Sex Abuse Information

Greetings

It is my hope that you will enjoy the article by Susan Jacobi. She shares her passion and mission to help survivors of abuse.

Thank you Susan for sharing with And He Restoreth My Soul Project.

Shalom

 

Displaying SusanJ-50aLowRes.jpg

Remembering Compassion For The Adult Survivor Of Child Abuse

by Susan Jacobi

Thank you for the opportunity to share my passion and mission. I know, intimately, the journey and struggle to reclaim your life after child abuse. The isolation can make the adult survivor of child abuse feel like they are completely alone in their fear and pain. My blog talk radio show, Conversations That Heal, is focused on uniting healing experts with survivors of all childhood trauma with the intention of breaking that isolation. With knowledge comes power to change the way we feel, think and act.

The adult survivor of child abuse is far from alone. One in three girls and one in six boys are sexually abused by the time they turn 18. I am one of those girls. My story, like many other survivors, fits the common symptoms. While my abuse history put me in the top 5 to 10% of child abuse severity, the reactions and consequences are universal to all survivors. My first memory was at 4, my last when I was 18. My abusers were my father and his mother, my paternal grandmother. They were involved with a sadistic ritual cult. Statistically, the odds my father was not a victim of the same rituals that I was used for would be so low it would be hard to believe that he wasn’t. Maybe my paternal grandmother was used for a victim in her early childhood as well, I will never know. The fact remains whether they were or were not survivors of the same horrors that I was subjected to, does not excuse them for their choices in continuing the cycle.

According to childhelp.org, 30% of victims will become perpetrators. Men and women are equally equipped to continue this staggering cycle, although men tend to dominate it.

Historically, survivor’s lives will reflect their past trauma in their actions whether they embrace their past or not. Resorting to alcohol, drugs, food (eating disorders), acting out with overspending, gambling, and self-injury are typical signs the survivor is not ready or able to look at their past. The memory is stored in the brain. Making the choice to voice it, feel it and heal it is where the decision to reclaim their life begins.

It is hard to remember that the abuser planned their crime while in the depths of the survivor’s pain. Absolutely nothing about the attacker’s action was an accident, nothing. Knowing the pattern of physical and sexual abuse helps to bring an element of compassion into the survivor’s adult life. As a survivor reclaiming their life, embracing that the abuse was not your fault is, for some, easier said than done. Sure it is easy to say, to hear, and to know on an intellectual level. But feeling it in your heart and releasing yourself from the pain is a whole other ball game. Unfortunately for some, (myself included) it is not as easy as it sounds. There is a tremendous amount of pain, betrayal, abandonment (and many more feelings) before accepting the simple phrase, ‘it wasn’t my fault’. Yet that is exactly where compassion towards yourself begins.

Compassion is a lesson that can be self-taught and replaced with the lies the abuser left on their victim’s soul. Like a baby learning to walk, it takes one small step at a time. Allow yourself to fall, see what you can learn from that fall like the baby falling after a few steps. You cannot and will not be able to instantly believe in your soul ‘It wasn’t my fault.’ Over time, you will embrace the truth, the compassion and gifts you have to offer your loved ones, friends and all who cross your path.

In my book, How to love yourself: The hope after child abuse, I write about common struggles survivors face. Knowing how similar we all are gives us permission to have compassion for our story. If you can’t have compassion for yourself, then have compassion for the child who is being abused as you read this, have compassion for the mid 20 year old young women struggling with her anger, right now. We are all, that child, that 20 year old. Along the way you will find your compassion for your child self, your 20 year old self and your adult self.

Susan Jacobi is an author, radio show host of Conversations That Heal, speaker and peer counselor. As a survivor of child abuse, Susan has dedicated her life to talking about the effects all childhood trauma has on the adult survivor. She hopes by sharing her own struggles and victories she will inspire more survivors to do the same. Her radio show, available at blogtalkradio.com/conversationsthatheal.rss, unites healing specialists and trauma survivors. Ms. Jacobi will be announcing upcoming workshops on her website. Her website is: ConversationsThatHeal.com.

She can be reached at susan  susan@conversationsthatheal.com.

“This article may not be reproduced without written approval from the author.”

