Thursday, 21 June 2012

I don't want to talk about it.

   Don't talk about it! I don't want to know! Leave me in my little cage of denial!
People, I find, don't want to hear about the on-going results of serious sexual trauma. 
   As a family, we walked the "Sexual Abuse Road." There is no way back, no sidetrack that avoids the bumps and potholes. We found ourselves on a journey we didn't choose or want, but we had no choice. Like it or lump it, this was our life. From that day on, our family would be classed as dysfunctional. Why? Because we were victims of crime.
   The road was rough, painful and difficult. It challenged everything we believed. Anything that wasn't a deeply embedded part of our lives was shaken off and we were left clinging to the Rock called Jesus.
    So I wrote the book, Though the Bud be Bruised, to share our journey and our victories: to show the amazing grace and healing love of our God who led us, via the wilderness, to wholeness. 
   The book also shares the church's struggle when dealing with such issues, especially when the consequences turn to unpleasant psychological outcomes. The unspoken (occasionally even spoken) judgement  implied that, if we had real faith, none of these things would be happening. As a family we made the church untidy. We marred the squeaky clean image that churches try and maintain to make God look good.
   The church's inability to handle our 'dysfunctional family' and the consequences of the abuse, which was perpetrated within the church, was nearly more painful for me than the crime itself.
   However that was years ago. It is all behind me. God, in His grace, used this disaster to reveal himself to me in a greater measure. I am very thankful for the love He showed me then, and continues to pour out on me to this very day.
   But this week I am angry again!
   I approached a Christian radio station asking for an opportunity to speak about my book. When a lovely lady rang to organise an interview, she back peddled upon hearing the topic was sexual abuse. After she consulted with the program director, I was referred away from the morning program to the News and current affairs. Their email asked why I would write a book about such a heavy topic and difficult subject matter. 
   All contact I've had with these people has been highly professional and very polite but it has stirred up my passion. Isn't it time good Christians stopped shying away from such subjects? Let's face the brutal facts. Sexual abuse has happened and is still happening within the church. And not only within those of traditional persuasion. It is equally embedded in 'alive' churches. One in four women and a lower percentage of men who sit in our churches have been victims of sexual abuse. One in four of the girls in our Sunday schools are or will be a victim.
   Ignorance of these facts made our family easy pickings for the enemy. I want parents to be better informed. My aim is to educate them of the dangers, and so expose the evil ways of the enemy. Let's shine a light of truth in the dark.
   Paedophilia is alive and well in churches. Today. Now! How can that be? Because where evil isn't challenged, it thrives! Where there is a discomfort around a topic, we can be sure it is active but camouflaged in our midst. The enemy loves to hide under a veil of false holiness and feigned humility. He is safe there, as long as no one is well enough informed  to recognise him and so expose him.
   Jesus walked amongst those who lived on the seamier side of life. He talked to the woman caught in adultery, called the thief down from the tree, spoke directly to the outcast woman who had been bleeding for years,and sat in the cemetery talking to the madman. Everyone was acceptable to Him, except the pious and hard-hearted religious leaders.
   Is there anyone out there who will open the doors with me and expose the wickedness that is hidden in the darkness of false piety?


  1. Me! I am right there with you, Jo!! <3

  2. It's time to say no. No it's not ok. Never ok. It must stop now and be exposed.
    Light. No more darkness.

  3. I am right there with you! People may be a little more open to my book on emotional abuse because 'bullying' is a form of it. However I'm pretty sure most people don't want to recognise that it is also alive and well in the church! If we want to stop abuse we have to talk about it!!
    Keep up the good work. Hugs to you.

  4. anything uncomfortable gets tidied away - just like the issue of homeless people, powers that be just don't want to get involved - too messy, too shameful - WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! Get it out into the open, when more people know what is going on, that is when things can change.

  5. I know where you're coming from, Jo. We've got to press on and story form is a most powerful way in which to do it. I often how Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin" swept a 'difficult' issue from beneath the carpet and is often said to be partly responsible for turning the tide of history, helping to usher in the American Civil War. Authors can't be pussy-footing around, avoiding tough topics. What I love about your book is that it addresses both church and secular attitudes.

  6. Keep pushing, Jo. Yes, it is still a difficult subject that 20 years ago (as you know) people didn't want to know about, believe happened or (largely) help to expose & help to heal.

  7. Thanks guys. I do so appreciate your support

  8. Hi Jo (great name by the way!),

    I purchased your book on recommendation from Michelle Dennis Evans. She told me that your book had challenged her. I am glad I did.

    Your book was an eye opener for me. As I journeyed through the book, I felt so sad by the response of the church to your family. This issue really needs to be brought out in the open in every church so that they can be a place of healing - as they should be.

    Thank you for writing this book.

    PS - What a courageous family you have! You inspire me as a mother.

    1. Hi Jo
      Thanks so much for your message. I'm smiling and encouraged.
      Jo xx
      PS Love your blog page!

  9. Agreed. It's the enemy who wants to keep people in darkness and keep you quiet. I talk about anger issues in the church, and that's one too that no one wants to admit exists. The world doesn't want a squeaky clean church. It wants a place where truth is told and pain is redeemed.

  10. I am forwarding this blog post to ones I know who are crying out this same question and trying to wake the church up!