Victims of Sexual Abuse
Most of us can empathize with those who have suffered
sexual abuse in that we can recognize the trauma
associated with the actual experience. But few of us
realize the depth of devastation that even one abusive
experience can have on the life of its victim long after
the actual abuse has ended.
Victims of sexual abuse often live with emotions that
keep them in bondage to the wounds of molestation. This
lesson explores this milieu of feelings and the resultant
Healing the heart of the victim requires time and
perseverance, as trust has been fractured. Intercession
is an essential ingredient in ministering, as we pray to
prepare the heart of the wounded one to receive the
healing and blessings of the Lord.
...For the enemy has persecuted my soul; he has crushed
my life to the ground; he has made me dwell In dark
places, like those who have been long death Therefore my
spirit is overwhelmed within me; my heart is appalled
within me. Psalms 1 43:34
See also II Samuel 13:1 -20 Tamar is raped by her brother
Amnon. This gives you an idea of how devastated she is
and how his supposed great love for her turns to hate. He
never loved her. He lusted for her, and once he satisfied
his own lust the conviction of his sin took him over. He
had a choice at this point to fall on his face and repent
and do what was right or do just what he did, and blame
her and disgrace her.
Please Note: We are focusing on the sexual abuse of a
female, but the feelings, emotions and devastation would
be the same if a young boy was sexually molested. The
feelings and healing process will be the same.
How does a victim of abuse feel?
, She feels betrayed by others. She expects to be
protected by parents, and God. She is unable to trust.
Mother may not believe her because of jealousy, fear, or
girl may not even tell anyone, due to fear of being
blamed, or punished for lying. No one is gentle, loving,
or protective. God in this ease is shown false. The child
is abandoned in her pain. Look to my right and see; no
one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares
for my life. Psalms 142:4
All Christian truths are questioned. Authority no longer
offers sanctuary, hope or reliable direction. Tyrannized
by her present pain, she has no capacity to transcend
this moment. Fear overcomes any positive memories and
thoughts, and prevents hope from lifting her up.
She begins to depend on her own heart and mind for
strength and protection, and makes an idol of her
"... You have seen their . . idols . . .Beware lest
there should be among you a man or woman, or faintly, or
tribe, whose [mind and] heart turns away from the Lord
our God... lest there should be among you a [poisonous]
root that bears gall and wormwood; and lest... he flatter
and congratulate himself in his . . . bean saying, 'I
shall have peace and safety, thou I walk in the
stubbornness of my [mind and] heart Deuteronomy 29:17-19
If the girl should cry for help, she won't be able to
receive it. She may compulsively find fault with people
whose love begins to melt her heart. She may create
fantasy pictures of love that make her vulnerable to
hurtful relationships, which when they fail, strengthen
her attitude of "I don't need anyone." She may
often be preoccupied with sex.
She may experience feelings of helplessness and fear.
This is created by all of the above conditions, even when
the abuser is no longer a threat.
Her response to her family and others would include anger
toward mother and anyone who would be mother like.
"Where was she?
She must have known".'
Anger at God would be common. "How could You let
this happen God?"
Anger may be suppressed. The victim may have made a vow
not to be angry, but no emotion can long remain
may experience some ambivalence toward her father. There
may be a sense of pain and anger and switch to no feeling
one way or the other. She accepts that what she is
feeling at the moment is the truth. She also may
experience confusion concerning identity.
The following adjectives might describe her feelings
toward self as intruded upon, disrespected, unclean,
used, trapped, manipulated, robbed of glory and dignity,
worthless, and unlovable.
She might feel guilty or angry with self She might think
or say, "Why didn't I tell?" "'Why didn't
I resist?" "I must have caused it!" "
I shouldn't have felt pleasure..."
She may even feel responsible for the abuse. Guilt may be
reinforced by family breakup, and by accusations from the
She tries to escape the guilt feelings, by irrational
running, or she might withdraw. The abused may even
exhibit Performance Oriented behavior to cover her true
feelings. However, she may try suicide, alcohol and
drugs, or self-mutilation.
Her relationships with peers may reflect her own crippled
self-esteem. "People won't accept me if they know
what has happened to me."
She may indulge in extremes to keep men away i.e.,
excessive weight gain, and poor hygiene. She might avoid
former friends, or shun church. Promiscuous behavior
would be the other extreme i.e., signals of her need for
affection are misinterpreted, or continues to defile
herself. She tends to punish herself, and others. She may
not see it as defilement, but she thinks that she is
defiling her partner. She might say, "They are not
using me, I am using them!" She may believe that her
only worth is in sex, or she simply responds to
non-threatening persons who promise to care, once again
setting her self up for abuse or rejection.
She may fall into lesbianism, or homosexuality.
Flight mechanisms are common to victims of sexual abuse.
Fantasy is used to cope with actual experience of abuse.
Sexual problems often develop during marriage. The abused
might actually suppress the memory of the trauma.
Frigidity may occur when suppressed inner vows make the
victim unable to participate in marital sex.
