I didn’t realize I was a victim of sexual abuse. Sounds impossible to believe, right? The fact is, my abuser didn’t rape me and so, believing that the definition of sexual abuse was sexual penetration, I was unaware of the damage done in the deep places of my soul.
Ignorantly, I carried that damage right into adulthood and my marriage. Our sex life was continually plagued with shame and blame. And sex was just the presenting problem.
There were a host of deeper issues mushrooming in the darkened cracks and crevices of my heart. I’d closed them off to the healing light of God’s love because I was ashamed to talk about such things. Quite frankly, I didn’t trust the power of His goodness to transform the broken pieces of my life and create something beautiful. Instead, I fiercely guarded any mention or memory of the abnormalities characterizing the relationship I had with my abuser.
For this reason,I believe there’s significant value in taking a closer look at what sexual abuse really is.
For a sound, working definition of sexual abuse, let’s learn what expert Dan Allender, author of Healing the Wounded Heart, pioneer of The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology and therapist to hundreds of sexual abuse survivors has to say:
“Sexual abuse is any contact or interaction (visual, verbal, or psychological) between a child/ adolescent and an adult or between children when the child/ adolescent is being used for the sexual stimulation of the perpetrator or any other person.
…Any contact or interaction used for the sexual stimulation of another person.
I was surprised by this information, and after years of avoiding mention about the relationship I had with my abuser, I was ready to take a deliberate look at my past.
The experience of walking into my past has been bittersweet. Assessing my losses has been painful. Yet it’s also provided an exquisite opportunity to bring each loss to God and, with the help of others, realize He desires to heal and set me free- step by step.
The thief approaches with malicious intent, looking to steal, slaughter, and destroy; I came to give life with joy and abundance. John 10:10
A definition of sexual abuse might be the eyeglass through which you detect that something precious has been stolen. And that’s always the first step to freedom.
Are you ready to step foot on a journey leading to greater freedom knowing that the steps you take will impact you and your children for good? I want to walk with you on that journey. That’s why I’m offering a FREE webinar: Not If, But When: Prevention, Protection, and Preparing Your Child for Inevitable Sexual Harm on May 11 at 2:00 and 7:00 pm EST.
When you join me in this webinar, you will learn how to cultivate a strong and joyful family that can thrive in an evil culture bent on abusing sexuality. I hope you’ll register for this free event and allow me to mentor you regarding this important topic.
Not If, But When offers hope to those who’ve been harmed and insight for those determined to protect and prepare their children regarding sexual abuse.
Would you please do me a favor? Please forward this email to others God brings to mind. Thank-you.