Historical Information on Child Sex-Abuse

Although many believe that sex with a child has always been considered a societal taboo, sexual exploitation of children can be traced throughout history. Legal, cultural, and religious laws and mores have found ways to normalize, legitimize, justify, and even glorify incest and other acts of childhood sexual-abuse.i

Child-abuse laws and reporting responsibilities for people working with children are a very recent phenomenon. As late as the 1860s, children were still considered to be the “property” of their guardians. As such, children had little protection from mistreatment. At that time, the case of a girl being severely abused by her adoptive guardians was brought to the attention of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The S.P.C.A. brought the case before the court. They based their argument on the premise that a child was a member of the animal kingdom, and that since animals were afforded protection under the law, children, too, were therefore entitled to the same degree of protection from cruelty as animals. They won their case, and were able to remove the child from the home and place her in protective custody.ii

This case made for dramatic changes in the perspective of children as having rights not to be mistreated. Societies and organizations began to be set up to provide for the safety and treatment of abused children.iii However, most people still believed that child abuse was a rare occurrence, something that only happened to other people, and certainly not something one spoke about in public. Even in psychological circles, stories of early childhood sexual-abuse were considered to be based on the child’sfantasy rather than reality.iv

In the 1960s and 1970s women began to meet together to share with one another their anger and fear about the mistreatment they received, living in a male-dominated society.v As they began to talk together, they found that they had in common many of the same stories of violence and early childhood victimization.vi They rallied together to find ways to regain a sense of personal empowerment and began to speak out for the protection of basic human rights. As this women’s movement grew, and their stories and views became more publicly known, men, too, began to share their own childhood-abuse histories. We, as a society, began to be confronted by the vast numbers of adults who had suffered at the hands of family members, friends, and trusted adults in the community. The connection began to be made that the emotional effects of childhood trauma had far-reaching results and that a history of abuse was a common factor in much of our criminal population.vii

Protection of children became a national priority. By 1974 our national consciousness had been so raised that Congress passed The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. This helped to create the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, whose work it became to study and create methods of treatment and prevention of child abuse.viii

It is important for those of us working with children to remember that we are in the forefront of this new field―a field that often finds itself up against a rock and a hard place. Although these new organizations and laws are now in effect, people who work for the protection of children’s rights are working with people―people who have rich and varied histories of cultural, religious, societal, political, sexual, and economic beliefs and lifestyles. People who have generational ideas and experiences about family. We also are this “people,” so it is important for us to not only be informed about child abuse and how it may come up in our work in the community, but to also observe our own feelings and reactions to this very important topic.

i Anne L Horton and Judith A Williamson, eds. Abuse and Religion: When Praying Isn’t Enough (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1988); Florence Rush. The Best Kept Secret: Sexual Abuse of Children (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1980).

ii Jill Duerr Berrick and Neil Gilbert. With the Best of Intentions: The Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Movement (New York: Guilford Press, 1991).

iii Berrick and Gilbert. With the Best of Intentions

iv E. Sue Blume. Secret Survivors: Uncovering Incest and Its Aftereffects in Women (New York: Ballantine Books, 1990).

v Berrick and Gilbert. With the Best of Intentions

vi Florence Rush. The Best Kept Secret: Sexual Abuse of Children (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1980).

vii Berrick and Gilbert. With the Best of Intentions; Rush. The Best Kept Secret: Sexual Abuse of Children

viii Berrick and Gilbert. With the Best of Intentions

The Royal Position Of The Church

Is the church losing their position through failure to minister to the victims of sex abuse?

A ministry designed to address sexual abuse and the aftermath of violence within the Evangelical Christian Community of Churches is rare yet necessary. If the church is to broach this neatly wrapped package labeled sex abuse, the approach will require the pastor/leadership to have a vision about how the church is to respond to the issue of sex abuse and why the church has a role. Helpers’ willingness to see from a different perspective can make the program succeed or fail.

Remember, without a ministry that addresses critical issues such as sexual abuse and educates its members, the Christian community will go on to be haunted daily by the maltreatment of our children, as well as the downfall of the family unit and the loss of our most valuable resource, the ”human spirit.”

This will be a three-point article because of the clarity required for you, the readers, to digest and accept the need to design a ministry addressing the victims of the sexual abuse.

