God Hears their Cries. Do We?
No one wants to think or talk about it, and it can be hard to even imagine. Yet one in four girls and one in six boys experience sexual abuse before they reach the age of 18. And most of it occurs within a child’s “safe world” of home, school, and approved activities. It most often involves people that the child knows and trusts. This is NOT OK! God hears their cries. Do we?
Child sexual abuse is one kind of abuse that happens when an adult or adolescent uses a child for his or her own sexual gratification or stimulation, or to control, intimidate, or exploit the child.
The impacts are huge:
Clinical disorders such as depression, anxiety, dissociation, post-traumatic stress, bi-polar, attention deficit/hyperactivity, anorexia, insomnia, as well as various kinds of harmful acting out behaviors, etc.
Severe injuries, infections, neurological damage, and in some cases death
- Social / Emotional
Inability to trust, social anxiety and phobias, intimacy issues, poor selfesteem, etc.
A faith crisis – where was a loving, all-powerful God when I was abused? An inability to develop loving and trusting relationships with God and with others
We recognize that all people are broken by sin, and it would be presumptuous of us to assume that we are immune from the capacity to harm to children. Jesus showed us in his life how much he loved children; we follow him by loving and protecting children from the harm of abuse. (See Matt. 18:1-14, Mark 9:33-36, 42) To sexually harm a child is a tragic abuse of power. To hold power and not use it to protect children is also an abuse of power. God hears their cries. Do we?
Safe Church Ministry equips congregations in abuse awareness, prevention, and response. For more information, contact:
Safe Church Ministry, 1700 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508-1407 616-224-0735 | crcna.org/safechurch
Some of this information came from: Samaritan SafeChurch www.samaritansafechurch.org