Survivor of Abuse Posts Her Call to Abuser

A 28 year old woman, a survivor of child sex abuse, posted a video to Youtube of her calling her abuser. She did it because she feared that the statutes of limitation would prevent the abuser from paying for the crimes. First of all, praise God that she found the courage to do this, and to show her face publicly. This video will hopefully embolden other survivors to tell their stories of abuse and to report it. Only about 25% of child sex abuse survivors will ever tell anyone that they have been sexually abused. Other studies show that this number is probably generous. The majority of abuse survivors take that secret to their grave.

I’ll post the video at the bottom of this blog. The ridiculous comments people leave behind are not surprising to me: “Get over it. . .it happened 16 years ago,” “move on. . .” etc. Isn’t that the perception many people have? And isn’t this attitude precisely why children are afraid to tell anyone? Imagine–you’re 3 years old and finally get the courage to tell someone that your uncle has been caressing your body parts with his tongue. The reply is, “Just get over it.” “Move on.” Fear is the number one reason children don’t tell. Fear that nobody will believe them. Fear that they will be punished for telling. Fear that telling will cause a divorce. Fear that the public will find out that they have been molested. Fear that they will have to go to trial and face their abuser. You get the picture.

I’ve heard people ask survivors why they waited so long to tell someone. It’s usually framed in an accusatory question like, “If the abuse was really as bad as you say, why would you wait until you were all grown up to say something about it?” Says the person who was never sexually assaulted as a child. Interestingly, pedophiles commonly use the same argument but with a different agenda. It goes something like this: “If she really didn’t like it, she would have told me to stop.” Says the person who threatened the child that if he tells, something bad will happen to him or his family.

At any rate, I commend this woman who got the courage to call her abuser and I get why it took so long. We all should get it. It is more common than not for those who do report to do it years after the abuse occurred. I know of victims who were ridiculed by families or churches for reporting abuse because “you’re smearing “so-and-so’s” good name. Really? We can and need to do better than this for survivors of abuse.

And one piece of advice–don’t feel sympathy for abusers because they “were born that way” or “just couldn’t help themselves.” This video grabbed my attention and the abuser’s response is typical of pedophiles who are initially questioned for their crimes.

Caller: “I was only 12 years old when I met you. Do you realize that you brainwashed me and manipulated me and that what you did was wrong?”
Abuser: “Yes. And I regret it.”
Caller: “Are you doing this to other students too?”
Abuser: “No.”

Interviews with convicted child molesters reveal that they know that it is terribly wrong but they abuse anyway. Is the regret genuine? Possibly. But regret doesn’t stop someone from abusing, or from continuing to abuse. Is she telling the truth that she is not doing this to other students? It’s doubtful. There are a wide variety of statistics on how many victims a pedophile may have in his or her lifetime–with some being over 1,000 (that’s individual children per 1 abuser; this does not count how many instances of abuse there were, which could be a few thousand). Dr. Gene Abel did a couple studies and found that convicted pedophiles who were questioned averaged 73 victims each. United Youth Security estimated 260 victims each. You will find similar high numbers, and the scope of this particular blog is not to discuss the reasons why this range is all over the place. But there is one thing that is consistent: no matter how many abusers initially claim that they only have one victim, when further investigated it is revealed that there are almost always multiple victims.

Proverbs 24:24-25 (ESV) says, “Whoever says to the wicked, ‘You are in the right,’ will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations, but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them.”

11 thoughts on “Survivor of Abuse Posts Her Call to Abuser”

  1. Thank you so much for posting this!!!! I know that your words have empowered thousands, Jimmy! I hope and I pray that others will step up and step out and call their abusers by name. It takes GREAT courage to do something like this young lady did, and it’s time society begins to open their eyes and understand the depth of pain caused by an abuser.

  2. So I have a question, Jimmy. What makes people say, “Get over it!” Or, that they don’t want to talk about sexual assault? The more I try to get to know such people the more I see they are covering for them self or someone they know. Am I only imagining this?

    1. I think, probably at its core, is the inability for some people to empathize. You can explain all day long to some people what it is like to experience something and they still are not able to imagine being in the shoes of that person. I’m not sure what makes some people not able to empathize–maybe some are covering up themselves or someone else, maybe they are just the type of personality who has to actually experience something before it “clicks.” People who don’t know how to empathize will say things like, “I know exactly how you feel” or “at least you have other children” at a funeral. I’ve had people (who have had no similar experience at all) tell me that they know exactly what my family is going through. Those kinds of statements are not helpful and it shows their inability to imagine themselves being in our position. Likewise, someone who tells an abuse victim to “get over it” has no idea what it is like, nor can they comprehend that many people can’t just get over it. If only common sense were actually common!

      1. I think that it is in part that they have to face their own fears. By facing your fears and suffering, then they have to face their own. They are afraid, so they push you away. They fear death, so they shove their head in the sand. They may have been abused and they may be abusers as well. Those are occasional variables as well.

  3. Thank you for posting. The abuser as apparently quit her current teaching position. That is one step in the right direction to , at the very least, preventing more victims.

  4. Jimmy… just in reading the comments here it made me think how many times after Bella’s diagnosis that people have said, “At least it’s not cancer!!” That really provides ZERO comfort to this momma bear. I have learned so much from reading both your mom and your info about this topic. With ALL the years I have spent teaching and with children, there was so much I NEVER knew or could even comprehend. Thank you for educating us all!

  5. Get over it. It’s time to move on. It’s not healthy to dwell on it. Have you forgiven your abuser? You really need to do that (maybe so, maybe not, but you know what? The first time I have the courage to tell you what happened to me is NOT the right time for you to say this)- and this is a new one to me: ‘it was sinning to be in fear.’

  6. There is a similar case in which a secret recording of a conversation between the victim and the perpetrator was used by the police. In that case the abuser was a former pastor and committed suicide. Here is the article:

    LEVITTOWN A former church pastor committed suicide on Monday, a week before he faced trial on charges that allege he sexually assaulted a girl more than 20 years ago, officials said.

    Scott B. Sechrist, 61, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his Bristol Township home, said Jennifer Schorn, chief of the Bucks County District Attorney Office’s major crimes division.

    Sechrist had served as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Morrisville and lived in the Levittown section of Bristol Township, where the assaults occurred between 1989 and 1992, police said. Sechrist allegedly knew the girl’s family from his church. She was nine when the alleged assaults began.

    Schorn said Sechrist left a note maintaining his innocence. However, the prosecutor said ample evidence pointed to his guilt, including a secret recording of a recent conversation between the victim and Sechrist, during which he admitted to the assaults. The recording, taken by the victim, was played at a preliminary hearing in March.

    Sechrist was free on $500,000 unsecured bail and faced 30 felony counts related to sexual assault.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140514_Accused_pastor_commits_suicide_in_Bucks.html

Leave a Reply