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  • Gary Probst

Childhood Sexual Abuse


Child sexual abuse is absolutely insidious. The damage it imposes upon victims lasts a lifetime and it can destroy a person’s entire time on this earth. This happens to both boys and girls and, the majority of the time, the perpetrator is a trusted authority figure, such as a parent; close relative; teacher; coach or spiritual leader.

The massive breach of trust by the authority figure creates incredible anxiety for the victim and it lingers throughout adult life. Trust of anybody is difficult. Trust of any member of the opposite sex, if the predator was of the other gender, is nearly impossible. Sex abuse within gender can create an enormous amount of self-loathing and self-doubt for the victim. This happens with all victims but same-sex childhood abuse brings the victim to see the potential within self, identified as the predator.

If you suspect childhood sexual abuse, you MUST take an immediate and strong stand, no matter the suspected predator’s position within your family or community. This also applies for the spouse. Far too often, spouses cover for the other and hope the problem will go away. It will not. The impact of hopelessness and the emotional turmoil caused by such actions is nearly unbearable for the victimized child. Sex predators also do not stop with one victim. If they victimize the oldest child, the next in line is also in peril. If a daughter was victimized, the granddaughters are in peril. Cousins, nieces, the neighbor’s daughter, all are in danger. You must take the appropriate action and it cannot amount to a stern lecture. It has to involve the police. It must.

For those suffering from childhood sexual abuse, our hearts and love go out to you. It takes a compassionate counselor to help change how you see yourself. No child of God is meant to be another human’s resource for perversion. Often, sexual victims feel God has abandoned them. They wonder why God did not intercede and protect them. There are no clear answers to that question. The best one we can come up with is that humans have freewill and God does not want to impose His will and forge a robotic legion out of the human race. Sometimes, however, is sure seems God may want to impose His will on some members of humanity, especially those who don’t resemble the style of humanity most of us understand to be correct.

As a victim of childhood sexual abuse, you need to understand that you have value as a beloved human being and child of God. The wretched actions of one person or a few people do not account for all of society. Evil exists, sometimes even within the walls of our childhood home. Evil, however, does not have to prevail. You can use the darkness of the awful experience to help others. This spreads your light and God’s mercy and light, radiating from you. Your value in God’s eyes is your kind and loving soul. Depend upon that positive energy to combat the darkness. Through helping others, you will connect and help yourself.

Support groups are a strong resource for victims of childhood sexual abuse. Group therapy is suggested, even though exceedingly difficult. Feeling abandoned, abused and alone is horrid and not necessary. Seek out a compassionate counselor, a protective person, and also seek out others you can help heal---as you—yourself—learn to heal.


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© 2019, The Matthew Project, Inc., Hartford Counseling and Life Span Family Services