Victims of Sexual Abuse
Rarely will you be asked to get involved in a recent
sexual abuse case. Normally a PDM will only see adult
clients who have been abused as children. They may or may
not have ever been counseled concerning the abuse. Go
very slowly and allow the client to open up to you
concerning the abuse. We ask this question, "Have
you ever been touched inappropriately by anyone, in the
past?" Sometimes the fruit will scream abuse, but
unless the client admits it, you won't be able to
minister hilly in that area. We might tell her that the
symptoms that she has been experiencing suggest that she
may have been touched inappropriately in her past. Watch
her body language very closely to see how she reacts. If
she doesn't look surprised, then proceed to ask questions
in a very non-threatening way, such as, "Would there
have been an opportunity for you to have been touched
inappropriately?" "If so, who might that have
been?" If she has no idea of who might have touched
her, yet has always felt as though she had been violated,
then have her say, "I forgive anyone who might have
touched me inappropriately."
Do not suggest that a father or any other family member
abused this person. If the client does not have a clear
picture of who it might be, you will open up a can of
worms as well as a lawsuit from the person that you have
accused of the abuse. Even if the Holy Spirit tells you
that it was the father or mother who abused your client
as a child, this information is for your intercession,
Here is a scenario: The Holy Spirit tells you that her
father has molested the client. You say "The Holy
Spirit told me that your father molested you when you
were a child." She goes to her father and mother and
confronts them and the world explodes. They get crazy and
get angry with the client, first calling her a liar, and
kicking her out of the house. The client feeling battered
and abused once again, she ultimately needs the approval
of the parents, so she recants her story saying, " I
am sorry, but it wasn't my fault. It was this counselor
that told me you molested me. I never thought that or
even considered that terrible thing." Now we have
someone to vent our anger on! Guess who?
you hear from dad's lawyer saying that you are being sued
for defamation of character. What is your defense? The
Holy Spirit told me. Be wise as a serpent, gentle as a
dove. Be very careful and sensitive in these areas.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord
has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He
has sent me to bind up the broken hearte4 to proclaim
liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners; To comfort
all who mourn.. .Giving them garland Instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead mourning, the mantle of
praise instead of a Spirit of fainting So they will be
called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lor4
that He may be glorified. Isaiah 61:1-3, Isaiah 51:3
Intercessory prayer is needed to prepare the heart for
healing. Isaiah 30:18; Matthew 18:14; Ephesians 1:18-1 9;
Plant the cross of Christ between sowing and reaping.
Intercession keeps the door open for God. The abused are
often angry with Him. It also blocks Satan's
Be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. The
client must be ready for healing to come. Sometimes she
will simply like to tell her story for pity and to work
herself up into a self-pity emotional state. Don't join
in on the pity party. Acknowledge that she has the right
to be angry, but this is the time for healing. If she is
not ready to be healed then give her permission to leave.
Give comfort, but don't join in on the anger and rage
toward the abuser. Let her know that she has nothing to
feel guilty about, and that the abuser is the guilty one,
however it is forgiveness that will set her free... not
Teach her what forgiveness is. Emotions don't have to
accompany the forgiveness. It is a work done by the
cross. Forgiveness does not take away the accountability
of the abuser. Let her know that if she doesn't forgive
at some point that she will be bound by the abuser's sin.
Unforgiveness gives power to the abuser.
Help her to forgive the abuser as well as those who did
not respond appropriately to her abuse. She must also
forgive God for allowing it. We must let her know that
God cannot over-ride man's will, just as He could not
over-ride her will when she chose to sin in her life, so
God could not over-ride the sin of the abuser. However,
He was there, and kept her safe, and alive. Share with
her that God allows the tares to grow with the wheat but
at the harvest He will separate the taxes from the wheat
and burn those tares. Let her know that she is the wheat.
the victim feels guilty for any reason, ask them to
forgive themselves, Sometimes the victim's body will
betray them by responding to the physical touch of the
abuser, causing guilt, shame, blame and regret. Although
she is not guilty, if she feels guilty she must be
forgiven. Pronounce forgiveness over her, and once she
has received it, let her know that she had no blame.
Pray for cleansing by the living waters of Christ.
Pray with vivid pictures Hebrews
10:21-22. Pray for comfort and for the healing
of spiritual and emotional wounds.
IICorinthians 1:3-5; Romans 12:15
Pray to bring to death the lies about herself speak truth
to the inner being. Bring to death on the cross old
habits, patterns and structures, of coping and flight
mechanisms Colossians 3:1-17. Make sure that she crushes
all inner vows
Matthew 16:19; 18:18
Sever the ungodly soul ties from the abuser
I Corinthians 6: 16-20
Many victims repress all memory of sexual abuse. It is
not uncommon, however, for these people to find
themselves burden-bearing for other known victims, and
strongly identifying with their hurts. Others might begin
to see images of events in bits and pieces; unaware that
these might be actual memories of their own. In various
dreams and daydreams, they may appear as a victim, or
their perpetrator may appear as a victimizer.
In these ways, the Holy Spirit will gently bring truth
into the light so healing can be accomplished. Rarely is
it God's intention that victims relive their past
experiences; this is necessary only to the extent that
they know enough to be aware of their need. PDM's who try
to force repressed memories to the surface may only
succeed in further wounding
the one to whom they minister.
