July 20, 2023
Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault: An Interview with Justin Holcomb | POD 011
In this episode we talk with Justin Holcomb and Liz Nelson who discuss the sensitive issue of sexual violence, emphasizing empathy, vulnerability, and the power of storytelling for healing.



In this episode we talk with Justin Holcomb and Liz Nelson who discuss the sensitive issue of sexual violence, emphasizing empathy, vulnerability, and the power of storytelling for healing.... | READ MORE BELOW



Justin Holcomb – Guest

Liz Nelson – Guest

Paul Brandes – C0-Host

Bill Gorman – C0-Host

Show Notes

Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault: An Interview with Justin Holcomb

Trauma from sexual assault and abuse can disrupt our ability to have healthy relationships with God, family, and the world. It often causes us to perceive danger where it doesn’t exist, can narrow our world, and limit daily peace. In this episode, Justin Holcomb discusses the sensitive issue of sexual violence, emphasizing empathy, vulnerability, and the power of storytelling for healing. Drawing from the biblical story in 2 Samuel 13, Holcomb explores themes of disgrace and hope, and the transformative role of the gospel. He addresses misconceptions and definitions of sexual assault and abuse, highlighting their prevalence in society, even within religious contexts. Practical advice is offered for engaging in empathetic conversations and creating safe spaces for survivors to share their experiences. Tune in to gain a deeper understanding of how to support survivors of sexual violence and how survivors can find help.



Join us in this conversation about the importance of …

  1. Empathy and Listening: When engaging with survivors of sexual assault, it is crucial to show empathy and be fully present. Listening without trying to fix or offer advice can help survivors feel understood and not alone.
  2. Healing and Trust: Building trust is essential in the healing process, and it requires time, transparency, and authenticity. Small steps and patient engagement can help survivors build trust and feel safe within a community of faith.
  3. The Gospel and Identity: The effects of sexual assault include distorted identity and shame. The work of Christ and the power of the Gospel are relevant in addressing these effects. By focusing on what the Creator and Redeemer says about their identity, survivors can counter distorted self-perceptions and find hope in the healing process.

#EmpathyMatters #BreakTheSilence #HealingThroughStorytelling #NatureAsHealing #GraceAndHope #PreventRecognizeRespond #ResurrectionHope #IdentityInChrist #SupportSurvivors #TraumaAwareness



Dr. Justin Holcomb has taught theology and apologetics at numerous seminaries since 2000 and has written or edited more than 20 books on abuse, theology, and biblical studies. Prior to serving in the Diocese of Central Florida, he was a professor at the University of Virginia, served as a priest at a parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, was an executive director of an interdenominational ministry, served as the Director of Graduate Ministries at the Center for Christian Study (Charlottesville, VA), and held various other ministry positions.
Holcomb earned his Ph.D. in theological studies from Emory University and has both a Master of Arts in theological studies and a Master of Arts in Christian thought from Reformed Theological Seminary as well as a B.A. in biblical studies from Southeastern University. He also studied at the University of Oxford during the summer of 1996.
In addition to these ecclesial and academic roles, Bishop Holcomb serves on the boards of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in Christian Environments), HeartSupport, Leaders Collective, and The Living Church Foundation. He, along with his wife, Lindsey, helped co-found REST in 2009.
Bishop Holcomb is married to Lindsey Holcomb, with whom he has co-authored seven books, and together they have two daughters, Sophia and Zoe.

Liz Nelson earned her MA in Counseling from MidAmerica Nazarene University. She is a Clinically Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Kansas. Her areas of focus are adult counseling for individuals and couples. Elizabeth works from a psychodynamic theory and the attachment perspective that honors the client’s experiences of personal and relational struggles that interfere with well-being. Together with the client, Liz explores the symptoms and causes of distress. She works with a wide variety of needs and in diverse populations. Elizabeth also has over two decades of experience serving the non-profit community in Kansas City, and is deeply committed to coming alongside these leaders, caregivers, and volunteers.




“Our definition of sexual assault is any type of sexual behavior or contact where consent is not freely given or obtained and is accomplished through force, intimidation, violence, coercion, manipulation, threat, deception or abuse of authority.”
— Justin Holcomb


“The survivor of the victim feels embarrassed and shameful because they feel like they somehow they were involved and that they chose that they used their agency to do this when they actually were being forced and threatened. And that’s how the manipulation works.”
— Justin Holcomb


“The listen to and believe language comes from all of the research. They’ve actually asked survivors of abuse what was the most helpful thing in your healing. And the number one, far and away, beyond all other possible things was being listened to and believed by other people.”
— Justin Holcomb


“For someone who feels like filthy, damaged goods, hearing over and over again the words that the Bible uses for those who are adopted and in Christ, pure, perfect, righteous, and holy, without spot, blemish or wrinkle, that’s way better than you can ever make up.”
— Justin Holcomb


Rid Of My Disgrace: Hope And Healing For Victims Of Sexual Assault – Justin Holcomb

