Derailing Suicidal Thoughts After Rape

By Karen Kosman:

When suicidal thoughts occur after rape, those thoughts need derailing. People can help.

 

I understood the young women’s distress as I stood by her emergency room gurney. I noticed the bruises on her arms and looked into her fearful eyes. She’d been raped.

“Hi, I’m here from the lab, and I need to take a blood sample,” I said softly. She remained silent as I drew her blood. “I’m sorry about what you are going through. As a teenager I, too, became a rape victim.”

She looked surprised, and the tears began as she said, “I’m so afraid he’ll come back. How do I go on? Right now I just want to die.”

“You take one day at a time. Eventually, you’ll start to feel safe again. Don’t be afraid to seek professional counseling. What happened to you is not your fault.”

She asked with a trembling voice, “Did you do that?”

“Yes. I did. It’s a safe place to talk about your fears.”

“Thank you. I’m glad you shared with me.”

As I returned to the lab, my thoughts churned, When someone states, “I just want to die” that’s a red flag, no matter what the circumstances. People who are hurt, or traumatized during a criminal act, need to know that others care.

Often in our daily walk we have brief encounters with people who we don’t really know, but God has allowed our paths to cross. He whispers to our hearts to reach out in love and concern.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22: 37-38

If you found this blog page because yourself have just been assaulted, or still struggle with the effects long after an assault has happened, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline1.800.656.HOPE. You can also refer others to this number to help them.

Karen Kosman is co-author of the book, Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Victims and Survivors of Suicide.

Additional Resources for Rape Victims

To read about some misconceptions about rape, see: Resources for Victims of Rape.

If you have just been assaulted, the first thing you should do is get medical attention. A Physical Evidence Recover Kit may be used to acquire evidence.

Another resource is christiansurvivors.com which includes a list of resources for rape victims in the US, UK and Australia.

To find a christian counselor in the USA, you can visit  christiantherapist.com or The American Association of Christian Counselors.

A Successful Suicide Prevention Story

By Jeenie Gordon:

As a therapist, on occasion, God has granted me the opportunity to successfully practice suicide prevention through office visits or phone calls. Here is one such story.

He was in his late 20s, good-looking enough to be a movie star. Intelligent, with a vibrant personality, he could capture a heart in a minute—but his world fell apart.

Aaron stumbled into my counseling office, and tears cascaded down his sculptured face like a giant waterfall. Slumping on the sofa, between sobs, he told me his story of pain. I listened carefully.

Married a few short years to his beautiful dream girl, he thought life was blissful—until today.

“Angela wants out of our marriage. Her bags are packed, and she is ready to walk out of the door and out of my life forever.”

“I’m so sorry to hear that, Aaron. Tell me what happened.”

“Angela was swept off her feet by an older, married man at work. The more she spoke of his amazing attributes, the more my heart disintegrated. That’s why I decided to seek counseling.”

During the next few weeks, I was supportive and caring toward this broken man. Returning home late one evening, I had numerous messages from him.

“Jeenie, I need you. Please pick up. Jeenie, I can’t stand the pain, and I’m going to end it.”

With a loaded gun and a broken heart, he called for help. My heart was nearly beating out of my chest as I dialed his number.

“Please, God,” I prayed. “Let him still be alive.”

Thankfully, he answered, and I was able to talk him through the night, preventing his suicide.

Years later, Aaron remarried a wonderful Christian woman, had children, and today is involved in ministry to others in despair.

Not all stories turn out as well as Aaron’s. The dark well of emotion surrounds many people in marital trauma as they sink into a pit of deep muck, unable to climb out. Often they do not possess enough strength to grab onto a lifesaving hope of suicide prevention.

You can search a directory of Christian counselors through the National Christian Counselors Association at http://www.ncca.org/Directory/. Even though suicidal people need professional help, do not underestimate the listening ears, encouraging words, and love of family and friends for they may also help in suicide prevention.

This excerpt was taken from Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Suicide Victims and Survivors and used with permission by New Hope Publishers.

Here’s a video from Linda Rooks on Huntly Street about restoring a broken marriage: