April is sexual abuse awareness month and a Texas-based ministry decided to draw attention to the issue by displaying a huge electronic billboard in New York City's Time Square.
Every 8 minutes a child is sexually abused. So in an effort to help reach victims, Hope for the Heart, an international counseling ministry, launched a campaign in the heart of New York City aiming to reach victims of childhood sexual abuse in particular.
"Victims blame themselves for what's been done to them," June Hunt, Hope for the Heart's founder, herself a survivor of abuse, said in a statement to The Christian Post. "We want every man and woman, boy and girl to know there is hope, and counselors who can give it are a phone call away."
"Our presence in Times Square is a reminder that all kinds of people in the U.S. and abroad carry the scars of sexual abuse. And no matter how liberated our society becomes, there is no excuse for abuse!" she added.
The Billboard campaign will run four times an hour through April 30.
According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, Child Protective Services finds evidence every 8 minutes of child sexual abuse. From 2009 to 2013, CPS agencies reported that 63,000 children a year were victims of sexual abuse with 82 percent of all victims younger than 18 being female.
The Time Square campaign, titled "There is Hope" features the picture of a child and directs people to a dedicated page on its website. They hope anyone affected by sexual abuse will call for counseling and assure that every call and email can be made anonymously.
Hope for the Heart, headquartered in Plano, Texas, was founded 30 years ago and has established itself as an international Christian counseling ministry that gives "biblical hope and practical help through counseling and coaching."
For the counseling strategy, Hunt uses a 100-topic biblical counseling library.
"There are no hopeless situations, only people who have grown hopeless," Hunt said. "In life's struggles, the Bible has real solutions."
Hope for the Heart is broadcast on more than 250 radio stations with their ministry flagship radio programs "Hope for the Heart" and "Hope in the Night." In publishing and radio, the organization's message reaches 1.5 million listeners and goes out in 30 languages in over 60 countries on six continents.
The ministry has now expanded to more than 30 Hope-sponsored walk-in counseling centers that operate internationally.
For more information visit Hope for the Heart.org.