Wednesday, May 11, 2016

There is Hope

Proverbs 17:22 and Proverbs 15:13

Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.
Proverbs 15:13 A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

Over the weekend I gave a reflection about abuse on the White House Ellipse in front of people from all over the country, Jamaica, Canada, Africa and Israel. Last month, while on Stop Child Abuse Now BlogTalk Radio, sponsored by the National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (NAASCA), I described what I went through, the feelings I had throughout the abuse I endured and the ridicule but more importantly how I came through it.  I found that each person on the panel who asked me questions identified with what I said and felt. They did not judge me. That night, I became part of the NAASCA family.  I was open about my faith, therapy and the other abuses I endured even in adulthood. I do not talk about abuse for sympathy. I talk about it because I don't want to see others go through what I endured or worse.

"1 in 4 girls are sexually abused and 1 in 6 boys."
"1 in 10 children will be sexually abused on or before their 18th birthday." And this is of reported cases. Many cases are never reported.

As a survivor I can share the following:
Child abuse causes sorrow in the heart. It is a direct attempt to kill a child's spirit. It makes them feel their life is not valued, they cannot trust people to be who they say they are, and it robs them of their voice. They are emotionally and physically blackmailed into silence. That same silence spills over and changes their ability to act as they once did. Just as Adam and Eve bit the apple from "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" and knew both good and evil, children cannot unlearn the evil of abuse.

But by the grace of the living God, there is hope. Hope comes in the form of our Lord who knows what it means to suffer and He is the great restorer. It also comes in the form of adults who care for children to educate themselves and teach their children what to do. Hope comes in the form of recognizing signs, getting children treatment and therapy. Therapy is not a dirty word. Hope continues by ones who care for those who have been abused to seek the Lord for patience and understanding.

This "terror" is not limited by race, religion or economic status as you have probably seen in the news. It is an equal opportunity destroyer.  In order to fight, one needs knowledge of the tactics of the enemy. In order to defeat an opponent you must know their every move and counter act. Make a pledge to yourself, before God and to those you love to do so.
My motto is, a little bit of caution beats watching a child go through a lifetime of redeeming their self-esteem, shedding shame and seeking healing.

Next steps: parents, grandparents, etc you can order my book "Shh Don't Tell" from the drop down list on my website at It will give you information on signs, what to do, what not to do and the stories of survivors so you can understand from their eyes. With your purchase you will also receive a FREE children's coloring book to help with talking with your children on what is appropriate and inappropriate. The stores that sell my book, including Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Books-A-Million and others, don't have the coloring book with it. It is something extra I am able to do as a result of my work with Safe Shores, the DC Children's Advocacy Center.  Safety starts with you.