Does God Care About A Rape Victim?

25 Aug

Here is a place where you’re allowed to be angry, hopeful, triumphant.

After doing a series on famous people who have lived through rape (read part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4 here if you’re interested), I wasn’t planning to write anything depressing as my next post, but today I was hit by a nasty wave of depression. Have you ever had a day where everything suddenly feels hopeless and futile? The kind where you find yourself crying so hard that you can’t talk, your thoughts are dark, and every bone in your body aches from the pain of just existing? That’s the kind of depression I’m feeling. To pretend like it’s anything else would be dishonest of me.

"Footprints in the Sand"

After my second rape and the psychological aftermath, I’ve found that I spend a lot of time questioning why I’m alive, and also where God is in all of it. If you know my story, you might remember that I once was a religious Christian. I grew up Catholic and went to church with my family every Sunday, and I was the kind of kid that loved the idea of a great fatherly spirit watching over me – maybe because I grew up in an unloving household. I always believed that God was my only guaranteed friend, and when I became an adult and decided that the Catholic faith wasn’t for me, I still wanted to be part of a church and still wanted to know how to be closer to Him. I wasn’t “Cathy Christian” at all, I mean, I still sinned like everybody else. But I tried to live by the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments and was introduced to a church that I thought supported those beliefs. That was where I met N, the man who raped me last year and pretty much destroyed my public reputation and life.

I don’t understand why God would allow so many miserable things to happen to me, all in such a short span of time. I’m trying to file a lawsuit against N for personal injury with the evidence I’m still holding, but I’m frustrated because although I’ve contacted a handful of lawyers this week looking for representation, I haven’t heard from anyone. I still remember what it felt like to have the district prosecutor’s office call me in July and tell me that my case wasn’t worth pursuing, even though the recorded confession that I had from N was what got the prosecution to take the case in the first place. What will I do if no lawyer wants to represent me even for a civil charge? I don’t even want to imagine being cast aside again. I don’t think I can bear that agony again.

But that’s what happens to so many rape victims around the world, and also sexual abuse victims, incest victims, victims who were molested … they never get justice. According to RAINN – the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network founded by alternative rock singer Tori Amos – 15 out of every 16 rapists will never spend a day in jail. Of the estimated 39% of attacks that are reported to the police, only 16.3% of those reports lead to a jail sentence for a rapist.

Isn’t God keeping track of all of this?

I was taught that God is all-seeing and all-powerful, and that even though He doesn’t just hand out blessings and happiness like a spiritual Santa Claus, He is a God of justice and mercy. It was hard for me to see where some atheists and unbelievers are coming from until very recently. I don’t mean to give the impression that I’m trying to convince anyone reading of being for or against any religion – I believe in religious tolerance even if I am/was a Christian. But now I can’t decide what I believe anymore, and I feel rather betrayed at times for trusting God. I’ve stopped going to the church where N and Pastor D are, and haven’t really felt the need to look for another church of any kind. I don’t pray that much anymore, just sort of argue with God and cry – it feels like I’m really talking to myself. It’s like, what is the point of all this suffering? To teach me a lesson in how to absorb pain? Why does God deny justice to the family of a 4-year-old child that’s molested and murdered by a psycho caretaker? Why does God allow the courts to throw out complaint after complaint and devastate so many victims trying to seek help from the legal system? Should anyone look at the example life of a suffering or paralyzed victim and be excited to believe in God?

Today I really don’t know what to think, but I’m welcoming any and all feedback. I know somebody out there can help me find some clarity.

17 Responses to “Does God Care About A Rape Victim?”

  1. Child_of_God August 29, 2011 at 11:16 am #

    God does care about u. There is evil in this world as much as there is God. the devil is also at work trying to destroy all the good works of God.God is all seeing and He is a God of justice. Only God knows why this happend to you and it did not happen in vain.There is a reason for everything that happens. Don’t lose ur faith in God because of this. He is still the same loving God. Ur story could help alot of people, and Jesus did say that we should all take up our crosses and follow Him. nobody said being Christian would be easy. thats why u have to perserve through all the trials and tribulations of life. God loves u and he never stopped loving u. He grieved when u were raped, for u r His child and He doesnt want u to suffer and when you do suffer, you do not suffer in vain. I am really sorry that this happend to u.

