Yes, you. In a society that has put victims of sexual assault and abuse under a generalized group label, I want to talk to you because you are not just one of the masses. You have a story and it’s important. It’s important because you’ve been hurt.
I get it. I know what the pain feels like. It’s suffocating, isn’t it? I understand the confusion. The mix of misplaced shame and anger, self-blame that asks questions but won’t answer them. It’s hard to put into words, right? That internal isolation that pushes you to shut everyone out while simultaneously overwhelming you with a need for external affirmation. It’s defeating to feel out of control. Not just in those moments you were physically hurt, but right now. I get the frustration of trying to explain – or understand for yourself – why your actions no longer speak louder than the words your heart is trying to both hide and communicate at the same time. Not knowing whether to hate yourself or the person who did this to you is a scary mind game. Maybe if you had worn something else…maybe if you hadn’t gone to that party…maybe if…
I know what it’s like to want help, but not help itself because that would require you to trust someone which is no longer an option. Escape? Sure. Just create an identity in the memories that refuse to leave, or pretend they aren’t there. Either way they change who you are.
That’s just a piece of the battle you fight against yourself. Then there’s the world outside. It used to feel like no one understood this issue because it was never talked about. Coming forward has always been terrifying because there’s a high possibility of being blamed, if you are even believed. And now that the issue has become a public topic, society’s response has confirmed everything you feared.
They really don’t care. They really don’t get it. They really don’t take it seriously.
People talk like they get it. They joke about it. They make it sound like you are a prop for someone else’s story instead of a human being. There are some people who want to help, but how can they? It’s hard to know how to be helped when you don’t even know how to help yourself. The possibility of being rescued seems lost in a world that’s drowning in ignorance and breeding pain with pain for entertainment.
I know, it’s enough to make you want to bang your head against the wall, or much worse. Lies and opinions scream so loudly that you want to escape your own mind. The more the issue gets publicized, the smaller your box becomes. The claustrophobia sets in and hope seems completely gone.
But STOP right here for a minute. Because hope is not gone.
Hope. Is. Not. Gone.
In fact, sweet friend, I will have you know that hope is brighter than ever in a day as dark as this one. The possibility of being rescued is a very real one. But you won’t find it in the world. Even if the media were to suddenly decide tomorrow to recognize the real pain, yours wouldn’t be gone. Even if the truth was told and justice was served, your broken pieces would remain.
Because what was taken from you is not something society can reach. Your heart was hurt in its deepest, most vulnerable places. You need [and deserve] a love much more powerful than any this world can offer you.
Guess what? That love exists. His name is Jesus. His blood washes away all hurt and his voice silences all others. He can heal what can’t be helped by anyone else. And do you know what the coolest part is? If nothing else can reach deep enough to heal what’s been broken, nothing can reach deep enough to break it again once it’s healed.
If nothing else can reach deep enough to heal what’s been broken, nothing can reach deep enough to break it again once it’s healed.
Jesus gets the final say. And hear me loud and clear: He does not take your pain lightly. He is not okay with your hurt being exploited. He will make sure justice is served, and His justice is much scarier than any prison or ruined reputation.
I know the road from here seems daunting, if even visible. But hang on. Not to the media, not to the lies. Hang onto the hand of the One who will stop at nothing to save you and the hands of those who love you in a way that affirms His character. Hang on to truth.
A Few Things To Remember As You Move Forward:
- Don’t try to redefine the world’s definition of your hurt. Refuse to let it define you in the first place.
- Ignorant remarks from ignorant people are not allowed to write a beautiful story like yours.
- This could have been avoided if the person who did this to you did not do it. The end. Your outfit was not to blame. Your location was not to blame. Your choice to drink was not to blame. Someone else’s actions were to blame, still are to blame, and will always be the only thing to blame.
- Complete healing that results in GOOD is a real possibility.
- You are worth saving.
- Most importantly, Jesus loves you more than you can imagine. If you will let Him, He will turn this mess into a miraculous victory no one can step on.
So friend, my message to you in summary is this: Your pain is real and it matters. What happened to you was not right. And in a sea of voices that minimizes sexual assault and twists spotlights to keep or increase as much glory for the perpetrator as possible, I want you to hear another noise. The noise of a Savior who loves you and does not take your pain lightly. Jesus will stop at nothing to protect your heart if you give it to Him. I am begging you to let Him in and experience the freedom that awaits. You can do this. We can do this. He’s already done it.
Side note for anyone who wants to define, direct, brush off or minimize sexual assault realities:
If you have never experienced any type of sexual assault, you are logically incapable of knowing what it feels like. If you do not know what something feels like, you have no intelligent grounds to speak as if you do, nor do you have the right to decide whether someone else’s experience is worth paying attention to. Ignorant noise is what results when words are spoken from unqualified viewpoints. And ignorant noise is not something that should be made in the presence of trauma.
Are there stories out there that are not true? That does not serve as a legitimate argument or justification against those that are. Many lives have been ruined, too many victims get re-victimized, and there is a great deal of justice that has not been served.
Sexual assault is not funny. It is not casual. It is not a decoration for news headlines. We are talking about real people who experienced real, life-altering hurt. No one is qualified to judge the response or mental state of someone who has experienced something they have not. And someone else’s pain is not ours to define, decide or demean.