The Dangerous Pandemic No One Is Talking About
Imagine over 20% of the earth’s population is infected by a ruthless virus that permanently handicaps its victims and destroys their quality of life, seriously affecting marriages, families, churches, and communities.
Imagine these numbers are a conservative estimate and that if left untreated, this virus will spread. Though clearly pandemic, few are aware of the terrible danger it poses to them and their families.
Unfortunately, the pandemic is real. It’s called sexual abuse.
This Virus Affects Us All
I’m a survivor of sexual abuse, and I’m far from alone. 1-in-4 women and 1-in-6 men are sexually abused in childhood. Yet only 1-in-10 victims will ever speak of it with anyone.
This is catastrophic.
You’re either a survivor or in close proximity to one. Because sexual abuse impacts all the victim’s relationships, it influences all of us.
It impacts you.
Why this Virus is so devastating
Some basic facts about this pandemic:
-It affects every part of the victim’s life. Sexual abuse touches victims at the core of their being and skews their thinking about the world, life, God, and relationships. It affects everything.
–It implants lies in victims’ hearts. “I’m damaged goods.” “No one can ever love me.” “I’ll never be good enough.” “It was my fault.” And many more.
–Victims develop defense mechanisms to protect themselves. Later, these same behaviors can keep survivors from engaging in healthy relationships and healing.
–Healing is often a slow, difficult process. Many survivors feel alone. They’re programmed to fear that others will judge or reject them (which, sadly, they often do). Victims learn to be quiet, and stuff the past.
–The remedy is radical and requires a team effort. Healing includes things like processing anger, accepting the past, and deciding what’s really true. And finally, forgiveness. Survivors won’t be able to do this alone.
*Perpetrators isolate their victims in order to abuse them, then further isolate them to keep them quiet.
We must help them shatter the silence!
Where is Jesus in All This?
We have a Physician who is well acquainted with this pandemic. He Himself is the remedy.
I attempted to answer this question in a recent interview with the 700 Club. Take a look (it’s 6 minutes). Whether you’re a survivor or not,
you’ll be encouraged.
Jesus is always nearer than we think.
Making Sexual Abuse Personal
The more we expose this pandemic and drag it into the light, the greater opportunity survivors will have to heal.
The more involved we become, the more our children will be protected.
The more we heal, the healthier our relationships will be.
And maybe, just maybe, we can turn this thing around.
Connecting Point, it’s time we took this evil personally. Let the counter-assault begin.
Gary Roe serves as an elder at Connecting Point and is a writer, speaker, and chaplain with Hospice Brazos Valley. He is the author of several books, including Not Quite Healed (Lime Award Finalist for Excellence in Non-Fiction, 2013 Top 50 Non-Fiction Book List).