“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea. Mark 9:42
Rape is one of the worst violations of the human soul! It leaves in its wake a trail of devastation and destruction!
This barbaric act is soul destroying, heart wrenching and pure evil! Media reports are filled with stories of this vile act of rape perpetrated against children of all ages, including babies and toddlers. The havoc wrecked on the body, soul and spirit of both boys and girls who survive this heinous crime perpetrated against them, is soul destroying. The effects are devastating and life altering!
Towards the end of 2019, a 23-year- old male water polo coach at a leading South African school, was charged with 327 counts of sexual assault against students he coached at the school. Because several victims could not face their perpetrator in court due to being traumatized, the perpetrator was only convicted of 144 sexual assaults. During the trial it came to light that the perpetrator was himself a victim of sexual abuse whilst he was a student at the same school a few years back! The perpetrator saw nothing wrong with his actions. To him it was normal. This is usually the case when someone has been abused, and the abuse is left untreated!
Million of girls and boys worldwide have experienced rape in their lifetime. For boys and men to speak about sexual abuse and its repercussions is very difficult and painful. But such dialogue is essential!
Many men, who were abused as children, live with the incapacitating effects of shattered trust. Media has done very little to help shine the spotlight on male sexual victimization. What little media coverage the sexual abuse of boys has received, highlighted preventing abuse, ensuring sexual predators are isolated from youthful victims, and sweeping the sexual abuse under the proverbial “carpet“ and continuing with their lives as if nothing ever happened. A prime example of this, is the crises of the church who harboured sexual predators. The church received most of the media air time. But the damage done to the boys who were molested by priests was nowhere near adequately addressed. These boys and the men they become have mostly been neglected by the mainstream media. However, the disgrace brought to the church through these outrages plunged boyhood sexual abuse into the public discussion.
It’s disturbing to think about what it means to a boy when he’s sexually abused by someone he trusts. Uncomfortable as we may feel, however, we must either talk about the reality of his experience or continue to live in silence, with devastating consequences. For both boys and girls, there is a terrible stigma of shame and false guilt associated with being raped. Boys and girls who have been victimized by this cruel and barbaric act, are robbed of their God given identity, their purity and innocence. When a child is violated in this manner, it leaves both the boy and girl child grappling with trust issues, dreadful identity crisis, and very often a terribly dysfunctional life!
The souls of the rape victim are filled with extreme feelings of rage, anger, hatred, bitterness and resentment. Severe depression and suicidal tendencies are also prevalent. When professional help and counselling is not sought and followed through, destructive lifestyles patterns often follow. Victims of rape act out in rebellion and defiance at home and at school. They very often try and numb the pain by abusing substances, legal and illegal, and get involved in dysfunctional and abusive relationships. When the atrocities of sexual abuse and rape are not addressed and remedied, the victim suffers in silence and is like a volcano waiting to erupt! Very few reach out for professional help.
Rape is one of the most disturbing of children’s rights violations which often occur together with other forms of violence against children. Children of every age are vulnerable, with adolescence being a period of marked susceptibility.
Rape victims are left with a multitude of catastrophic emotional, psychological and physical trauma to deal with. Sadly, many children do not “tell” because the perpetrator has silenced them by instilling fear, often intimidating them with threats of further violence. Rape victims are told by the perpetrator that no one will believe them, or that they will kill them or their family members if they don’t keep the secret. Victims suffer with feelings of false guilt and shame, and often blame themselves for what happened to them.
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 18:10
I was one of those children, and told no one about what had happened to me. The sexual abuse I experienced, and the trauma of being raped, led me to live a dysfunctional life for many decades. Until I came to the end of my self-destruction and turned to Jesus Christ who redeemed my life from the slimy pit I had existed in for far too long. My healing journey continues daily, but I had to be courageous enough to face the pain of my buried past and allow God to break down the walls I had built around my heart over the years, for me to be healed and restored! Daily, I experience the overcoming life that Christ Jesus died to give me. Now I am a prisoner of hope and not of despair! There is life after abuse and rape, but it starts with forgiveness! I pray that you too will receive your healing and restoration as you forgive those who has violated you!
I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me;. I was overcome by distress and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Lord, save me!" The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. Psalm 116:1-5