DALLAS – April 18, 2017 – A Times Square electronic billboard—four times an hour, April 17-30—is one highly public salvo in the There is Hope campaign from Hope for the Heart, a Dallas-based international counseling ministry, aiming to reach victims of childhood sexual abuse.
April is Sexual Abuse Awareness Month.
See the Times Square Video Outreach
“Victims blame themselves for what’s been done to them,” says June Hunt, Hope for the Heart’s founder, herself an abuse victim. “We want every man and woman, boy and girl to know There Is Hope, and counselors who can give it are a phone call away."
“Our presence in Times Square is a reminder that all kinds of people in the U.S. and abroad carry the scars of sexual abuse. And no matter how liberated our society becomes, there is no excuse for abuse!” Hunt said.
On that subject, RAINN.org (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) delivers daunting stats:
Every eight minutes, Child Protective Services substantiates or finds evidence for a claim of child sexual abuse.
From 2009 to 2013, CPS agencies substantiated or found strong evidence to indicate that 63,000 children a year were victims of sexual abuse.
82 percent of all victims under age 18 are female.
In its There Is Hope campaign, Hope for the Heart sends people to a dedicated page on its website. Anyone affected by sexual abuse may call for counseling or reach out anonymously by email.
Founded in 1986, Hope for the Heart is a Texas-based, international Christian counseling ministry giving biblical hope and practical help through counseling and coaching—drawn from Hunt’s 100-topic Biblical Counseling Library.
“There are no hopeless situations, only people who have grown hopeless,” Hunt says. “In life’s struggles, the Bible has real solutions.”
Hunt’s message broadcasts on Hope for the Heart’s flagship radio programs Hope for the Heart and Hope in the Night—on more than 250 radio stations with some 1.5 million listeners. In publishing and radio, the organization’s message goes out in 30 languages in 60-plus countries on six continents. More than 30 Hope-sponsored walk-in counseling centers operate internationally.
National Sexual Assault Awareness month sprang from the 1970’s Take Back the Night movement to protest violence against women. April 2001 marked the first U.S. Sexual Assault Awareness Month nationally. In 2017, the month’s national activities focus on helping faith leaders, athletic coaches, college Greek systems and others identify and report sexual assault.