” ‘Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father…’ ” (Matt. 18: 10).
Each year, some six million children in the United States are sexually or physically abused.
This 6-part series will explore the emotional and spiritual ramifications of abuse, with a view toward assisting the survivors of abuse and those who care for them in dealing with its long-term effects.
Those of us who have decades of experience with abuse and its aftermath are all too familiar with these details. But for each new generation of victims, these truths must be restated.
It must be said at the outset that children are NEVER responsible for the abuse inflicted upon them. The idea of a “bad” or “seductive” child is a lie perpetrated by child molesters, a rationale to excuse their heinous actions.
Predators are often manipulative, convincing child victims that they brought on the violation; consented to the violation; will not be believed, if the violation is reported; will be sent away from home, if the violation is reported; will place their parents (or pets) in danger, if the violation is reported, etc. Some of these same arguments are made to women by the husbands and boyfriends who perpetrate violence against them.
As a consequence, victims often experience a misplaced sense of guilt and shame. This will be further discussed in our next segment.
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