We need to protect the rights of victims of sexual abuse as protected as much as the rights of the offenders. I simply don’t understand how offenders can be allowed right back in situations that give them access to their victims. I know I talk a lot about forgiveness, but there is a difference between forgiveness and safety.
I hold out hope that predators can be rehabilitated, but don’t allow them right back in situations that compromise safety of the victims. We must be vigilant in protecting our children. We must take precautions, ask questions, set up boundaries, educate our children, educate and train our communities. We must pray. Pray that our children will be allowed to grow up with their innocence intact.
If you didn’t know, I was a victim of childhood sexual abuse. The first time it happened it stripped me of my innocence and my self-esteem. It paralyzed me. I was too afraid and ashamed to tell. Then it happened again and again and again. I was no longer a 5-year-old, I was a grown woman in a child’s body.
From that point until about 10 years ago, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. I hated myself. I was damaged… Worthless, Stupid, Ugly, Scarred, Broken! But all of that changed. I got help. I let my family love on me. I leaned on my friends. I talked about it. I wrote and continue to write about it. I am whole again. I can look in a mirror without turning away.
It’s amazing and I’m so thankful and blessed. But many aren’t as fortunate as me. Suicide, drugs, alcohol, prostitution is the road for many of child sexual abuse victims.
Protect our children! They are the future.