I started writing these Friday posts on CSA back on March 22. This is the ninth post, and unless I get feedback or specific questions, it will be the last for now. I’m glad to be finished. I’m also glad many of you encouraged me to do it.
There is hope; there is healing; there is joy in life. Most important, there is strength and joy in the Lord. No one should have to keep this horrible secret. No one should feel guilty and ashamed because of what was done to her that she could not prevent. Because we are more aware now than we’ve ever been about the scope of this crime, we can spot it and put a stop to it if we choose to do so.
I hope you will choose to do so. Someone needs to protect the victims, whether the abuse is actively taking place, or took place many years ago. It’s wrong, every single time. There is NO excuse, reason, explanation that does away with the enormity of the crime.
I read about a man–a pastor, mind you–who said he did it because he had prostate problems and needed some relief. Good grief. Good. Grief.
All right. In summary, understand clearly that abusing a child in any way is evil. Sexual abuse touches not just the body, but the heart, soul, and mind. It corrupts the victim and sets her up for a miserable future if nothing is done to help her when she is still young.
There is a profile, if you will, of those who have been sexually abused. Go back and read the posts from March 22 to now, and you will clearly see the pattern. A good Christian pastor, experienced and compassionate in this field, is of invaluable help. If no such person is available, find a Christian therapist who knows about the symptoms and treatments. EMDR is my treatment of choice, but it is not the only option. Play therapy is also a wonderful tool, especially for very young kids.
Please, above all, do NOT tell a victim that she just needs to get past it now, just get over it. She can’t. She’s been trying for years, and she can’t. Even if she is a believer, there is so much twisted up in her heart and mind that she needs help to sort everything out, and to feel whole and clean again. Be compassionate. Be thankful it wasn’t you; but don’t be quick to judge if the person isn’t doing as well as you think she should, as quickly as you think she should.
You haven’t walked a mile in her mocassins. Don’t criticize. Pray, support, love, encourage.
We tend to dismiss or, worse, mock the things we don’t understand. Pray for wisdom, and God will give it to you so you can be a blessing to the one who has been so seriously wounded.
If you have specific questions, please post them here in the comments. I will do my best to respond.