How the Church Often Fails the Victimized

 

Sexual abuse/molestation is painful and ugly. It hurts. Deeply. Sexual abuse is one of the greatest violations that can be committed to a person, especially to an unassuming and innocent child. Sexual molestation and abuse can be extremely damaging, yet, the church has for many years failed those who’s lives have been affected by this ugly demon. And it makes me angry!

 

PC Alisha Mullett

 

Yes, I’m angry right now. I’m angry because the daughter of someone close to us was recently molested. At a family gathering. By a much older adult cousin. I’m angry because this incident also brought to light that the same perpetrator had previously molested her sister. Yet, she hadn’t felt safe to share it with her parents. And it certainly wasn’t because of something her parents’ weren’t doing right or were negligent in. They had told her multiple times to always tell them immediately if anyone tries touching her inappropriately. But she didn’t tell them because it felt bad and she was afraid it was somehow her fault.

I’m angry because these confused feelings are typical for a young victim. A child can tell these acts are dirty, unnatural, and wrong. And it angers me that an innocent child is forced to deal with this shame, guilt, and fear.

I’m angry because the church hasn’t truly seen the damaging affects of pornography. And hasn’t dealt with it like it should. It’s time the church deals with those enslaved in the grips of porn. And it’s way past time for the church to properly deal with those sexually molesting children.

Yes, I know the perpetrators are hurting, and they need help. But the power of sin is usually in its secrecy. Wrong has to be brought to “light” and properly dealt with, and sexual molestation needs to be taken to the law. Healing and repentance often doesn’t come until someone is completely broken and at the end of themselves.  (*See note below)

Did you know that you are breaking the law if you know any form of sexual abuse took place, yet you neglect to report it if others haven’t?

I’m tired of the church using the excuse that it violates a biblical principle when we take things like this to the law. Often the scripture in 1 Cor. 6 is used to justify not reporting sexual abuse. Especially if it involves a “brother” within the church. This is maddening and extremely wrong! If you read further in this passage, it also clearly says someone who’s a sexual molester won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Paul is talking about trivial matters and is not saying we need to quietly endure the injuries caused by someone taking sexual liberties with our children.

1 Tim. 1:8-11 says,“We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral…”

PC Alisha Mullett

I’m angry because there are way too many young children, girls and women who are victimized. Loosing their innocence because of a sexual perversion. But I’m more angry because of those who’ve never had parents who went to the law because of it. Those children who’ve continued to carry the lie that it was their fault. And those who never had anyone do the right thing and expose it for what it was. I’ve had many women telling me what caused the deepest hurt and damage was the fact that nothing was ever done about it.

Our friends did the right thing in reporting this molestation, but many parents don’t. Meanwhile the perpetrator continues to add victims to his list and getting away with his sexual fantasies. You are seriously damaging your child, when your family’s reputation is more important than doing the right thing and reporting it.

I’m angry when, in some twisted way, the families who’ve been violated become the “bad people.” Because they do what the law requires, they are treated as if they are less than “Christian” because they didn’t allow the church to deal with it. All the situations we’ve seen when the church was dealing with it have been bad experiences. When a criminal activity is committed, it has to be prosecuted as a criminal act. Sexual molestation is a criminal activity. It doesn’t matter if it’s committed by a complete stranger or a family member. Yet, the church has for too many years not addressed it as such.

It makes me angry when parents are made to feel as if they are in the wrong when they are doing everything they can possibly do to prevent continued molestation from happening to their child. And to prevent it from happening to other innocent children. After all, not only was their child violated, but so were they.

I’m struggling with anger because those within the church have handled sexual molestation as nothing significant. In many ways, they’ve brushed it off. And the victims were forced to try to do the same. Yet, this mentality never brings true healing to either party.

 

PC Alisha Mullett

 

The church has chosen to focus on the victim forgiving the offender, without bringing the perpetrator to justice. In this way, the church has miserably failed and has turned many away from the Lord.

Whatever happened to Jesus words about anyone offending His “little ones?” Are we not guilty of doing the same when we don’t speak up and bring justice to our precious children who don’t feel as if they have a voice?

Because when things are done to your body that you don’t like by someone who’s many years older, much stronger and bigger, that’s exactly how it feels. Please speak up! And lets stop the victimization that’s happening within the church. If we don’t, we’re also guilty of offending God’s precious little ones.

