How Does Sexual Abuse Impact Those You Love?

Statistics about sexual abuse are absolutely staggering. It saddens me that so many people feel alone in the process of healing from sexual abuse. It’s no secret that sexual abuse often hasn’t been described well and even with the very worthy #MeToo movement, people often have a hard time understanding exactly what abuse does to a person. While the video below in no way tries to explain abuse, I believe that sharing some of my own thoughts and feelings and the thoughts and feelings of those I’ve worked with will add a touch of understanding to the problem of abuse.

After you’ve watched, I encourage you to sign up for our latest webinar. My friend and colleague, Meichell Worthing, will be joining to talk to us specifically about healing from the damaging effects of abuse. This will be an important watch for anyone who has survived sexual abuse and anyone who is in a relationship with someone that has been abused. Hope you can make it!

Would you rather read the script?

I get it. Sometimes we want to read instead of watching. That’s totally fine. The script below is the same as the video above. 🙂

Current stats say that every 98 seconds, someone in the US is sexually assaulted. That equals more than 570 people…Every. Single. Day.

I’m Dr. Jessica McCleese, Founder of Fully Well and I want to take just a few minutes to talk to you about sexual abuse – partially from my own experience, and partially from the stories of others that I work with.

Those numbers that I gave you that every 98 seconds someone in the US is sexually assaulted,  could actually be much higher because often, people don’t want to talk about their abuse. They don’t want to admit that someone took advantage of them. After all, what if people knew? Would they care? Would they stand up for me? Would they blame me for whatever it was that I wore or what I did to entice my abuser? Would they tell me that God calls me to forgive with the reminder that I’d know when I had forgiven because I wouldn’t remember any longer?

See, the unfortunate reality is that for most people that have been abused, they don’t want to share their stories because in doing so it proves what they’ve feared all along. I’m powerless. Insignificant. Only here for the pleasure of somebody else. My pain should be left in the dark.

For many of us who have been abused we silently applaud the ones that are brave enough to take a stand and say #MeToo while we grieve the pain that we know they feel. But we try desperately not to live in the realm of the damaged or the broken. We put on our brave faces and we smile trying to act as though we got it all together but kinda knowing deep inside of us that there are still scars that show..5, 10, 20, even 50 years later.

The people who know us best and love us the most – they see the scars and wonder to themselves and sometimes out loud, “Why don’t you trust me? Why am I not enough? Why don’t you tell me when you need something from me?


Because even when we know that you’re safe – its scary, insanely scary to let you in.

See, abuse makes us believe a lie. Abuse not only makes someone question, “Can I be loved” – it makes us question, “Can I really love?”

For many, love is terribly confusing. What is love anyway? Can it exist? Does it exist?

And the absolute worst thing about questioning love is that doubt causes us to sit in a place where we can’t really understand or fathom the character of God. I mean, how can I understand God if I don’t even know what love is?

By the way, statistically speaking, since you started watching this video, another 2-3 people in the US have been sexually assaulted. So I have a challenge for those, who like me, have been sexually abused.

Refuse to believe the lie that you’re unworthy of love. Refuse to believe that you are too damaged to love others. But even more than that – I encourage you … no I compel you, never give up on walking in healing.

Don’t just look for love in this world. Look for the God who is love. Seek him out. Run with abandon. And refuse to stop until you feel his comfort.

And for those of you who love someone who has been abused, I challenge you to remind them often that you love them. Know that recovery takes a long time.

While God restores and heals, he often does this through other people. Pray often and ask God how you can be a source of healing for your loved one. And always remember, that just being there is often the most helpful thing you can do.

My prayer for anyone watching this is that the God of all comfort will comfort you AND that you’ll then be able to comfort others.

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