*Note: This is one of the many private responses I have received this week based on previous posts about sexual abuse. The writer has agreed to let me share their experience here. I will be posting different perspectives all this week
At first when I read your blog post I was upset because I felt that it was blaming “the church” when abuse happens all over the world. I am a member of the church and I like to think that I would never stand for something like that. I’ve been thinking about this for a few days now and I realized that even though I don’t personally know anyone who was sexually abused I do know people who have been physically (and probably sexually) abused as adults-by their husbands.
Many families are trying very hard to make it look like they fit in to a perceived idea of what a “good” family looks like. I know this because I’ve had good friends who have been abused by their husbands and have been told things like “divorce is not an option”, “stop pushing his buttons” and eeeek “what would people think?!”. And when someone actually is brave enough to leave an abusive spouse they are more often than not shamed and ignored if they try to hold on to their faith. It’s sad that in this day and age a woman who leaves her abuser in order to save herself and her children is not supported with love and kindness but is instead made to feel that it was her fault and she is the one doing something wrong.
So, honestly, as much as it hurts to say this, it doesn’t surprise me that there probably are many people who know about abuse of children and either ignore/deny it or are too afraid to rock the boat by saying anything.
Of course it happens in every church, community and neighborhood, I’m not saying that it doesn’t. My hope is that this conversation gets parents, friends, families talking and start showing support for the victims instead of trying to keep up appearances. Maybe if the culture changed to show love towards victims then more people would speak up and stop the cycle.
God knows what’s going on anyway, does it really pay to hide it anymore?
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