“Rewriting the narrative surrounding sexual abuse and exploitation is critical in our culture. Hidden abuse left unaddressed destroys people. Sexual abuse is its own kind of evil because it strikes at the core of those assaulted, attacking their very identity.”
Where pain and passion collide
I have long believed we cannot separate the issues of sexual abuse and exploitation. While all sexual abuse victims will not be exploited or trafficked, all trafficking victims have been sexually abused. I did not become a sexual abuse victim the first time I was raped at age 12, or an exploitation victim the first time I was traded for sex at age 13. I became a victim of both when I was four–the first time I was molested.
I silently suffered in a world with no voice and was permanently branded for life as a target for other abusers. My teen and young adult years were further scarred by chronic violence, sexual abuse, and exploitation. Violent assaults, chronic date and gang rape in my teens confirmed I had no tools, no skills, and no boundaries to ward off predators. It wasn’t labeled trafficking back then, but I know first-hand what it is to be sold, traded, and exploited for sex. At 22, a violent, criminal gang rape forced me to gather enough courage to report for the first time. I was painfully reminded why many sexual assault victims never come forward when the lone officer who took my report perpetrated further abuse in a windowless interrogation room. A drug overdose and failed suicide attempt propelled me on a life-changing journey.
I am not alone. Statistics reveal that at least one in four women will be the victim of some sort of sexual abuse in her lifetime. My story is not unusual. The victims walk among us. Bullying, addictions, self-harm, suicide, and inappropriate sexual behavior can hold sexual abuse victims captive and keep the victim cycle perpetuating in individuals, families, and communities.
There is Hope for people impacted by sexual abuse and exploitation.
How do we reconnect people impacted by sexual abuse and exploitation with Hope? First, we have to reconnect them with who they were before the abuse happened. We can then help them discover who they were created to be and how they can interact with their world despite the sexual violence they have endured.
Every business, church, organization, school, and community have sexual abuse survivors within their midst. Would you like to offer Hope and healing to the hurting victims among you? Consider bringing a Broken or Beautiful speaking event or training to your community and make a difference in the lives of people impacted by sexual abuse and exploitation. Together, we can help them find their way out of the broken and back into their beautiful.
Broken or Beautiful founder, speaker, and author, Trish Propson, is passionate about using the pain of her own sexual abuse and exploitation to help others find healing and hope. Surviving a volatile world of anger and chronic sexual abuse as a child, teen, and young adult, her Broken or Beautiful programs are designed to raise awareness, inspire healing, and influence change surrounding sexual abuse and exploitation issues within our culture from a victim’s perspective.
Trish is a licensed and ordained chaplain, sexual abuse advocate and crisis responder, and certified Biblical counselor with a master’s degree in Pastoral Counseling. She enthusiastically serves as a published author, national speaker, and trainer for best practices to help sexual abuse survivors in community settings.
Trish was broken and is now living a beautiful, redeemed life as the proud momma of two adult daughters, a son-in-law, and two adult sons and is loving her new role as grandmother.
“I am living proof there is hope for victims to reclaim life out of the cycle of sexual assault and exploitation. God got a hold of me when I was 24 and lifted me out of the darkness that threatened to kill me. I openly acknowledge that without Jesus’ intervention in my life, I would not be alive to tell my tale. I am a woman of faith who unapologetically serves God with the goal of using the pain of my sexual abuse to help others. But, as a professional counselor and chaplain, I am also respectful of the need for the separation of life and faith in diverse settings.”
Trish’s Professional Information