The story of “Emily Doe’s” rape by an over-privileged white male athlete who was convicted but given a light jail sentence is deeply troubling. Her valiant fight and speaking out against rape culture is, however, inspiring and necessary. Thanks to Emily Doe, light is being shed on ways that this country is tolerant of rape, lenient toward money and privilege, prejudiced against women victims, and still has far to go in regards to equality. It’s a good thing our faith is not in the political or judicial systems because those are miserably failing. Jesus’ good kingdom is our only hope. We pray and hope and work for better.
If you're using this litany in a congregational or group setting, I recommend omitting the "We acknowledge" section. For the purpose of personal prayer, I feel that section contains worthwhile reminders about Jesus and his ideas about power.
God, our hearts are hurting for our sisters and brothers who have been victims
of rape, sexual abuse, violence.
Help us to help and care for them, and stand in solidarity with them.
For those who are victims of sexual violence we pray
Lord, have mercy.
For those whose bodies and minds have been violated
Christ, have mercy.
For those who have been overpowered physically or emotionally
Be their refuge.
For those who have felt helpless
Be their stronghold and help in trouble.
For those who have borne up under sexual abuse
Be their comfort and healer.
For those who have felt too damaged in body or mind to go on
Be their hope.
For those whom the legal system has failed,
Fight for them, Oh God.
We acknowledge that violence is not the way of Jesus.
We acknowledge that Jesus never forces his way on us, but wins us.
We acknowledge that Christ awaits our consent to enter our hearts and lives.
We acknowledge that Christ loved and respected people from all walks of life, all genders.
We acknowledge that Christ did not wield physical power over people, but healed and forgave.
We acknowledge that justice belongs to You, and we can trust You for it.
We acknowledge that Christ came to save the world;
the victim and the perpetrator,
the rich and the underprivileged,
the foolish and the wise.
God, hear our prayer:
We ask for justice,
understanding that we may not see it this side of eternity.
We ask for peace,
which the Spirit of God is always offering here and now.
We ask for mercy,
for violence to cease.
We ask for rest,
that those traumatized may sleep each night in the peace of Your presence.
We ask for redemption,
for the perpetrators to repent and make amends.
We ask for healing,
for deep wounds to be mended.
We ask for forgiveness,
that victims may be free from seeking revenge,
and perpetrators may be made new by the forgiveness of Christ.
May Your kingdom come on earth.
May Your love abound to all, redeeming all.