When Dawn left home, her sexual abuse ended, and she thought, “It’s finally over.”
But it didn’t take long for her to discover the ugly truth – the aftermath of her abuse was just getting started.
Female sexual abuse can be an uncomfortable topic to discuss. But keeping it quietly hidden in the shadows so the rest of us can breathe a little easier is precisely the kind of secrecy that keeps so many victims trapped in their pain.
Dark though it may be, the reality of sexual abuse and its impact needs to be brought into the light of God’s truth (1 John 1:5b).
The scope of this problem is hard to pin down in specific numbers. Social scientists I know believe it’s under-reported. By some estimates, one out of three women experience some form of abuse as a girl, as a teenager, or as an adult woman.
Suffice it to say, there are many who suffer.
But this isn’t about statistics. It’s about individuals. Women like Dawn. Women like you. Or, if you’re a husband, like the woman you love.
Sexual abuse often leaves behind a huge monster that terrorizes its victims for years afterward, producing anxiety, depression, panic attacks, fear and phobias, and sleepless nights.
When it occurs at a young age, the damage weaves itself into the very fabric of a child’s soul. Insidious lies become truth (“It’s my fault,” they believe. “I did something to deserve it.”) and shame becomes the child’s identity.
As Dawn says, shame is like someone vomiting all over you because they’re sick, but now you’re covered, and you smell and don’t know how to get rid of the stench.
It’s a disturbing word picture, but it’s the ugly reality many sexual abuse survivors live with every day.
Sadly, many women never find healing. They bury their pain and go on with life as best they can. Their abuse becomes a shadow that can’t be shaken.
And when a person feels like they can’t break free from their pain, they build coping mechanisms to deal with it. They stop feeling. They put up emotional walls to keep people at a safe distance.
But the behaviors that help them survive childhood wreak havoc in their adult life … specifically their marriage.
On today’s broadcast, “Helping Your Wife Overcome Sexual Abuse,” we want to give a voice to all those who have suffered sexual abuse. Our guest today is Dawn – author, speaker, and sexual abuse survivor, Dawn Scott Jones.
We’ll not only speak to the heart of the abused, we’ll offer practical advice to the husband who wants to learn how to come alongside her.
Our conversation will be candid, so if you have kids, keep that in mind when you tune in. Especially if you’ve been sexually abused, or if abuse is part of your wife’s past, I encourage you to listen to the program on your local radio station or listen online via our free, downloadable mobile phone app.
In the meantime, memories of your abuse may have you walking through life in a fog that won’t clear. Or your shame may be weighing you down and infecting your relationships. Or maybe your wife has suffered sexual abuse. Call and talk to us at 800-A-FAMILY. God loves you. He cares about you, and we care about you. Let one of our counselors be the starting point for your healing journey.