When I was in 5th grade, a neighborhood friend and classmate told me her stepfather was sexually abusing her. I told my parents, they called the authorities, and she was taken from her home. She lived in my home for a couple of months until she was put into a foster home and then adopted by an aunt. I've never forgotten the images of what he did to her, maybe too much for a 5th grader to know. My heart has always been sensitive toward victims of sexual abuse, but recently, I've read two books that have made me stand guard again. That's how we should always be - standing guard for victims, defending the defenseless. You can read the review of the first book I read here.
The second book I read is Hush by Nicole Bromley. This book is an incredible help for how to help victims of sexual abuse, but it provides information and education that we all need to know. Those of us who have children and are around children need to be educated and aware. I know we cannot be paranoid adults, but when I walk into my children's school, it reminds me to be more sensitive to the little hearts around me.
Nicole is transparent in sharing her story not only from childhood but into adulthood and how it affects her today. She teaches survivors how to dispel the lies they have always believed and models restoration through forgiveness and the freedom of sharing her story.
Many times we are told to hide our stories. They're embarrassing to the family (according to the book, this is very typical for victims of sexual abuse victims), people won't look at you the same, you will look weak. In my own life, I have found that great healing comes from sharing. It's when I am isolated that I'm suffocating. Isolation is a tool of satan to makes us feel like we are the only ones dealing with something. It makes us feel helpless so we stay in the pit we're in longer. Great freedom comes in sharing. Great healing comes in sharing. Great fellowship comes in sharing.
Nicole says, "...we have to show people our emotional scars -- not because we think they're cool, but because of the glory the healing brings to God and the hope it brings others that their wounds will heal as well." Chris and I have been sharing our story lately for similar reasons. Nicole sites 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 as her purpose and encourages victims to
"Speak truth to those who believe the lies you once believed. Comfort those who mourn, as you once mourned so deeply. Tell others that it wasn't their fault, just as you once needed to hear those words over and over again. Offer your compassion, just as you have received compassion."
You can find Hush here. And, you can find Nicole at www.onevoiceenterprises.com