Tonight's special guest is Barbara Joy Hansen from Milford, Massachusetts, a survivor of sexual abuse by a grandfather and a member of the clergy. She also lost her virginity to a college student who took advantage of her. Later she experienced domestic violence. But hers is a story of redemption. Barbara not only faced her own demons, she faced her perpetrators and then turned her attention to helping others. In her book, 'Listen to the Cry of the Child,' she shares her journey. “When you are abused, you are repeatedly told not to tell,” Barbara says. “That sent me deep into a decades-long world of mute and numb silence.” Bits of her memory were blocked. She experienced shame, low self esteem and delayed physical maturation in her teens. As an adult she struggled with infertility, postpartum depression and marriage betrayal. Barbara's road to healing came through asking God to heal her, by validating her memories and confronting the past. No longer a victim, she considers herself a 'victorious survivor.' She and her husband work in prisons, homeless shelters, and domestic violence conferences, and she facilitates a survivors support group called Beauty Out of Ashes (many members are former addicts). She travels the world telling her story. Recently an excellent 4 minute video about Barbara's life was made by the 700 Club. "Victims of abuse often conceal their pain as they carry their scars," she notes. "The only road to freedom from this prison requires confronting the past and revealing its pain in the light of God's love."
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