Regardless of the form scars take in a particular case, regardless of the critical role forgiveness plays in recovery, we add to the pain that sexual abuse victims experience, if we urge forgiveness upon them prematurely.
Well-intentioned though this advice may be, it fails to take into account the legitimate anger victims experience, thereby reinforcing the silence to which all too many victims are condemned.
A second error by those who counsel the victims of sexual abuse involves urging that victims put the suffering they have endured out of mind. This approach dismisses out of hand the impact of suffering on the lives of victims, relegating that subject yet again to silence.
A third error frequently encountered relates to the sexual consequences of abuse. Whether out of ignorance or embarrassment, Christians may avoid a discussion of these altogether, again enforcing silence.
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