What About the Victims?

Someone came to buy our stackable washer and dryer some years ago, and I was nervous about being the only one home. My nerves upped a notch when a man came alone. I was handling it fairly well until he mentioned he is a pastor, and my body responses kicked into panic mode – like an automatic switch kicks into high gear – “Run for your life!” My insides shook like a frightened puppy, and I wanted to cry.

Deep breaths… You’re stronger now. This is not the same one who hurt you many years ago. Help me, Jesus! As I zoned out and talked myself through it in a matter of seconds, my body and spirit calmed down.

Before he left, he started talking more about his church and what they believe. As God breathed power into my heart and loosened my tongue, I asked him, “So if someone would come to you and tell you he/she was abused by one of the pastors, what would you do?” Gulp! Did I really just dare to say that?!

He dodged my question…

In another instance, a sincere Christian woman said, concerning news of sexual abuse by leaders, “I don’t know why they bring all that up. It’s in the past. We’re supposed to forgive.”

Ouch! What about the victims? Where is the support for them? What about the victims who have never received justice? Who are still suffering and struggling from the trauma? What if the perpetrator is still using his power towards evil? Why are abusers sometimes protected while victims are rejected and silenced?

Some people and communities want to shove this important issue under the rug. Others may be well-intentioned, but they don’t realize that even if we make it to the process of forgiving, our bodies still subconsciously remember trauma.

It’s not easy to write vulnerably, but God is nudging me to speak up for those who have been silenced, those whose rights are trampled on, those lonely souls who inwardly cry out for validation, caring support, and justice.

“Speak out on behalf of those who have no voice,
 and defend all those who have been passed over.
Open your mouth, judge fairly,
 and stand up for the rights of the afflicted and the poor.”
Proverbs 31:8-9 VOICE

When any person or community is more concerned for the protection of the abusers than of the victims, it hurts. Big-time. When victims are ignored, not believed, or treated as the one who did the wrong, it hurts. Big-time. When Christians tell us we don’t have faith if we can’t forgive and forget and move on, it hurts. Big-time.

Love cares about the grief and suffering of victims who are hurting. Love cries with them. Love sits in the pain pit with them. Love protects  and defends them. Like Jesus does.

Jesus understands suffering more than anyone does. He bends low with us in our suffering and whispers, “I’m so very sorry.” His tears mingle with ours. He never dodges or minimizes our pain. He doesn’t treat mental and emotional pain as less important than physical illness. He doesn’t tell us we aren’t trusting Him if we need therapy or medicine. He blesses these means to help us through. He gives us grace and strength to work through the gut-wrenching grief of being robbed of the very essence of who we are. His never-failing compassion wraps us in the safe and cozy blanket of His love where it’s ok to voice our emotions. His caring support  gives hope that we can be restored to who we are in Him. Through His grace, we can become survivors and finally victory dancers as His healing works in us.

RAINN – Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network – Get Help 24/7 by calling 800.656.HOPE(4673)

What Is a Girl Worth? – Lesley’s moving review of Rachael Denhollander’s memoir of her journey of courageously fighting for justice for herself and other victims.

Cecil Murphey: Abuse Survivor“As long as I kept the abuse a secret, I still wasn’t free. But as I shared my experiences and what I had learned as a survivor, people resonated with those words, and I experienced healing.”

The Hope of Survivors – Support, Hope, and Healing for Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse

Healing Is In Your Hand

Cries for Children Who Are Abused

 

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;
ensure justice for those being crushed.”
Proverbs 31:8

I want to scream and wail until the whole world hears. For the children who are trapped in abuse. At home. From people they came to know and trust. From sex traffickers.

As I write this, last night’s news is still haunting me. The fire chief in our city, one who is supposed to be an advocate for public safety, is secretly a viewer of child porn. People who knew him say he was such a “nice man.”

Have you been or are you abused? Jesus weeps with you and for you!

A psychologist discussed this rising horrendous crime in our nation with a reporter. She said many who watch child porn seem “nice” in public, but in their secret life they have a lack of empathy for children who are victims. Some have said, “They’re just pictures.”

No! They are NOT just pictures. Each child in the picture is a precious child created by God. A child who deserves to be loved, valued, and respected. NOT neglected. NOT abused. NOT exploited. Their voices need to be nurtured, not crushed.

Every child deserves to be loved, valued, and respected.

Why, God, why? I know children are precious to You. Why don’t You stop all this evil that victimizes them? Why don’t You keep all children safe?

It’s so hard to understand, but I have learned it’s not God who wants this to happen. Yes, He could stop it in a heartbeat. But we humans were given a choice to choose. And devastatingly, some are choosing the evil and abusing and exploiting children.

Oh God, please help!

“For Those Who Can’t Speak”
by Tenth Avenue North

“I see the glory of the Lord every time the sun rises
I hear the unheard screams of a broken heart
Because every day a son dies
27 million slaves but no plantation
27 million slaves, all different races
This is not the picture the Lord painted in Genesis

Silence is our enemy, our voices can end it
I have dreamed of a kingdom coming where
Evil drowns in mercy streams
I want to see those rivers of justice
So I use my voice for those who can’t speak
I will use my voice for those who can’t speak

Yeah, yeah, when it’s all said and done
Yeah, I pray that everything we said is done
I don’t want my son to say I was one of the ones
That watched 27 million suffer and never say
No, no, I won’t be that
I don’t deserve a mic if I ain’t got no feedback
Bring back every girl from the west to the east that
He crafted for His glory, not for making you green backs

I dream that
Every ounce of brokenness and disease that
Bring that to the cross, believe that He redeems that
Sees that type of world that my daughters can breathe in
Where the beautiful feet that go where the needs at

Come on, come on
Oh, none of here are just a number
We all have a name like any other
There’s breath inside your lungs
And you are my brother
My God, when will we stand
Stand together

I want to be the kingdom coming where
Evil drowns in mercy streams
Oh, let me see those rivers of justice
So I use my voice for those who can’t speak
I will use my voice for those who can’t speak
I use my voice for those who can’t speak”

If you think you have seen a missing child,
or suspect a child may be sexually exploited,
contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
24-hours a day, 7 days a week.