Eighteen years of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse and having been gang raped at age 14 I am no longer a slave to fear. Hallelujah and glory be to God.
By Selwyn Duke
Whether you’re a lawmaker considering a “bathroom bill” or some other “transgender”-oriented legislation, or a citizen pondering a vote influencing the matter, you need the facts. The following are 10 “transgender” truths:
Prejudice means to pre-judge and is defined as “an opinion formed beforehand, esp an unfavourable one based on inadequate facts.” For policy to not be based not on prejudice but principle, we must arm ourselves with the facts.
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I called our local Target store today and asked to speak with the manager. When he picked up, I told him that I was very concerned about Target’s stand on allowing anyone to access the ladies restroom.
I could tell that his answer was scripted. He probably had a lot of people calling, and most likely the corporate office sent a memo to their store managers, telling them exactly what to say to people like myself.
He said these words to me:
“Yes, we do allow transgender people to access the restroom in which they most closely identify. We at Target are very “accepting” of everyone, regardless of their sexual identity.”
I said to him “Excuse me, but what if the person is not really a transgender, but is a sexual predator, pretending to be transgender just to gain access to the ladies bathroom? Do you not care about the welfare of women and little girls?”
He said to me that if I wanted to further discuss this, that I would need to call the corporate office. He sounded angry at me. I told him that I would never again step foot into a Target as long as I live. He said that was certainly my choice.
From The Federalist:
A Rape Survivor Speaks Out About Transgender Bathrooms
I read these reports, and my heart starts to race. They can’t be serious. Let me be clear: I am not saying that transgender people are predators. Not by a long shot. What I am saying is that there are countless deviant men in this world who will pretend to be transgender as a means of gaining access to the people they want to exploit, namely women and children. It already happens. Just Google Jason Pomares, Norwood Smith Burnes, or Taylor Buehler, for starters.
There are countless deviant men in this world who will pretend to be transgender as a means of gaining access to the people they want to exploit.
While I feel a deep sense of empathy for what must be a very difficult situation for transgender people, at the beginning and end of the day, it is nothing short of negligent to instate policies that elevate the emotional comfort of a relative few over the physical safety of a large group of vulnerable people.
Don’t they know anything about predators? Don’t they know the numbers? That out of every 100 rapes, only two rapists will spend so much as single day in jail while the other 98 walk free and hang out in our midst? Don’t they know that predators are known to intentionally seek out places where many of their preferred targets gather in groups? That perpetrators are addicts so committed to their fantasies they’ll stop at nothing to achieve them?
Do they know that more than 99 percent of single-victim incidents are committed by males? That they are experts in rationalization who minimize their number of victims? Don’t they know that insurance companies highlight locker rooms as a high-risk area for abuse that should be carefully monitored and protected?
Don’t they know that one out of every four little girls will be sexually abused during childhood, and that’s withoutgiving predators free access to them while they shower? Don’t they know that, for women who have experienced sexual trauma, finding the courage to use a locker room at all is a freaking badge of honor? That many of these women view life through a kaleidoscope of shame and suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, dissociation, poor body image, eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, difficulty with intimacy, and worse?
Why would people knowingly invite further exploitation by creating policies with no safeguards in place to protect them from injury? With zero screening options to ensure that biological males who enter locker rooms actually identify as female, how could a woman be sure the person staring at her wasn’t exploiting her? Why is it okay to make her wonder?
“Wake up!” I want to scream. “Can’t you see what’s going on? Do something about it!”
Despite the many reports of sexual abuse and assault that exist in our world, there’s an even larger number of victims who never tell about it. The reason? They’re afraid no one will believe them. Even worse, they’re terrified of a reality they already innately know to be true: even if people did know, they wouldn’t do anything to help. They’re not worth protecting. Even silence feels better than that.
There’s no way to make everyone happy in the situation of transgender locker room use. So the priority ought to be finding a way to keep everyone safe. I’d much rather risk hurting a smaller number of people’s feelings by asking transgender people to use a single-occupancy restroom that still offers safety than risk jeopardizing the safety of thousands of women and kids with a policy that gives would-be predators a free pass.
