Week of:
Oct 12, 2018

Forgiving myself after being sexually abused

Dear Alice,

I am now 20 years old. When this situation took place, I was 16 or 17. I was living with this family that went to my church, and the lady's husband kept coming on to me. At this time, my parents were divorcing and I was depressed. I was so scared of this man because he was a giant compared to me. He kept asking me if he could touch my thighs. I kept telling him no because it was wrong, but I didn't tell anyone. I wouldn't even eat at night because I was afraid he would try to rape me.

So one day I came home from church a little earlier than the others did. He came in and waited until I got out of the bathroom. He sat me down on a chair and he kept touching me. I was so in shock that I couldn't move. That day he entered me and I didn't push him away, but I was crying and felt sick. Later on that week, he came into the basement where I stayed, and he performed oral sex on me. I felt really bad, but then again I did enjoy it. I felt so confused and cheap because after he was done he left $100.00 on my table. I felt like a slut. Then after a few weeks of him not even looking at me, I decided to talk to him and tell him that I was sorry and that we couldn't do it anymore and that we had to ask God for forgiveness.

My question is was it my fault for being in this situation or is he at fault for taking advantage of me? I have forgiven him, but I still have to work on forgiving myself. To me that is a very hard task because he is one of the elders in the church. What should I do?

Sister in abusive relationship

Dear Alice,

I am having a problem with somebody else's relationship. It's my sister. I love her dearly and I know that she is being beaten by her boyfriend. She is tied to him by the fact that she has a child of six months by him. She doesn't want to come to her family for help. I think that this is largely because she is ashamed of herself and his behavior toward her. I simply cannot "mind my own business" because I am genuinely worried for her safety and the safety of my niece.

Part of me wants her to sort the problem out for herself, but she is so immature and is used to having men do things for her. This has been going on for some time now. What can I do to stop him?

Concerned Sibling

What about emotional abuse?

Dear Alice,

I notice in your mental health section, you only have info on sexual abuse. What is emotional abuse? I've heard a lot about it lately, but it doesn't seem very real to me. How can simply being called names, or whatever, be as devastating as people say? Short of being threatened with murder, what people say is just words. I can't seem to find very good articles about emotional abuse on the web.

Thank you,