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.

Help from God After Assault

By Karen Kosman:

Help from God After Assault

In 1956, when I was fourteen years old, I struggled against depression—one created by a traumatic event. While babysitting my younger sister and brothers, a stranger, with clever lies, gained access to our home.

Once he got me alone, he grabbed me from behind. At knife point he stole my innocence. The aftermath of rape resulted in Post Traumatic Syndrome: panic attacks, nightmares, and overwhelming guilt.  Finally, at the bottom of my depression pit I cried out, “God help me.”

Moments later, my mom called and said two detectives were waiting to talk with me. I’d had enough of interrogations—I wanted to be invisible.  Despondently, I entered the dining room. Then I heard a familiar voice. I found myself looking into the blue eyes of a police officer who had befriended me earlier that summer. I could hardly believe he’d been promoted and assigned to my case. “Karen,” Bill said, “this terrible thing is not your fault.”

Weeks later, during the trial, I struggled with fear every time my attacker looked at me with hate. “God help me,” I whispered in prayer over and over. During one recess, a woman approached and sat down next to me. She said, “I, too, am a victim of that man. You are a brave girl. Trust God and live your life.”

One weekend, while home alone, and in the throws of a panic attack I again cried out, “God help me.” Our doorbell rang, and looking through a peephole, I recognized my brother and sister’s Sunday school teacher.  When I opened the door he said, “I was passing by and suddenly felt I should stop and visit.” I knew God had answered yet another cry for help. The following Sunday I went to church and joined in with other teenagers. There is no doubt in my heart that God answered my cry for help. He helped me choose life.

Today, as a wife, mother, grandmother, and author, I am blessed.

Do you really believe that ending your life is the answer to your pain?  Have you heard the quote, “Suicide is a permanent answer to a temporary problem?”

Make a commitment not to end your life. Instead cry out, “God help me!” Seek him and you will find help from God after assault, no matter how traumatic.

In this video, Emily Klotz shares her story of abduction, rape, God’s presence, and eventually the ability to forgive. (Note that the beginning of this video describes an assault in detail, but there is a message of hope.)

If you are experiencing post traumatic stress from a sexual assault, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE