Sunday Snippet: Let’s Not Talk About It…

Today was the Weekend of the Argus Cycle Tour and we couldn’t get out of town to get to church this morning – so we took all the kids to church this evening as a late night treat. They love church and are devastated to miss it!!! Now I know I am supposed to post a GiveAway winner… but I just tumbled the last of my kids into bed and I remembered “ooops” I need to post a winner… needless to say you will have to wait until tomorrow to know if you are the winner to last weeks Sunday Snippet… Sorry folks!!!

Meanwhile this week I have been reading, Happy Helms with interest, she has written a great series on protecting our kids from abuse:

And while we are talking about it: I really believe all women should read this book:


It won’t provide you with a lot of comfort in the sense that it will say: “This crime won’t happen to you or your children” but it will provide you with heaps of insight: who abusers really are – while he doesn’t say forget about “stranger danger” the abuser is generally someone you know, a well loved friend or a close relative. Also listen to your heart if you get a creepy feeling then listen to it. Really this book is packed with plenty of ideas of how to teach your kids to cope in a world that isn’t nearly as child friendly as we would like it to be.

Abuse of kids is one of the most common of all crimes and yet seems to be the least talked about. It is one of the topics that touches everybody in some manner or form. Statistically one in three girls and one in five boys are abused. In South Africa the statistics are so much higher with one in two girls having been abused… You cannot meet with a couple of friends and not be close to someone who has been sexually abused.

But you may think you haven’t been touched by it – because nobody talks about it. Really it is pervasive in every culture, every socio-economic group – it really is. This is one thing that you cannot pretend is not in your neighborhood, your kids school, your church… it really is everywhere!!! And a lot of your adult friends are coping with the pain and carrying an enormous burden on their hearts, from their own childhood, as they travel through day to day life.

In fact a couple of years ago I was at a Bible Study planning meeting and we were brainstorming topics for the upcoming term, looking at topics that would touch all the moms in some way: submission (again); discipline, being a better wife and I said why don’t we talk about abuse? Well you could have heard the thunk as the meeting stopped…, followed by the dash for tea. Really nobody wants to talk about it – like it doesn’t really happen. Surely there must be a Christian response to this and something we can do to encourage women who are survivors of childhood abuse. Surely women who lead bible studies and raise children and encourage friends about homeschooling, parenting and toilet training would want to get this taboo topic out in the air.

Ever since the thunk moment I have been reading any number of books on the topic and they all tend to start off listing all the hideous scenarios that folk have been through. Honestly these anecdotes are often so distressing that I never get past them. If only these authors knew that you don’t have to describe the worst case scenario or the most toxic event to understand that there is a vast ocean of folk in serious pain. But I am reading:


And so far so good. Really this book is amazing I completely understood the typical responses to abuse within the church: “Where he describes how a woman was told by her pastor that many other people have suffered far worse things than abuse by their father and she needed to stop feeling sorry for herself; Or the woman who was told not to take the perpetrator to court, apparently it is acceptable to seek legal help for a damaged car but when it is a damaged soul one must back down rather than be vengeful.” I like that this book doesn’t spend pages and pages describing hideous crimes but gets to the heart of the issue. I feel far better equipped to talk about this topic to hurting friends now than ever before. I cannot provide a solution, I cannot heal their hearts but I can provide an ear and I can pray for their hurting hearts in an intelligent way.

I really think as long as nobody is talking about it, we are protecting the perpetrators and providing no support to the victims.

14 Replies to “Sunday Snippet: Let’s Not Talk About It…”

  1. My friend read that Allender book in college. I have definitely found abuse to be a topic that no one thinks exists. I have also found that pornography is not nearly as dealt with…in terms that it is affecting so many marriages right now. All around, all the time. And is pervase in many more homes than is being acknowleged…. what do you think about his issue- the porn one?

  2. Hi Se7en, wow, I loved how you spoke about this topic. We all seem to have a rather tough time getting ‘naked’ on issues — no matter what we may be uncovering we would all rather be hiding.
    I loved your compassion, really, getting woman to open up and talk about the real stuff is not for a gory show and tell, its all about learning to truly love what has been thought of as unlovable.
    Thank you for being so direct and sensitive.

  3. I applaud your honest post. No thunk moment here . . . really. Thank you for pointing us to a resource that is informative without being graphic. I totally agree with your thoughts on that.

  4. Hi MaryAnne, You are so right about the “so-related” topic of porn… I read a fantastic book about it years ago and I wish I could remember the name… about a woman’s survival of her husbands addiction. How he had to sink so far down before anyone would reach out and help him and just the way her life had to drop rock bottom at the same time. I remember being alarmed, as I read it, at the lack of support she got: comments like “If you were a better wife this wouldn’t have happened” from her church leader made me really sit up and take note. I was reading it on the way home from a weekend away and all the kids collapsed asleep in the back and it was so good that I read nearly the whole book out-loud to my husband. There were so many wow moments for me, regarding the distractions of men… I should write about this too!!! Thank-you for another topic that I really feel needs to come out of the closet and at least into ladies Bible Studies so that they know what they are really up against. Hope you all have a good day!!!

  5. Hi M, Thanks for your great comment!!! I really wish we could talk about this more. Just by asking folk how they would support someone who has been abused seems to get them thinking about it. I know I am a do-er… I always want to do something!!! And listening is one thing I can do, especially listening without interjecting my own ideas – I am working on that!!! Have a good week!!!

  6. Hi A, Isn’t that the truth we don’t always need to know every gory detail, to every situation that ever occurred in the world, to be understanding of the person we are actually listening to!!! Hope you have a great week!!!

  7. As someone who knows someone personally who has been abused by both parents, I try to understand, but also I’m at a loss for words most of the time. If we don’t talk about it, how can we draw alongside those who had to endure the pain? Thanks se7en for this….

  8. Hi I, It is so hard to talk about. I have found that often I don’t have to say anything just listening to friends without shutting them down and changing the topic is great. All the best!!!

  9. This is so true.
    Also the book ‘Protecting the Gift’ truly is excellent – I have not found anything that equipped me as well.

  10. Hi J, You are so right that book got our whole family into gear and just better prepared… Have a good day my friend!!!

  11. I LOVE that you’re willing to talk about the uncomfortable issues!

    Another issue the church doesn’t like to talk about is infertility.

    I have really had a tough time going through this very hard time without ANY church support because of a belief that “if you had strong enough faith, you’d get pregnant” which is utter rubbish.


  12. Hi L, Total rubbish, it must drive you quite up the pole. I loved your comment on “All your friends having twins!!!! And I am even gladder that you found Sister Lilian!!! Have a good week!!!

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