Thursday, September 26, 2013

What message are you sending?

I have a very dear friend who is going through so much right now because she has made the courageous and tough choice to prosecute her rapist. This process has been made so much harder by the fact that most of her family (including her own mother) is supporting her rapist. This has really gotten me thinking. I wonder if the people who stand behind rapists (and other abusers) really know what they are saying when they decide to support the perpetrator instead of the victim. Having been in a very similar situation I can speak in a very educated way about this. So, without further adieu here is what they say...

When you choose to support an abuser rather than the abused you are saying...
   ~ I don't believe the abuse really happened, or it wasn't as bad as you say.
   ~ Your abuser means far more to me than you do.
   ~ I never really loved you, and you are not worthy of true love.
   ~ You are not good enough to stand up for.
   ~ Who cares how much this hurt you, grow up and move on!
   ~ I don't believe this crime should be punished.
   ~ The crime that happened was really not a crime at all.
   ~ Abuse is ok.
   ~ Your pain is nothing in comparison to the inconvenience you have caused me.
   ~ Your abuser deserves sympathy and compassion, but you don't.
   ~ The abuser's loss of freedom concerns me more than your emotional scars.
   ~ Even though your abuser has confessed (and is therefore guilty) I don't care about protecting other potential victims they might come into contact with (potentially their own children).
   ~ God's view on justice doesn't matter. (Micah 6:8)
   ~ What God has to say about those who hurt a child doesn't matter. (Matthew 18:6)
   ~ What God has to say about the governing authorities executing justice doesn't matter. (Romans 13:1-7)

This list could go on, but I think the point is made. I would encourage you to think about how the choices you make truly do impact others.


  1. Great post, Tina. A message that needs to be heard by many. I think sometimes unsupportive family may encourage a victim to not seek revenge. But it's important to remember that prosecution is the opposite of revenge. It is justice the right way. We should always encourage that.

    1. So true Joel. Your point "prosecution is the opposite of revenge" is spot on. Some don't see that the intervention and exacting of justice by authorities is actually a gift from God rather than something to be avoided. As Diane Langberg has said, "Sin is the worst thing in the world, not exposure or loss of all things." Prosecution can be a means of judgement and justice for past sins and ending sins against future victims. I wish more could see this.

  2. Thanks for posting this, Tina. It is a horrific seeing this again and again. Seeing families and churches standing with the offenders and the victims standing mostly alone is heart breaking. The fact that they do this in God's name makes it worse.
    This is my comfort...
    “‘Therefore, shepherds, listen to the Message of God: As sure as I am the living God—Decree of God, the Master—because my sheep have been turned into mere prey, into easy meals for wolves because you shepherds ignored them and only fed yourselves, listen to what God has to say:
    10 “‘Watch out! I’m coming down on the shepherds and taking my sheep back. They’re fired as shepherds of my sheep. No more shepherds who just feed themselves! I’ll rescue my sheep from their greed. They’re not going to feed off my sheep any longer!

    11-16 “‘God, the Master, says: From now on, I myself am the shepherd. I’m going looking for them. As shepherds go after their flocks when they get scattered, I’m going after my sheep. I’ll rescue them from all the places they’ve been scattered to in the storms. I’ll bring them back from foreign peoples, gather them from foreign countries, and bring them back to their home country. I’ll feed them on the mountains of Israel, along the streams, among their own people. I’ll lead them into lush pasture so they can roam the mountain pastures of Israel, graze at leisure, feed in the rich pastures on the mountains of Israel. And I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep. I myself will make sure they get plenty of rest. I’ll go after the lost, I’ll collect the strays, I’ll doctor the injured, I’ll build up the weak ones and oversee the strong ones so they’re not exploited."
    This is the hope that I hope calms and assures the heart of the dear one who is hurting right now. Am hoping and praying that she will rest in knowing that this is how fiercely her God, her Shepherd loves her.

  3. Love you for writing this. This is one of the saddest things that I see - victims facing their perpetrators alone, with churches, pastors, and even families supporting the perps. I have heard of it happening many times. This is the first time seeing it happen to someone I know and love and it is detestable.
    They may claim God in their choice, but there is no God in the choices they are making. They are joining in to destroy one of God's precious lambs.
    May she be comforted to know that God himself is her defender. He stands with her. She is loved!

  4. Something similar happened to my former cousin-in-law, only it involved her baby girl's father and the shameful thing he did to their baby. Our family stood behind her, but his family, with a history of this kind of behavior, supported him and accused her of lying. What I believe they were saying is "How dare you embarrass our family and broadcast our secret through the court!" Because of course their "good" name is worth more than a toddler's innocence ... :-p