Recently Boz Tchvidjian published an important blog post Marginalizing the abused: Six ways survivors are treated as insignificant. It’s a must read for Christians.
While it’s as unlikely as a snowball surviving hell I will once again be silenced, it’s important to remember that I was silenced for decades and it’s very likely your actions and words, dear Christian, may be silencing lambs devastated as a result of these crimes today just as I was once silenced.
Allow me to explain.
Cleo is a rage-aholic. Lou was a falling down mean drunk.
From as far back as I can remember I was sexually abused by not Lou alone, but by Christian pastors and leaders. I remember the day I was old enough to figure out what a virgin was and knew I didn’t even remember ever having been a virgin…
Virginity and purity are highly exalted in the fundamental/evangelical community. Nearly every time I did get the nerve and attempt to tell someone in the Christian circle of which I was a member, I was blamed for having a part in the abuse. As a result, I couldn’t look people in the eyes.
I blamed myself.
Turned all of my pain inward onto myself.
As a result for decades, I was largely silent.
I can’t decide if the sexual violations were worse than the Christian societal violations. The fact that no one advocated for me is something that haunts me a lot.
There’s something that bothers me more at this time in my life. It’s that Christians are still doing their A+ game work to silence myself and other survivors. Here are just a few comments I’ve received within the last seven days.
I’m sorry you suffered “abuse”….”
Yeah. Putting the word abuse in quotation marks pretty much cancels out what you say before. Just sayin’
“You’re sensationalizing to further your own agenda.”
“You hate Christians…”
“You hate the church.”
“You hate Jesus.”
“You’re bringing shame upon the body of Christ.”
“I’m sorry you were abused but now you’re bitter…”
“Why haven’t you left it in God’s hands?”
“You need to forgive and move on…”
“You need to use a better ‘tone.’”
It’s incredibly sad that somehow after all of this time they continue to do the same thing. Accuse the victim and protect abusers.
To which I say, “shame on you.”
It is so painful. It is just pitiful.