From a human perspective, it is inconceivable that abuse victims would consider forgiving so grievous a violation as abuse. Only with God’s intervention can abuse victims hope to forgive the perpetrator, and successfully move on with their lives.
Forgiveness begins with a decision to put the violation in the past. It may be necessary to re-address forgiveness as life events bring other areas of unforgiveness to the survivor’s awareness. This does not mean that the victim should be placed again in harm’s way.
Forgiveness cannot be forced (and does not preclude criminal prosecution). But without it, victims run the risk of being consumed by bitterness. God wants more for them than that.
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