Sexually Abused as Children

Sexually Abused as Children

“Lori, could you please write a post for women who have been sexually abused as children? How to cope and/or heal from it? Are they still considered virgins? I love your page and appreciate your biblical teachings. God bless you!”

It’s a sad thing that I have to even write about this but it is way too common, especially as our culture becomes more and more sexually depraved. Recently, I have been finding out more and more about the human sex trafficking going on in our country and it is beyond tragic. I have heard that all great civilizations have been destroyed from within and the sin? Sexual depravity. Example: Sodom and Gomorrah. Once societies kick out God, every man does what is right in their own eyes and wickedness increases. The children are harmed the most.

Before I begin, I want everyone to know that I am no expert in this area. I was never sexually abused as a child. I have never had close friends that were but I do know of a few young women who were. I am going to simply give my advice from what I know.

God can transform anyone. No one is beyond His transforming power. The moment you believe in Jesus Christ, all of your sins, past and present, are forgiven and  you are a brand new creature in Christ. All of the past pain and harm done to you was nailed on that cross. The hard part is believing it. None of us get through life without some pain, suffering, and sorrow. Most of us have experienced great pain from others but there is healing to be found in Jesus Christ. Your past NO longer need define who you are!

The one thing I encourage women in this situation to do is to listen to Michael Pearl teach through Romans. This book in the Bible is life changing! You will find out exactly what happened on that cross and what Christ accomplished for you. You will understand that you have been freed in Christ! If you want to get to the heart of Romans, go to Romans 6 and listen to it through Romans 8 until you believe it to be true.

Michael Pearl preaches in prisons often. He preaches to drug addicts, murderers, pedophiles, and to men with all types of deviant behavior. He has seen men completely change once they have heard the Gospel and understand exactly who they are in Christ. This is the most freeing thing to hear and believe, women!

Women who were sexually abused as children have a good possibility of carrying scars into marriage. The more you learn about your new life in Christ and the transforming, healing power of Him, the more prepared you will be for marriage. No, a woman in this situation is not technically a virgin IF a man had intercourse with her, but it was taken away by force and not by her own will. There is a HUGE difference in her situation. She was a victim at the hands of an evil man, yet she needs to learn to not hold any bitterness towards this man but instead find healing in Christ Jesus because bitterness defiles many (Hebrews 12:15).

If any of you were sexually abused as children, please feel free to add any input and encouragement to those who have gone through what you have gone through. Thank you.

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Matthew 18:6

33 thoughts on “Sexually Abused as Children

  1. If you’re a victim of sexual abuse, make sure you let your future husband know! Not only is it prudent to be honest with your future spouse, but you also need to know if he’s patient and strong enough to walk that journey with you. Healing is a continual process, and there’ll be healing you didn’t know needed to occur as you experience intimacy with your husband (especially if this is the first time you’ve been intimate with someone since the abuse). See if he is patient with the weak and can lead you through that hardship. Give all the pain and suffering ultimately to Jesus, because He will heal you. But boy will it be harder to walk out the healing journey if you’re married to someone who has no patience for your healing! (Note: this isn’t a pass not to submit or some type of get-out-of-jail free card, but the grievous sin done against victims affects places we don’t even know until we’re in the situation!)

      1. One thing I’ve never understood is when to discuss these kind of things. At what point should you speak about this and how should you go about starting the conversation?

        1. I think that’s a personal decision and there’s not a perfect formula. My now-husband knew before we started dating that I was assaulted, but we were good friends and it made sense not to give details. As I would experience triggers and emotional breakdowns I’d explain how it’d relate to a small part of the abuse. I know for many it’s important to date and get married quickly, but I needed trust to be built up slowly so marital intimacy didn’t set me back in healing, so this took place over a year. I ended up telling him everything two weeks before we were engaged. This seemed appropriate to us and I think matched our commitment levels considering how personal the details were (I tried to avoid telling someone all the details and then we break up). But that’s just the way we handled it based on where I was personally. Jesus will bring a spouse along when He wants you to have a spouse, not necessarily when you’re 100% healed! While dating I’d highly encourage praying often about when Jesus wants you to bring it up!

          As to how to go about it, as friends we were discussing what a tragedy sexual assault was and it seemed natural to bring up how I knew it was because it happened to me. Later on we discussed when would make sense emotionally for us to talk about details and decided on that date.

