A letter to the victims.

Dearest darling girls,

I wish I could tell you I understand, but I do not. I have never been molested, never sexually assaulted, never sexually abused in any manner. I cannot imagine what you felt then, and I cannot imagine what you feel now. I can only tell you I’m sorry.

LITTLE GIRLS PLAYING

I’m sorry that we will probably never know your names. We will only know the name of the one who did this to you, and even then, the details are sketchy at best. He will receive all the press, and you will not. I am so sorry for that. I wish I knew your names, not to drag them through mud, but to pray for you individually, to offer you a hug, to let you know that you are not alone and that you are not at fault.

I’m sorry that the crime against you was not dealt with at the time it was committed. There will be no justice for you, because our justice system fails though it tries. I’m sorry that adults in the situation decided not to act swiftly. Though I understand their actions and their deep desire to protect their son and to get him help, I am still sorry that those decisions have affected you, the ones on whom we should be keeping focus.

I’m sorry that our culture perpetuates the lie that molestation, and other sexual crimes, are best kept secret and quiet, while the victims wander in shame. I hate that. I will always hate that. I wish I could tell you that it is okay, that it was always okay, to speak aloud what was happening to you. I pray you have a mentor, counselor, friend, parent, or other wise individual in whom you can confide, on whose shoulder you can cry, into whose arms you can fall if a memory affects you.

I’m sorry so many of us, Christian and not, have felt it our duty to throw stones on your behalf. It has long been my belief that hurting others on behalf of hurting people is no way to bring healing. The community at large does not know your story, your REAL story. We are only given what the media deems necessary to tell, true or not, in order to make a buck. This means that the number of victims in this debacle rises daily, from you to a man who made grave errors as a teen to entire families involved. And yet we still throw stones.

I have five friends who have been in your situation, though their perpetrators will never be in the news. I have been privy to their stories years after the fact, years after any legal justice could be sought. I have seen their shame-filled tears, and heard their broken voices, and watched their hands shake as they have relived their horror and became vulnerable in order to heal. I have also watched them rise from the ashes and heal and still get broken sometimes, and live incredible and brave lives. May you, all of you, do the same.

May you know daily that Christ loves you and cares for you. May you know that He redeems all things. May you know that you are beautiful and brave, and you are bigger and better than what has been done to you. God is full of unending grace and abounding love for you.

With love.

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