Sexual Abuse is real. It happens.
It happened here.
Itís not always easy Ö no, itís hard Ö to talk about sexual abuse: the shame, guilt, betrayal and pain. A storm of emotion and fear led to silence. That silence compounded the pain.
NewSpring Ministry is committed to talking about it.
Letís get this conversation started.
"It started quite innocently. He knew I had a problem and he said he would help me avoid the party scene. He invited me out with other youth group kids to a concert when he knew there was a party that night. What others didn't know, is that after, he and I would go out alone. To get one on one attention from an older attractive man was a pretty great feeling. He reached out to me an made me feel special."
You are not alone.
Though it may feel that way, studies show that by age 18, 1 in 4 females and 1 in 8 males will confront some form of sexual abuse.
"We had gone from hanging out in groups to strictly hanging out alone. Jokes became increasingly sexual and comments from him hinted at a future together. Touches lingered for longer and hugs turned into more. I had moments of clarity where I would think, "What the hell am I doing?" and I would tell him to leave me alone. But all it took was one text or phone call. He knew EXACTLY what to say to make it okay and to have complete control over me again.Ē
Itís not your fault.
Abusers target their victims.
As children we hear stories like Little Red Riding Hood or the Three Little Pigs that teach us about evil people. These stories make a clear distinction between good and evil. Evil people do not always present themselves like movies or childrenís stories depict. They do not always dress in black and have scary warning music playing in the background. Evil people can present a charming and likeable image that is deceptive.
"I can fully relate to the words of Dan Allender when he says that "the experience of being profoundly used and let down by someone we trusted and relied on sears the hope that relationship can be purely enjoyed." It took me more than two years after the fact to even realize and see my experience for what it really was -- sexual abuse."
How does that make sense?
Abusers often position themselves in places of power where right relationships can be twisted to suit their sinful, evil intent. When you recognize that you have been victimized, the storm hits. It can take years to even recognize that you have been victimized. The actual abuse is only part of the pain. It can often take a long time to heal; but there is hope.
"Coming back to life hasn't been graceful, and at times it's been downright awkward. It hasn't been instantaneous either. What I'm seeing though is my distrust,
my skepticism, and my fear slowly compost and
grow into community, trust and peace."
God loves you. He cares about you.
It is not Godís plan for you to be hurt, controlled or abused. Hurting, manipulating, abusing and controlling another person is wrong. Itís evil. It is sin. If you are being hurt, tell someone you trust. It is not your fault. God wants you to be safe. He did not ďcallĒ you to a life filled with pain and fear.
This is just the beginning. We donít have all the answers. We have to start somewhere. Sometimes it is when we say that we donít have all the answers that God does his best work. We have to turn to Him.
We are building a ministry to come alongside victims in our church to point them in the right direction and provide and avenue to healing. We hope someday to expand this ministry to be a healing presence in a broken world, but for now we are here for you.
To heal, we must end the silence.
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