Saturday, March 25, 2006

Sexual Abuse of Children – America’s Secret

Over the past few months, a few conservative TV and radio hosts have been lamenting the increase instances of child sexual predators being given lenient jail sentences or no jail time altogether by many judges throughout the country. Two-fold is their justifiable disgust, in that a) many in the judicial system seem to give more deference to the so-called “mental illness” of the vultures who prey on innocent children and b) the fact that there is so little outrage about this subject by the vast majority of those in the press, the electronic media, politicians or the general public.

I believe the cause of this seeming indifference to exposing and cracking down hard on child sexual abusers is the fact that this problem is and has been the dirty little secret that infects a significant portion of families throughout the United States. Many all-American families contain both victims and victimizers of child sexual abuse. Typically the victims are so traumatized by their abuse that they are simply unable to address it publicly. There is also fear that if they speak out they will be challenged by the authorities and violated all over again, not believed by family members and treated as the accused rather than as the victim. Instead, they live out their lives in shattered trauma under its tremendous strain – as it influences most everything they do and most relationships they attempt to have. The victimizers (of which there are probably millions) are kept hidden by those who are fully aware of their crimes, mostly to avoid the embarrassment and disruption of their family’s seemingly all-American existence. These enablers – most of whom are probably spouses as well as assorted family members, are far more interested in maintaining their "standards of living", as opposed to telling the truth or truly supporting the victims of these disasters, namely the children in their families.

It is this “train-wreck” of the American way of life that I believe is the main reason why today’s child predators receive the kid-glove treatment from most in positions of authority. Many in these positions of authority are themselves touched very personally by this all-American disease – either as the victims or the victimizers. But the Lord who always has the final word says this: “For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14 NIV).

God however is also very very merciful. For the victims He and He alone offers the opportunity to rise above this attack that is undoubtedly authored from the pit of hell. The Bible says to you: We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. (2 Corinthians 4:8-11 NIV); God also says, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" (Hebrews 13: 5-6 NIV).

To the victimizers of child sexual abuse the Bible says to you: From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." (Matthew 4:17 NIV); I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. (Luke 15:7 NIV); And if I say to the wicked man, `You will surely die,' but he then turns away from his sin and does what is just and right-- if he gives back what he took in pledge for a loan, returns what he has stolen, follows the decrees that give life, and does no evil, he will surely live; he will not die. None of the sins he has committed will be remembered against him. He has done what is just and right; he will surely live. (Ezekiel 33:14-16 NIV).


cyclebreaker said...

Peter - I too am a Christian man who found my way to the Lord later in my life -- in my 30's. I am also a male survivor of childhood sexual abuse, as well as physical and emotional abuse. However, my abuse caused a tremendous amount of confusion, anger and mental illness. During my teen and early adult years I battled different forms of drug and alcohol addiction, violent outburst which led to terrible fights and sexual issues which, combined with the drugs, caused me to act out inappropriately. I was even arrested for indecent exposure. I finally got help and found my way to God, who I know has forgiven me and died for all of my sins. Some people don't care though and simply want to make me a druggy pervert for the rest of my life. I'm a parent now and actively work with different organizations against abuse in this country. Do you believe God forgives me and I can walk with him in peace?

Peter Shaw said...

Hi Cyclebreaker,

Thanks for visiting my site. In answer to your question: without a doubt, God has forgiven you and freed you from the hold of sin. In fact when God sees you, He sees Jesus. That is the power of what Jesus did on the cross for all of us, if only we will accept it. Based on your certainly did. Good for you. Don't let people, who are no more than flesh and blood tell you otherwise. Here is a scripture that tells you all about God's justice: For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and by him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of his blood on the cross. This includes you who were once so far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions, yet now he has brought you back as his friends. He has done this through his death on the cross in his own human body. As a result, he has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. (Colossians 1:19-22 NLT)

Erin said...

I was on Montel Williams this week Monday's Show talking about this same topic..I am trying to put a face and voice on this epidemic.

cyclebreaker said...

Thank you Peter. I've never felt so close to Christ as I do today. His redeeming power in undeniable. I have a wonderful passage from "Grace for the Moment" that I'm posting at
Feel free to link to it and I'll do the same! Thanks for fighting to bring an end to the epidemic of childhood sexual abuse.

Cyclebreaker (Bryan)

A God who sends people to Hell?