  • It will address the burdens of the church pastor, especially in the smaller churches. However, the mega churches may take this opportunity to review the services offered to their congregations in the area of sexual abuse.
  • Burdens held in the heart of the victims and how they see and often relive the abuse along with the decisions they make along the way.
  • The call of the church and why it has a serious responsibility and role in the healing, as well as the goals the church might want to consider when strategically designing their ministry.

The Love of the Pastor

After reading the first draft of this article I was asked “are you for or against the pastors and what role they play”?

Let me be very clear, I will not follow a pastor who does not follow Christ. However, I will support a pastor as he follows Christ.

We have to admit smaller churches without a pastoral staff are hard pressed to deliver specialized programs although the expectations of them are often the same as pastors who serve in mega churches. They lead a congregation, teach bible study, deliver and teach sermons and they often teach a Sunday School Class.

Most act as administrators even though they have a board of directors, elder board, or church counsel, they still have the responsibility to church business.

Regardless of all the aforementioned responsibilities, somewhere in the midst of their week, they are called on for counseling, to provide care through visiting the sick in their homes, in nursing facilities, as well as hospitals.

Even with the above responsibilities, we cannot ignore the sorrows that come with the calling. Often members of the congregation served by the pastor, throw swords, arrows, and many darts yet the pastor is to stand and care for the entire congregation. They are often awakened during the night either by telephone, or by some troubling issue facing the ministry and the decision could make or break it. They cry and are vulnerable before the Lord on behalf of the flock God has given them. Their congregation is constantly before them as they lead a loveless, stiff-necked people. However, obedience to their calling is what God has asked them to do.

Even with the burdens of their role as pastor, some of our shepherds tend to avoid and/or ignore the issues of abuse and violence that continue to grow out of control and exist in the Christian Home. My questions to these Watchmen are the following:

  1. Do you find leading loveless people difficult to you personally? If so, can you imagine living in those loveless homes which are often filled with terror?
  2. Can you imagine spending sleepless nights in “the Christian Home” of the same loveless people you serve?
  3. Can you imagine going to school after spending a long sleepless night in the Christian Home and be required to meet the expectations of the teachers who beat you down because you went to sleep in their classroom?
  4. Can you imagine?

At this time we will address the burdens held in the heart of the victims and how they see and often relive the abuse along with the decisions they make along the way. It will address a sample of the different perspectives you may have to consider.

Meeting the Royal Position of the Church~

[Est 4:13-14 NIV] 13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

This scripture refers to Esther as queen and the charge/duty she had to her Jewish people. Note; it was all about saving her people from a man who wanted desperately to annihilate the Jews, God’s chosen people. In addition, note, God is not mentioned in this book, however, the denial of God’s involvement would be a grave error. Esther’s position challenged her, yet, as a Jewish woman and a queen put her in a unique position to help her people.

It is this writer’s opinion that the church is in the same royal position as Esther. Answering the call to come to the aid of God’s people, especially those who have been violated sexually and who may still live in the “Christian and Non-Christian Homes alike”. They know if the hurting is left unattended it is much like sentencing a man or woman to death which is what Satan wants to happen!

Types of Sexual Violence:

Sexual violence comes in many forms including

Child Molestation, Marital Rape, Stranger Rape, Syllable Rape, Incest Rape, Gang Rape, Acquaintance Rape, and Same Sex Rape.

Emotional Reaction:

The emotional reaction to sexual violence varies but is similar, and the roads each victim travels is often the same but also varies. The following is an example of the walk many take and the experiences they have as they prepare to decide to allow God to use them in ministry to the victims of sex abuse..

The Walk That Will Change Your Heart:

The hurting walk the streets of darkness alone. The paths they walk are the back streets of what is considered life. These streets lead to nowhere. There are no signs that point to any direction. The hurting continue to walk the streets of despair which all lead to dead ends.

They find the church named God He Doesn’t Care with a very high membership because their beliefs change with the wind and soon the foundation caves in and they are lost again.

This is a brief example of where the victims might walk prior to finding their way to victory. Please note; this change is encouraged by your walk with them and God’s timing.

Satan’s stronghold on those sexually abused is real. The Royal Position of the church is unique just as Esther’s position as the Queen and it will not change. The responsibility and responsiveness to the cries of the victims is heard by God and His justice for them is in His church.

The call of the church and why it has a serious responsibility and role in the healing, as well as the goals the church might want to consider when strategically designing their ministry.

