Let’s talk about sexual abuse.
The topic of sexual abuse is taboo to our detriment. Silence and shame allow sexual abuse to continue and thrive in the darkness. A big part of restoration is bringing it all into the light.
The light changes everything. No matter how icky or uncomfortable talking about sexual abuse makes you feel, it is essential for healing and prevention. Based on statistics, if you have not experienced sexual abuse, chances are someone close to you that you love and care for has (or will), so this conversation is essential for everyone.
As I mentioned in my last post, my word for 2023 is Restore.
Before we talk about what God can heal and restore with sexual abuse, we need to understand the dynamics of sexual abuse and how it happens. We must go deeper to see all that’s involved. We need to know where to look and what to look for, and ask the right questions.
Sexual abuse is complex.
The abuse itself is harmful, but so is everything leading up to the abuse, along with the secrecy, lies, and shame that keep it hidden. A big part of my healing was understanding the dynamics of sexual abuse. It helped to untangle the lies in my head that told me it was my fault, something was wrong with me, and I was bad. It also helped me (although it was painful) to see the cruelty, manipulation, and power that went into harming me. Intentionally and repeatedly.
I share my experience and what I have learned to offer insight and start the conversation. There was a time when I would not even say “sexual abuse,” but God has taken away my shame. He has given me my voice and empowered me to speak up for those who do not have a voice.
I know what it was like to sit on the pew and wish someone would say something, anything that gave me hope. It was like being ablaze and longing for the living water to douse the flames. Did anyone see me burning? For years, I tried to learn to live with the smoke. Perfume and make-up can only hide so much.
But God. He set me on a path to healing. He put out the fire, tended to every wound, and took away my shame. He set me free and put a new fire inside of me to share His hope and freedom with others.
It is not taboo to talk about sexual abuse.
It is necessary, even mandatory if we are ever going to stop it and prevent it. So, I am speaking up. I hope you will listen, and I hope you will share.
My goal is to help prevent and stop sexual abuse, and to offer safety, compassion and the love of Jesus. If you are a survivor, I hope it will open your eyes to see the abuse was not your fault and the shame is not on you. There is Living water that can douse every flame, and His name is Jesus. His hope changes everything.
I believe you, and it was not your fault. The shame was never yours.
Your story matters.