Young women, I write to you today, not to state an opinion or speak of politics or talk about the news stories regarding this subject… I write to you today because I care very deeply about your well-being. Sexual abuse is a very serious matter that is too often swept under the rug because it will always be a heartbreaking and uncomfortable topic to discuss for many people. However, is something that is necessary to talk about often, and I want to bring it into the light today.

Firstly, if you are a woman who is a victim of sexual abuse, I want you to know I am so deeply sorry. My heart breaks at the vast number of young women who experience this pain in their lives, because it is pain no one should ever know. Perhaps you feel like you are broken, or damaged, or garbage because of the way you have been harmed…I am praying as I write that if you feel yourself to be any of these things, that today would be the day that the Truth of Christ speaks loudly into your heart. You are not and never will be damaged in the eyes of God… even in the midst of this pain, He calls you beautiful, brave, chosen, and His.

There are a number of things I want to address with you in full forthrightness to bring the abuse and pain into the light. Your abuser may be a family member, or a boyfriend, or a friend, and it may have been a one-time incident or may be a recurring pattern. Whatever the case may be, abuse is abuse and must be stopped immediately and dealt with properly.

Firstly, I want you to know and understand that if you are being abused or have been abused, it is not your fault. Sexual abuse cannot and will never be the fault of the victim. Every person created by God has inherent dignity, and there is nothing anyone could ever to do to deserve abuse, no matter the circumstances. The fact that you are a victim is not your fault because of the way you look, or who you have chosen to associate with, or the way you dress, or because of things you have said. No factor you can think of will ever give anyone the right to hurt you.

I also want you to know and believe that you are not alone. The pain of abuse is not something anyone can or should handle alone. If you are or have been abused, you must tell a trusted adult about it. That adult may be a parent, counselor, teacher, youth minister, or someone else in your life. The thought of telling someone may be incredibly frightening, but the trusted adults around you are not in your life to hold judgment against you. Hear me when I say this… you are strong enough to stand up for yourself in letting someone know, stronger than you could ever believe. They will be able to get you the help you need for past abuse or current abuse happening to you, and get it stopped immediately. These people in your life love you and would never want such harm done to you.

Lastly, to the girls who know that a friend is being abused and have been asked or begged not to tell… you have a great responsibility to the well-being of your friend. I lost one of my best friends in high school because I brought my serious concerns about her safety to a teacher. She was, in fact, in great trouble, and the school was able to get her the help she needed, even though she vowed never speak to me again. Though it is very difficult, the safety of our friends should always be our priority, and I am asking you today to tell a trusted adult in your own life what is going on so they can handle it appropriately. You should never have to carry the burden of such a secret alone.

There are many, many people in this world who have suffered sexual abuse who have gotten the appropriate help and have overcome the incredible pain with the help and healing grace of God. Our good God is so near in your deepest suffering, and wants to heal your heart with His love in the midst of terrible pain. He sees every one of your tears, He knows your pain, and He wants you to put it in His hands. Allow Him to speak truth into your life… the truth that you are important, beautiful, courageous, and set apart. In the midst of all the suffering on this Earth, there is hope.

I am praying that today and always you may know how deeply loved, brave, and beautiful you are.

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Emily Wilson
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