Friday, August 17, 2012

Child Sexual Assault: It's Not Your Fault

                Child sexual assault happens more than anyone knows. It is often hidden and around 88 percent of all cases are never reported to the authorities. Children are very vulnerable and weak and are often intimidated to share with either a teacher or other relative about what is going on. They fear further abuse or they think that no one will believe them because they are “merely” children. A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds. It is estimated that as many as 40 million Americans, one in six people, experienced sexual victimization as children. One in four girls and one in seven boys are sexually victimized before the age of 18 and the most common ages for sexual abuse occur between 8 and 12. It is very rarely a one-time deal; it usually last one to fourteen years. Approximately 93 percent of children assaulted or abused were victimized by someone they knew. Fifty percent of offenders who victimized children were themselves juveniles. An average of five children per day is lost due to abuse-related deaths. Child sexual abuse has a very negative effect on the children when they grow older. Approximately thirty percent of all adults who were abused as children recall the events and of that thirty percent, eighty percent suffer at least one psychological disorder. 

                A young woman recently emailed me about some negative emotions she was having. She said she had no one else to talk to so I willingly let her open up to me. At first, it started with her just saying that she was feeling down. She said she was done trying, done pretending, done with everything. She didn’t know why she was feeling that way but she knew she didn’t like it and she didn’t know what to do. At first, I didn’t know what she was done with so I questioned her. She then went on to say that she was done pretending everything was ok and bottling in emotions. She didn’t feel like she was worth anything and like she had no one there for her. She didn’t think any of her goals or dreams would ever happen.

                This really touched me because, as I told her, I felt worthless at one point, although God and my family were there for me. But I had wanted more. At first, I didn't know exactly what to say but then I just let God do all the typing for me throughout the conversation.  Anyway, I told her that out of everything bad comes something good because God will always be there for her. She told me that since she was 10 she was bottling all her emotions and nothing good has happened for her. I went on to explain to her that I went through 12 years of torment from my peers and thought, “When will this ever end?” I felt lonely, although I truly wasn’t. God made me walk through that certain storm so I could be more empowered to be a light to people that others could never reach. I had that experience so I could understand what others are going through. That’s when she told me what happened when she was a young girl. Here’s her story:

When I was 10 we moved into a new house, and that's where it started. My brother was 15 or 16 years old. It started out with him just rubbing up against me and picking me up and touching and grabbing my butt. After a while I guess he got tired of that, and started touching me in other places. He would walk in in on me when I was in the shower and take pictures of me when I was sleeping. After a while he started taking pictures of himself and made me look at them. I remember one time when we were in our basement I was playing video games with him, he looked over at me, pushed me on the futon we were sitting on, laid on top of me, and ran his hands up and down my body. I remember being so scared. He stood up, walked away, took more pictures of himself, made me look at them, and then took pictures of me. He touched me. Even after all of this, I still didn't tell anyone. I was scared he would hurt me worse, or hurt one of my siblings. And I didn't want that to happen. I went through this for probably a year and a half. Then on July 2nd, 2007, my parents found that he was using their money to buy and watch porn on the computer. A little later that day, they came and asked me if he ever hurt me. I told them what he did. They called the police, and he was taken away. I remember being afraid that he was going to get out and find me, and hurt me again. I went to counseling for a few weeks, but it didn't really help. I felt like I was alone. I was angry, and I turned my back on God. I just didn't understand how He could've let something like that happen. I still sometimes believe that everything that happened was my fault. I understand that it’s not, but it is still hard to know that it wasn't. My relationship with God is getting better. It's not a really strong one but it’s better than it was. I guess I'm doing this because there are others out there who may have gone through this, or something similar. And they need to know that they are not alone. And that yes, it’s hard, but it does get better. And that it isn't their fault.

                God didn’t cause this to happen to her. Her brother caused it to happen. For God did not cause sin; man allowed sin to enter the world.

“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin,
and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.”

-Romans 5:12

“When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot
be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.”

-James 1:13

                What God wants her to do with this experience is to use it as a witnessing tool! So many people have experienced this, maybe not from their brothers but by their fathers, uncles, or other close male relatives. When I first told her this, she questioned me how she could use what happened to her as a testimony. It wasn’t by accident that her parents found out what her brother was doing. God intervened so that she wouldn’t have to suffer anymore. There are so many people out there trying to fill the void in their life. Others have so much fear that it will happen again that they spend their lives separated and looking over their shoulder constantly. God wants her to proclaim His name to others so that they could know that what happened to them was not their fault and there are open arms waiting for them. They could learn to trust again and they could grow to be strong women. Sharing this story is her first steps towards using her experiences as a living testimony for God.

                It can be scary to announce to the public what happened. But it’s important to others that it does happen. As Christians, we aren’t here to judge or look at you based on your past. You couldn’t help that your abuser chose to prey on you.

“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and
soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

-1 Thessalonians 5:23

“He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead,
or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him
waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,
fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.”

-Romans :19-21

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in
weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of
my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

-2 Corinthians 12:9


  1. Thank you for sharing this post with all of us. I, too, am a survivor. I use my experience to reach out to others and encourage them to become survivors and stop punishing themselves. God gave me the closure and the victory. Today I serve Him as a minister. There is recovery in Him.

    1. Amen! I'm so glad that you were able to find peace and Him and chose to serve God. God bless you!