Monday, February 08, 2010

Child Molestation

"When a child is abused, their spirit is killed."-Oprah Winfrey

I know people personally who have been victims of molestation. I have seen, heard, prayed, and cried with those who have been abused by those they trusted: friends, siblings, parents, and even pastors. I'm so saddened by this deeply, hurtful reality of life. Oprah Winfrey, who needs no introduction, sat with four men convicted of child molestation and heard their stories, interviewing and asking hard questions to uncover what has happened to millions.

You can watch this episode here.

This Oprah Winfrey show rattled me, frustrated me. Honestly, I was sick, sad, disgusted..PISSED OFF. I'm a parent of two girls. I listened to men who raped, manipulated and took advantage of little girls...children. These men KNEW their victims personally. They had relationships with these girls. They earned their trust, groomed these girls, and took advantage of that. One man molested his own daughter.

I was propelled to pray for molestation victims, for healing, and for God's power to set them free. If you, or anyone you know is a victim, would you stop right now and pray. May God's love come over you, may you/they believe, feel, and follow him and understand his closeness.

It was hard not to self-righteously judge these men. I want justice, and these four men are paying the price of their actions. But at one point I consciously had to remind myself that I am just as loved by God as these men. And God can and will forgive these men if they ask, seek, and receive it from God...just as I have been forgiven for the way I have sinned against God and others. (Next week, Oprah said she will have interviews with mothers, babysitters, and others..women who have committed such crimes).

I appreciated this interview because these men exposed tactics that parents, anyone who cares for children, need to know. One man said he had power over his victim because the parents of his victim neglected their daughter. This is another motivation for parents to prioritize loving their children. The convicted molesters said that parents need to look for cues, watch their children with other adults around them, and trust instincts. "Kids don't lie about being touched, listen to the children." And if you are being molested today: TELL SOMEBODY. It is not your fault.

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