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Sexual Assault Awareness: Why didn’t you say anything?

"Spiritually it was if I was sacrificing myself for the sake of the family. This is a deception from the enemy. Christ is the only sacrifice once and for all."

Why didn’t you say anything?

As we recognize sexual assault and domestic violence on a spiritual level during the month of April, we would like to bring awareness to the symptoms and help answer questions that some of the victims would like answers to. Here are some answers from a Christian perspective. Following is a piece from an Christian writer who suffered from rape and molestation.

Self-righteousness and self-affliction

“I can handle it”, “I can handle it better than anyone else”, I’d rather it be me.”Has anyone else ever heard those words before? My experience with sexual abuse started at the age of twelve. I was somewhat of a “late developer”. My step-father would watch me shower from the bathroom window and he would watch me dress while hiding in the bathroom closet. I was the oldest of three with a little sister, two years younger. From my perspective, I was the strong one (so I thought). I wasn’t as emotional.

I was supposed to protect my sister and brother. That’s what big sister’s do. Mom worked a lot and didn’t get paid much to support three little ones. That meant long work hours and not much time for foolishness. If one person got in trouble, we all got spankings. So, there wasn’t a whole lot of tattling going on.

The abuse didn’t start with rape. There was an inappropriate relationship that started first. My mother and step-father were school friends who knew each other from the neighborhood long before they were married. So, for me to “hang-out” with him was no big deal. He knew my dad too! We would “hang out” and talk often. By the time I was a tween the inappropriate touching came as lessons…preparation. I needed to know what to expect from a man, he would say. I needed to know how to please… I had to have standards, he would say… “you’re of another caliber”. There were candle lit dinners…favors when I should have been punished. Don’t worry about it, I will handle your mother, he would say.

When things progressed, rationalization started to happen. It wasn’t a lesson. That kind of stuff wasn’t supposed to be taught. It was wrong. My mother works hard, I would rationalize within. She doesn’t need anymore foolishness. It’s not a big deal. If you tell her, everyone will suffer, I ‘d say to myself. If I keep things to myself he’ll be satisfied and he won’t bother your sister. You can handle it. I f he starts messing with your sister, she’ll fall apart. She can’t handle it. We don’t need any drama, I would say.

Spiritually it was if I was sacrificing myself for the sake of the family. This is a deception from the enemy. Christ is the only sacrifice once and for all. He already paid the price. He was nailed with all of these hurts, situations, circumstances to the cross. No matter what happens we cannot and ought not to rationalize wrong or sin. Christ wants us to fight and we cannot fight a good fight in silence and rationalization as to why things happen. All things work together for the good and when Jesus allows things to happen it is for Him to get the glory in our lives.

Because I didn’t open my mouth and speak up against the wrong… the sin; similar trial continued to arise in my life until I overcame and spoke in the power and the authority given to me in Christ. Christ wants us to know who we are in Him and call on Him in the time of trouble. If we acknowledge Him in all of our ways, He will direct our paths. Even when it seems that speaking will bring embarrassment, guilt, and shame. He already bore the mockery and shame. It becomes self-righteousness when we think in our little heads we can handle things ourselves, when Christ designed the trial for Him to handle.

We cannot do His job and He gets jealous when we attempt to instead of allowing Him to get the glory in the situations. Let Christ be the one you call on, even when things seem so simple.

Contributed by: Tiara Hawthorne
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