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Posts Tagged ‘religion and sexual abuse’

+++ possible religious triggers – I have tried to keep my language “untriggery” +++

As I have shared before, I am very active in my church. I belong to a Methodist church, although I do not consider myself to be a “Methodist.” I have different interpretations of the Bible and beliefs, the most notable being my belief in reincarnation.

Despite the differences, I find a great source of comfort in connecting with a larger group of people, all of whom are seeking to develop the same types of characteristics that I seek to develop in myself, such as compassion. I also like how active the Methodist church is in the community. The United Methodist Church is consistently one of the larger contributors toward a variety of causes, such as helping the people in New Orleans and Mississippi rebuild their homes after Hurricane Katrina.

One huge shortcoming I see in most churches is the reluctance to talk about child abuse, and sexual abuse in particular. The word “sex” is pretty much taboo at many churches, so you can imagine my surprise when my pastor addressed the issue of sex head-on as the sermon-topic last week. I sent him a “kudos” email and encourage him to take it a step farther and address the issues of sexual abuse.

We sang a hymn that I had never heard before. It is called Sacred the Body, and it is hymn #2228 in the United Methodist hymnal (the small supplemental one):

Love respects persons, bodies and boundaries. Love does not batter, neglect or abuse. Love touches gently, never coercing. Love leaves the other with power to choose.

You could have knocked me over with a feather. I had no idea that the topic of abuse and neglect had found its way into the Methodist hymnal!

I have also spoken with the Stephen Ministers at my church about the aftereffects of child abuse. Stephen Ministers are laypeople (people without a divinity degree) who provide friendship to those who are going through a difficult time. I shared with them about how to help anyone who seeks support while working through the healing process.

My faith has been such a big part of my healing process, and yet I see so many child abuse survivors who are unable to find this source of strength as they heal, thanks to all sorts of horrendous abuses they suffered as children. I am glad to see some movement by churches toward helping child abuse survivors. It is not nearly enough, but it’s a start.

Good Resource for Healing from Sexual Abuse:

The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse (Revised Edition)

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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