    • E. A. August 29, 2011 at 9:49 pm #

      I really appreciate your message of support, Child of God, and thank you so much for commenting! When you’re hurting deeply it’s hard to keep focus on anything, really, besides what’s bothering you. I hope in soon time, your message makes the same sense in my head that it does in my heart, and also that it will be helpful to other victims – whether or not they have a religious faith.

  2. Sue Martin October 19, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    Where is the evidence of God’s love in her life? He died on the cross so her abuser could be forgiven. She is supposed to forgive HIM ! Doesn’t God care about HER needs?
    Where is there any evidence God cares about HER ! It seems God only cares about the perpertrator — HIUS forgiveness – his needs. First she is violated and on toip of it She gets to feel guilty if she can’t forgive him. More pain for HER! What good is God’s love if she never sees it?

    • E. A. December 5, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

      Sometimes it’s like what you’ve written is word for word what I’m feeling, Sue Martin. I don’t think it’s wrong to question what’s going on with God, sort of like how little kids see nothing wrong with badgering their parents for answers about every little thing with an innocent “Why?” But like parents in relation to their young children, I also believe God recognizes that there are many things that are just outside the realm of our understanding as created human beings. It doesn’t make it easier to be confused, though, but it’s a comfort for me believing He’s still in control.

  3. A Caring Friend January 14, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    You certainly have a right to every question that you raise. You earned a voice through what you have suffered. But I am here to tell you that God definitely is the same loving God you always thought you had. For the perps in your life, this is NOT the end. THey will face a day beyond what their worst day in court could have been like, and a Judge who aint listenin to their smooth talk any longer. THey are going to face Your Father and He is NOT going to take any of this lightly. Your day in court is coming sweet friend. You have to believe this is NOT OVER, and that is where trust comes in. I think trust might be the hardest word in the whole word. Even faith you can “do” with half a brain, but trust means holding on… Sweet friend, when you hear that my heart is filled with pain, my eyes are filled with tears, and my arms long to tenderly hold you… and I never even MET you, do not doubt that the LOVE you seek from the Father is very very real, and He is a very “present help in time of need”… the Lord will use others who walk this earth to comfort and embrace you. All you have to do is be willing. You have every right to every ounce of your anger. God made hell to punish the evil that makes you sick at heart. He has not gone anywhere and they are all going to be very, very suprised one day. Please know that you are not alone. Jesus does understand. They stripped and humiliated him and He allowed it, just for you. If you were the only one in the world He would have gone through with it.

    • Steve January 30, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

      I too survived a rape I was a 14 year old boy and I had no one to tell I had been told that god was a stern king who did not care now over 30 years later I am learning that God does care dear one God always has your back he must be a marine he is always faithful

      • byun January 31, 2014 at 11:38 am #

        I was also rape when I was growing up in South Korea for two years. I was really young at that time and I am also a special needs child. My parents walked away from me but GOD DID NOT WALK AWAY because he loves me no matter what.

      • E. A. April 24, 2014 at 1:50 am #

        May God forgive your parents, but God bless you all the more for being able to write so bravely about what you’ve gone through, byun. I couldn’t imagine suffering a sexual assault as a child. You are definitely loved.

      • E. A. April 24, 2014 at 1:57 am #

        I like that line, “He must be a marine, he is always faithful”. I guess at times, many times, it’s really hard for me to see and appreciate that God is there. I’m taking it on faith at this point, because while I’m in a low I don’t have anything else to hold on to but blind helpless faith 😦

  4. Gio March 24, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

    Hey, girl. I stumbled across your blog last night in a state of morose weariness. I am still haunted by the past, no matter how much time passes. I too am a survivor of multiple rapes. I too was raised in a “Christian” home to very abusive parents. And thus, I too have struggled for yeeeeears to trust or even really believe in God. Even struggling with bouts of hatred and resentment toward Him.