  2. Virginity is not the goal. Obedience to God in all things, including sexuality, is the goal. Virginity before marriage is the usual outcome if you are obeying God’s commands about sex. But if your virginity was taken from you against your will, then you are not to blame. It is not your sin. The sin was what the rapist did. He will answer to God for that. Those who are raped or otherwise sexually abused are victims. They bear no blame for what was done to them. But they may carry scars because it is traumatic.

    The reason there are scars is precisely because sex is so sacred. That’s why God tells us to reserve sex for marriage. In marriage, it is good and brings unity and connection. Outside marriage, sex is destructive because it does not have the proper context to channel its power in constructive ways. Sex is like a fire. Contained in a fireplace, it brings warmth and light and comfort. Outside a fireplace, it burns everything down and destroys those around it.

    The temptation for those who have been sexually abused is to see sex inaccurately – either as a tool to get what they want or as always evil – because of what was done to them. It can be hard to believe that sex is different in marriage than outside it. It can be hard to see how sex in marriage is good. That is something that can be overcome by renewing the mind with scripture. Scripture teaches us that sex was given by God for marriage. It is not an evil. The evil is when people disobey God and use sex outside the proper context.

    But none of us have to be defined by our past, whether what we have done or what others have done to us. In Christ, we are made new. We are now defined by His grace and purity. God can redeem any past and make it into something beautiful.

  3. The MOST important thing to remember, is that anyone who has been sexually abused did NOTHING WRONG.

    I say this, because when you are sexually abused as a child, oftentimes you feel dirty. Not only this, but sometimes almost that it’s your own fault. That doesn’t even count the fact that many times adults will somehow blame the abuse on the children! This is especially the case if the abuser is someone close, a spouse, a relative etc.

    If you or your child has been sexually abused, it is not God’s will for you to carry those scars forever. God has blessed us with many therapists who specialize in helping heal this kind of trauma.

    Much love to all.

  4. I believe that most battles are won and lost in your mind. I read this once and thought it might help someone that was sexually abused. Although you are not “technically” a virgin, you still are in God’s eyes (thus you have the victory!) and I believe that most good men would still think of you as one also.

    I used to think that this issue was well, really more of a non-issue, but I am older now and how completely wrong I was. God have mercy….

  5. I usually post my full name but I would like to protect my husband here. He was sexually abused by an older child as a kid. He has been working through the abuse with a good counselor, which we would recommend to everyone going through this. It’s been traumatic, and we pray that older boy has received counseling in his life as well.

  6. My mother was molested by her father as were her siblings for years. Once my grandmother found out, she left him so he could never hurt her children again. Sadly this has haunted my mother & her siblings their whole lives. My mother turned to pills to deal with things & we no longer have a relationship because of it. I cannot allow an addict around my children.

    1. That is so heartbreaking. Your mothers pain must be unbearable.
      I am married to an addict. Under that addiction, they are still good people, with good hearts, and a great deal of love to share. They’re just shrouded in pain.
      I would beg of you to please reconsider your decision. The Bible tells us to honour our father and our mother. No ifs or buts to that.
      It’s absolutely possible for addicts to be a blessing to children and love them and build relationships with them. And you never know, getting to know her grandchildren might just be the catalyst she needs to get help and find healing.

      1. I tried letting her around my daughter. She actually passed out in front of her. Also she made a lot of promises to her & broke them. I will not let her do the same to my kids that she did to me. I was put down my whole life & all her anger was directed at me. I told her if she gets help for herself, then to contact me. She has spread so many lies about me to people & even told my husband he should divorce me. I cannot just forget all of this & as I am pregnant right now, I cannot deal with the stress of her. I am in a high risk pregnancy & this baby is more important to me than she is.

        1. That is truly awful, Mandy.
          My husband’s mother has done similar things (and she’s not an addict, just evil) so I do understand how difficult it is.
          May God bless you and continue to guide you in raising your family.

  7. The case of whether you are still a “virgin” or not should not even be an issue or come up at all if anyone has been sexually abused. The task at hand should be helping heal the scars of the abuse.

  8. About half the women I know have voluntarily told me they were sexually abused. This is without me asking or telling them I had (because I haven’t). So the percentage of women that have been is probably even higher as I’m sure I have friends/acquaintances who haven’t mentioned it to me.

    There are also a lot of boys who have been sexually abused as well (one of the leading causes of homosexuality).

