We’ve heard these stories of children, teenagers, and women being sexually abused. It is heart-wrenching to hear of these things. I heard of a young girl sexually abused by her father, who was a policeman. Her father viewed her as another wife. He would sexually abuse her every weekend between the ages of 5-16 years of age. She said the scars of her father’s sexual abuse still disturb her today. There are many stories of people who are sexually abused as a child, teenager, or adult. Maybe you are one of those that have been sexually abused and have scars that tell the story. It grieves us to know that these are some of the struggles that you’re going through. I do want you to know that this blog will not cover every detail about how to deal with the sexual abuse trauma that you’ve faced, but there are a few things that I hope to address from a place of biblical faith.
God Hates What Happened to You
For those who have been sexually abused, I want you to know that you’re not alone. By eighteen years of age, one in three girls and one in six boys will have been sexually abused by someone they know, love, and trust. Sexual abuse is often done by an adult who has access to a minor by real or imagined authority. Sadly the internet is also becoming a new valuable tool for sexual predators. In the USA, one in five teenagers receives a sexual approach over the internet annually. These stats don’t make it easier for the person who has been sexually abused, but it shows that they are not alone and that there is a global problem.
If you’ve been sexually abused and are in the group of the statistics above, I want you to know that God hates what was done to you. God hates sin in general because it is a violation of his purpose (Romans 1:18). God says to sexual abusers, “Don’t do that!” There is a reason that the Bible has a high view of sexual ethics because he knows the pain that comes whenever there is a violation of it (Matthew 5:18, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, Leviticus 18, Leviticus 20:10-21).
Give it to God
Some of you may be thinking, “yes, I know that God says don’t do that concerning sexual abuse, but why did he allow that to happen to me?” That is a great question, and I don’t know, but I know that God is sovereign. He is so sovereign that he can work what has happened to you for good (Romans 8:28). You may be angry or confused at that statement, but I want to remind you that God is God. Don’t try to figure out all the details of the sovereignty of God in that tragic moment or moments. In contrast, if you try to remove the sovereignty of God so far out of your painful moment or moments, you will be left with no God to help you deal with your pain. You want God to take your sexual abuse and see him turn it into good (Romans 8:28).
Humbly cast your burdens on to him and let him work within you (1 Peter 5:7). You are not to carry your sexual abuse trauma alone, but you are made to give it to the one who makes your burdens light (Matthew 11:28). Keeping God out of the trauma of sexual abuse can lead to shame, anger, and fear ruling you in your life. On top of giving it to God, it is wise that you meet someone who can help counsel you on how best to deal with the trauma that you’ve experienced. Going to a trained Christian counsellor experienced in dealing with people who have been through sexual abuse is vital.
Here are a few practical tips on how to best deal with sexual abuse trauma:
1. Be Honest
• You may find it difficult to talk about what happened to you and struggle with feelings of shame, fear, and anger. It is essential to talk about the abuse and get the help you need. Many people are afraid to discuss what happened to them because someone they love or trust was the abuser.
2. Assign Responsibility
• You may think that you did or said something that caused the abuse, but you need to know that you are not responsible for it. A trained Christian counsellor can help you assign responsibility for the events to the appropriate person. Seeking a counsellor will help you deal with your emotions, take necessary steps to grieve, set boundaries, and eventually forgive.
3. Establish Boundaries
• Every person has the right to self-protection. You have been severely violated and need to establish or re-establish solid and healthy boundaries, including:
— speaking the truth to the perpetrator and proper authorities about the perpetrator
— saying no to any further manipulation or abuse
— establishing a safe distance between you and the perpetrator
• Your boundaries should make you feel strong, secure, and confident.
• If the perpetrator refuses to comply, legal action may be required.
4. Be Hopeful
• Sexual abuse is one of the deepest wounds a person can endure, but God knows, understands, and cares. Take the time needed to heal and expect that you will learn some of the most profound lessons of life about wisdom, love, and purpose during this process.
• Remember, you aren’t alone. Rely on the people who care about you and allow them to help you through the healing process.
• Know that God has a plan for you, and He can help you get through this difficult time.
• Sexual abuse is one of the biggest losses a person can experience. You have lost your innocence, a sense of safety, and part of your identity. To resolve your hurt and anger, you need to grieve these losses.
• You grieve when you are honest about the pain, anger, and loss you feel and when you express your sadness to those who understand and care. Grieving will take a while. Grieving isn’t a smooth or quick process.
• At some point in the healing process, you will need to think about forgiving the offender. Forgiving may be one of the hardest things you have ever had to do.
• Before you can forgive the one who has hurt you, it will be necessary to focus first on God’s forgiveness of your sins (Ephesians 4:32). Ultimately, we can forgive others only to the extent we have experienced God’s forgiveness.
• Forgiving doesn’t mean you have to trust the person. It means you won’t take revenge, and you don’t delight in their pain.
• The person who abused you may not ask to be forgiven or even feel sorry for what they have done. Your act of forgiveness is your response to God’s love for you, and it’s part of the healing process. It keeps you from becoming consumed with resentment and bitterness.
Conclusion: If you would like to talk with someone about your sexual abuse trauma, feel free to reach out to us at +254-799-254-254 via WhatsApp. You can also send us a message via Facebook messenger or Instagram @KuzaApp. Lastly, you can email us at [email protected]. We will be happy to pray with you.
1. Quick Counseling Guide to Counseling Teenagers