1. My son/daughter/friend/etc… just told me that they were abused. What do I do?
~ The first thing to do is be there for them and love, encourage, and pray for them. Know that sometimes they just need someone to listen and not to solve.
~ It is important to bring abuse to the authorities because they can help get the abuser where they belong, behind bars.
~ Keep it to yourself! In order for the victim to have someone that they can go to, they need to know that you aren’t telling people what they have divulged to you.

  1. As a victim how can I “get past” this and go on with my life?
~ Please know that your past does NOT define you!!
~ Please know that even if shame or guilt was put on you by others it is not yours to carry! Abusers often shame people into silence.
~ Choosing to forgive is tough, and not a one time decision, but it is the best thing you can do. Forgiveness benefits you, not necessarily your abuser, while un-forgiveness hurts you, not your abuser.
        ~ Forgiveness is a mental decision. We choose to forgive and then eventually our emotions will follow. We decide in our mind not to hold on to the resentment, and healing will follow.
        ~ Forgiveness is a process, not a one time event. We have to choose to forgive again and again when the offense comes back into our minds and the fear, guilt, shame, etc… threaten to overwhelm us.
        ~ Forgiveness is based on our attitude not on other’s actions. We choose to either stay stuck and angry, or focus on God’s goodness to us and forgive. We can choose to forgive even if they never ask for forgiveness.
        ~ Forgiveness is NOT letting the offender off the hook, they are still accountable for their actions!
        ~ Forgiveness is NOT letting the offense occur again. We do NOT have to tolerate abuse and continue to expose ourselves or our families to it.
        ~ Forgiveness is NOT to be equated with reconciliation. We can forgive while still cutting ourselves off from an abusive relationship.
        ~ Forgiveness is NOT forgetting!!!! We can choose not to think or dwell on the bad things, but the memories will always be there even if they are tucked into a “back corner” in your mind. We should choose to focus on God’s goodness to us through our trials, and not on the pain we experienced.

  1. I don’t think I’m strong enough to make it through a trial. How did you do it?
~ Let me start by saying I didn’t think I could make it through the trial either, and prayed that God would allow my abuser to take a plea bargain so that I wouldn’t have to endure a trial. God in His mercy and wisdom chose to allow me to have to go through a trial. It was during this trial that I saw my God work in ways that I have never seen before. He showed Himself to be faithful, strong, mighty, and loving in more ways than I can express.
~ The first thing you need to do is take it one day at a time. God promises grace for today and today’s trials, don’t take tomorrow’s burdens on today.
~ I would recommend having a couple of close trusted friends that will walk with you and support you. They can make a world of difference in the sanity department! J
~ Remember that you are not alone! God will never leave you or forsake you! He is always there! Rest in His love!

  1. What is the court process like?
~ The court process can be long and drawn out. Be aware that there will probably be many date changes, and many things going on behind the scenes that you may not know or understand. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Most places have victim’s advocates that will help you to know and understand what is going on each step of the way.

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