    Women can’t always protect their children if the abuser is the children’s father but other than that mothers can do so much. It is one of the reasons I am the primary teacher and carer to my own children. I won’t even let my son go to public restrooms by himself until he is 14 and even then I’ll stand outside the door. (I learned when he was a baby that ten year old boys are often the victims of sexual assault in bathrooms because that is typically the age where the mothers feel safe letting their boys go alone but also still young enough to be a target). We don’t do overnight camps without me. Whether it is church camp or American Heritage Girls I am there.

    What is sad is that sexual abuse is not letting up but still parents naively let their kids go along the same path as they did when they were abused. I suppose they think it won’t happen to their children or they as the parent would know or perhaps like one pitiful family the grandmother who was “watching” the girls as they were regularly abused by their uncle and his friends, she concluded it was inevitable. She had been abused as well as her daughter and so “of course” her granddaughters would be too, not a big deal.

    Mothers stay home and keep your children with you. Guard your home against predators. It’s one thing if you are thrown down and your children are violently taken from you but how awful would it be if they were abused because you fell down on the job.

  9. I’d say the woman abused as a child is still a virgin in Gods eyes.

    It is a sin to lose ones virginity before marriage, and I sure wish I had retained mine, however, sin is willful and deliberate, and no child chose the monstrous indignities these child molesters force on them.

    We as a society should never stigmatize them with the wretched evil of their abuser. God looks at them as pure and undefiled and so should we. They should view themselves that way too.

    To deprive a child of their innocence has to rank right up there with the worst crimes.

    The forces behind much of the pornography, masturbation, and human trafficking which result in the molestation of millions of children, are the same ones behind this pandemic and shutdown, so all Americans should be protesting it.

    Yours truly was one of 32 protesters arrested in the California Capitol of Sacramento on Friday, simply protesting to end the illogical and tyrannical shutdown.

    Complete overview is in “Tyranny in Sacramento”
    http://messanonews.com/category/uncategorized/

  10. As someone who was abused physcially and sexually, it has been a real struggle. I was once upset at God for allowing me to go through that, but he has taught me that all battles in life leave scars. It’s one of the reasons I’m looking into getting therapy. My sexual abuse has had a negative impact on my life. It almost made me into an atheist.

  11. I’ve known two men who were sexually abused.

    One man told me the story. It was quite upsetting, his mother left him alone for a short amount of time and that was enough. He has never told his mom what happened.

    What I took from these stories told to me was….

    You can’t let your children alone with anyone. Not even family members, or people you trust.

    (The other man was assaulted by his uncle…so even trusted family members are not to be ‘trusted’)

  12. The analogy with fire is so right. Sex is so powerful a force because it is how husband and wife join with God in the creation of new life. For this reason God clearly commands that it should only be used for that purpose and in those circumstances. To cement the loving relationship between husband and wife in openness to children.

    Sexual sin has always existed and always will. But throughout history whilst people have not always obeyed Gods commandments they have always acknowledged that not to do so was a sin and have always taught their children to avoid sin and control their sinful behaviour. Until now where society is hellbent on removing all self restraint and any semblance of morality.

    Boys are no longer taught that masturbation is a sin, they are encouraged to self abuse and offered a diet of pornography.

    Girls are no longer taught to be modest keep themselves pure for marriage and look upon motherhood as a vocation. They are taught to expose themselves to accept fornication and to believe that the Godly design of intimacy can be overturned by poisoning their fertility or killing the unborn.

    Of course tragically children have always been abused by evil men committing unspeakable acts, universally acknowledged as criminal and sinful. And of course the victims have always been blameless. But until we put the fire back in the fireplace and condemn all sinful sexual acts unreservedly girls will continue to be denied the right of every bride to come to marriage pure as God intended and boys will be lead to perversion.

    1. Wow, right on, Susanne.

      It’s extraordinarily rare to hear parents or churches teach children that masturbation is a sin, that’s the root of the vast majority of sexual sin.

      My church taught against that when I was a child, and they have no issues with homosexuality, child molestation, contraception, abortion, and p*rn is dealt with severely as well.

  13. I was abused by a family member as a child and it never goes away. My only advice is to talk with those you trust about it. Pray about it. And know it wasn’t your fault. It gets better with time.

