Holly Otten: Sexual Abuse Survivor - Tin Man Ministries w/Giveaway (Inspiring Women Series)

I met Holly Otten earlier this year after noticing a sign up in a local library for a Sexual Abuse Survivor Workshop. As a SA survivor myself and a Christian I was curious to find out more. After all it is a rare thing to see a workshop offered combining SA Survivors and Christianity. At least from where I am standing. There are plenty of resources out there but most are secular. That being said, my curiosity was piqued and I felt strongly drawn to seek out the ministry mentioned as hosting the workshop: Tin Man Ministries and it's leader Holly Otten.

After contacting Holly we set up a date to meet in a local cafe. It was truly a time marked out by the Lord and I was blessed to listen as she shared her story and also listened to mine. Holly has written two books:The Tin Man-The Voice of an Incest Survivor and hand in Hand. Both chronicle her healing journey and God's hand in it in unique ways. Holly gave me a copy of The Tin Man for reading and review when we met.  It has beautiful pictures, poetry and a few vignette type stories. In addition to these two books, she has created an 8 week Christ centered workshop called Healing Hearts.

Since our initial meeting we continue to keep in touch through e-mails and texts and I am in full support of her ministry and God's call on her life to follow His lead and bring healing and help to those who have been victimized by sexual abuse. I am looking forward to seeing many set free and healed through Holly's faithfulness and ministry to Christ. Holly is passionate about prayer and sensitive to the Spirit in all matters concerning ministry and life. Here is the latest addition to our Inspiring Women Series: Holly Otten

*On The Past:
Holly, you go by the title "Sexual Abuse Survivor" when did you realize that you needed healing from your past sexual abuse and how did it come to be ?

 I was at a Charismatic prayer meeting when the pastor of the church received a word of knowledge that God was healing someone who had been abused. It was then, at age 24, that God revealed to me that my father molested me as a child. That week I approached a friend who was also a Christian counselor and told her that I needed help in dealing with the abuse. I attended counseling sessions for two and a half years with the goal of having God heal my heart. And He did!

*On The Present:
Currently you are conducting workshops for sexual abuse survivors, can you describe what you believe is unique in your approach of attaining healing for participants?

 Prayer is a very important element in the workshops. That’s when God, the Master Healer and Gentle Surgeon moves in and heals hearts with His supernatural power! God reveals His mercy, His love and His power in these workshops.

   Why the name "Tin Man" ?

The Tin Man was willing to travel through valleys and treacherous forests to get himself a heart. I too went on a journey with the hope of getting a new heart. The Tin Man sought the wizard, I sought the Great Healer, Jesus Christ. In His great love for me, He healed my broken heart and made it new!
   Can you tell us a little about how the workshop itself works and what might happen there?

There are three parts to the workshop: teaching/sharing, group sharing and prayer ministry. The first part consists of a teaching based on a specific topic, such as the Father’s love. The second part entails the women being invited to share based on the topic of the evening. The third part entails prayer ministry, when my team of facilitators and I pray for each member.

*On The Future:
Where do you feel God is leading you in the days ahead with Tin Man Ministries?

I believe that I will be training other women who will have come through the workshop to lead in facilitating workshops of their own.

*On Sexual Abuse:
What do you believe/see as the biggest hindrance in an individual's ability to be set free from the shame, pain and impact of abuse?

People do not want to acknowledge their abuse. They prefer to act as if it did not happen in an attempt to not feel the feelings associated with the abuse. This is not good, because healing comes when we acknowledge our feelings. Without this healing, we are “crippled” emotionally. We are unable to have healthy relationships where we can give love and receive love freely and in the true sense of the word.

  What do you think is the church's role?

I feel that leaders of churches should put in place a person or people who can minister healing to survivors of sexual abuse. If they do not have members within their own church to take this role, then they should welcome speakers or ministries to their churches. Leaders of churches should be reminded that every 1 out of 3 women and 1 out of every 5 men are survivors of sexual abuse. If they were to calculate what those numbers mean in their own churches, they would see the magnitude of the problem. This large number represents a group of people who are broken and hurting, and they are therefore unable to be all that God calls them to be.

Holly's beautiful "New Life" painting.

*On Holly:

I love my family, which includes my very loving and supportive husband Steve and my three sons. I love to hike, garden, sing and dance. I also love to paint. 