What Is A Girl Worth? – Rachael Denhollander

Trust & Brokenness PDF – Liz Nelson


[00:05:04] “Tamar’s assault and the intersection of disgrace, shame, and hope.”
[00:11:58] “Collaboration, consent, and understanding the breadth of sexual assault.”
[00:21:04] “Churches need to support survivors and create safe spaces for disclosure.”
[00:29:13] “The Gospel’s role in healing and finding true identity after assault.”
[00:38:18] “The prevalence of sexual abuse and the importance of church intervention.”
[00:45:14] “If not this career, what would you choose to do?”
[00:50:26] “The impact of trauma on perception and relationships.”
[00:59:15]” Processing trauma and the instinctual bodily responses.”
[01:03:05] “Rebuilding trust in the aftermath of trauma.”
[01:10:00] “Our role in supporting and advocating for victims.”
[01:13:41] “Trust, vulnerability, and the importance of authentic sharing.”
[01:17:47] “Kurt Thompson’s insights on trust, vulnerability, and healing.”
[01:25:28] “Tips for showing empathy and self-care for healing.”
[01:29:29] “Mary’s encounter with Jesus and the complexity of trauma.”
[01:17:47] “Kurt Thompson on trust, empathy, and understanding.”
[01:25:28] “Showing empathy: embracing vulnerable stories, honest prayer, journaling, connecting with nature.”
[01:29:29] “Ending”

Other Episodes

Prayer and Witness | POD 015

Gabe Coyle and Nydiaris Hernandez-Santos discuss the transformative power of prayer and the significance of having a personal relationship with God. Join us as we explore the profound role of prayer in our journey of faith.

Reading Romans with Douglas Moo | POD 014

In today's episode we are diving into an overview of the compelling and complex book of Romans. Our hosts, Paul Brandes, Bill Gorman, are joined by special guest Dr. Douglas Moo, who brings his expertise as a renowned scholar and commentator on the book of Romans. Throughout the episode, our speakers reflect on their personal connections with the book of Romans, from their early encounters with commentaries to the challenges and rewards of teaching and preaching from this pivotal New Testament letter.

Romans Series Overview with Bill & Tom | POD 013

In today's episode, we are joined by Tom Nelson, our lead senior pastor, for an enlightening conversation about the significance of this powerful letter to the Romans. Bill and Tom discuss the shifting focus of the church over time and how Romans speaks to essential questions like: who Jesus is, how we're saved, and what it means to be human.

Exploring the CSB Translation with Dr. Coover-Cox | POD 012

Bible translation is an often misunderstood process which can lead to difficulties in choosing a translation that fits the needs of the reader. In today's episode, we have a special guest, Dr. Dorian Coover-Cox, who will take us on an enlightening journey through the world of Bible translation. We'll dive into the challenges, decisions, and goals involved in bringing the ancient text to life in different languages.

Cultivating a Generosity Mindset – Paul Forbes | POD 010

How should your faith intersect with your finances? On this episode of theFormed.life, we discuss the impact of financial mindset and posture and the importance of implementing financial boundaries. We explore the tension around finances, reflecting on why people spend money on certain things and how this reveals what their idols are.

Historicity of Resurrection Sunday – Dr. Blomberg | POD 009

Did the Resurrection of Jesus really happen? What are the implications and evidence of Jesus’ resurrection? On this episode of theFormed.life, Dr. Craig Blomberg, a renowned New Testament scholar joins our host, Bill Gorman to discuss the unique differences in the Gospel of John, the skepticism surrounding the resurrection story, and the impact the resurrection has had on culture and society throughout history.

Sleep, Rest and Renewal: God’s Rhythm in Creation and Our Lives | POD 008

How important is rest and sleep for renewal and spiritual growth? In this episode we discuss how God's design for rest affects all of creation, with sleep being a crucial element. Dr. Gayln Perry and Liz Nelson regularly work with patients who struggle with sleep concerns. They share their expertise, clarifying and addressing common contributors to sleep and rest issues. We talk about practical ideas for improving sleep quality and how inconsistent sleep schedules, napping in the afternoon, and engaging in non-sleep-related activities in bed can negatively impact quality of sleep.

Addressing Sexual Brokenness: Clues to Healing Through Story and Curiosity | POD 007

Unwanted sexual behaviors are not random but reflect unaddressed parts of one's story. Dealing with these underlying issues can lead to wider stories of healing. In this podcast episode, we talk with Jay Stringer about bringing the problems, heartache, brokenness, and sin into the foreground, and get really curious about the origins of how that all began. And then, with curiosity and kindness, that's how we are able to heal and grow.

Cannabis and the Christian

Legalization of Cannabis: How Should Christians Respond? | POD 006

The cannabis debate is raging, with some countries legalizing it and others banning recreational use. In this episode of theFormed.life Podcast, Dr. Todd Miles joins us to discuss the legalization of cannabis and how Christians should respond. We explore a biblical framework, the different elements in cannabis, and some wisdom questions that can help us make informed decisions. Todd is a pastor and author with a beautiful Christian perspective on this topic


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.