Category Archives: Exposed

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

ShannonSurvivor Shannon Deitz offers hope to victims of assault and abuse

According to Shannon Deitz, survivors of sexual abuse are three times more likely to suffer from depression, 13 times more likely to become addicted to alcohol and 26 more times more likely to develop an addiction to drugs. The shame, despair, depression and inability to cope with the painful events lead them to seek other ways to block out the memories and dull the pain.

Deitz believes the annual focusing of public attention on sexual assault and child abuse throughout the month of April can be beneficial in aiding all victims of abuse. “Survivors want to know they are being heard and that they will be safe and protected,” she says. “They do not need to be silenced because their situation makes others feel uncomfortable or is too hard to hear. To the contrary, they need people around them who are willing to listen and willing to stand up for them if they choose to go public. During this national month of awareness, the more people will become tuned in to just how prevalent this problem is in our country, the more beneficial it will be for everyone.”

Emphasizing the importance of openness, Deitz tells victims, “If you have suffered abuse at any point in your life and it has debilitated your marriage, your intimate relationships and your friendships, or even caused you to distrust others in general, then I want you to know, as one survivor speaking to another, that you can overcome this. The more you talk about it, the more you will heal. And though the experience will never totally disappear from your past, it will become a chapter in your life that you can eventually close.

For those who know someone who has been abused or assaulted, Deitz encourages them to be good listeners. “Being able to share their story with others serves to help prevent future abuse from taking place. If there is a survivor in your midst, be willing to listen. Be willing to hear their story.”

Deitz should know. It was her willingness to share her stories with others, first through her award-winning book, Exposed: Inexcusable Me, Irreplaceable Him,and upcoming new release this summer, Redeemed. Today, Deitz continues reaching out to those who are suffering through her speaking engagements, her blog (Just Show Up), ministry website and I Have a Voice.

www.HopefulHeartsMinistry.com

 

No Hope? Know Hope.

It takes a lifetime-not a month…

 

Know Hope

April is designated nationwide as both Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month. A sexual assault takes place in this country every two minutes, though it is estimated only about 30 percent of the assaults are reported and only one assailant in 16 will ever spend a day in jail. In addition, statistics tell us five children in America die each day from abuse or neglect. Seventy-five percent of those are less than four years old. Most know their attacker.

For international author and speaker, Shannon Deitz, these national awareness campaigns are an opportunity to reach more people with the message that the abuse need not define the victim. Having endured not only the anguish of being abused as a child and condemnation and feelings of worthlessness that most often accompany rape violations, Deitz knows firsthand just how detrimental sexual assault and child abuse can be to emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Today, her goal is to help other victims regain their sense of self-worth.

“Both sexual assault and child abuse are so distressful to most of us that we don’t even want to think about them being present in our society,” Deitz says. “This makes it almost impossible for any victim of assault or abuse to feel comfortable enough to speak out, which is, of course, exactly what they need to be able to do. Be it a child, a teenager or an adult, anyone who has been abused needs to be able to speak about what has been done to them without question or judgment.

“But instead of being made to feel safe talking about it,” she adds, “more often than not, they are made to feel as if they are the ones at fault. As a result, they tend to repress the experience, stuffing it down deep inside and allowing what has happened to define who they believe themselves to be. They begin living out a victim mentality where nothing good can ever happen because they think of themselves as unworthy or not good enough to deserve it.”

A little reminder when you feel lost…

You are not lost!

Take Heart.

There’s Hope.

www.HopefulHeartsMinistry.com

 

 

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

about shannon4Survivor Lends Voice to Child Abuse Prevention

Houston-based author/speaker reaches into the darkness of personal despair to offer a light of hope to victims of assault and abuse.

A sexual assault takes place in this country every two minutes, though it is estimated only about 30 percent of the assaults are reported and only one assailant in 16 will ever spend a day in jail. In addition, statistics tell us five children in America die each day from abuse or neglect. Seventy-five percent of those are less than four years old. Most know their attacker.about shannon1

In an effort to shed light on the darkness surrounding these two equally prevalent and pervasive issues, April is designated nationwide as both Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month. For international speaker and author Shannon Deitz, first raped when she was 17 and then again while in college, these national awareness campaigns are an opportunity to reach more people with the message that the abuse need not define the victim.

