Listening to sexual abuse

Felicity was nine years old when her cousin first starting 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.[1]

She had no idea about the birds or the bees and sexual abuse was not even remotely in her thinking. He said he was just playing and this is what “all the kids were doing.”

She oscillated between being confused and being disgusted. It made no sense to her and asked him to stop many times. At some level of her awareness, she knew it was wrong, which is part of the reason she never told her parents.

The other reason she stuffed her secret down was because her parents did not have much of a relationship. The kid’s concerns were not at the forefront of their minds or 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 Paul, her cousin, threatened her if she told, she had no plans of telling anyway.

That was 23 years ago. Felicity is 32-years old today. She’s married with two darling toddlers. They go to a good church, but her relationship with her husband is rocky and she feels emotionally numb most of the time. He’s not capable of helping her.

Though the abuse stopped years ago, the impact of the abuse on her soul has never left. Even after becoming a Christian in college, her mind was still encumbered with the complicatedness of the abuse. She’s never figured out how to work through the internal pain. Now she has come to you for help.

Listen to her sexual abuse

One of the most important things you can do for her is listen to her. There will be many levels of dysfunction in

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  1. [1] This article was written in response to a one of our Members, who also is one of our Distance Education Students. He is counseling someone who has been abused. A core component of our DE Program is to develop students to care for others, by walking them through situations they are dealing with now.
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About Rick Thomas

Rick has been training in the Upstate of South Carolina since 1997. After several years as a counselor and pastor he founded and launched his own training organization in order to encourage and equip people for more effective living. In the early ’90’s he earned a BA in Theology. Later he earned a BS in Education. In 1993 he was ordained into Christian ministry and in 2000 he graduated with a MA in Counseling. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow with ACBC. Today his organization reaches people in every country through consulting, training, blogging, and coaching.
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