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. Justin and Lindsey Holcomb’s acclaimed book, Rid of My Disgrace (Crossway Books, 2011), offered a new vision of how the grace of God can heal the broken and restore the disgraced.
When Rid of My Disgrace was published, it exposed many Christians to the horrors of sexual abuse and assault for the first time. It enabled many who have been victimized to finally seek help and hope within the framework of their faith. Rid of My Disgrace was a gift to these men and women and all the people who seek to come alongside them in their journey toward healing.
But Rid of My Disgrace forced us—as a church—to ask ourselves further questions. How can our churches become a safe place to talk about abuse? Can we participate somehow in the healing of the men and women among us who have been abused?
This brand new Rid of My Disgrace Small Group Discussion Guide answers our collective questions, bringing healing and hope into the safety of the faith community.
Download the free leader's material for additional helps in guiding your group through the process of facing, acknowledging, and beginning to heal from sexual trauma.
Justin Holcomb, PhD, is an Episcopal priest and professor of theology and apologetics at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Reformed Theological Seminary. Justin is a City Network Leader for Made to Flourish. He serves on the boards of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in Christian Environments), Heart Support, and Leaders Collective. He has authored, coauthored, or edited more than fifteen books on numerous topics, including sexual assault, domestic abuse, biblical studies, and historical theology. He and his wife, Lindsey, coauthored the award-winning children’s book God Made All of Me and God Made Me in His Image.
Lindsey A. Holcomb, MPH, works at Samaritan Village, a safe home and therapeutic program for adult survivors of sex trafficking. She is a former case manager at a sexual assault crisis center and a domestic violence shelter and is the cofounder of REST (Real Escape from the Sex Trade). Together, Lindsey and her husband, Justin, conduct a variety of training seminars on how to prevent, recognize, and respond to child, sexual, and domestic abuse. She is also the award-winning coauthor of Is It My Fault?, Rid of My Disgrace, God Made All of Me, and God Made Me in His Image. The Holcombs live in Orlando and are parents of two daughters.
"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 who had the courage and wisdom to write this material for us."
Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor, The Village Church, Dallas, Texas; President, Acts 29 Church Planting Network
"The Holcombs graciously and effectively offer the words, validation, insight, truth, and encouragement that anyone who has experienced sexual assault so desperately needs in order to heal. It's a welcome blend of shame-reducing questions and biblical truth that creates the space for us to see ourselves as we really are. I am thrilled to have such a personable and comprehensive tool to offer my clients, and I look forward to seeing the change and healing they will experience by walking through this guide."
Monica Taffinder, Cofounder and counselor, Grace Clinic Christian Counseling
"The world—and too often the church—encourages victims of sexual assault to do more. The Holcombs 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 Small Group Discussion Guide is powerful, healing medicine."
Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California; author, Calvin on the Christian Life
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