Few experiences can cause someone to feel a sense of disgrace more than being the victim of sexual assault. My wife and I wrote a post for The Resurgence attempting to apply grace and the cross to the horror of sexual assault. You can read the entire post here.

Here are some excerpts:

Disgrace is the opposite of grace. Disgrace destroys, causes pain, deforms, and wounds. It alienates and isolates. Disgrace makes you feel worthless, rejected, unwanted, and repulsive, like a persona non grata (a “person without grace”). Disgrace silences and shuns.

To your sense of disgrace, God gives grace. A good short definition of grace is “one-way, unconditional love.” This is the opposite of your experience of assault, which was “one-way violence.” Grace has the power to turn despair into hope. Grace listens, lifts up, cures, transforms, and heals.

Victims can more meaningfully celebrate the victorious resurrection of Christ when they can identify with the horrendous victimizing of the cross. Jesus was the recipient of violence that mirrors much of what victims experience (shame, humiliation, silence, betrayal, pain, mockery, travesty of justice, loneliness, etc.). His suffering and death were real and brutal, but there was a resurrection after Good Friday. The cross is both the consequence of evil and God’s method of accomplishing redemption. Jesus’ resurrection is proof that God is about redeeming, healing, and making all things new.