Search Terms and Key Words
Each day, I review my site stats for www.ressurrection.wordpress.com and the search terms that people are using to find me. Many times people are asking a question. I receive the most questions about child sexual abuse and the bible. People are asking what to do if they find out that their husband or boyfriend is sexually penetrating or molesting their child. More recently, people are asking if God will forgive child molesters. I will attempt to answer some of your questions about child sexual abuse, molestation and how we as Christians may view this in our relationships with God and others.
The Mindset of a Molester
Child Molesters, Predators, Perpetrators, Rapists, and Hunters as I call them, are of a different mindset than we. I have studied some predators, and read commentary from admitted predators who believe that their attraction to little boys, and/or girls is something that is natural. While we know that the effects of child sexual violence and abuse can have a devastating response from the psyche of the victims, predators still believe that they are not unnatural in their affection for children.
Ninety percent of child molesters know the victim through a relative, friend, or in a work environment near children. They live their lives to feed their hunger. That is why I came up with the term and hash tag for Twitter #StarvePredators or #starvepredators .
Dating a Sexual Offender
Many times perpetrators go years without being charged for a crime. Taking the stand is a voluntary, yet painful process for any child or adult to endure. The effects of taking the stand often leave you feeling re-traumatized. So many victims remain silent not because they do not want the offender to be punished but because it is too painful to be interviewed by attorneys whose job it is, to make you feel manipulated or that your story is fabricated. While freedom is sought for the predator, this process can make us feel very misfortunate, and imprisoned.
If you discover that your child has been sexually abused by someone that you have been dating, please do not focus on what has been done to you. You have a total right to feel offended, and your trust violated, however, the way that you respond to this situation will seal your relationships with your children in the future. The important thing to do is to be strong, and to know that this person is not the person for you. Below I want to give a few quick tips, and biblical references, but not before addressing another kind of relationship.
Being a Friend of Family Member to a Sexual Offender
The Law protects Clergymen from reporting confessions of their congregations so that religious freedom will not be violated. Pastors must be a safe place for their congregation, in order to receive spiritual guidance and counsel.
However, people who work with children in school systems, and who hold certain licenses like Clinical Practice in Social Work, or Psychology are what we call mandated reporters. Mandated reporters are self-explanatory. They are required to contact Child Protective Services if a child claims that they have been a victim of sexual misconduct.
As a family member or citizen, you do have that same responsibility both morally and legally in most states. Many states can charge you with a misdemeanor if you do not report a predator to the police.
Pastors do have a spiritual obligation to their community as a leader. They are the Shepherd of their sheep, and they have a greater call to holiness and to spiritual fatherhood than the congregation. With that said, leaders who knowingly allow a predator to collect victims in, or out of the church are not biblically motivated.
Is this process scary? Absolutely, and to many, having knowledge that a boyfriend, husband, wife, girlfriend, or other related person to you would violate your relationship by sexually abusing your child is unthinkable.
Here is the bottom line, while it may be unthinkable, it is not impossible. It is not your fault that you have connected to someone who would harm you or the people around you. However, what I want you to do, is take a moment to cry, scream and to react; alone.
Take a moment to deal with your emotions is fine; a moment, not a day, a week, or a month; a moment. You will have your time to reflect on what has happened after you have been the protector of your little one.
What does the Bible say about Child Sexual Abuse?
What is the Pastor’s responsibility?
In Leviticus Chapter 18, Moses speaks as the Lord said to him, many things about child sexual abuse, bestiality, and homosexuality. In verse 29 (Amplified version) “Whoever commits any of these abominations shall be cut off from among his people.”
According to the bible, a predator should be cut off from among his people. In earlier text, it says that the nation and the land are defiled. (Verse 25) It continues, “The land itself will vomit on its inhabitants.” The earth groans, and the land is aware of sexual perversion.
In Leviticus Chapter 18, verse 9 it says that whether your sister is born at home or born abroad which means a foster child, you should not touch her. God was clear to mention half sisters and brothers, and Grandparents, Aunts, and Uncles too.
A Pastor’s responsibility is to his flock. And there is an order to how a Pastor must handle members that are not repentant who may affect the body as a whole. In this case, it is more than appropriate for a Pastor to put a predator on the spot. First, praying with and for him, offering correction and biblical teaching. But if this predator admits his actions without repentance; the congregation should be made aware of his actions (not revealing the victims or the details), but as a warning that this person’s behavior is not of God and that they should be sat down from ministry and/or dismissed from the church.
93% of predators are religious! Once again, that is 93%. This means that if ninety-three percent are religious, and have some level of consciousness with the spiritual world, they in turn have chosen a life style that they believe is acceptable, and natural. And if ninety percent of the predators rape, molest, sodomize, and sexually abuse children that they know, and have access too, the church is not excluded from where they go to hunt their prey; your children.
Walking In Love
In my humble opinion, Christians are often confused about what walking in love is and does. When you walk in love, you agree to deal with the situation the way that the bible says, but you do not ignore the situation or pretend that it never happened- whatever it is.
Walking in Love does not mean, being walked all over. When you walk in love, you choose to love the person despite how you may have been treated or how you feel about their actions in a given situation. However, walking in love does not mean that you must look the other way so that they can hurt someone else. They bible says that when you have a problem with your brother, you would take it to them, but they risk exposure if they continue the actions because the bible does say that it can be taken before the congregation.
In other words, walking in love is a heart issue. Walking in love does not disqualify proper communication or expiration of an abusive relationship. Love is not abusive.
What to do if your child comes to you saying that they have been abused
I would ask the child what happened without probing. Give them the space to tell what they remember. It may be very hard to relive. They may be confused or uncomfortable. They may want to be touched (hugged) by you, and then not all in one sitting. They may cry and this may be an emotional release. I cannot tell you exactly how your child will respond but you should have enough information that you can piece together the where, when, and how factors. Why is not important.
After you have collected information, I would make two phone calls. The first phone call would be to Child Protective Services and the other is to the Police so that they can come out and make a police report, to obtain an arrest warrant.
The next step depending on the situation is to take your child to the emergency room. Any findings should be added to the police report. If possible, take the child to the hospital and have the police officers meet you there.
If there is no physical evidence, you may want to ask the child to write it down. Believe it or not, at four years old, my letter helped to prosecute my sister’s ex-boyfriend who was on trial for child molestation when he offended me.
The key is that you become your child’s advocate and do not allow the ball to drop. If the police do not believe you, make a big deal about it. If the people who are supposed to be helping you do nothing, especially because of who the person is, keep track and make sure that you see legal counsel even if you have to research free legal aide.
These are basic steps to get you started, but you must start so that you can protect your child from further abuse. Make sure you avoid being manipulated into continuing the relationship with your loved one as if nothing has happened.
I am sure that this finding is devastating to you. Please know that your children are not to blame and neither are you. The predator must be recorded as a predator on your child’s behalf and it could help to make sure that he is cut off from offending other children in the future.
Wishing you Healing and Strength,
Original Post Date: January 25, 2012
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