6 Steps to Shatter the Silence of Sexual Abuse

6 Steps to Shatter the Silence of Sexual Abuse

6 Steps to Shatter the Silence of Sexual Abuse

I wish I had a different story. I wish it wasn’t one of horrific pain that left my life in a pile of ashes, filled with shame and sorrow. But I don’t have a different story.

What I do have, however, is the power to decide how my story will end.

Today I look at myself in the mirror and choose not to be a victim any longer. Today I choose healing. Today I choose life. I’m a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I tell my story hoping that others will feel encouraged to start their own conversation, and eventually, gain empowerment to overcome.

My story is unique to me, but it is not uncommon. One night I went to sleep with the carefree innocence of a ten-year-old girl, and the next morning I awoke with agonizing shame and confusion. My father, childhood hero by day, had become my perpetrator by night.

Over the next seven years, I was sexually molested, but I never told anyone. I believed that if I quietly endured the assaults, I would spare my other siblings from experiencing the same fate. Ah, the fantasies of children. I spared nothing.

Today, I can’t be silent. A silent survivor can’t help anyone break free from the despair of abuse. I shatter the silence to break the grip of shame that had me bound by secrecy.

Because we can be healed from the trauma of sexual abuse.

6 Steps to Shattering the Silence of Abuse…

  1. Secure your Safety

If you’re in immediate danger or fearful for your or others safety, contact emergency services immediately. They will help you secure a place of safety.

  1. Share your Secret

Telling your secret is powerful. It releases pent-up hopelessness and despair, and many survivors feel better right away. Choose someone you can talk to who is safe, like a friend, pastor, counselor, family member, or medical professional.

  1. Seek Medical Support

If you’ve been sexually assaulted or abused, seek medical help and support. You will not only receive appropriate medical care if you need it, but you will also find valuable support, such as counselors, guidance, and resources.

  1. Stay Grounded in Reality

Trust yourself. It’s common for an abuse survivor to question themselves about their abuse after they begin to talk about it. If someone has assaulted you or is abusing you, it’s difficult to feel confident about what to do next, and victims can slip into denial. Stay focused and remember it’s never ok for someone to assault or abuse you for any reason.

  1. Start Your Journey

Healing is a process. The journey to wholeness takes time, so be patient with yourself. Keep talking, sharing, and clarifying the truth about your abuse. Resist the fear to stop the process and return to a place of isolation. Healing is on the other side of the journey.

  1. Speak and Stand

Don’t be afraid to know your legal rights. Help can still be yours, even if your trauma took place years ago, or you choose not to take it to the law. You can still be aware of what the law says and what options you may have.

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One Response to 6 Steps to Shatter the Silence of Sexual Abuse
  • Darlene Snow

    I listened to Focus on the Family today and I know without a doubt telling my story helps others and does helps me.
    I used to have to keep quiet and keep secrets. However, I no longer keep silent about what happened to me.

    My sexually molested started at the age five and ended when I was raped at fifteen. Ten long years.

    I used to blame God. But with going to church because it was my safe place and God putting people in my life that I needed help me to realized it wasn’t God fault at all.

    God has been with me throughout all of my pain. He has never left me.

    I am thankful for the story the information needs to get out there.

    Sincerely,
    Darlene Snow

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