Goal of a Ministry to the Sexually Abused:

Education – 40 hour course required by the state

Provide a Safe Haven – where the victim can find people who keep confidentiality and are trustworthy

Networking – within the agencies and churches in the area. A collaborative effort is always a possibility.

Leadership – is able to select a team of people who are willing to take on the delegated responsibilities of the ministry.

In closing, please remember the appointment God kept when He delivered Christ to the cross was for our sins. It was an irreversible act of love. As God chose Christ, He has also appointed the people He needs to serve in a ministry of healing. Remember, the very least we owe is to acknowledge the master’s voice and follow Him. Who knows that we have not come to this place for such a time as this?

Resources; New International Version

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Blueletterbible.com

 

The following information is taken from “And He Restoreth My Soul” Sex Abuse of Children contributed by Emily Sears Vaughn, B.A., M.A, M.F.C.C.

Although many believe that sex with a child has always been considered a societal taboo, sexual exploitation of children can be traced throughout history. Legal, cultural, and religious laws and mores have found ways to normalize, legitimize, justify, and even glorify incest and other acts of childhood sexual-abuse.i

Child-abuse laws and reporting responsibilities for people working with children are a very recent phenomenon. As late as the 1860s, children were still considered to be the “property” of their guardians. As such, children had little protection from mistreatment. At that time, the case of a girl being severely abused by her adoptive guardians was brought to the attention of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The S.P.C.A. brought the case before the court. They based their argument on the premise that a child was a member of the animal kingdom, and that since animals were afforded protection under the law, children, too, were therefore entitled to the same degree of protection from cruelty as animals. They won their case, and were able to remove the child from the home and place her in protective custody.ii

This case made for dramatic changes in the perspective of children as having rights not to be mistreated. Societies and organizations began to be set up to provide for the safety and treatment of abused children.iii However, most people still believed that child abuse was a rare occurrence, something that only happened to other people, and certainly not something one spoke about in public. Even in psychological circles, stories of early childhood sexual-abuse were considered to be based on the child’sfantasy rather than reality.iv

In the 1960s and 1970s women began to meet together to share with one another their anger and fear about the mistreatment they received, living in a male-dominated society.v As they began to talk together, they found that they had in common many of the same stories of violence and early childhood victimization.vi They rallied together to find ways to regain a sense of personal empowerment and began to speak out for the protection of basic human rights. As this women’smovement grew, and their stories and views became more publicly known, men, too, began to share their own childhood-abuse histories. We, as a society, began to be confronted by the vast numbers of adults who had suffered at the hands of family members, friends, and trusted adults in the community. The connection began to be made that the emotional effects of childhood trauma had far-reaching results and that a history of abuse was a common factor in much of our criminal population.vii

Protection of children became a national priority. By 1974 our national consciousness had been so raised that Congress passed The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. This helped to create the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, whose work it became to study and create methods of treatment and prevention of child abuse.viii

It is important for those of us working with children to remember that we are in the forefront of this new field―a field that often finds itself up against a rock and a hard place. Although these new organizations and laws are now in effect, people who work for the protection of children’s rights are working with people―people who have rich and varied histories of cultural, religious, societal, political, sexual, and economic beliefs and lifestyles. People who have generational ideas and experiences about family. We also are this “people,” so it is important for us to not only be informed about child abuse and how it may come up in our work in the community, but to also observe our own feelings and reactions to this very important topic.

i Anne L Horton and Judith A Williamson, eds. Abuse and Religion: When Praying Isn’t Enough (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1988); Florence Rush. The Best Kept Secret: Sexual Abuse of Children (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1980).

ii Jill Duerr Berrick and Neil Gilbert. With the Best of Intentions: The Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Movement (New York: Guilford Press, 1991).

iii Berrick and Gilbert. With the Best of Intentions

iv E. Sue Blume. Secret Survivors: Uncovering Incest and Its Aftereffects in Women (New York: Ballantine Books, 1990).

v Berrick and Gilbert. With the Best of Intentions

vi Florence Rush. The Best Kept Secret: Sexual Abuse of Children (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1980).

vii Berrick and Gilbert. With the Best of Intentions; Rush. The Best Kept Secret: Sexual Abuse of Children

viii Berrick and Gilbert. With the Best of Intentions

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