CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE
The Secret Storm
QUICK STUDY GUIDE
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The Secret Storm
“Terrors overwhelm me; my dignity is driven away as by the wind, my safety vanishes like a cloud.”
Nothing penetrates the core of a child’s inner being like sexual abuse. Its long tentacles reach deep within the child … wrapping around the young heart … choking and killing innocence and trust. For many, the terror is so overwhelming that no part of the child’s soul is able to escape its evil presence. As with Marilyn Van Derber years after her abuse, its degrading impact continued to corrode her personal dignity and pervert her perception of others. She, as well as other victims, can truly identify with the suffering of Job: the terror attacks, the loss of dignity, the lack of security.
Childhood sexual abuse is an umbrella term that covers a variety of inappropriate actions with children for the sexual gratification of an older child or adult. Such exploitation is like a violent storm that leaves a chilling aftermath of fear and devastation.
What Is Childhood Sexual Abuse?
- Childhood sexual abuse is any physical, visual or verbal interaction with a minor by an older child or adult whose purpose is sexual stimulation or sexual satisfaction.
- Abuse is intentional, not accidental.
Who Is the Victim of Childhood Sexual Abuse?
A child victim of sexual abuse is any boy or girl under the age of eighteen who has suffered a single experience or many experiences of sexual abuse.
Safe from the Storm
Childhood sexual abuse brainwashes its victims into believing that they are unlovable … or they will no longer be loved if “people find out.” What they perceive to be conditional love buries their secret all the more. Children who have experienced the trauma of sexual abuse need not only a physical haven of safety, but also an emotional haven for the wounded heart. Tell them about God’s unconditional love and then be an example of His unconditional love. Help children run into the arms of Jesus to receive His emotional support and security.
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