for victims of sexual abuse (as children)

The news is prompting this post.

Children who are abused sexually pay a heavy price throughout their entire lives.  The pain of sexual abuse is a complex situation and as diverse as the shameful experiences the victims endured. There are no easy answers and no one can assume to know what these people are going through.

If you were abused as a child, I have some observations to share with you. I hope they may help you with recovery and healing.

Many times, the victim suffers while the guilty party lives guilt-free. Those who were taken advantage of when they are children replay the memories in their heads. They know that what happened was not right. They have a conscience and it cannot be seared. The abusers, on the other hand, many times learn how to forget the past. They ignore their guilt until it disappears. They go about carefree in life. At least that is what it appears like to the victims because almost never does the abuser confess unless he/she is confronted by the abused.

Until the victim tells what happened, they continue to live under the cloud of the abuse. The burden of telling should never be on the victim but I suppose we can’t expect a child molester to do the right thing, correct? So by not telling, they continue to abuse, even if the physical abuse has stopped. I fully believe that, if the victim is the one to expose the abuse, the punishment for the abuser should be more severe.

So why don’t adults who were victims of sexual abuse as children tell what happened to them? Many times they don’t tell because they don’t want to hurt innocent people. Other family members, spouses, children… all of these people did nothing wrong and to learn of such a tragedy is very painful and embarrassing for a family. So in the best interest of innocent people, victims remain silent.

There is also the fear of being disbelieved.  It is easy for an abuser to lie. What they did when they abused a child is as dishonest as it comes. So it is probably safe to assume that they will deny accusations. But their admission of guilt is not the point. The point is to free the victims of  the shame and disgrace they are enduring. By turning the light on the abuse, truth will eventually be known.

Let me say this to you if you were a victim of sexual abuse as a child: You will never be completely free until you confront your abuser. If that is not possible, it is very important for you to share with someone you love what happened to you. You don’t have to live in the prison of shame. You did nothing wrong. You are a victim. Why not begin the healing process?

I’m praying for you. Let God heal you.

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