In the law of the Old Testament (Genesis 22), God commanded that if a woman screamed when she was raped, her rapist was to be put to death. If it happened in the country where no one could hear her scream, the same thing happened—the rapist was put to death. God was empowering women to use their voice!! If the man and woman were unmarried and the woman didn’t scream, the sexual relation was considered consensual and both were put to death. God was also pretty serious about sexual relations outside of marriage. It wasn’t that it was just immoral, but it was a threat to a foundational institute of Israelite society—the family.
Then there’s the story of Potiphar’s wife in Genesis 39. She tried her best to seduce Joseph whom Potiphar had put over his whole household. Now Joseph was a well-built, good-looking young man, the Bible says. Potiphar’s wife seduced him but Joseph refused her. The Bible says she pursued him day after day and he did his best to just avoid her. (This young man had already produced some pretty serious character qualities through the trials he’d been through.) One day, Joseph went into the house when no one else was there and she grabbed him by the clothes and tried seducing him again. He ran!! And Potiphar’s wife was left holding his clothes in her hands. This rejection infuriated her. So she first went to the servants and told them Joseph had tried to rape her—and that she’d screamed and he’d run away! When Potiphar came home, she told him the same story. Her husband was enraged and had Joseph thrown into prison. I believe Potiphar’s wife knew this law. She knew she had to scream for rape to be punishable. So she said she screamed—knowing there was no one, besides Joseph, to contradict or substantiate her story.
There has never been a more important time for pastors to flee from evil and every appearance of evil—especially in regards to sexual conduct. Every pastor and associate pastor should make it a practice to never be alone with another woman. That also means a youth minister should never take a teenaged girl home alone in his car. If there’s not a godly woman in your church available to help another woman needing counseling, then the pastor should always have his office door open with others within view or his wife included in the counseling session. Do whatever it takes to avoid being accused later.
It’s imperative for women to find their voice to scream when they are molested or raped!! God commanded it. But we also need to be aware that not all women who “scream” (without substantiation) are innocent.