While most Christians know that sexual harm happens, they don’t know what to say or do, so to avoid making things worse by doing or saying the wrong thing, they stay silent. This reflects a god who remains silent and does not care to intervene, making victims think that the God of the Bible doesn’t care about them as they continue believing the lie that the violence was their fault. To make matters worse, faith-based organizations are magnets for people who want to abuse children, and the mistaken notion that it is easy to spot abusers by their appearance lets them harm many children without deterrence. God wants His people to intervene to help the oppressed (Isaiah 59:15-16), so we provide the tools that people and organizations need to be able to intervene and help those around them.
The CDC estimates that in the United States 1 in 2 women and 1 in 6 men have experienced some sort of sexual abuse before the age of 18. Those figures are averages, and we recognize that in some communities nearly every man and woman have experienced sexual harm. Yet this is a silent problem. Shame and fear keep survivors from mentioning it. God’s perspective is clear: it is His people’s job to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves” (Proverbs 31:8-9). Those verses gave us our name: Levanta La Voz is the Spanish phrase for “Speak up!”, a natural choice since this ministry began in San José, Costa Rica, to train seminary students. We are speaking up by sharing important information about sexual harm in the 21st century and equipping Christian leaders, so that they in turn are prepared to train others to prevent and respond to sexual harm.
Testimonials from people who have taken LLV8
“The live classes with expert input from you as leaders along with insights from other students were beyond my expectations and so valuable in grasping and expanding the written material. I could not recommend the course more highly and thank you so very much for including me.” – A Church member
“This course helped to galvanize my resolve to take proactive steps to prevent abuse and minister to both the victim and the abuser. It gave me clear advice about getting policies and procedures in place, and perhaps even more importantly, ideas of how to bring the leadership team on board. I would definitely recommend this course to others.” – A Missionary Pastor
“Now I feel more prepared to respond with compassion and understanding. I feel I am more aware to the possibilities of abuse. [This course] provides a needed voice for within our churches and Christian community. It is time to get our heads out of the sand!” – A Missions Committee Chairperson
“The material is extremely informative and helpful. Having taken the course, I have and will continue to commend it and recommend that others, particularly in pastoral ministry, but also in counseling and rescue efforts, make the investment to take the course as possible.” – Rev. Carl T. Martin PhD, DMin.