Is it ironic to no one that being “progressive” actually sets women’s lib back about a century? What of my right to do my darndest to insist that the first time my daughter sees the adult male form it will be because she’s chosen it, not because it’s forced upon her? What of our emotional and physical rights? Unless and until you’ve lined a bathroom door with a towel for protection, you can’t tell me the risk isn’t there.
For me, healing looks like staring at the little girl in a Polaroid photo and validating her need to be seen, heard, and protected instead of hating it. It looks like telling my story, even the parts I can never make pretty, in hopes it will help break the anonymity of survivors and create a sense of responsibility in others to act.
I still battle my powerlessness to do anything that feels substantial to affect change, but the good Lord didn’t bring me out of Egypt and set my feet upon a rock so I could stand idly by in the face of danger. So even if a little article or Facebook post doesn’t ultimately change the world, it’s better than silent resignation to negligence and harm. I feel a sense of urgency to invite people to consider the not-so-hidden dangers of these policies before more and more of them get cemented into place. Once that happens, the only way they’ll change is when innocent people get hurt.
Consider the not-so-hidden dangers of these policies before more and more of them get cemented into place.
Even if there aren’t hundreds of abusers rushing into locker rooms by the dozens, the question I keep asking myself is, “What if just one little girl gets hurt by this? Would that be enough to make people reconsider it?”
“And what if that little girl was me?” It’s a question I really don’t want to ask. But God’s grace has enabled me to value the face in the photo enough to realize that I have to. And even if I don’t like the answer, at least I wasn’t silent. – source
Oh Lord Jesus – Please come for us!!
There’s a difference between still being a victim of abuse and a survivor of abuse.
A person that still carries the shame, guilt, unforgiveness, has not healed the emotional issues from abuse, or is still being abused is continuing to be a victim.
The person that can stand tall, speak out with no shame, no guilt, and has walked the healing path is a survivor of the abuse that was perpetrated in the past. It isn’t just having “lived through the abuse.” It is a matter of having walked the healing path and by God’s grace has over come the emotional issues and is walking in freedom from the past.
Many people want to be helpful and many think that their questions and statements are innocent and do not affect those that have been abused, be it childhood sexual abuse or spousal rape and abuse, or physical and emotional abuse.
Over the years I have heard many testimonies of the added pain inflicted upon victims and survivors of these types of abuse. I have experienced many of them myself and I can tell you from experience the survivor of abuse may steal herself/himself for the onslaught of “innocent” questions and statements but these questions and/or statements are knives deeply imbedding in the heart of the one who has survived the horrors of abuse.
1. “You could have done something to defend yourself.”
Let me ask you how a small child can defend herself against an adult? Or how can a wife defend herself against a husband that is bigger, stronger and wields some object, including his fist, at her? Or a teen girl or boy defend themselves against an angry father or mother? Children are taught to obey! Obey no matter what the parent says to do! Wives are taught to be “submissive” to their husband.
2. “Why didn’t you just leave?”
In the case of a small child, where would they go? A two-year old cannot support themselves, nor a 5-year-old or 7, 10, or 12-year-old. Teenagers? Some do leave and they end up on the street, homeless, the property of a pimp, or within a gang doing drugs, robbing, stealing, scavenging for food in dumpsters, and the Lord only knows what else. Many do not have relatives that will sympathize and take them in. For the grown woman, some are threatened with death if she ever leaves, she has children to consider, a homeless shelter may be a temporary answer IF they are not full, she may not have ever held a job in her life and has no means of support. The list can go on and on and on. I highly recommend the book, “The Walking Wounded: The Path from Brokenness to Wholeness” by Secret Angel for a better understanding of a wife and mother living with an abusive husband. Available at: www.amazon.com.
3. “Why didn’t you tell someone!”
