Please join me in spreading this video and Brooke’s story within your circle of influence. And praying for women to be set free. Also, please pray for Brooke as she stands against powers of great darkness.
When Brooke was seven her Mom, Mollie, was hospitalized with a severe reaction to environmental poisoning. Her Dad traveled extensively for his business so they decided to put their two sons and Brooke in the care of a series of nannies.
One, a seminary student they thought they could trust, repeatedly sexually abused Brooke, even trafficked her to other men, as she recalled in a piece titled “What I Know of Silence,” written for an anthology of women’s writing in 2012. She was so ashamed it was years before she shared her experience with her family.
Last night, after a clip by President Obama on the subject of violence against women, Brooke briefly shared her story of another, more recent episode of sexual abuse by her boyfriend.
Girls who are subjected to sexual abuse and violence before the age of 18 are prone to become involved in sexual violence and abuse as an adult. Out of compassion for the pain in her boyfriend’s life Brooke remained in the relationship, hoping she could help heal him.
But her compassion was “incomplete” she said, “because it did not include me.”
Brooke’s story segued right into Katy Perry’s song, “By the Grace of God”: “And I looked in the mirror and decided to stay/Wasn’t gonna let love take me out that way.”
On the phone to Mollie on Saturday in LA she told me that Brooke’s message would reach 30 million people in the live broadcast, including millions of women who might be helped by her powerful appeal. The way her message has exploded in the media last night and this morning I’m sure that’s true.
Brooke concluded her story: “Authentic love does not devalue another human being. Authentic love does not silence, shame, or abuse. If you are in a relationship with someone who does not honor or respect you, I want you to know that you are worthy of love.
“Please reach out for help. Your voice will save you. Let it extend into the night. Let it part the darkness. Let it set you free to know who you truly are. Valuable. Beautiful. Loved.”
Brooke is affiliated with the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network which provides an online hotline.
If you or someone you know is looking for biblical wisdom on how to respond to sexual or physical abuse I highly recommend the resources of my friend, Christian counselor Leslie Vernick, author of The Emotional Destructive Relationship and The Emotionally Destructive Marriage. You might begin with her free resource: Q&A on Most Commonly Asked Questions on Domestic Violence. Abuse should not be hidden under the guise of submission. Jesus calls husbands to servant leadership. Violence is sin. As women we should use our voices to help anyone trapped in the cycle of abuse.