*On Her Painting:

The name of this painting is “New Life.” The butterfly symbolizes a new beginning for the women who leave the workshop. Throughout the 8 week workshop, God takes away all the “ugly” things, such as pain, shame and resentment, and in the end, the women leave feeling beautiful, new and free… They are TRANSFORMED AND FREE just like the butterfly.

Giveaway: Holly has offered one reader a chance to win the print copy of her book, hand in Hand- A True Life Story! 

"With the help of her Savior, she has overcome the damaging affects of sexual abuse and neglect, a nervous breakdown, four miscarriages, and divorce. Holly Otten’s life is a testimony of the healing and transforming power of the living Christ! By surrendering every obstacle of her life to Christ and by claiming the promises found in God’s Word, she has received  healing of twenty years’ clinical depression, hypoglycemia, asthma, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, as well as the healing of her son’s mental illness." - Web Site Book Description

Thank you so much for taking the time to share, Holly- I look forward to all God has for this wonderful ministry! If you have any questions for Holly, please leave a comment! She will be stopping by as her schedule allows to answer. Visit her website and Facebook page. Holly's books are now available on Amazon

Tin Man Ministries
Healing Hearts
"I will give them a new heart and
put a new spirit in them." Ezekiel 36:46


  1. Appreciate you both, I am also a survivor of abuse.

    1. Another connection we have, sweet Denise. I am hoping to share more about my story in the future as God leads. Sending you a hug!

    2. Yes, no longer a victim! But instead, a victorious survivor!
      Thank you for sharing. God bless you.

  2. I both cringe and rejoice when I hear stories like yours and Holly's. I cringe because I don't want to believe such horrible things happen--even though I know they do. :-( But I rejoice because you've been able to face it and continue to find healing yourself as well as help others through it. That encourages me to work through my own stuff, even though it's not the same issues.

    Thanks for sharing about Holly and her ministry and books. A great thing! May the Lord continue blessing her work.

    1. Thanks for your words here, Lisa!

    2. Thank you for sharing Lisa. I am happy to hear that you have found encouragement to let God complete His healing work in you. There is more freedom for you...look at the butterfly. I pray that you cast fear aside, and allow the God of love to pour in and give you everything you need. God bless you.

  3. My daughter now 15 was exploited by her father (my ex husband now)...she was one of those that handled it like it was a different life and she and her father kept this totally hidden from all of the family until the FBI knocked on the door and had pieced together pics he had posted of her. My daughter went through a year of counseling at age 10 and she was always a straight A student and very involved in sports and school activities and she still is now that she is in high school. Thankfully this was stopped when it was and I thank God for letting this come out so the abuse was stopped. God was mine and my kid's strength during this time and still. My question is do you think that this may come out again when she is married? I realize you are not a counselor and the counselor but her counselor did mention this and I was wondering if it had interfered with your married live in general.

    I would love to win this for my daughter and myself as I have read a lot of stories since I found out about my own daughter's abuse at the hand of someone she and I both trusted.

    Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. I look forward to Holly answering this when she gets a moment, but I would have to say that healthy boundaries in all relationships and trust issues with all people have been areas God has had to minister and heal for me. Thank you for sharing and praising God that your daughter is safe and on her own journey of healing now! He will be faithful to complete the healing that your precious daughter needs in His time.

    2. Hi there,
      I am not a minister or counselor, jus someone who survived child abuse(though not in the same way). To me the wounds has healed but some scars and pain remains. I am happy to say that I've found joy raising my own family now. It will take time and courage but there is always hope and God's faithfulness you can trust in.

      Sending both you and your daughter my very best wishes ;D

      Way to go, mommy!

    3. Just testing. My last 2 tries failed. All my words wiped out:(

    4. Ok. That one worked. Let's try this for a 3rd time...
      Thank you for your transparency. Your daughter is blessed to have you-a loving and faith-filled mother.
      I went to counseling for 13 years, with gaps in between. Whenever I saw a block in my life- when I was unable to behave in a healthy way or when my peace was lost-I sought a counselor. This happened several times regarding my first husband/marriage, such as when we were engaged. I had such a fear of intimacy that it was causing me to feel overwhelmed and "crazy" inside. I knew that I had an issue that needed to be dealt with. (Many survivors have a block when it comes to committing themselves to a man in marriage.) After I worked through that block, there were many more throughout the course of my marriage. My advice to your daughter,as well as all survivors, is to be willing to let God heal you when you feel His prompting or when you are sensing a block in an area of your life. We tend to want to stuff down the "garbage" from the past, but it always finds its way out. We need to acknowledge the feelings as they arise and release them to God, so that there will be room for Him to fill us with good things, such as His love, His peace, His joy.

