Recent news is awash with sexual abuse allegations. You’ve read the news reports about celebrities such as:
To name just a few.
As a survivor of sexual abuse, I know the pain and fear a person faces when they decide to tell what happened. Not only are you traumatized by the abuse, but also your mind runs rampant with questions like:
- Will anyone believe me?
- It’s my word against theirs
- How can I prove it?
- Did I do something to cause the abuse?
The first thing I want to say to anyone who is the victim of abuse is: Your pain is real.
Dan Allender, in The Wounded Heart, says, “Sexual abuse is damaging no matter how the victim’s body is violated.”
It takes courage to seek out someone and tell them what has happened to you.
Because the reality is that person may not believe you.
Here’s a short portion of my story:
“It was my first year at college. I was young, naive, and living in a big city for the first time.
I attended a Christian college where I participated in several extracurricular activities. One of these was visiting a nursing home in the area once a week with a team that provided a “Sunday service” to the residents … While many would sing, some would simply sit with eyes closed and smile, tears wetting their weathered cheeks. It was such a sweet sound coupled with a beautiful display of silent worship…
On one of these visits, I left the main area to use the restroom. On my way back to talk with several of the ladies I’d gotten to know, an orderly stopped me. He was a young man, a good-looking guy, and he started talking to me, seeming to want to know more about me. But in a matter of minutes, he crossed the normal “personal space” boundary between us to the point that I was backed up against a wall. My heart began to pound as I sensed danger. I desperately looked for someone nearby to catch their attention. But the hall was strangely empty.
Before I had a chance to make my move, he made his. I thrust his hand off my breast, pushed as hard as I could against him, and quickly headed toward the common room, repeating over and over to myself “You’re okay, you’re okay, you’re okay.”
But I wasn’t okay…
By the time I got back to my dorm room, I managed to scrape together the courage to tell a couple girls on my floor who then took me to see the dean. I was so embarrassed. “What had I done to bring this on myself?” I was so ashamed. Telling her what happened was torture. She believed me but had to ask some probing questions. Questions that made me feel like I’d had a role to play in his inappropriate behavior….” (excerpted from Choosing a Way Out: When the Bottom Isn’t the Bottom)
If you have experienced any kind of abuse, are currently involved in an abusive situation, or are struggling with abusive tendencies, please reach out for help.
- Tell a friend.
- Ask them to go with you to someone who has the power to do something about your abuse.
- Don’t remain silent.
Here are some places you can go for help:
Your Family Doctor
Local Police Station
National Suicide Prevention Center
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
Immediate danger, call 9-1-1
Rob Jackson, MS, LPC
Wings of Hope Counseling
Relationship Counseling, Sexual Addiction, and more
There is hope and healing for abuse.
It’s not easy nor is it immediate. But healing is possible. It happened for me and can happen for you.
I pray you will choose hope and healing today.
If you need help, please reach out. I promise to listen without judgment and help you take the next step.