  14. Debi Pearl’s Yell and Tell books are great for teaching young children how to expose a predator. The thing that freaks me out with the vast majority of sexual abuse is that it’s usually a family or friend. I don’t even put my kids in church classes. . . Main reason being I scarcely trust anyone with my kids and secondly I may not agree with what the teacher is teaching them. I had a lady at a church we attended for a couple years who was sweet and well meaning. I had a newborn and an almost 2 year old and she kept pressing me to drop them off at the nursery. I said no every week until it was just ridiculous and so finally had to voice my concerns. She said to me that we shouldn’t be controlled by fear, and that she was sexually abused as a child.
    Let’s just say she didn’t convince me.

  15. A friend of mine was abused as a child, by someone she and her parents trusted deeply to make the matter even worse. Before she got married, she told her husband, and I think he put it best: he said, that was not your choice, it was not something you did, it was done to you, that’s why it is not your sin. I think that was something that brought a lot of peace to her.

  16. I am incredibly surprised and grateful you blogged about this, Lori. This is something that is often swept under the rug in religious communities-and when it’s not, often children, particularly young girls, are blamed for their abuse and impurity. May I add that it is important to teach children the correct anatomical names for body parts. Prior to marriage I worked in a pediatric intensive care unit and sometimes would admit children that had been horribly abused to the point of occasionally needing surgery. “Cookie” and “Wee-wee” don’t hold up in an investigation.

  17. Lori,
    I usually do not agree with ANY of your teachings (to put it very, very, very lightly) but as a fellow Christian, I am very happy and proud of you that you posted this.

    Molestation happens so much more frequently than what we think. And most of the time the molestation occurs by someone close: a family member, a family friend, even a parent.
    The most important thing is that for anyone who has been molested to know: it isn’t your fault. It was never your fault. There are incredibly sick and evil parents who will either not believe their kids, or somehow blame it on their children when their children come forward with abuse!
    I also agree that it is very important that, right away, we teach our children the proper names for body parts and also let them know that ANYTIME an adult makes them feel uncomfortable (no matter who it is), they let us know.
    I also agree that, if I ever have children, I will not be letting them do any overnight trips or let them around strangers. Call me over-protective, but I don’t care. I was molested by a cousin when I was little and it was directly due to my parents being more than willing to drop us off at any adult’s house who would take us (so they wouldn’t have to parent us).
    God has blessed this country with many therapists who have years and years of college education designed to help someone through the incredibly difficult emotions of abuse. I encourage anyone suffering to seek out a therapist. Many will work out payment plans and reduced rates (mine did) if you are low on money.
    Churches (ESPECIALLY the Catholic church) have a known history of pushing abuse under the rug, or encouraging horrific practices (teaching the mom to stay with her husband who molested their children because he has ‘repented’) which only perpetuate the abuse further.
    Thank you for posting this, Lori.

  18. I remember reading Michael Pearl’s response to someone who shared that she was sexually abused and lost her purity. He responded that she lost her innocence, but not her purity.

  19. I am fighting back tears as I read this post. From the depths of my heart, thank you! Thank you so much for writing this per my request, Lori. God bless you!

  20. This comment is from a woman who wants to remain anonymous:
    The burden of guilt I felt from the sexual abuse I experienced when I was 7 took a long time to understand and be freed from. As is common, the family friend made the molestation a game, so I didn’t understand what had happened until years later. My parents taught me “stranger danger,” but I was not taught to be cautious around someone I should have been able to trust or to understand inappropriate touch. That was left to the public schools and came too late. So my advice to moms today would be teach your children from a young age in an age appropriate way about body autonomy and the correct names of their body parts. Studies have shown that a child that use the correct terms are far less likely to be the victims of abuse.

    However, as for my recovering from that pain. It was thankfully through Bible study with a good friend in college and lots of prayer to Jesus that has healed my heart of that pain. It was never my fault, I was harmed by the sin of another. That is the sad consequence of a fallen world, sin often has ripple effects and harms other along the way. By the grace of Jesus, I have forgiven the person who harmed me, because I did not want that bitterness lingering in my heart.

    Later when dating my now husband, it was also important that he know about the abuse. I didn’t want any secrets in my marriage. He was sad about the pain I went through and understands it was never my fault. A man of God who loves Jesus does not hold another’s sins against the victim. He has also been a source of comfort along the way.

