What do I do if I have been sexually abused?
Someone once said that your virginity is a gift, and until you freely give it to someone, it cannot be taken from you. If you’ve been sexually abused, I do not take for granted that a terrible thing has happened to you, and my heart bleeds as God’s does. In my few years of counseling young women, I have heard countless stories of rape that have made me weep. In the light of these, I hope you will forgive me if I am a bit hard on you. Some situations require tough love you know. Things you should know…
1. It was not, and is not your fault:
Girls who have been sexually abused tend to blame themselves and wallow in self pity. This ought not to be. Don’t condemn yourself. What happened to you is a terrible thing, but it’s not your fault. This means that you should not be afraid to speak up if your abuser still hangs around you.
2. Forgiveness is the only path to a journey of restoration:
Refusing to forgive is like taking poison and expecting your enemy to die. Being unforgiving doesn’t hurt the other person, it hurts you. It affects your spiritual, emotional and sometimes physical health. Don’t wait till you feel like it, because you never will. When you give your heart to Christ, the Holy Ghost empowers you to make a genuine decision to forgive. Note that forgiveness doesn’t mean that you should keep your guard down around such a person. Be alert, and if that person stays around your vicinity, report the case and make sure that the other ladies around you are alert too.
3. You’re perfect before God:
Your being raped doesn’t change the way God sees you, and the fact that you were abused doesn’t mean that God does not love you. He loves you more than you’d ever know and he’ll see you through this if you’d open your heart to him. Don’t be bitter, it might take a while, but you’ll heal.
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4. Your experience can help others.
You must have heard of popular bible teacher Joyce Meyer. Sexually abused by her father till she was eighteen, she was confused about her life till she met Jesus. He changed her story and is now helping her change the stories of women all over the world. Whatever the thought was for evil, God will turn it around for your good. 2 Cor. 1vs. 4 talking about God says: “Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted.” Let the Holy Ghost comfort you, and then let him through you comfort others who find themselves in the same situation.
5. Men are NOT all the SAME.
Just because someone abused you doesn’t mean that every other man is an abuser. Don’t make your future relationship pay for what someone else did. Let go of that bias and open yourself up to a relationship with a true son of God whenyou’re ready.
Extracted from the book Girlcyclopaedia by Arenyeka Laju.