Many have, most won’t. With young children some have been told to “keep the secret no matter what!” Many were accused of lying, blamed for the assaults, beaten for “telling such lies,” ignored, threatened with family members being killed (and many other guilt-ridden consequences) Most have been subject to mind control from an early age, manipulated and controlled, blamed for the abuse by the abuser. One of the things I was told over and over as a young child, “Just stay away from him!” At two and three years old I was told, “If you wouldn’t sit on your dad’s lap…” We are made to feel it is all our fault! For teenagers some have been actually thrown out of the house at fifteen or sixteen years old or have run away because no-one believed them and the abuse continued. Some married the first guy to come along only to be abused now by a husband. Victims are seldom believed! Males are laughed at. “Men can’t be raped!” If that’s your attitude then read, “Unhelpful Myths About the Sexual Assault and Rape of Men.” Posted on this blog, June 10, 2015.
4. “Well you should have……” or “Why didn’t you…..?
Unless you have been in our shoes there is no way you can even begin to understand or comprehend the dynamics that are or were going on in an abusive home. To lay this kind of condemnation on a victim is to jab the knife in real deep, smile sweetly, and then twist it!
5. “Did you call the police?”
Young children don’t know to do that. Some teenagers do and end up in foster care only to be abused again or bounced from one place to another to another to another. Some, when the police arrive the abuser convinces the police the teen “has some mental problems.” Unless there are obvious bruises and cuts the police will file a report and leave. With adults, many do but out of a false sense of “I love him” or “He loves me” they refuse to press charges once the police have come. Many do not get that opportunity for the control is so great there may not even be a phone available in the home.
6. “Just get over it! It happened a long time ago!”
There is no way that dagger can be shoved any deeper into the heart of the recipient of this remark. It is one of the most devastating, demeaning, accusatory, condemning and hurtful remarks that can be made to a victim of abuse. Particularly sexual abuse or rape. Which by the way, sexual abuse that involves intercourse is rape!
7. “What’s the big deal? It was just sex!”
This shows total ignorance on the part of the speaker. Sexual abuse encompasses the mind, the will, the emotions, and the spirit of the victim. The ramifications and emotional consequences of childhood sexual abuse can last a life time. In spousal abuse, where the wife is raped by the husband (along with beatings, etc.) the same thing applies. The mind, will, and emotions are all involved and emotional damage can be severe as well as possible permanent physical injuries.
8. “I’m sure they (parents) did the best they could.”
In my opinion, there is absolutely no excuse that can be given for a parent to turn his or her back on a child that is being abused emotionally, physically, psychologically, or sexually! There is always something that can be done or someone who is willing to help. We have had police and laws for centuries. By ignoring the abuse happening is emotional abandonment and anyone who knows or even highly suspects abuse is taking place and does nothing is a co-conspirator to the crimes that are being committed. That means by doing “nothing” you are doing “something” – agreeing with, condoning the abuse.
9. “You just need to forgive and move on.”
Oh, this sounds so Christian! And of course this is done in “love.” Again, it shows the ignorance and total disregard for what abuse does to the victim; physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. The emotional pain of the victim is never taken into account with this statement. This statement gives the impression that the horrors the victim has survived are merely minor infractions. “Here’s a band-aid, I’ll kiss it and make it all better.” The knife goes really deep and twisting it hurts even more!
10. “Are you sure it really happened?”
There’s that knife again! Survivors have questioned themselves until they are blue in the face with this very question even though they KNOW it happened. They do not want to believe that someone they trusted and possibly loved would betray them in such a horrific way. It is very difficult to accept the reality of being hurt, betrayed, and used by a loved one. To have this thrown at them turns the knife at least a full turn deep in their heart. Is essence you are calling them a liar and they’ve heard that from many others.
11. “Give it to God and let it go.”
Oh such a simplistic and uncaring statement! Just twist the knife a little more for this is a platitude that many Christians will spew forth when they can’t think of anything intelligent to say. Yes, we seek the Lord, if we are not so angry at Him for not stopping the abuse. Some beg, plead, and scream to the heavens. Many victims of abuse carry great anger and through the grace of God we do heal but to tell us to just hand everything; emotional damage, memories, scars, and what we feel to God like we’re handing Him a stick of gum is irrational on many levels. The issues run deep and much emotional damage has been done. Each issue is dealt with in time with God’s help. We can not put an entire childhood or 20 years of an abusive marriage in a box and just cast it off and go about our merry way.
