Many years ago while I was living back in California There was a child abuse case that had me enraged. I was not personally involved in it but as I read the newspaper article I could not believe who had been abusing these children. A C.P.S. worker whose job was to transport these children had been molesting children who were already victims of abuse during transport. This man who was supposed to be a protector had victims literally dropped into his lap. Though he was convicted he received a sentence that shocked me on how short it was and was being released to live in my neighborhood. As I read this article I remember my mother to telling me I needed to stop reading the news because it upset me too much.
The outrage was not mine alone neighbors were afraid of having a sex offender who victimized children in their neighborhood. This man was supposed to protect these already traumatized children. It was his job. He was a first responder to emergency situations where children had to be immediately removed from homes. In my eyes this man is a monster who preyed on the weak and injured. I could not believe that after being convicted this man was given such a light sentence which seemed to be not much more than a slap on the wrist.
So after all these years why write about it now? To be honest I do not know what brought this back to my mind. He was not the one who had abused me. Yet the memory of this incident is fresh in my mind today. There are so many children in the world today who are being abused in one way or another. Who is protecting them? Who is fighting for them? Thankfully there are some groups who are doing this but they are limited in what they can do. They can’t prevent what is being done and are not able to know about victims until it is too late for some.
Those who are in the homes and lives of these children are the first line of defense. Yet how many times is a blind eye turned. People do not want to get involved and even worse when one parent knows what is going on but does nothing. What are these children supposed to think? Who can they trust? What happens to them? How does this effect the person they grow up to be?
T.D. Jakes made a movie Woman Thou Art Loosed that was based on a woman who had been sexually abused as a child and how as an adult it was still effecting her life. Tyler Perry’s movie, Family Reunion included a story of one of the daughters who had not only been molested by her stepfather the mother even groomed her daughter for her husband. How unfortunate that even though these movies are fictional they are based on things that happen in real life. Real victims who have people in their lives who turn their backs on them. People who could stop the pain and suffering. Parents, family, friends, care takers, and neighbors to name those who are closest to these children. For what ever reason they do not get involved they do nothing to protect these children. Yet these same people turn and blame God not realizing that God wanted to work through them, to use them to protect and defend. In the movie, The Encounter, there is a scene that I remember vividly. In this scene a teenage girl who had been sexually abused by her stepfather was yelling at Jesus asking Him where was He? His response has stuck with me. He said, ‘I was there yelling into his ear to stop’ but because of free will, all He could do was plead with her stepfather. Yes God is powerful enough to stop us in our tracks but He does not because of the gift of free will. Something He won’t give to just one and deny another. We are His hands and feet. He wants us to take action to be watchmen and guards who protect.
Ephesians 6:4 ESV Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
John 17:15 ESV I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.
I grew up believing my mother left me to my father who had abused her and then becoming the one he abused. Angry that she had left me behind only to save herself. Unfortunately it was only six years ago that I learned she had to make a sacrifice that she never spoke of. After one very horrifying act against my mother, he threatened her with me and my brother. Making it clear that if she did not leave us with him and give him custody I would not be alive today. There were relatives of his that knew what he was doing yet did nothing and even let me believe the terrible things he said to me about her. Even to this day they defend him. As I grew up my mother even let me speak any disrespectful words about him around her. She did not defend herself either. I am only sorry that we had only began to heal our relationship before she died suddenly of a massive stroke. I am still heartbroken that t took a tragedy inflected upon me by my stepmother and father to reveal what was done to her, how much of my life was wasted being angry at her and the guilt and shame she lived with so I could still be alive today. She couldn’t stop him from hurting me but she did keep me alive and for this I will be forever grateful. I know this is just a small piece of my life. At least I can say now I know she did her best to protect me. (I love and miss you Momma.)