Women who have suffered sexual abuse as children will find help and solace at a new groundbreaking national conference, where a survivor will speak about her experiences and her restoration.
Restoration Church in Walsall hopes organising ‘Silent No More’ will be the catalyst for change to equip and release Christian women who have suffered from childhood sexual abuse. It also wants to raise awareness of the issue to help empower churches to address the after-effects of childhood sexual abuse among their congregations.
Pat, who was neglected and abused by her mother and was molested by her uncle between the ages of 14 and 16, will be one of the speakers on May 16th, 2020, at The Village Hall Hotel in Walsall, along with Laura Brett from Press Red (a ministry which aims to eradicate abuse and violence against women), and Claudia Bell from Thirtyone:eight (a Christian charity which aims to protect vulnerable people from abuse).
“At the ‘Silent No More’ Conference, I will speak about my experience and how I got through it,” said Pat, who is in the process of writing a book. “The sexual abuse affected me on all levels, but today I can praise God because I am healed. Although I have scars and memories, I am free from the pain, shame and guilt and, through the love and mercy of God, I am not consumed by my past.
“I want to say to people who have suffered a similar experience to me, ‘Don’t give up, reach out to God, forgive those who have hurt you and, most importantly, forgive yourself.’”
Pat added, “I have always known that God would use my experience to help others. I wasn’t sure how, but now I am very excited to be about tell my story of the goodness of God.”
Leonard McDonald and his wife, Pauline, who are the senior leaders of Restoration Christian Ministries, helped Pat when she approached them, saying she wanted to reach out to other victims of childhood sexual abuse.
He said: “If Pat, with the support of her church family, can be a catalyst for change and start the conversation, not only will believers be healed, but unbelievers will also see the healing power of the Gospel, when victims share their faith journey in the context of childhood sexual abuse.
“We feel strongly, when it comes to abuse, the silence from the church only makes it harder for people to receive support. Churches must seek ways to share the love of God to those who have suffered. Jesus came to heal the broken-hearted. If we fail to speak openly about those things that break hearts, we fail to show the relevance of the Church and her message.”
The organisers of the conference, which is sponsored by Serenity Woman’s Ministry from Restoration Christian Ministries, are aiming to compassionately support and equip women suffering from the after-effects of childhood sexual abuse. They will also pray with them and hope to create safe, healthy environments for women who suffer in silence. Christian celebrity, Nikki Tapper, will be the conference compere.
The speakers will share their experiences while providing a biblical foundation for the restoration of those who want ministry. The conference will be interspersed with worship and prayer.
For more information, visit www.restorationcm.com