I know I posted about forgiveness last week, but there is one aspect that I believe needs to be understood better. There are many people who for one reason or another believe and try to force the belief on others that forgiveness = trust and reconciliation.
Here's how it often goes. Typically a victim will come forward about abuse and will even cut off contact with their abuser for a while. Then the victim is told If you have truly forgiven you would forget what happened and put it behind you and allow the relationship to start over again. Often verses from the Bible are used to aid in the manipulation. Whether that is "Judge not that ye be not judged" found in Matthew (you can't judge whether or not they have changed), or even "God has not given us a spirit of fear" II Timothy 1:7. (you need to trust God to protect you and your family and stop worrying that this person will hurt you again). These are just 2 of the many passages that I have seen used to justify allowing an abuser back into your life.
Listen, we are called to be wise! Would you take someone who is a recovering alcoholic and ask them to go to a bar (for any reason)? If you wouldn't do that why on earth you would you allow a child abuser (or sex offender) or ANY abuser for that matter around you or your children? This has nothing do do with fear (although a good healthy fear isn't necessarily a bad thing), but everything to do with wisdom and protection.
FORGIVENESS DOES NOT EQUAL TRUST!!! When trust is broken is has to be a long, slow process to earn it back. A sign of true repentance is when an abuser not only seeks forgiveness and admits their wrong doing, but makes NO excuses and is willing to face the consequences of their actions. This includes understanding that their victims (even if they are family members) may NEED to distance themselves because as an abuser they can't be trusted. (see this page for stats).
If you are a victim please don't allow yourself to be manipulated into believing that the only way you are doing what is right is if you allow your abuser back into your life. Sometimes the wisest choice you can make is to protect yourself and your family by separating yourself and your family from an abuser.