Faith and I will be talking about this very subject tonight at our conference.
Victims of sexual abuse often struggle with a sense of obligation to silence. There are many reasons for this, ranging from an imposed silence, to personal guilt, to religious duty. Many victims spend more time worrying that they will ‘destroy their abuser’ than most abusers seem to worry about the damage done by their horrendous acts.
I hear comments like, “I can’t tell what my (uncle/brother/sister/cousin…) did to me. It would be too hard for everyone… And I would feel so bad for destroying my family.” Or, “My family would disown me if…” or some other fear of rejection. But one of the most common reasons for silence is a sense of religious obligation, as though the victim is being ungodly, unkind, or destructive by exposing the offender, or sharing their story or testimony.
The latter is often justified by twisting the word of God into some distorted misrepresentation of…
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