I’ve Been Sexually Abused, Can You Help Me?
“The scars of sexual abuse are as varied as the faces who hide them. But abuse impacts a person’s whole life, from childhood through adolescents to adulthood.” From Helping Victims of Sexual Abuse, p.49
Admitting Sexual Abuse To Another Person
I’m so glad you have taken this step toward help. Perhaps you are feeling a sense of fear even as you read these words. Please be assured that you are in a safe place and our only desire is to help you. Have you ever told anyone about your sexual abuse? If so, did they believe you? It is such an important first step to tell someone. It is also terrifying because what if you are not believed…please remember that whether you are believed or not does not change what happened to you. You have a right to speak out and hold responsible those who sexually, physically and emotionally hurt you. You will never heal from this terrible violation if you keep the secret locked inside of you.
It is estimated that in the United States sexual abuse occurs every two minutes with only about 2% ever reported. This statistic is mind-shattering and for all those who are a part of that statistic it is personally life-shattering. Children are NEVER the responsible party when sexual abuse occurs. Children do not have the emotional and intellectual ability to understand the premature introduction of sexuality by an adult. Sexual abuse takes many forms: fondling, inappropriate touching, being viewed without clothes on, intercourse, oral sex, being asked to view pornography with the abuser, or being kissed and hugged in ways that make the victim feel embarrassed or uncomfortable. This list is certainly not a complete listing.
The Long-Lasting Effects of Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse does more than invade your body; it is an invasion of your soul. It changes how you view life, sex, men, women, yourself and God. It steals your childhood…you are no longer innocent and carefree. Sexual abuse changes how you view yourself…it takes your sense of worth and replaces it with feelings of being dirty, used and unlovable. One young lady told me she felt as though she was wearing a big “A” (adultery) around her neck for the entire world to see. She was 10 when she was molested.
Dealing With Sexual Abuse
My friend, if you clicked on this page because you were sexually abused and you are seeking help, two things are vital for you to understand. First, the abuse you suffered was not your fault. You are NOT to blame. You are not “bad” because this happened to you. You did not make it happen. The person who violated you is responsible. The shame and blame belongs to that individual.
Secondly, it is vital that you seek counseling for the abuse. You might be saying, “It happened a long time ago and I just want to forget about it.” If that were possible you would not have clicked on this page. Denying what you feel will not make the feelings go away. The abuse stole your childhood and will steal your happiness, contentment, relational success, ability to trust, sexual satisfaction in marriage and much more unless you make a choice to seek help through counseling. It will be a process but well worth whatever time it takes.
Laura Baker is the founder and president of Prasso Ministries. Laura has devoted her life to helping women who have experienced hurt, discouragement and bitterness. She developed Prasso, a 12-week teaching program, to help bring healing and change to thousands of women.