issues of abuse

The Problem

A history of abuse is a common background while the goal is to enter into or maintain recovery. Recovery is a two-fold process. The first step is healing from the traumas done to us in our past; and second step is healing from the influence these past experiences continue to have in our present lives.

(Most) Survivors of Physical / Sexual / Emotional Abuse . . .

  • are hesitant to identify themselves as victims of abuse
  • feel isolated, depressed, worthless, and helpless to change
  • are struggling with feelings about God in relation to their life experiences of being
    abused
  • condemn themselves, denying that the past abuses affects their present
    circumstances
  • feel out of control and defeated in areas of compulsive behavior
  • feel angry, bitter, rebellious; have trouble with authority figures
  • feel a lack of self-worth
  • are preoccupied with thoughts of what it means to have a “normal” relationship
    with others; mates, friends, family
  • question their own sexual identity and may experience confusion regarding their
    own sexuality
  • desire to regain their sexuality and feel safe in intimate relationships
  • question self-reality; “Who am I?”
  • question whether life has a purpose
  • feel “at home” in crisis situations
  • struggle with perfectionism or “all or nothing thinking”
  • desire to have victory through Christ over the life experience of abuse

The Solution

Survivors of Physical / Sexual / Emotional Abuse can experience recovery when…

  • we recognize that we are powerless to heal the damaged emotions resulting from
    our abuse. We look to God for the power to make us whole
  • we acknowledge that God’s plan for our lives includes victory over the
    experience of abuse
  • we understand that the persons who abused us are responsible for the abusive
    acts committed against us. We will not accept the guilt and shame resulting from
    those abusive acts
  • we look to God and His Word to find our identity as worthwhile and loved
    human beings
  • we are honestly sharing our feelings with God and at least one other person to
    help us identify the areas that need cleansing and healing
  • we accept the responsibility for our responses to abuse
  • we are willing to accept God’s help in the decision and the process of forgiving
    ourselves and those who have perpetrated against us
  • we are willing to mature in our relationships with God and others
  • we are willing to be used by God as an instrument of healing and restoration in
    the lives of others.

“The Solution” is partially based upon the book Helping the Victims of Sexual Abuse
by Lynn Heitritter and Jeanette Vought.

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