In light of the recent guilty verdict I witnessed in a court of law against a pastor who was on trial for violating two young boys, the topic of being an abuse survivor is weighing heavily on my mind.
Few people would purposefully say something thoughtless, judgmental, wrong or hurtful to a heart already aching from abuse. It might be more likely that someone would say something out of ignorance or from not knowing there was an abuse survivor in their midst.
We do not want to add toxic thoughts, attitudes or words to an already hurting heart. We want to participate in their healing; not in reinjuring a deep hurt or scar.
This is likely not a topic or issue you have considered. I know I have not purposefully thought through how to be kindhearted and sympathetic to victims so when I read Sarah Bessey’s post, 21 Sentences NOT to Say to a Sexual Abuse Survivor by Mary DeMuth I knew I wanted to share these caring thoughts with my readers.
Read: 21 Sentences NOT to Say to a Sexual Abuse Survivor http://sarahbessey.com/21-things-shouldnt-said-sexual-abuse-victims-guest-post-mary-demuth/
Mary DeMuth is a well-known author who last week weighed in on the recent Leadership Journal controversy. Last week LJ posted the story of a former youth pastor who was convicted of statutory rape with a girl, twelve years younger than him, in his youth group. I read the article and it was clear that the youth pastor had no remorse for his actions and considered the relationship consensual. In my opinion he had strong indicators of being a narcissistic/sociopathic type individual and did not own up to the spiritual harm brought to his wife, his children, the victim, the church or the youth group. I considered LJ lacking in discernment for posting the article. To me this was one more reason sexual predators find the church an easy place to hide for preying upon victims. After many caring and concerned readers made comments asking LJ to remove the post, (many whose comments LJ removed) and many more readers who began a #TakeDownThatPost campaign; LJ decided to remove the post. One of the most compelling letters showing LJ their lapse of judgment for posting the article was submitted by Mary DeMuth.
You may read her letter “Dear Man in Prison,” here:
Check out Mary DeMuth’s newest book: Not Marked: Finding Hope and Healing after Sexual Abuse.
2 thoughts on “21 Things NOT to Say to an Abuse Survivor and Leadership Journal’s Lack of Discernment”
“We do not want to add toxic thoughts, attitudes or words to an already hurting heart. We want to participate in their healing; not in reinjuring a deep hurt or scar.” Well said. This line is my favorite.
Thank you. Hearts are tender.