Sexual Abuse – It’s not just the Catholics

“Any Form Of Sexual Contact Without Both Being
Legally Able To And Voluntarily Consenting To.”

This past week, three conservative ministries are in the news, and all for the wrong reason. Each one (a big fundamental university, a top Bible college, and a well-known curriculum provider) is dealing with a sexual abuse and/or sexual harassment scandal – and not a recently reported one but multiple past unreported ones that are only now coming to light.  One of the above  has hired an organization called, GRACE (Godly Response To Abuse In The Christian Environment) to do an investigation of them, and another of the above saw its founder and leader resign after charges were brought against him by a group called Recovering Grace.  All of which leads to the question – How could something like this go on for so long and no one say anything?  And the answer lies in the following quote – According to the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), sexual assault is the most under-reported of all crimes due primarily to fear on the part of the victim and embarrassment on the part of the family.  But if individuals who commit such illegal acts are not apprehended and prosecuted, they will continue to prey on innocent victims.  Of course in our legal system, one is innocent until proven guilty, and no good work should be totally condemned for the actions of a very few. But when person after person after person comes forth to tell their story, there’s a whole lot of explaining that these ministries need to do.

It was three years ago that I did a series on sexual abuse called The Shame Of It All.  It was based on the biblical account of Tamar being sexually assaulted by Ammon, and then the resulting actions taken by her brother, Absalom (II Samuel 13).  In sermon research, we learned these sexual abuse facts: one out of five will be, nine out of ten will be women who are older teens or young adults, eight out of ten will know the person, and nine out of ten will continue to be so over a period of time.  And from Tamar’s story itself came three biblical truths:

#1 – Sexual Assault Was Found In The Bible Then,
That We May Know How To Deal With It Now

II Samuel 13:12,13

And she answered him, Nay, my brother,
do not force me; for no such thing ought
to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly.

#2 – When You Are Victimized By Someone,
You Then Need To Vocalize To Someone

II Samuel 13:19

And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent her garment of divers colours that was on her, and
laid her hand on her head, and went on crying.

#3 – It Takes A Hero To Put
A Halt To Sexual Abuse

II Samuel 13:28

Fear not; have not I commanded you?
Be courageous and be vigilant.