So lets talk about a subject that might make some people uncomfortable. I wont lie and say that molestation is a topic that I was dying to write about, but I do know that it is a very real issue, that most people would prefer stays hidden in a basement closet, where no one can see it.
Let's face it, 9 times out of 10, you or someone you know has been a victim of molestation or you have been a perpetrator yourself. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon. Now don't get ashamed if you're reading this and feel the urge to cringe. One of the biggest problems with this topic is that "we" have placed so much shame around the subject, that no one wants to be honest and state the facts.
(I promise I won't bore you....stay with me...)
The facts are:
- Child molesters exist in every part of our society.
- They molest children close to them, mainly children in their family or children in their social circle.
- Most child molesters, 90 percent, report that they know their child victims very well.
- The behavior is highly repetitive, to the point of compulsion, rather than resulting from a lack of judgment.
Now I know what some of you are thinking... "Not MY BABIES!!..", "This article isn't for me...", "I don't know ANYONE who has been molested in MY family..." , odds are you're probably wrong! If you are a victim reading this, odds are, you've never shared that information with others. It isn't exactly a conversation that flows off your tongue at dinner...It's also very likely that if you were the molester, you've done your best to distance yourself from any conversation relating to it. All of this avoidance and denial is unproductive, unhealthy, and un...un.......Well...its just not good!
( I KNOW I just drove down at least 3 readers back alley... keep reading..)
Because I believe in shaming the devil, I'll break the ice. As a child, I was molested. Now don't be messy trying to piece together who you think it was. The important part is that I've taken the steps needed to heal. The steps that helped me were admitting, confronting, forgiving and healing. This process is not just important for the victim, but also for the perpetrator and witnesses.
The most common reaction a person has when it comes to issues of sexual abuse is denial. Most people make excuses for themselves or others to justify actions.
No one wants to deal with the reality of such accusations. It's tough. When I finally told my parents as an adult, they were heart broken. I distinctly remember the first word from my mother's mouth... "Noooo.." (she obviously was hurt), but the reaction stirred up the exact shame that keeps people scared from admitting. But, after the tears dried, and the denial was lifted, we were able to move forward.
Now I know most scenario's don't go as smoothly, where you can just confront the person. However, confronting a person directly isn't always necessary. Sometimes confronting those pint up emotions, or allowing yourself to grieve is a form of confronting. Going through this process with a counselor or spiritual leader is something I would also HIGHLY suggest. The last thing you want is to unravel all of those emotions and then have no one to help guide you through it.
Don't skip this part...I promise it will do you a world of good. Forgiveness has less to do with the other person, and more to do with you. Forgive them, forgive your parents, and most importantly forgive yourself. Sounds a bit cliché, but this part is what will open the door to....
After you've done all you can...you can start to heal. This is an ongoing process. Your healing will take place as your shame and fear around the incident diminishes. Who knows, at some point you might even become so free that you share your testimony with others who are battling with similar issues. Testimonies are a powerful tool, and also contribute to your healing process.
The most important part to carry with you through every step is prayer. God did not cause those things to happen to you. I know some of us probably even have blamed God for not intervening. It's ok to be honest with God and tell him how you feel, but don't become so bitter and blind, that you lose sight of who he is.
I'll leave you with this...
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.