In recognition of National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, Healing of the Heart Ministries will host a conference offering discussion and dialogue for survivors and family members seeking help to handle sexual abuse crisis and conflicts stemming from homosexuality in the family.

Themed “Beyond Pain to Wholeness: Overcoming the Stigma,” the conference takes place Saturday, April 6 at the Georgia International Convention Center from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The event organizers hope the conference will serve as training ground for mental health and counseling professionals, as well as pastors and church leaders, providing them with hands-on resources to confront and repair all areas of sexual conflict, trauma and abuse.

“When we read the stories in the media or hear admonishments from the pulpit, we can lose sight that there’s a face behind every story of sexual abuse and struggle,” says event organizer Dr. Betty L. Mitchell. “This conference equips those on the front lines of mental health and ministry with current techniques and methods to better help our clients and congregants.”

For more than two decades, Mitchell has ministered to hundreds of men and women traumatized by the effects of sexual trauma. Mitchell holds her doctorate in Pastoral and Clinical Counseling along with a master’s degree in education from Pepperdine University. She is a member of the National Christian Counselors Association and the Black Christian Council Association.

Presented in partnership with Open Word Christian Ministries and the Georgia chapter of the American Psychiatric Nurses, the daylong event includes keynote speakers, a question-and-answer discussion and testimonials from survivors of sexual trauma.

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