Lindsey Womack has seen God redeem the evening she was sexually assaulted.
“Almost three years ago, I was raped by someone close to me,” said Womack, who turns 20 in January. “After that, as you can imagine, I went through a lot of trauma and aftermath of that happening. I was actually intoxicated and got taken advantage of.”
Womack now wants to help other victims of sexual assault and sex trafficking.
“My passion for sex trafficking just grew and me feeling how I felt—imagining other women that have experienced that times 100—I couldn’t just sit back and do nothing,” Womack added. “That was when I knew what I was supposed to do for other women who were trapped and felt the same way.”
A Southeast Christian Church member, Womack is currently in the Discipleship Training School in Los Angeles with Youth With A Mission, a global movement of Christians dedicated to serving Jesus around the world.
Womack attended church regularly with her family and attended a Christian high school, but that wasn’t a strong enough buffer against teenage temptations.
“At that time, I would have considered myself a Christian because I grew up at Southeast and went to a private school, but it was obviously not a top priority because of what I was doing,” Womack said. “I used to be kind of a hooligan. I don’t know really what it was, I just think it was a mixture of wanting to be rebellious and have fun and also I was depressed and really didn’t know how to deal with my feelings. I learned a lot of lessons.”
Womack had gotten drunk at a party when she was assaulted. Though the incident lasted only a few moments, Womack replayed it countless times in her mind.
“After that happened, I struggled with severe depression and severe anxiety. I was just really angry all the time at the world,” Womack added. “Not that I had no interest in God, but that was just not on my mind. Thankfully, I had some very persistent friends that would pray for me and with me even when I did not want it.”
Unlike many rape victims who remain silent, Womack said she told an adult friend who relayed the news to her parents.
While Womack gained the emotional support of friends and family, she also experienced freedom in Christ at Bible & Beach, Southeast’s annual conference for high school students.
“To this day, I still remember being in worship and coming to the realization that I didn’t have to carry all of that anger and holding on to things,” she said. “I just thought that was how it was going to be forever, and I was going to be an angry person. I was like, ‘God doesn’t want me to be angry.’ I realized I don’t have to feel this way anymore. That was really a defining moment for me.”
Womack went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic last year, and that’s when she felt God called her to sex trafficking ministry.
After graduating in 2019, Womack volunteered with Safe Passage, which supports trafficked and high-risk children through Christ-centered, trauma-informed services.
Before COVID-19, she helped with high school prevention classes for sexual abuse and sex trafficking.
“We found that a lot of girls would have to leave the room or run out because something was triggering them,” Womack said. “These were all freshmen in high school. We would see several girls run outside because they couldn’t listen to something they had been through.”
Womack considered enrolling in an esthetician school and felt “in limbo for a while” before an unexpected conversation with an old friend led her to YWAM.
She decided to attend YWAM’s Los Angeles location because it has a ministry track focused on sex trafficking. Friday evenings after class, she ministers to women in the sex industry.
“We give out gift bags to women on the street,” Womack said. “We drive around and stop whenever we see a woman and give her a gift bag with lip-gloss, nail polish, Kleenex, hand sanitizer and candy. We have a card in there that says, ‘Because you matter,’ and there’s a website with resources on there to help them get out of sex trafficking. Then, we pray for them if they let us.”
Womack was introduced to the fight against sex trafficking during her childhood. Her father, Bill Womack, was on the board of the Louisville-based ROCK Cares, a nonprofit organization that combated sex trafficking.
This helped Womack understand the dark realities of sex trafficking.
“I would grow up going to events that he would be at,” Womack said. “So, I was kind of always around it, unlike most people, who have been kind of culture-shocked coming to Los Angeles and didn’t know some of the basics about it. Whenever people normally hear sex trafficking, they’re like, ‘Oh, the movie ‘Taken.’ I’ve seen it.’ I’m like, ‘Great movie, but that’s not 95% of how human trafficking works.’”
Womack is going on a missions trip to Costa Rica in January, and though she isn’t positive what the future holds after that, she’s excited to see where God leads.