By Deborah Stilt — Many sexual assault survivors lack basic support for themselves, their children, and their healing. Jennifer Christie and her husband Jeff, founders of Love Louder, are personally familiar with the recovery process – and that it’s “okay to not be okay.” Love Louder is set to officially launch in October; it’s mission to offer help, hope, and support to women after sexual assault and women who conceive after sexual assault, sharing Godly love to encourage life-affirming choices.
Perhaps you’ve heard Jennifer’s story.
Jennifer Christie – soft spoken, with an easy grace and a gift for putting words and emotions together in just the right way. Passionate, artistic, deeply human, and strikingly relatable.
It’s hard to fathom anyone intentionally harming such a person, yet in January, 2014, while on a business trip, Jennifer was brutally raped and left for dead. In the weeks that followed, as she and her husband Jeff tried to piece their lives back together, they discovered Jennifer had conceived a child during the attack. Despite tremendous pressure to reject this new life growing inside her, together they chose to embrace and welcome him into their family. “Joshy”—a boy with bright blue eyes and a smile to match—is now nearly 6, and just started first grade.
A light in the dark
Jeff and Jennifer both credit their son as being a light in the midst of what otherwise has been the darkest time of their lives. For Jennifer, it was a nightmare from which she couldn’t awaken. Her injuries required multiple surgeries and left her suffering from seizures, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. Through it all, Jeff stood by her side, but struggled internally with anger toward her assailant and guilt that he had been unable to protect his wife. As Jennifer and Jeff worked to navigate through the trauma, they found a desperate lack of resources in the pro-life community.
“I just kept thinking about what I wish the pro-life movement had. How I wish I could have been supported. My aim is to provide what I needed, but couldn’t find.” – Jennifer
Love Louder: Filling the gap
Love Louder was birthed out of Jeff and Jennifer’s struggle. They seek to offer help, hope, and support for women healing from sexual assault, the men supporting them, women who have conceived in rape, and children conceived in rape. While their official launch date is October 1, 2020, Jennifer and Jeff have been working with other sexual assault survivors for the past several years, by sharing their story and offering tangible support for victims and their families.
Jennifer and Jeff’s bold, no-exceptions stand for life has helped educate the pro-life community—many of whom have traditionally allowed for exceptions in cases of rape, while failing to realize how dehumanizing this is to sexual assault victims and their children.
In December, 2019, Love Louder joined the Personhood Alliance as an at-large affiliate. Jennifer and Jeff are available to provide guidance, assistance, and testimony for the Personhood Alliance’s state affiliates as they advance no-exceptions legislative measures. Jennifer and Jeff also speak at meetings, conferences, and banquets to bring the practical, compassionate message of personhood into the Church and the pro-life movement as a whole.
With the launch of Love Louder, Jennifer and Jeff are eager to provide even more support to sexual assault survivors. Together with the Love Louder team, they will be offering a 24/7 hotline for victims in order to provide assistance in reporting the crime, navigating the hospital exam, counseling, suicide prevention, adoption, domestic violence, education, baby registries, and other needed support services. More than half of the Love Louder team are sexual assault survivors themselves, and all are equipped to walk women and their families through the healing process. Jeff will be expanding his role as a mentor to the men in rape victims’ lives, helping them navigate the rage, despair, and loss they feel when their partner has been violated.
“One of the things that hit me the most is that this isn’t unique. We’re not alone. And I feel like people need to know that people like us are out there.” – Jeff
Love Louder has recently affiliated with ProLove Ministries as well. ProLove Ministries, founded by Abby Johnson, identifies “blindspots” in the pro-life movement and builds successful strategies to address those issues. Love Louder is a natural fit here, as many sexual assault survivors lack basic support for themselves, their children, and their healing. Jennifer and Jeff are personally familiar with the recovery process—and that it’s “okay to not be okay.” They seek to provide resources, guidance, and support to survivors like them—full of love, free of judgment, and with a commitment to being there for as long as it takes.
“So many women reach out to me post-assault, needing to hear what I wish I had heard: ‘You will be okay.’ ‘You are not alone.’ ‘You can survive this.’ ‘I’m here.’ ‘I will still be here when you aren’t okay.’ This powerful difference in the lives of some of our most vulnerable survivors can be a reality if we build it together.” – Jennifer
How you can help
Love Louder is asking that you prayerfully consider a donation toward their immediate start-up costs. The money raised will go to expenses such as insurance, education courses for peer counselors, accounting set up, hotline numbers, website maintenance fees, internet set-up and equipment, and trauma-intervention training.
Deborah Stilt is the social media coordinator for the Personhood Alliance and has been active in pro-life media for several years. But most importantly, she’s a California mom who is fighting against the lies of the culture and for the protection of every human being without exception.