“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matt. 18:6)

~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)

 

*Note: (We regularly share the love and forgiveness of Jesus to sexual offenders in prisons and churches. We don’t believe they are unpardonable. We recognize that hurting people hurt others. Although this doesn’t justify their actions, we understand many sex offenders struggle with deep hurts and rejection. Our desire is for each perpetrator to experience the love and forgiveness of our Father. And the forgiveness from those they’ve offended. This post isn’t as much about the perpetrator, but about how the church often mis-handles these situations.)

 

       

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11 Responses

  1. Sheryl Dueck says:

    I am the godmother of 2 children who were molested/raped by their father. I don’t know where to start with finding healing for them. Any advise or recommendation? 10 year old boy and 5 year old girl. Parents both in jail right now.

  2. Thanks Cindy, for addressing this subject. I believe there are many parents and church leaders who do not know how to work with and bring healing to the abused victims. Also many are afraid to deal with and bring healing to the perpetrator. There seems to be a fear of being misunderstood and attacked if they do approach the perpetrator. I believe one of the reasons is because there are many who themselves were either molested or in some cases were the molester and are also still hurting. So many have hid their pain and locked their heart because nobody has been able to help them. We work with many who are still hurting as adults. (Lord help us to have compassion for those hurting hearts.) God bless!

  3. Mary says:

    Thank you for this article. I am the mom of a girl molested by her farther. I left him and was cast out by family and told I need to stand by my husband no matter what. I could not do that God gave me these beautiful children to love and protect to the best of my ability, and that is what I tried to do.But I do sometimes still struggle with the feeling of resentment that his family disowned us and took his side. I just pray to not be consumed with bitterness and resentment. For those things cannot enter the heavenly kingdom. please pray

  4. Joel Horst says:

    Thanks so much for sharing! You hit the nail on the head in so many ways. We need to support victims, help bring healing and hope, not sweep the problem under the rug and out of sight.

  5. Adrienne Stidham says:

    Hi Cindy,
    I do agree with this post fully. I don’t know if I am commenting where I need to but wanted to tell you I bought my kids your children’s dvd and am so impressed. ..thud far the best put together christian dvd for kids I have found. My kids are 9, 7, 4, 3, & 5 mths . They just LOVE it I have to tell them to be patient because they wish I would play it every day! I love that most of the songs we have never heard ! Thanks again for taking the time to uplift the little ones along the way with beautiful wood scenes also. My favorite is sunlight….my husband and I enjoy this as much as kids. Please keep up through the years God willing with more material like this! Also it was the Kirkland family youtube where they mentioned you all and then I purchased. Jesus Bless you always and forever.

  6. Cindy Mullett says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about this heart-breaking situation. May God fill you with His wisdom and guidance as you seek direction for these dear little ones. We would highly recommend that they begin to receive counseling as soon as possible. Caring For The Heart Ministries does a wonderful job at gently pointing to Jesus and allowing Him to heal hearts. It’s vitally important they are able to begin seeing the Heavenly Father as He truly is and not as they view their earthly father. I cannot emphasize the need for this enough. Caring For The Heart has many life coaches across the country and will hopefully have someone they’d recommend in your area. This type of abuse will need ongoing care, but healing is possible. We will keep each of you in our prayers.
    Cindy

  7. Brianna Mullett says:

    This is so true, Menno. And thank you for all the ways you and Mary continue to compassionately reach out and help bring healing to so many hurting ones. You exemplify Jesus so well. We love and appreciate you both!
    Cindy

  8. Cindy Mullett says:

    Mary, my heart aches for you. I can’t imagine how difficult this journey has been for you. But I do know that what’s truly best for your husband is for his sin to be exposed and properly dealt with. Yes, he’s hurting and needs to find healing. But most individuals won’t come to the end of themselves and realize they need help, if their sin is covered up and there’s no consequences. If your husband isn’t repentant and willing to find healing, you would only be helping the abuse to continue by keeping your daughter in this situation. This, in itself, could legally get you in trouble as well because of not taking the proper steps to protect your children. Thank you for doing the right thing. I will pray with you against bitterness and resentment. If the enemy can’t get you in one area, he will try to destroy you in another way. Don’t allow him to do it! Please make sure you have someone who can help walk this journey with you. We will pray for your husband’s brokenness and repentance, and for healing and restoration for you all. ~Cindy

  9. Cindy Mullett says:

    So true! Thank you, Joel.
    ~Cindy

  10. Cindy Mullett says:

    Thank you, Adrienne, for this encouragement. We are so glad your children are enjoying the dvd. Praise the Lord! The Kirklands are wonderful friends of ours and we’re glad to meet you through them. =) God bless you as you continue raising your family for Him. We appreciate your prayer as we attempt to follow God’s leading in our lives. ~Cindy

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