dean, Newbigin House of Studies; Director, City Church Counseling Center
"Some books are easy to read, but this isn't one of them. Its difficulty, however, is not a matter of style or prose but of substance. We don't like thinking about sexual assault and abuse. We'd rather pretend they don't exist. But the church can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to the extent of this problem or to ignore the devastation it brings to both body and soul. What makes this book so worthy of your attention, notwithstanding the discomfort it may cause you to feel, is the wealth of wisdom, gospel grace, and pastoral sensitivity that the Holcombs bring to bear on those affected by this experience. No matter how deep the pain or sense of loss endured by the victims of sexual assault, God's healing grace and power are greater still. Highly recommended!" ~Sam Storms, Pastor, Bridgeway Church, Oklahoma City, OK; Founder, Enjoying God Ministries
"One can tell that the Holcombs have extensive experience working with victims of various kinds of assault because this book is so comprehensive in elucidating the types of healing necessary. Thoroughly researched, richly evangelical in theology, strongly assertive to deliver from blame and guilt, Rid of My Disgrace is heartily recommended for all who suffer from sexual exploitation." ~Marva J. Dawn, author, Sexual Character, Being Well When We're Ill, and Joy in our Weakness; Teaching Fellow, Spiritual Theology, Regent College, Vancouver
"As the President of Youth for Christ/USA, I am a first hand witness to thousands of lives that have been impacted and marred by sexual assault. Often the trauma is replaced by debilitating shame and despair. I was moved and inspired by the thoughtful, comprehensive and approachable way that Justin and Lindsey Holcomb unpack the power of grace. The pages of the book unwrap the gift of God, they unlock the shackles of guilt, and they unleash the Spirit of God to transform. Rid of My Disgrace is an important work, for a vital time, to a broken people. I praise God for the fruit that this book will produce." ~Dan Wolgemuth
"Written passionately from the agony that haunts victims, this book also offers a message of hope and healing. It is an invaluable resource for those who have been victimized and a must-read for family, friends, pastors, or counselors of victims to be equipped to serve and love them well." ~Jud Wilhite, author, Eyes Wide Open and Uncensored Grace; senior pastor, Central Christian Church, Las Vegas, Nevada
"This important book places the powder keg of gospel truth where it is most needed: on the frontline of pastoral ministry. A mixture of clear writing, real-life stories, and faithful Bible exposition makes this a powerful resource in the fight for redemption in the lives of those we are called to serve." ~Joel Virgo, Lead Pastor, Church of Christ the King, Brighton
"This is a sad and disturbing book. The 'dark' of it will keep you awake at night. But the 'light' will cause you to sing with joy and hope. What a gift to the church and to those who have felt the shame of sexual assault or who love those who have! Read it and give it to your friends. They will rise up and call you blessed! It is the best book I've ever read on the subject of abuse and I've read a lot of them." ~Steve Brown, Professor of Practical Theology Emeritus, Reformed Seminary, Orlando; radio teacher, Key Life
"This compelling, disturbing and hopeful book written from the perspective of the Christian faith, has the potential to be a lifeline for many who have experienced the horror of sexual violence." ~Rob Morris, President and co-founder, Love146
"Rid of My Disgrace reminds victims of sexual assault that they are not alone and it is not the end of the story. From King David's daughter Tamar to the courageous survivors telling their stories today, the Holcombs take sexual assault out of the shadows of shame and isolation and into the light of the gospel. With a solid grasp on both the effects of sexual assault and of redemptive history, the Holcombs thoroughly identify sexual assault and its aftermath while calling the reader to let even such a painful, hideous act be a part of their story of redemption through Christ's sufficient work on the cross." ~Monica Taffinder, co-founder and counselor, Grace Clinic Christian Counseling
"This book helped us understand the painful emotions that go along with the particular suffering of sexual assault. But more than that, it showed us how to respond to our twelve-year-old son who was assaulted." ~Parents of a child victim
"I thought I had gotten over the abuses in my past--I had forgiven my abusers, stopped feeling like a victim, and felt like I was a stronger person. After reading Rid of My Disgrace, I realized there were still underlying issues I hadn't dealt with that were preventing me from getting close to other people and, worst of all, preventing me from having a deeper relationship with God. Each chapter not only discussed each emotion that had been secretly weighing on me, but also showed me that those emotions don't have to rule me. Jesus' death and resurrection apply not only to my sins, but also to the burden of someone else's sin against me. My identity is no longer as "damaged goods.' It is 'child of God' and with that comes God's unending love. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has experienced not only some form of sexual abuse, but other abuses as well." ~Adult female victim