Blogs by Linda Settles
Good News for Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
9/19/2008 3:50:43 PM
Renouncing the shame of sexual abuse...
The good news is this: that more people are beginning to understand the plight of the sexual abuse survivor.
I say this because I remember when I first heard the term, sexual abuse. I was, at that time, a victim of it, but didn't know it had a name. I heard a program on the radio that opened the door to my own understanding for the first time and gave me hope that I was not alone. That was over twenty years ago. I had been the mental and emotional prisoner of a maniac who happened to be my father, from the time I was five years old, enduring his abuse and eventually coming to believe that I was somehow responsible for my own victimization.
The second time I heard the term was on a televised program. The courageous women who spoke about their traumatic experiences came on the screen with bags over their heads. They didn't dare expose their shame openly, but they wanted to help other survivors and so they did the best they could to expose the truth of a reality so horrible that most people were prone to pretend it did not exist.
We have come a long way as a society who is willing to face up to the terrible truth that sexual abuse is an out of control monster that devours the heart and soul of as many as 1/4 of the little girls and 1/6 of the boys in our country. I have been in contact with a number of friends on foreign soil who know that the problem is no better in the country where they live and serve than it is in America. The scourge of sexual abuse is a global problem.
While educating the public about the atrocities of childhood sexual abuse does not eliminate the problem, we can at least be thankful that the shame is being transferred back to the source from which it came--the perpetrators and those who collude in their crimes. Sadly, sexual abuse is may continue to be the beast that hides in the closet and devours small children in the night, but at least our society has learned to acknowledge that the monster exists. And most people have realized that the child is not to blame for the insidious crimes perpetrated against her. This may not be much comfort to those of us who have suffered abuse, but it is at least a start. It is better than the way things were when I first exposed the violent man who had stolen twenty-eight years of my life.
It is time for survivors of sexual abuse to reclaim the dignity they deserve--to stand in the strength of the Spirit that got them through the trauma in the first place--to renounce the guilt and the shame that the perpetrator and/or anyone else may try to transfer to them, and to shout, "I am a survivor and I will carry your shame no longer!!!" Let the shame rest squarely on the shoulders of the sexual offender who chooses to violate an innocent child.
More Blogs by Linda Settles
Redeeming Our Treasures One Day at a Time - Saturday, December 06, 2008
Redemption... - Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Redeeming Our Love for Christ - Thursday, October 02, 2008
Holidays Can Be Trouble... - Sunday, September 28, 2008
Dancing Daffodils - Thursday, September 25, 2008
Assessing the Strengths of A Recovering Sexual Abuse Survivor - Saturday, September 20, 2008
Good News for Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse - Friday, September 19, 2008
My Trials Had to Stand for Something... - Saturday, August 30, 2008
Renounce Negativity! - Thursday, August 28, 2008
Antiseptic Grace - Monday, August 25, 2008
A Safe Harbor - Sunday, August 24, 2008
Honor-it is not what you think! - Saturday, August 23, 2008
Break My Heart... - Saturday, August 23, 2008
Letting go - Monday, August 11, 2008
I'm Stepping - Saturday, August 09, 2008
God Help Our Youth! - Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Don't tell your children what to think! - Thursday, July 31, 2008
On top of the mountain - Wednesday, July 30, 2008
A Wrinkle in My Spirit - Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Let us stand firm in our faith... - Sunday, July 27, 2008
From Where I Stand - Wednesday, July 23, 2008
WOW! What a Show! - Saturday, July 19, 2008
When I Can't See - Friday, July 11, 2008
Its Not Just Me - Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Complications.... - Monday, June 23, 2008