Having endured not only the anguish of being abused as a child and assaulted twice, but also the self-judgment, condemnation and feelings of worthlessness that most often accompany such violations, Deitz knows firsthand just how detrimental sexual assault and child abuse can be to emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Today, her primary goal in life is to help other victims regain a sense of self-worth.

Visit Shannon’s blog at http://www.shannonmdeitz.com/category/blog

Feeling the L-O-V-E ?

Meet Author Shannon Deitz

>- -VALENTINES DAY- ->

Are you feeling the love?

Q. How can I know that God loves me?  

A. Take in a breath. And let it out. With every breath you take, He is beside you, within you, around you. I think the hardest part about “knowing” is the ability to feel worthy of receiving His love, because how can we truly know it unless we accept it? That’s the real question. When I think about knowing God’s love for me, I think of Jeremiah 1:5—“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” When I think of God’s love, I think of how He knew me and wanted to create me, just as He knew you and wanted to create you and continues to want you to fulfill the purpose for which He created you. 

Q. I look around me and all I see is everything getting worse and worse. How am I supposed to find hope in that? 

 A. God brings good out of everything—this I know for certain and would bet my life upon. There was a time when I felt that every time I turned around another bad thing was happening to me. “Really, God?” I would think and let the anger towards Him and everyone else around me build up until I was blinded by anything that could be good. I was so stuck in focusing on the “bad” stuff that I wouldn’t allow myself to see the good that was forming from it all. The more that I stayed beaten down, the more I made decisions that reflected that attitude—which brought on even more “bad” stuff. It wasn’t until I literally could not live stuck in that hopeless despair and anger that I finally gave it all to God. I felt there was nothing to lose because it was all bad anyway. Once I started to look up and see what He could do better with my life then that is when I started to see the good that was going on around me. Now I look back at that time in my life and I thank God for it…not that I’m glad it was done to me, but for the strength and wisdom I received having lived through it.

Q. I was raped by my boyfriend and now everyone acts like I’m the one who did something wrong. How am I supposed to get over this and move on with my life? 

A. First of all, I am so sorry this happened to you. No one deserves to be raped, taken advantage of or abused in any way. When it is done by someone you trust, like your boyfriend, it is a deeper wound to heal and it often is harder for others to understand because they can’t fathom that person acting in that way. Stick with those that love you and are there to support you through this difficult time. You can’t make others believe you, but you can stick to the truth and soon enough the actions of your boyfriend will be revealed. Please go to counseling and talk about what happened to you. Talking is the best healing, along with prayer. And, remember, what has been done to you does not define you. One step at a time is how you move on with your life, trusting God has more for you in this life. You will get through this.

Q. Like you, I suffered with feelings of unworthiness for years. I’ve finally come to see myself as a beloved child of God and now I’d really like to help others, just as you are doing. How did you get started?

A. I started by helping through my church with teens. I honestly didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to help them not make the same mistakes I made. And, if they felt they already had made those mistakes or things had already been done to them, I wanted them to know that their life was not over or defined by these things. From there I just kept talking and telling about what had happened to me and how I overcame the depression and despair. More and more people wanted to know so they asked me to speak to their groups. Honestly, I wish I could give you a formula for how I got started, but it truly was a multitude of little moments that led up to what I am doing today. My advice would be to just start talking and sharing your experience and offering your time to groups you think could benefit from the wisdom God has given you through your journey. If you are feeling called, then know that God will open the doors. 

Visit Shannon’s blog at http://www.shannonmdeitz.com/category/blog

“I have a Voice” -Holly

My name is Holly…I felt invisible

…but I have a voice.

Hopeful Hearts Ministry presents 5 videos for the I Have a Voice Video Project.

This project is set to help survivors of abuse:

  • Recognize the abuse they have suffered and bring it out of the darkness and into the light….
  • Understand they are not alone and the abuse they have endured does not define the person that they are.
  • Overcome being a victim and realize the full potential of their lives.

For more information visit www.hopefulheartsministry.com

“I have a Voice” -Shannon

My name is Shannon…

…and I have a voice.

Healing and the many facets of forgiveness.

Hopeful Hearts Ministry presents the first of 5 videos for the I Have a Voice Video Project.

This project is set to help survivors of abuse:

  • Recognize the abuse they have suffered and bring it out of the darkness and into the light….
  • Understand they are not alone and the abuse they have endured does not define the person that they are.
  • Overcome being a victim and realize the full potential of their lives.

For more information visit www.hopefulheartsministry.com