    5. This is for the Dianaruth. Thank you for sharing your encouraging words. When I read that you still have some scars and pain, it made me want to share with you that there doesn't have to be. God wants to heal all of you-COMPLETELY. There was a time that I felt as you did. But I want to share with you that there are no longer any scars! There is no more pain! I don't ever cry when I think of what I experienced. I have only feelings of love toward my father who molested me. Today I have a deep peace and joy in my heart.I encourage you to keep going forward in your healing process. Don't stop here. Don't settle. Invite God to complete His healing work in you. Tell Him you want a new heart! Not a new-used heart; not a heart with a few cracks or holes in it, but a shiny brand-new heart! "The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come that they might have life and HAVE IT TO THE FULLEST." John 10:10

  4. I too am a sexual abuse survivor and this ministry sounds like exactly what so very many suffering women need! Bravo to this brave woman!!

    1. Susie, how could I not know this about you! Thanks as always for chiming in!

    2. Thank you! I pray that God may use me-this humble servant- to do mighty things for Him...to "heal the broken-hearted and to set captives free." Isaiah 61:1

  5. Dawn, and Holly, we are in a scarred sisterhood of survivors. It is because of your faithfilled strength we can reach out to more people who are survivors and those who remain victims of all kinds of abuse.

    I have a question for you both - Dawn knows some of my story I think (if not we should chat!). One of the biggest barriers to healing for me was a strong desire by the church to NOT know about abuse, which would of course cause them to be blind to survivors and their needs, and those suffering ongoing abuse. How can we as Christian survivors open the doors to our church families in a way that when God moves them they are able to embrace and love their abused members rather than deny them or blame them?

    Bright blessings!

    1. Shanyn, you are a beautiful sister! So grateful for your friendship- ok, I will have to ponder that question, prayerfully! Hmm...open to hear from anyone who thinks they have input to Shanyn's excellent question!

    2. I am so sorry that you have encountered this within your church. This unfortunately seems to be a wide-spread problem. Let's join together in prayer, for prayer moves the mighty hand of God. I believe that God IS on the move in this area, so let's press in with our prayers! Pray that God open the doors for me for my workshop and also that other ministries like mine be welcomed!

  6. Dear Dawn and Holly,

    Thank you for sharing your stories with us at Friendship Friday and for encouraging other women to find healing from their past!

    I, too, experienced this as a child and I praise God that in spite of the enemy's attempts to destroy innocent lives, we have a loving Father who wants to love, redeem and restore us.

    We cannot erase our past... but we can allow God to bring healing to our hearts and to use our lives for His greater good.

    I look forward to learning more about your books and your ministry, Holly, and I'm so glad God brought you and Dawn into each other's lives!

    Have a blessed weekend!

    Create With Joy

    1. Grateful for you as well, CIJ ;). Thank you so much for joining in today! I forgot how powerful it is to just say the words, I was one...and then we find there are so many of us- and we rejoice in His amazing work in each of us! Beautiful!

    2. I couldn't have said it better myself! As a matter of fact, I share your exact sentiment about the enemy and God's redeeming love in the Introduction to my book hand in Hand. I pray that every survivor come to believe this, in the name of Jesus.

  7. I thank God for your victory and ministry.
    May the good Lord complete the healing in all our lives.

    Sending you my very best wishes.

  8. a powerful story and an important book. thank you so much for sharing dawn and holly! e.

  9. You are welcome! God bless you Emily.

  10. “…when did you realize that you needed healing from your past sexual abuse and how did it come to be ?” – Recovery starts from acceptance that something is wrong inside us and there’s a need to fix it. I know it sounds easy, but it is intricately difficult for people who are sexually abused. People tend to resist for certain reasons, maybe to keep it hidden, to avoid further embarrassment. But enlightenment always comes at the right time. Vesta@Zalkin Law Firm


walk along the shore with me and leave your footprints in the sand-
I'm listening, friend...in November I will not be replying so often, but instead slip quietly over to your place for a visit. ;)