Listening to sexual abuse – 1.0
The opening lines of the Les Miserables broadway song, Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, probably sums up what it is like to be sexually abused more than any other two lines of literature. Sexual abuse is one of the most devastating and complicating sinful crimes that can be forced on another human being.
Though I don’t fully understand it because it did not happen to me, I’ve sat with many victims of this violence and felt and perceived, in part, the comprehensive effect of the sin against them. This sin is so profound, that the victims cannot fully understand or articulate what has happened to them.
Felicity was nine years old when her cousin first started going into her room. He was twelve. They weren’t particularly close, but did hang out some. He lived across the street. That was the beginning of many years of sexual abuse, though she would not call it that.
She had no idea about the birds or the bees and sexual abuse was not remotely in her thinking. He said he was just playing and this is what all the kids were doing.
She vacillated between being confused and being disgusted. It made no sense to her and though she asked him to stop many times, he would not listen. At some level of her awareness, she knew it was wrong, which is part of the reason she never told her parents. Like most sexually abused people, they blame themselves, at least partly.
The other reason she stuffed her secret down was because her parents did not have much of a relationship. The children’s concerns were not at the forefront of their minds or their care. While mom was mostly preoccupied with running the home, her daddy was mostly angry and distant.
Felicity knew her dad would not believe her if she told him and even if he did believe her, she figured he would blame her. Stuffing things inside seemed to be a better approach, though she
-  This article was written in response to one of our Members, who is also a Distance Education Student. He is counseling someone who has been abused. A core component of our DE Program is to develop Christians to care for others, by walking with them through life challenges. ↩