10: Purity Culture & Trauma

Trigger Warning: This episode contains multiple references to rape, sexual assault, and different forms of abuse and violence. 

This episode is for you if you are wanting to understand how purity culture was and can still be traumatizing for some. It’s for you if you’ve experienced trauma – physical, sexual, emotional, spiritual, or other forms – and are seeking a clearer understanding of your experience. It’s for you if you desire to be a support for the people in your life for whom trauma is part of their story.

Our conversation covers the broad implications of trauma but also the personal side as we reflect on our own lives and the stories of our listeners. These are the different topics we cover in this conversation:

  • what trauma is, and how trauma happens
  • the difference between a one-time traumatic event (PTSD) and complex trauma.
  • big T trauma, little t trauma, and the way trauma is subjective in nature
  • sexual assault is about power and control
  • we talk about our own desire for control and how our rules and theologies are more about keeping us safe and less about what is actually true.

Our guide for this conversation is Dr. Heather Davediuk Gingrich. She is a counselor, scholar, teacher, and former missionary and a professor of counseling at Denver Seminary. Dr. Gingrich maintains a small private practice working with complex trauma survivors. She began counseling over thirty years ago in Canada, and continued in the Philippines where she counseled, taught, and completed her doctoral studies on complex trauma. She is the author of Restoring the Shattered Self, coauthor of Skills for Effective Counseling, and co-editor and contributor to Treating Trauma in Christian Counseling.

Episode 10 Show Notes:

The Body Keeps the Score by Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk

How Trauma Lodges in the Body a conversation between Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk and Krista Tippett

Pure by Linda Kay Klein (Instagram

Harvey Weinstein’s Lawyer Says She’s Never Been Sexually Assaulted: ‘I Would Never Put Myself in that Position’

The Daily: The Woman Defending Harvey Weinstein

Rachael Denhollander’s tweet in response to Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer #whereIputmyself

Laura Dunn

On Resilience: How Laura Dunn went from campus assault survivor to groundbreaking legal advocate

Try Softer by Aundi Kolber (Instagram)

This Too Shall Last by KJ Ramsey (Instagram)

Blue Knot Foundation (a centre for complex trauma in Australia)

Struggling to understand consent? This is a helpful video.


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