How can I begin to break the silence and be open about being sexually abused as a child?


Every time my stepfather touched me, I felt as if I was losing a small piece of me. As I got smaller and smaller, our secret seemed to grow bigger and bigger. The silence was cramming all the small, shattered pieces of me into some secret, shameful box that I hoped no one would ever open.

I am not alone. Every day I receive e-mails from people who have been sexually abused and have kept silent about it. Many survivors who have lived in silence falsely believe that talking about their abuse will not only do nothing to reduce their shame and isolation, but that it will actually make things worse.

Survivors of childhood sexual abuse long to be accepted for who we are. As children, we never felt accepted because we believed something was wrong with us. We thought something about us was bad and deserved punishment. Now, as adults, it doesn’t make sense that someone would accept us just because we’re not being abused anymore. So we decide to become someone else—someone others will accept and maybe even love.

But even though our façade helps win us the acceptance of others, we feel exactly the same inside. Contrary to what we believed, we do not feel better. We still can’t accept ourselves, for we don’t even know the real us. We long to know who we really are. But we find we fear it just as much as we long for it. It seems easier to just keep faking it.

When I decided to get real, I took small, quick breaths of fresh air. A little trust here. A little openness there. I kept the blanket off just long enough to know I was making progress. But as I kept working at getting real, I began to realize what I was looking for was a community where I could heal, where I could find acceptance, love, purpose and hope. I was looking for a circle of inspiration.

Creating your own circle can take a while. Most of the time, no one will know that you even need this kind of support until you speak up about it. Hence my passion and focus on empowering survivors to break the silence. It also takes time to build relationships by learning to trust again and allowing others to know you.

Your circle may seem small or even nonexistent at this point. You may still be holding your breath, too afraid to breathe. But just as Jesus got to choose the men He wanted in His circle, you get to choose the people you want in yours. You’re the only one who decides who will get to hear your story and have the high honor of getting to know the real you.

We need to find people we trust—or people we can begin to try to trust—and share our story with them. This is where our healing journey begins and where our circle of inspiration starts to grow. So to begin to form your circle, start with someone you feel you can trust. Chances are, this person will be caring and compassionate, someone who is willing to reach out to you in your pain.

(Help is out there, you dont have to tolerate or accept any nonsense because that is what sexual abuse is, please do not suffer in silence. No man has the right to Lord over another human being. It is not acceptable. Contact us or simple email us for counsel; Pastor Rebecca).

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Why don’t women leave their abusers?


Grandville : Cent Proverbes

Grandville : Cent Proverbes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The fact is that many women do leave, and they risk their lives in doing so. A woman may leave an average of seven times—leaving and going back home—before she leaves for good. There are many reasons why a woman stays in an abusive relationship or returns home after leaving, but the primary motivation is fear.
Fear

The victim has every reason to be afraid. Many abusers threaten to take the children if she leaves—either by accusing her of being an incompetent parent and gaining custody or by kidnapping them. In extreme cases, he may kill them as the ultimate revenge against his wife.

She also fears for her own safety. She may get killed herself! A woman is at 75 percent greater risk of harm from her abuser when she leaves.1 One abuser threatened to kill his wife, saying, “If I can’t have you, nobody else will either.” In another incident the abuser disfigured his wife’s face with acid, proclaiming, “Now no one will ever want to look at you again.”
Guilt

Religious beliefs and guilt keep many women from leaving abusive situations. They fear the condescending and judgmental reactions of friends and family who believe she is responsible for breaking up the family by leaving. She may also fear offending God and her church family. Most women who have children try to protect them from the trauma of divorce by staying in an abusive marriage. They do not realize their children will suffer more long-lasting trauma by being in an abusive home than in a single-parent home. Women may not realize that leaving does not necessarily lead to divorce. In some cases, separation is the wake-up call that causes her husband to seek help.
Confusion

Confusion and “crazy making” keep many women off balance and unable to make rational decisions. One day he worships her and places her on a pedestal. The next day she doesn’t meet his expectations and falls from grace. The fall is a long one, and she can’t understand why he has changed from a loving, generous husband into a maniacal bully who delights in punishing her.
False Hope

False hope distorts a woman’s view of reality. Many women stay in an abusive home because they love their husbands and long to see their marriage succeed. They simply want the disrespect and violence to stop. She believes if she tries a little harder or waits a little longer, things will change. She believes him when he says the abuse will never happen again. Because he has been wounded in the past, she thinks he needs extra love and care, and she thinks that helping him become whole is her responsibility. Because she loves him, she denies the reality that he is capable of seriously hurting or killing her. False hope convinces her that she needs to protect her husband—even from himself.
Financial Instability

Financial dependence and fear of the unknown paralyze many women as they ponder how they will be able to support themselves and, in many cases, their children. Most women face financial, social, and emotional hardships when they leave, and they often find that assistance is limited or not available to them. Weak criminal justice systems offer no hope, and have failed victims again and again, causing women to be terrified of possibly losing custody of their children and become destitute financially. When a woman’s life is bound up in her family, she worries about continuing important relationships with stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, and friends. She believes her identity will be lost if she leaves.
Lack of Information

Ignorance of the facts and of the consequences of domestic violence causes women to view themselves as the problem rather than understanding the cause of violence is within the heart and mind of the abuser. They believe his violence is caused by temporary problems based on outside circumstances, such as stress at work. Having this mind-set, they believe that once the stress is relieved, the beatings will stop. In addition, some women are unaware that spousal abuse is spiritually and morally wrong.

(If you have been abused or in an abusive relationship, you dont have to suffer in silence feel free to contact us, there is help out there.)

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