Genesis 2:24 - For this reason a man will leave his
father and mother and be united to his wife, and they
will become one flesh.
Deuteronomy 29:17-19 TAB - And you have seen their
abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and
gold, which were among them. Beware lest there should be
among you a man or woman or family or tribe, whose mind
and heart turns away from the Lord our God to go and
serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be
among you a [poisonous] root that bears gall and
wormwood; And lest, when he hears the words of this curse
and oath, he flatter and congratulate himself in his
[mind and] heart saying, "1 shall have peace and
safety, though 1 walk in the stubbornness of my mind and
heart bringing down a hurricane of destruction and sweep
away the watered land with the dry."
II Samuel 13:1-20 - The Violation of Tamar
Psalm 22:9 - Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made
me trust in you even at my mother's breast.
Psalm 118:7 - The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I
will look in triumph on my enemies.
Psalm 139:8-10 - If I go up to the heavens, you are
there; 111 make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I
rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far
side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your
right hand will hold me fast.
Psalm 142:4 - Look to my right and see; no one is
concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my
Psalm 143:3-4 - The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to
the ground; he makes me dwell in darkness like those long
dead. So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within
me is dismayed.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 NAS - He has made everything
appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in
their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work,
which God has done from the beginning even to the end.
Isaiah 30:18 - Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of
justice. Blessed are all that wait for him!
Isaiah 42:22-23-But this is a people plundered and looted
all of them trapped in pits or hidden away in prisons.
They have become plunder, with no one to rescue them;
they have been made loot, with no one to say, "Send
Isaiah 49:15 - "Can a mother forget the baby at her
breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget
, I will not forget you!"
Isaiah 51:3 - "The Lord will surely comfort Zion and
will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make
her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of
the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the sound of singing."
Isaiah 53:4 - Surely he took up our infirmities and
carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by
God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
61:1-3 - The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me
because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to
the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to
proclaim freedom for the captives and release for the
prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lords favor and
the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who
mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-to bestow
on them a crown of beauty (NAS: a garland) instead of
ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a
garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They
will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the
Lord for the display of his splendor.
Matthew 16:19 - "I will give you the keys of the
kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be
bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be
loosed in heaven."
Matthew 18:14 - "In the same way your Father in
heaven is not willing that any of these little ones
should be lost."
Matthew 18:18-"I tell you the truth, whatever you
bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and what-ever you
loose on earth
will be loosed in heaven."
Luke 8:17 - "For there is nothing hidden that will
not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be
known or brought out into the open."
Luke 11:46 -Jesus replied, "And you experts in the
law, woe to you, because you load people down with
burdens they can hardly carry, and you your-selves will
not lift one finger to help them."
John 10:10 - "The thief comes only to steal and
destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it
to the full."
John 11:44 - The dead man came out, his hands and feet
wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his
face. Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave
clothes and let him go."
John 20:23 - "If you forgive anyone his sins, they
are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not
Romans 12:15 - Rejoice with those who rejoice
mourn with those who mourn.
I Corinthians 6:16-20 - Do you not know that he who
unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body?
For it is said, "The two will become one
flesh." But he who unites himself with the Lord is
one with him in spirit. Flee from sexual immorality. All
other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who
sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know
that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in
you, whom you have received from God? You are not your
own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with
II Corinthians 1:3-5 - Praise be to the God and Father of
our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of com-passion and the
God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles,
so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the
comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as
the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives,
so also through Christ our comfort overflows.
1:18-19a. Pray also that the eyes of your heart may be
enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which
he has called you. the riches of his glorious inheritance
in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us
Ephesians 3:16 - . . .pray that out of his glorious
riches he may strengthen you with power through his
Spirit in your inner being.
Ephesians 3:17-19 - . ..so that Christ may dwell in your
hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted
and established in love, may have power, together with
all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and
deep is the Jove of Christ and to know this love that
surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure
of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 5:13 - But everything exposed by the light
Philippians 1:6 - ... being confident of this, that he
who began a good work in you will carry it on to
completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13 - Brothers, I do not consider my-self
yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do:
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is
Colossians 3:1-17-Since, then, you have been raised with
Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is
seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things
above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life
is now hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also
will appear with him in glory.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly
nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires
Therefore, as Cods chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility,
gentleness and patience. Bear wit each other and forgive
whatever grievances you may have against one another.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these
virtues put on love, which binds them all together in
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as
members of one body you were called to peace. And be
thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as
you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and
as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with
gratitude in your hearts to Cod. And whatever you do.
whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the
Lord Jesus, giving thanks to Cod the Father through Him.
Hebrews 2:18 - Because he himself suffered when he was
tempted1 he is able to help those who are being tempted.
Hebrews 7:25 - Therefore he is able to save completely
those who come to Cod through him, because he always
lives to intercede for them.
Hebrews 10:21-22 NAS - . . .and since we have a great
priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a
sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our
hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our
bodies washed with pure water.
on the praying couple for prayer to heal
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Site Last Updated Monday,
June 6, 2011. 11:23:48