Everyday thousands of children are being sexually abused. You can stop the abuse of at least one child by simply praying. You can possibly stop the abuse of thousands of children by forwarding the link in First Time Visitor? by email, Twitter or Facebook to every Christian you know. Save a child or lots of children!!!! Do Something, please!

3:15 PM prayer in brief:
Pray for God to stop 1 child from being molested today.
Pray for God to stop 1 child molestation happening now.
Pray for God to rescue 1 child from sexual slavery.
Pray for God to save 1 girl from genital circumcision.
Pray for God to stop 1 girl from becoming a child-bride.
If you have the faith pray for 100 children rather than one.
Give Thanks. There is more to this prayer here

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

'Me Too': The Long-Lasting Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Me too - Several Survivor's Stories

I had to endure weekly molestation sessions for six years until one of his other victims spoke up. (File photo)
JOSEPH CHAN/UNSPLASH

Warning: Some readers may find this content distressing.


Me Too: Believed once, but not again

I was 5 when I first experienced sexual abuse. He was only 11 and was also a victim of abuse, which is why he was confused and did it to me.

It happened at school. He told me not to tell anyone, but it all felt wrong so I planned on telling my mum that evening.

But that was also the day my grandfather died, so mum was grieving, and I couldn't talk to her.

A few days later, it happened again. This time I told my mum. She took action and both the boy and I received counselling. Unfortunately, the school principal accused me of lying as the boy was headboy of the school - but as far as I know the principal got in a lot of trouble for that.

So that’s that. The end of my sexual assault story. Right? Wrong.

I turned 6, changed schools, and my grandmother enrolled me in piano lessons. I was molested by my piano teacher, so I told my mum again, but this time people thought I just wanted attention.

They thought it couldn’t happen again. I was told "lightning doesn't strike twice". So I had to endure weekly molestation sessions for six years until one of his other victims spoke up. People finally listened. But the damage had been done.

Some children are far more vulnerable than others to sexual abuse. I actually think that a sexually abused child is somehow recognized by pedophiles as being particularly vulnerable.

Now I was going through puberty. I turned 13 and I was a damaged young girl. I started smoking weed. A lot of weed. Daily. I took any drug I could get my hands on and, worst of all, I let men have their way with me. Many men - mainly between the ages of 20-24. It is disgusting the number of men in their early 20s who think it’s OK to have sex with a 13-year-old just because she's a ‘slut’. I wasn't just a ‘slut’ - I was broken, and this just broke me more.

I was recently diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, which I feel was heavily affected by the abuse I endured.

Now as a 22-year-old I have my life on track, finally, and I'm learning to cope with everything I've been through.

I want better for future generations. I don’t want people to go through the hell I've been through. We need to end sexual abuse. And no matter what s/he says, if s/he is under 16 it’s not consensual.


Me Too: My earliest memory

I don't like to think too much about my childhood memories, perhaps because my earliest is one I have always struggled with. The grandfather whose games the other adults laughed at was also the man who gave me my first ever sexual experience at the age of 4.

He turned what should have been innocent childhood fun into something else entirely. He forever changed the person I would become. Trying to work out what's a normal relationship, platonic or sexual, has been a challenge ever since.

It made me vulnerable, so when I was sexually harassed by a boss at work while in my 30s, the lines were still not clear to me. I just didn't know what was normal and what was unacceptable.

It made me reluctant to be affectionate with my own kids. It cost me the ability to ever truly trust people close to me. It made it hard for me to rely on my own judgement of a situation. Where did friendship end and something more begin?

I have been so very fortunate to find a safe haven in my marriage, but the memory never fades. It will always be my first.


Me Too: My mother knew about the abuse

I was 10 years old and my mother’s partner would sexually abuse me as 'punishment' for wetting the bed, while my own mother kept my younger sister and his daughter at the other end of the house so they wouldn’t hear my screams.

What made it worse is when I finally spoke up, I was put right back in their care by the agency that should have listened to me.

At 33, I still have scars in places that make me ashamed to let anyone see me without clothing.


Me Too: It started when I was 5

My parents split when I was 2 and after that I lived with my mum in Hamilton. She couldn't afford to support just the two of us so she took on a boarder - a distant relative, my uncle by marriage’s nephew, a man in his mid-20s.

I was 5 when he started abusing me. He manipulated me into not telling anyone, so my mum was none the wiser.

She only picked up on slight things: my misbehaviour; my fear of the dark and my abuser; only being able to sleep in the safety of her bed. She took the first opportunity to relocate to Feilding with her then-boyfriend to start a fresh life.

She still didn’t know what had happened, but my behaviour got worse. Because I was confused I was making rude advances toward males and trying to make myself look older. I was a very sexual little girl who was infatuated by males because I was taught by the abuser that this was normal behaviour.

She realised this wasn’t right for a 7-year-old and finally sat me down and I told her everything. She was very supportive and called the police. She then started collecting all the evidence needed. She took me to see a sexual health specialist and set me up with a rape counsellor.

It went to court and he pleaded not guilty but was found guilty of several charges of sexual abuse and jailed for two years.

I am now 23. I suffer every day from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. I self-harm and I had a mental breakdown a year ago and had to leave my full-time job. I am now trying to overcome my many demons with weekly counselling and have been put on anti-depressants by my GP.

All the while he - the abuser - has made a family of his own after being imprisoned and is able to move on like nothing ever happened.

2 Years - probably didn't even leave a red mark on his wrist.


Me Too: By my cousin

As a child I used to love going to stay with my aunty and uncle. Then when my oldest cousin got to his mid-teens he started grabbing at my breasts and crotch when we played in the pool.
It was ongoing for a few months and I soon stopped going to stay over.

My other cousins never noticed. Still no-one knows because for years I made excuses that it was just because he was full of hormones and hadn't had a girlfriend.

Now we are grown adults with our own children and I still avoid him like the plague.


Me Too: ‘Grabbed by the p....’ aged 11

I was 11 years old and going through a crowd on New Year’s Eve in London. I was holding my mother’s hand but as it was so busy she was in front of me as we wove through the throngs of people.

All of a sudden this middle-aged man went past and grabbed me in between my legs. He said nothing but just gave this horrible look.

I didn’t tell my mother as I was shocked and didn’t really know what to say.

It stuck with me for a long time. It was not the first time as a young girl that I was touched, but it was the worst one.

WHERE TO GET HELP

Rape Crisis - 0800 88 33 00 (24hr service), click link for information on local helplines.

Victim Support - 0800 842 846 (24hr service)

The Harbour, online support and information for people affected by sexual abuse.

Women's Refuge (females only) - crisis line available on 0800 733 843.

Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust (males only) - helplines across NZ, click to find out more.

If you are in danger, or are being subjected to sexual violence, call 111.