Home Christian News Here’s What You Need to Know About #WhyIDidntReport

Here’s What You Need to Know About #WhyIDidntReport

Woodson also offers some words of encouragement and advice for those who may find themselves in a similar situation to her own. She writes:

To any other man or woman who has been a victim of sexual abuse, I would like to tell you that you matter and I believe you. What happened to you was not your fault. You deserve healing and an opportunity to live a life free from shame and fear.

If you’re reading this and you too have suffered in silence, I’d like to offer some words of advice.

Confide in someone you trust and seek out support. Working through trauma is painful and difficult but opening up to others can be quite therapeutic, allowing for healing to begin.

Once you are in a safe place with a healthy support system, report the abuse to the proper legal authorities. I know this can be intimidating as there is often no guarantee that the abuser will be held accountable. But reporting to law enforcement will ensure that any investigation will be conducted by trained professionals. It will also begin a paper trail that can be crucial documentation for yourself or possible other victims.

Beth Moore on #WhyIDidntReport

The question “Why didn’t you report sooner” has become so prevalent, it’s spurred the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport, which has been swirling and surging on social media recently. Moore, a sexual abuse survivor, shared her reason on her Twitter account. In a poignantly short sentence, Moore wrote: “He lived in my house.”

As you can imagine, her Tweet elicited hundreds of comments—most sympathizing with Moore and some sharing their own painful stories. However, some comments serve as good examples of a mindset that truly doesn’t understand the trauma of sexual abuse and how difficult it can be to report it. Some took the opportunity to read a hidden agenda behind Moore’s comment—that of siding with Kavanaugh’s accusers. Unfortunately, these people missed the point of Moore’s Tweet entirely.

As Moore explains, the motive behind her Tweet was not to call out Kavanaugh as an abuser, but rather to give some insight into why women have such a hard time reporting abuse. She explains:

While Woodson and Moore talk about women having trouble disclosing abuse, this question also applies to men who have been abused. In a reply to Moore’s Tweet, one follower said, “I’m a grown man now…It approaches both genders…It affected me and still many years later.”

In the era of the #meToo movement, the lower half of the iceberg may very well be all the men who have yet to overcome the emotional and psychological hurdles necessary to disclose abuse, but that is a topic for another article, entirely.

In the meantime, it is up to the first responders of soul trauma (i.e., those in ministry) to understand these issues, to learn how to respond accordingly, and to seek the truth—no matter what idols may be brought down in the process.

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Megan Briggs is a writer and editor for churchleaders.com. Her experience in ministry, an extensive amount of which was garnered overseas, gives her a unique perspective on the global church. She has the longsuffering and altruistic nature of foreign friends and missionaries to humbly thank for this experience. Megan is passionate about seeking and proclaiming the truth. When she’s not writing, Megan likes to explore God’s magnificent creation.