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Light in the Darkness

Helping churches handle sexual violence in South Sudan

Not far from her home, Elizabeth* was raped and impregnated by a young man who wanted her as his wife.

Barely a month later, she was brutally beaten by the man’s brother. Elizabeth didn’t want to be a part of such a violent family. She felt so hopeless that she tried to end her life.

The tragic reality is that South Sudan has one of the highest rates of sexual violence in the world, as it is often used as a weapon of war. This has many serious short and long-term consequences on a woman’s physical, mental, and spiritual health.

A female church leader named Nyamlel heard about Elizabeth’s story and was determined to help. She was one of the 1,100 pastors and leaders that were trained in Tearfund’s biblically-based trauma recovery and healing curriculum.

Thanks to your support, Nymalel was able to come alongside Elizabeth and her family and help them find some light in the midst of darkness. While the family is pursuing justice, they are also learning to forgive the man who attacked Elizabeth.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges to our church partners, but that didn’t stop them courageously entering into the mission God has given them. Our local partner, CEDS, organized six learning sessions at a local radio station focusing on sexual violence, trauma and the role of the church. Over 45,000 people in the area tuned into the broadcasts!

After being raped, Elizabeth (pseudonym) tried to end her life. Thankfully, she is now receiving help and healing from a local church leader who was part of a Tearfund training course.
Survivors of sexual violence are finding new hope and restoration through the counselling.
Church leaders are being trained in biblically-based sexual violence counselling and advocacy. This is a key step in helping the many survivors of sexual abuse in South Sudan.

Despite the pandemic in South Sudan, we’ve seen leaders in ten more churches become trained in biblically-based trauma care. Supporters like you are changing the story for women and girls like Elizabeth. Churches are showing the love of Christ to their sisters who are healing from physical and emotional pain, and reaching out to their Muslim neighbours to bring hope.

*To protect her identity, Elizabeth is a pseudonym


Your donations are crucial to helping us to continue the training of church leaders in sexual violence counseling and prevention in South Sudan. 

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