PLEASE BE ADVISED this post contains some graphic details. Any children under the age of 18 should receive parental permission before reading.
Unfortunately, there has been more heinous sexual abuse cases than my experience. This is my story. By opening up, my hope is to awaken something in those that want their healing to begin.
Studies by David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, show that:
- 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse;
- Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident;
- During a one-year period in the U.S., 16% of youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
- Over the course of their lifetime, 28% of U.S. youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
- Children are most vulnerable to CSA between the ages of 7 and 13.
The hard truth is that most cases of sexual abuse never get reported. I know mines were not. Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) or any sexual abuse is not an issue that can be swept under the rug. It can happen! Parents must learn how to effectively communicate with their children. Educate children early about healthy boundaries and seek additional help if needed.
It was my dark secret…well, our dark secret. I’m not sure how it started or how I felt the first time it happened… I just wanted to feel it again. He (I’ll refer to him as George), had aroused something in me that I could not deny. Every Thursday before chapel, I would begin to crave his act of pleasure and every Thursday he would happily give it to me. All I knew was that every time he got ready to place his hand underneath my skirt I was about to experience a sensation that could bring me to tears. What in the world was happening? What was this feeling? And why, out of all my classmates was it happening to me?
Though his parents were made aware of his “mischief”, I do not think anyone, but he and I, knew what had truly been going on. This wasn’t just a young boy’s curiosity of putting his hand up a girl’s skirt. This behavior had become a sick habit that neither of us could shake. I struggled with the realization of being a victim. How could I be the victim if found myself intentionally sitting by him in chapel and any other chance for that matter.
At the tender age of six I had become addicted to the feeling of a sexual sensation and enjoyed it! No one knew anything nor saw anything. Eventually any dark moment, for example movie time, became an opportunity for me to indulge in my dark secret. Soon after, I had mastered containing my excitement. I could get up and walk away from that moment and seem regular. I was still able to achieve good grades, top the principal’s list and earn student of the year. Was I thriving off this pleasure? And why didn’t I want it stop?
This is my story. My story of a being a sexual abuse survivor.
By George being the same age as I, was he really to blame? After all, I wasn’t a victim that feared her perpetrator. I yearned for his touch. I would like to make something very clear. Let’s not coincide that yearning with having “daddy issues”. My father was and still is there for me. Each day I was told that I was loved and beautiful. I was taught right from wrong, how to be respectful, and most importantly a love for God. But isn’t protection a part of a fathers duty? Why couldn’t his protection reach into protecting my innocence?
Coming home one day, after some time, I begin to experience pain in my vaginal area. My mother asked where I was having them and asked had anyone touched me. I told her where and that yes, somebody had been touching me “down there”. I was scheduled a doctor’s appointment to make sure everything was fine. And that was it! After a brief conversation with George’s parents, this experience seemed to be over, it never happened again. In my mind everything was supposed to be okay. But looking back as a young woman, I wondered what was I supposed to do with my sexual urges? At 6 years old I had experienced a pleasure that was reserved for a covenant marriage. Why wasn’t I being guided through those emotions or in some sort of therapy? I had literally become sexualized before I even knew what sex was!
Unfortunately, my parents didn’t know what to do. At the time I thought my mother understood what had happened to me. I would later find out that my mother didn’t know the extent to which it went on. I told my mother the entire story the summer of 2009 before I left for college. She could not help but cry and apologize for their ignorance.
To this day, I think the frustration and anger toward my parents came from the lack of help after my traumatic experience. Not so much that it had happened, but that I was expected to still be that young, innocent girl in elementary school with no care in the world besides memorizing multiplication tables. I did not have the capacity to comprehend what was happening to me. George didn’t have the capacity either, and he was the perpetrator. He clearly, had been acting out something he saw or had experienced. For years I tried to place the blame somewhere on someone. It wasn’t mine, but it wasn’t his. To this day, George’s parents still don’t know to what extent his mischief went.
I was a victim of sin. My innocence was taken away by someone who didn’t even know he took it. Sure I was still a virgin in my own right, but my thoughts had become tainted, my body had already grown accustomed to and responded to a sexual pleasure. Most of my younger nights were spent trying to recreate that feeling. Not only did I walk around sexually frustrated, I was ashamed when those urges began to creep up on me. In the midst of all this, I was trying to live my life as a regular girl. This experience left me confused. Even though I tried to appear unchanged by it, internally I knew things were dramatically different.
When I did finally get “the sex talk” in my pre-teen years it made that inward battle worse. Not only was my lusting after sexual desires wrong, I was not supposed to experience those touches until I was married. Yet I already had. Surely, God had to been angry with me.
My local church was blessed to offer different ministries and I made it my business to get into as many as I could juggle: organizing youth church, praise team, choir, praise dancing, drama, cheerleading, bible study, the list goes on and on. I tried doing any and everything “to get back in God’s graces”. Although I loved and was gifted in everything I was doing, it was mind-wrecking thinking it wasn’t enough. I was running myself tired trying to gain forgiveness for something that wasn’t my fault. Even worse that frustration began to turn into anger, anger at God, my parents and myself. Why couldn’t anyone see what was happening?Why were there no sermons on subjects like this? Yet and still I was being told that God loves me and wants to use me. Umm… where was He when I was being violated. We were children, why didn’t He stop it? Why didn’t He reveal to my teacher what was going on in the dark? If I was so important to Him & His work, why’d He let me go through it anyhow?
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I began to get clarity and heal. I now know I wasn’t to blame. Though that experience had impacted my life it does not overpower it. Have some of my mistakes and actions stemmed from my first grade experience, of course! But God had a way of turning everything around for the good. If my speaking out can help save someone or help someone who has been victimized, to God be the glory.
I have provided just a few of the MANY sexual abuse resources out there. If you know of anyone who can benefit from these resources PLEASE pass these them on. If you suspect that someone you love has been or is being sexually abused, please don’t ignore the signs. Ask questions, things may become difficult to talk about but press through it. Ask God for the strength to listen to and accept truth. A sexual abuse victim needs prayer, a listening ear, a support system and an outlet. The only THING worse about being a sexually abused victim is a sexually abused victim left to fend for and figure it all out themselves.
“CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE STATISTICS”. National Center for Victims of Crime, 2012. 5 March 2014. http://www.victimsofcrime.org/media/reporting-on-child-sexual-abuse/child-sexual-abuse-statistics
MORE FACTS ABOUT CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE
- Sexual abuse is any activity-verbal, visual, or physical engaged in without the consent, which may be emotionally or physically harmful and which exploits a person in order to meet another person’s sexual or emotional needs. The person does not consent if he or she cannot reasonably choose to consent or refuse because of age, circumstances, level of understanding, and dependency or relationship to the offender”. (Kubetin & Mallory, 2004, p. 26- Shelter from the Storm)
- Childhood sexual abuse is prevalent in our society. With an alarming rate of 1 in every 4 to 5 girls being victims of sexual abuse at some point in their lives and
- And even more so with boys reportedly a rate of 1 in 5 boys – not including the ones who suffer in silence (Kubetin & Mallory, 2004)
Dan Allender, Dan- The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual
Steven R. Tray- Mending the Soul: Understanding and Healing Abuse
Wendy Maltz, The Sexual Healing Journey
Shelter from the Storm Support Groups