Sandy Phillips Kirkham – Innocence Betrayed

Sandy Phillips Kirkham is the author of the book Let Me Prey Upon You. It details how a youth pastor preyed upon her, a betrayal that left her broken, with a shattered faith, and the ultimate shame of being blamed and forced from the church she loved.

From their very first meeting, the new youth minister slowly and methodically turned the sacred relationship of a trusted spiritual leader to one of abuse: sexual, emotional, and physical. When his actions were discovered, he was simply moved to another church, leaving Sandy to pay for his deeds. She was not his first victim, nor would she be his last.

Despite a successful and happy life as a wife, mother, and friend, Sandy successfully concealed her abuse for twenty-seven years until a trigger forced her to face the truth. Sandy’s story will take you on her journey of healing which began in 2004, first by seeking justice and closure from both the pastor and the church. Her strength and courage will inspire you.

It’s a story of sexual abuse which may be confronting for some people. It’s also a story of hope and healing.

Sandy spoke to me for this week’s episode of my podcast, Bleeding Daylight.

You can hear Sandy’s story by searching for Bleeding Daylight wherever you find podcasts or simply click play on the player below.

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Elder Abuse

There seems to be a day, a week, or month for every cause but the particular focus for today is a rather sobering one. At a time in life where people should be able to enjoy the fruits of many years hard work, and be honoured for their knowledge and contribution to our community, they can instead become vulnerable targets for those who would take advantage of them.

Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. While elder abuse can take a number of forms, The most frequently reported abuse of elderly people in Western Australia is not physical but financial, according to a report released today. The report was commissioned by Advocare and conducted by the Crime Research Centre at the University of Western Australia.

During my morning radio program on 98.5 Sonshine FM this morning I spoke about the report and Elder Abuse Awareness Day with Advocare CEO Greg Mahney. You can click on the play button of the audio player below to hear our conversation.

One of the most disturbing aspects to elder abuse is that it is very often perpetrated by family or those closest to the victim.

What does it say about our society when those who should be honoured are being victimised? Have you seen examples of elder abuse? I’d be interested in reading your comments.


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Glamourising Abuse

Melinda Tankard Reist is a Canberra author, speaker, commentator and advocate with a special interest in issues affecting women and girls. I had the privilege of interviewing her back in 2007 when she was heading to Perth for the Real Choices for Women Forum.

A few days ago Melinda published an article titled, Women blindfolded and gagged: the latest in men’s fashion from Roger David. I am appalled that such shirts are available and I cannot even begin to understand how anyone would see them as acceptable in any way. Can I encourage you to read her article and respond to Roger David about their actions?

Melinda describes the shirts being sold by this major menswear chain and tries to describe the effects of such marketing.

What we are seeing here is the glamourising of abuse, the suggestion of sexual aggression, a hint that women want to be treated roughly.

The abuse is glamourised not just for the perpetrator, but for the victim too. As though it’s not only hot to be the pimp, but it’s sexy to be dominated, coerced, submissive, abused – possibly even raped.

She goes on to describe other shirts being sold online which excuse rape and abuse.

Please take the time to take action on this very serious issue.

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Abuse, adultery and desertion

NotUnderBondage.jpgWhat kind of God would insist on a woman staying in a relationship with an abusive husband? Some Christians believe that divorce is totally unacceptable under any circumstance but is that really the case?

There are very few people who enter marriage with anything but the best of intentions and a strong desire to make a life long committment, but for those wanting to stay within God’s plan, what happens when people find themselves in a destructive relationship?

Under what circumstances does the Bible permit divorce?

Does the Bible allow for a divorced Christian to remarry?

Divorce and remarriage remains a hot topic in Christian circles with a wide variety of opinions on the subject.

Barbara Roberts has written a book titled Not Under Bondage – Biblical Divorce for Abuse, Adultery and Desertion. I recently spoke to her about her book and her journey to recovery.

You can hear what she has to say by clicking the play button on the audio player at the bottom of this post.


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