Karl Benzio, M.D. and Julie Woodley, M.A. Address Addiction and Trauma Counseling and Help the Hurting
Philadelphia, PA—Every two minutes in the U.S., someone is sexually assaulted.
One in five women and one in 33 men will be the victim of rape or attempted rape in their lifetime, according to figures released by the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network in April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Despite the alarming numbers, rapes remain vastly under-reported. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that just a tenth of victims tell someone about their attack, due to feelings of fear, guilt and shame.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and an addiction expert and sexual assault expert are teaming up to offer resources for those who have experienced the trauma of sexual assault.
Lighthouse Network, founded by Karl Benzio, M.D., is a Christian-based mental health and addiction referral organization providing a free 24-hour addiction helpline the Lighthouse Network Addiction and Counseling Helpline toll-free at (844) 543-3242.
Restoring the Heart is a project of Lighthouse Network, headed by founder and director Julie Woodley, to reach out to the hurting and lost who have experienced sexual abuse. Restoring the Heart seeks to help men, women and children find freedom and hope after emotional, sexual and physical abuse and other types of trauma. A speaker, author, counselor and survivor of numerous traumatic experiences, Woodley specializes in trauma counseling and draws from her past and the healing she has found in Christ to share hope and healing with others.
Benzio and Woodley have both witnessed firsthand the devastating effects sexual assault can have on its victims and their families. For example, research shows that those who have experienced sexual assault are three times more likely to suffer from depression, four times more likely to contemplate suicide, six times more likely to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol and 26 times more likely to abuse drugs
“Day after day, we try to help people who are struggling with the addiction of alcohol and drugs,” Benzio said. “And at first, we don’t know why people are turning to these addictions. In some cases, they are trying to bury a traumatic experience from the past—perhaps sexual assault, sexual abuse or rape. Through counseling, we hope and pray that these issues will surface and that our clients will be able to find freedom from that prison.”
Added Woodley, “We work with men, women and children who are going through even more trauma because they were sexually assaulted or abused by an acquaintance or even a loved one. The truth is that the majority of sexual assaults and rapes don’t occur in a dark alley with a stranger as the perpetrator. Sixty to seventy percent of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows, such as a co-worker, date or family member. And the counseling that goes along with the abuse must also take into account the betrayal a person feels when trust has been broken in a very traumatic way.”
Restoring the Heart has created “In the Wildflowers,” a 10-part DVD series with accompanying curriculum targeted at counseling professionals for use with people who have experienced the pain of childhood sexual abuse. A bonus DVD also helps families, counselors and churches lift up those who have been sexually abused. Restoring the Heart’s “Into My Arms” program also helps individuals work through the pain of abortion. Through the Restoring the Heart project, Lighthouse Network will also provide these specialized programs and valuable resources.
To help raise awareness about sexual abuse and addiction during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Lighthouse Network, is offering the Mental Health and Addiction Awareness Beaded Crystal Bracelet in adult and children’s sizes. Bracelets consist of 11 beads, each one representing a different issue, including addiction and sexual abuse.
“So many struggle in silence, so we wanted to raise awareness to end the shame,” states lighthousenetwork.org. “Each bracelet has 11 colorful and attractive beads to represent one category of mental health or addiction issues. Your bracelet will start conversations, raise awareness, show love and sympathy for those struggling, or remind you to call, help, or pray for someone who is struggling.”
Lighthouse Network is a Christian-based addiction and mental health referral agency, guiding struggling people through storms to find peace, including those who are struggling with alcohol abuse. Lighthouse finds answers for people who have a hard time defining their particular problem and who also have difficulty finding the right answers from other often-confusing sources.
Lighthouse Network recently unveiled its new web site at www.lighthousenetwork.org, where those struggling can find help for their addiction problems, or family members can find help for a loved one. The new website has more online help for those struggling with alcohol, addictions, and other mental health or life management issues for those who want to improve and grow in their personal development.
The new site includes:
- Lighthouse Network’s treatment beliefs, spiritual beliefs and core values.
- Services available through Lighthouse Network, such as the addiction and counseling helpline, curriculum and workshops, and the Rewind Life decision-making program.
- Stories of “Changed Lives”
- Information about Julie Woodley and Restoring The Heart.
- Lighthouse Network news, events and media appearances.
- Free resources for topics ranging from addictions, eating disorders and mental health to decision-making skills and relationships, with additional helpful links.
Through its new web site, Lighthouse Network offers several resources for those struggling with addiction, as well as for their families, including Stepping Stones, a free daily devotional for managing life’s stressors and storms and equipping readers with healthy decision-making skills. Visit https://lighthousenetwork.org/stepping-stones/ to read the devotionals and sign up to receive them daily via email.
Many discover the 24-hour free, Lighthouse Addiction and Counseling Helpline after searching through other options that may not be a fit, and many are encouraged as Lighthouse Network finds life-changing treatment that altogether addresses spirit, mind and body, concerning addiction or psychiatric issues.