    I asked the same questions. “Where were You?” “Why did you let this happen? Again and again?!” “Where is Your so-called justice?” “Why me?” “Why didn’t those men just kill me?” “How long will You hide Your face from me?” “How long will You forget Your servant?” Most of my journals over the years seem to be a modernized reworking of Psalms. So many tears. So many questions. Unanswered. Unresolved. Unhealed. For so many years.

    But I have noticed my softening toward Him over time as I keep asking. Keep seeking. Keep knocking. He has revealed Himself to me in so many ways and on so many occasions, I can no longer doubt His existence. I have begged Him to show me where He was when those horrific acts were done to me. And I have begged Him to show me His heart for people like us. And He has been faithful to do it. In my seeking of answers, I have discovered these undeniable truths that I feel so strongly led to share with you:

    Words Yahweh audibly spoke to me:
    “I will restore you from the years the locusts have eaten.”
    ~Joel 2:25a [Oct 2005]

    “He set my feet on a solid rock” which comes from:
    “I waited patiently for Jehovah;
    He turned to me and heard my cry.
    He brought me up out of an horrible pit,
    out of the miry clay.
    He set my feet on a solid rock,
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
    He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God Yahweh.
    Many will see and fear,
    and put their trust in Adonai.”
    ~Psalm 40:1-3 [16 Nov 2010]
     

    My anchors of hope:
    “He will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the dimly burning flame.
    He will encourage the fainthearted, those tempted to despair.
    He will see full justice given to all who have been wronged.”
    ~Isaiah 42:3
     
    “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me,
    because Adonai has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
    He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
    to proclaim the year of Adonai’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God Yahweh,
    to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion.
    To bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
    the oil of joy instead of mourning,
    and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
    They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of Adonai
    for the display of His splendor.”
    ~Isaiah 61:1-3 [Yeshua’s life mission, and I feel is mine, as well]
     
    “My beloved speaks and He says to me:
    ‘Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.
    For behold, the winter is past;
    the rain is over and gone.
    The flowers appear on the earth,
    the time of singing has come,
    and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
    The fig tree ripens,
    and the vines are in blossom;
    they give forth their fragrance.
    Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.'”
    ~Song of Solomon 2:10-13
     
    “Remember not the former things,
    nor consider the things of old.
    Behold, I am doing a new thing;
    now it springs forth,
    do you not perceive it?
    I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.”
    ~Isaiah 43:18-19
     
    “I have said these things to you that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you WILL have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.”
    ~John 16:33
     
    “For those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!
    [S]he who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing
    shall come home joyfully, carrying [her] sheaves with [her].”
    ~Psalm 126:5-6
     
    “Find rest, O my soul, in Yahweh alone; my hope comes from Him.
    He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold;
    I will not be shaken.”
    ~Psalm 62:5-6
     
    “Teach me Your way, O LORD, and I will live by Your truth.
    Give me an undivided heart so I will fear Your name.”
    ~Psalm 86:11
     
    “I am Adonai your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.”
    ~Leviticus 26:13
     
    “Adonai appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.'”
    ~Jeremiah 31:3
     
    “Set Me as a seal on your heart,
    as a seal on your arm.
    For love is as strong as death;
    ardent love as unrelenting as the grave.
    Love’s flames are fiery flames –the fiercest of all.
    Mighty waters cannot extinguish love;
    even rivers cannot sweep it away.”
    ~Song of Solomon 8:6-7
     
    “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free — stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
    ~Galatians 5:1
     
    “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
    ~Galatians 6:9
     
    “And He who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also He said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'”
    ~Revelation 21:5
      
    “Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”
    ~Isaiah 44:22
      
    “Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning upon her Beloved?”
    ~Song of Solomon 8:5a
     
    “This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.”
    ~Psalm 119:50

    Quotes that fill my sails:
    –“Your emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled, and your casting down is but the making ready for your lifting up.”
    –“God helps those who cannot help themselves.”
    –“A Jesus who never wept could never wipe away my tears.”
    –“If you can’t see His way past the tears, trust His heart.”
    –“Hope itself is like a star–not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity.”
    –“Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be denied.”
    ~Charles Spurgeon

    “Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our troubles.”
    ~Charlie Chaplin

    “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
    ~C.S. Lewis

    “Thou hast created us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart is not quiet until it rests in Thee.”
    ~St. Augustine

    “I like to think that we’re not defined by what happens to us…because so many times they’re beyond our control. I like to think that we’re defined by our choices and our decisions.”
    ~Elizabeth Smart

    “All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.”
    ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Anyway, I truly hope this is a help to you in this search for truth, E. A. It has been a hard road to follow – this healing path. But in the end, it will be worth every step.