12. “Maybe it was just a bad dream.”
You have not only stuck the knife in but have slapped the victim hard in the face. In my case, that would have been an 18 year nightmare! When victims of sexual abuse begin therapy, or even before, this thought does come to mind. “Maybe I dreamed it up. It isn’t true.” Again, it is that deep need to not want it to have had it happen. The bruises in spousal abuse prove this was not dream. A night mare in reality but not a dream during sleep. No, we didn’t dream it. We wish we had because we would wake up and it would go away after the 2nd cup of coffee.
13. “Just don’t think about it!”
Total disregard for the hurt, betrayal, physical and emotional wounding of victim! Absolutely no compassion is being shown. Victims do not have control over what the Lord will bring to mind that He may deem as time to deal with or the memories popping up “out of nowhere.” Walk away from this person! They do not have a heart for your pain and will only cause more.
14. “Well you must have done something wrong!”
In other words, “It’s all your fault!” We’ve heard this from the first encounter, be it as a child or an adult. Abusers NEVER take the blame! It is ALWAYS placed on someone or something else (usually the victim) and the knife is being twisted around and around as it has been sunk very deep into the heart of the victim. The child victim is NEVER to blame! With adults, there’s no excuse for a man to hit a woman, ever! Or a woman to hit a man unless in self-defense.
Are you ready? Here is the one that tops all that I have heard over the years! Out of the mouth of a youth pastor that had a seventeen year old victim living with he and his wife to escape the sexual abuse at home came these mighty words of wisdom so confidently spoken to me:
15. “A one time rape is more devastating to the victim than continual sexual molestation, they get used to it.”
I’m still speechless!
Am I saying not to talk to survivors of abuse? NO! I’m saying be sympathetic, compassionate, and caring. If the person brings up the subject, listen before speaking. Think long and hard what questions you may want to ask. If you are sincere in learning more about what we have to face as the results from the atrocities done to us ask if there are any books we might recommend. Don’t give the platitude or outright lie by saying, “I know just how you feel.” NOT IF YOU HAVEN’T WALKED IN OUR SHOES!
Some survivors, like me, are willing to answer even the questions that you never should have asked. But that’s only because I have had years of therapy and by God’s grace and Christ’s healing I can stand up to the intrusive and inconsiderate questions and remarks. Many survivors will wilt, feel condemned, and damage beyond belief can be done. Words hurt! Words can be that knife in the heart!
Many victims of abuse are sensitive, guilt ridden, filled with shame, low self-esteem, angry, hurt, and pain so deep only God can bring it into the light. Many continue to feel isolated, unloved, dirty, and unworthy of anything positive.
Love them to life!
Feel free to add additional hurtful comments in the comment box. People need to be aware of how they can help, not hurt.
Blessings to you.
“Heal me, Oh Lord, and I will be healed.” Jer. 17:14
ATTENTION SEXUAL ABUSE SURVIVOR’S – MALE AND FEMALE
The Lord has impressed on my heart to start a new blog, “Cyber Support Group” Hope, Healing, & Deliverance for sexual abuse survivors.
I have ministered to both men and women survivor’s of childhood sexual abuse over the years and led Christian based support groups for women survivor’s for eleven years. I have never done an internet support group and am totally relying on the Holy Spirit to lead me. He is faithful.
If you are a survivor or know someone who was sexually abused I ask that you share this blog site with them. Support groups are few and far between. In my experience I have found them to be of great value in the healing process. This is a new endeavor on my part and although there are many wonderful sites offering encouragement, the Cyber Support Group will require active participation.
Be sure to read the “About “ – it will give you the information about the support group. I just published the first article and am praying it will be informative to not just survivors (we know what abuse is) but to shed light on misnomers and heighten awareness.
Go to: http://www.cybersupportgroup.org There’s also a “follow” box.
If you have confidential questions feel free to e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Blessings to you.