The Mission in the News

Jun 17, 2013

Rockford Native and Abuse Survivor to Tell His Story

Describing childhood sexual abuse as a “toxic shame” on our culture, survivor Bill Harbeck is fighting back.

Bill and his wife, Jillian, are the featured speakers for “The Pathway of Healing from Abuse,” Rockford Rescue Mission’s fifth annual Domestic Violence Event, to be held Wednesday morning, July 10, at the Mission.

Bill, founder and director of Holding on to Hope Ministries, is a Rockford native and former staff member of Christian Life School. He is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and the author of “Shattered: One Man’s Journey from Sexual Abuse.”

He has committed his life to sharing the good news of hope and healing from the insidious trauma abuse inflicts – and to ensuring that no survivor feels alone. Up to one on four girls, and one in six boys, are sexually abused before age 17, he says. This, combined with the out-of-control epidemic of Internet pornography addiction, is too often kept silent.

“You’ve got to tell your story,” Bill says on the ministry’s website. “The silence holds us in bondage.”

After Bill’s message, Jillian will give her perspective on how his secrets affected her and their family.

To find out more about the Harbecks and their ministry, please visit

The free event begins at 8:30 a.m. Advance registration is requested.


8:30 a.m. Registration

9:00 Welcome: Honorable Judge Rosemary Collins, 17th Judicial Circuit

9:10 Shattered – Bill Harbeck

10:00 Consequences of Abuse – Bill Harbeck

11:00 The Healing Journey – Bill and Jillian Harbeck

 RSVP: Renade Cosey, 815-316-4166, or email