    God is so good. His grace is more than sufficient for today. Anyone struggling with the past pain of abuse, I pray you can find a good friend to trust and open us to. Do Bible study with that friend or by yourself and ask God to help you understand it is not your fault, and let the guilt go. It was never your burden to carry and Jesus can take it from you. Just as he carries all our other burdens to the cross. May God bless and protect you.

  21. My advice, as someone sexually abused by two different people within less than 10 years apart, once you have been abused, it seems to be that other abusers and perverts know it. They prey on the ones they can tell are damaged and hurt. Be careful, and guard yourself. Don’t be fearful, but hold yourself with confidence in knowing that you bear no sin or fault.

    Unfortunately, I did not know this. I was molested as a child, and told my first boyfriend about it, very quickly. He had been abused himself, and started grooming me. It ended with him raping me. He is now a homosexual, and it’s really no surprise to me.

    Don’t keep it from your husband that you were abused. You should tell him before you are married so that you can work through any sexual triggers that come up, but dont go telling it to the first boy who acts like they care either. Pray about it. Watch him, and see his character. Make sure you do your “research.” Unfortunately, a lot of women who were abused wind up getting involved with boys who will abuse them again.

    Finally, know who you are in Christ. He loves you, and wants to bear your pain and sorrows. All you have to do is give it to him.

    I am now happily married to a wonderful man. There is joy after pain. I am very thankful God gave me my dear husband.

  22. This is a difficult subject. No child is at fault for being molested. Christ’s love can overcome this pain. But it leaves scars, painful scars, which often results in pain towards everyone else.

    My wife was molested by her father. She disclosed only a small portion of the truth of it, saying she just couldn’t remember if there was more. After 25 years of marriage, I can say there was definitely a lot more. It left scars.

    As a result of being molested, she acted out sexually as a teen and young adult. She lied to me about most of that. That also left scars.

    A few years ago, my mother-in-law told us she, too, had been molested as a child by her father. Her father was a sexual predator who ended up abusing many children after his own, but my mother-in-law told no one, not even her own mother. She blocked it out and only remembered it when she was over 60. She was spent her life angry and depressed and acting out, and has never understood why or gotten help.

    My wife is much like her mother. Her molestation and subsequent sexual adventures really have hurt our marriage. I wish I had known more. I wish I hadn’t married her, no matter how much I love her.

    I pray every day for God to heal her. Any one else would likely have left long ago. I ask God to help me better carry my burden, to lighten my load.

    Molestation is bad enough, but if the person doesn’t address it at the time instead hides it “for the good of the family”, it will be difficult not to destroy their lives. I see this in both my wife and mother-in-law.

    My wife never could get angry at her dad before he passed. Whenever he annoyed her, which was often, she took it out on me. She unconsciously projects all her anger she feels towards her father on me.

    It has gotten better since her father died. She didn’t cry when he died, though.

    I really hope I can endure until she is healed. To say I have put up with a lot of abuse is an understatement. Even so, I understand that she isn’t consciously being awful, she isn’t willfully causing pain to me and our children. She just won’t seek to get better, won’t acknowledge what she has done to the rest of us.

    1. I am so sorry to hear your story. Sexual abuse can run in families, and it ran in mine. My mother was abused as a child and so was I. As a result, because she never got help for herself, she didnt think I needed to get help, and further blamed me for it. I had told my husband about it before we got married, but I didnt know how many scars I had from it until we entered into our marriage bed. It was a rough first year of marriage, and I fought back when my husband told me I was to go to counseling, and eventually into a hospital because of the bad anxiety/thoughts I was having. Of course that might not work for everybody, but being told I was going to go to therapy, and seek counsel was very helpful for me. I had never healed from it before. It was the secret of the family. But it has made me love and respect my husband even more because he was the first one to ever care for me enough to allow me to grieve and heal. Now, it is a thing in my past, and the pain I feel from it is but a memory.

      It is never a reason to abuse. I will be praying for your wife. It sounds a lot like my own mother. She abused my father and us kids. She has never gotten help, and refuses to. My dad doesn’t press the matter. I had to let go of a lot of pain she caused me. The memory of her telling my child self that it was my fault I was touched inappropriately, it still hurts me worst than the actual molestation. Kids just want their mothers to love them. I would recommend maybe letting your kids go to counseling. I had a lot of scars regarding my mom I had to spend a lot of time healing from. But she has gotten better with many years of prayers for her. Prayers do work. Our God is a great God who still works miracles. I will be praying for you and your family.

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