    I have not read all of your entries yet, but I have picked up on the mentioning of a falling out with your church in the aftermath. For that, I am truly sorry. I too experienced something similar in the aftermath of my experiences, as well. It took years to forgive the injustice and pain caused by that church, and my anger with God for allowing it to happen. Which only added more ammunition for me to not trust Him or His so-called followers. Working through it started with a decision to see His followers as separate from Him. As fallible humans who make mistakes. They were wrong, but they were not representing Christ when they did it. The same principle goes for my parents who planted the early seeds of hatred towards God with their heinous conduct. They were wrong, and were not presenting an accurate picture of who God truly is.

    If this cold, dead heart could be brought back to life by our Jehovah Rapha’s (the God who heals) mending touch, there’s truly hope for anyone. He will reveal Himself to those who earnestly seek Him. Keep asking. Keep seeking. Keep knocking. I have hope for your full and complete healing and restoration, Miss. I truly do.

    • E. A. April 24, 2014 at 1:48 am #

      Thank you for this touching comment, Gio :-D. You quoted some of my favorite passages from the Bible.
      I haven’t forgotten our e-mail conversation. I’ll write back to you this week.

  5. hannah April 14, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

    I don’t know what to say to you.I have no idea really what to say to you to comfort you.I just hope you find some peace some happiness.Dear just do what you feel or need to be happy.Fuck N’s happiness. You know what,you owe nothing to anyone.Not even God.God owes you happiness.You owe God NOTHING.You only owe yourself.You need happiness.You get it anyhow you want to.You say or do anything you want to be happy.

    • E. A. April 24, 2014 at 2:01 am #

      My sentiments exactly, today. Who knows how I’ll feel tomorrow. I’m really starting to resent this victim’s emotional rollercoaster. Thanks for your comment, hannah.

  6. Daniel October 27, 2015 at 1:18 am #

    Hi. Jesus does understand. He went through those same feelings and emotions. I know this as I went through this and spent years with this struggle. Remember this world is ruled by sin. People like Hitler proofs it. There are many, many things that happens that God does not want to happen to us. He wants to free us from this World. He loves you and knows that pain you feel when you want to scream without making noise, sleep without closing your eyes and feel utterly alone and abandoned. Your heart physically pains. Jesus went through this and He is by your side. Just sit with Him.

  7. Unisus January 23, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

    Truthfully, God is the only protecting you; that is, most of the time we are safe because many people for thousands of years have chosen to believe in God. That is, they feel the war of good vs. evil in their hearts and it gives them SITE in their HEARTS of LOVE. They can sense evil, and they can sense good; not everyone can sense everything, though, unless they’ve been through a lot to acquire the perception (the light of truth).

    Wisdom comes through feeling; it isn’t just a bunch of words people read, sit in a church, and go, “Okay I’m wise and cool now.” Also, wisdom isn’t a bunch of drug addicts sitting around screwing up their lives or other people’s—or rapists for that matter—and claiming that their recklessly indulgent havoc is wisdom. It can be, but I don’t think the highest wisdom is acquired through violating others. It must be balanced out

    God is the superconsciousness of the entire species, not unlike you are a consciousness of trillions of cells. In the human realm—not unlike in the ant world, or fish world—we are doing our best to rise up to the conscious level of the highest heavenly realms. However, there is a superconscious spirit known as the devil; it is a collection of individuals who do not believe in God. They therefore do not resonate with the war of good & evil; instead, they decide for themselves what is good & bad—and they follow whatever desires their bodies give them

    If they can get away with something, they will; if they can acquire something, they will. Their modesty & purity is usually the appearance of prudence because it has a social influence; maybe they have a bit of a conscience but spend most of their time rewiring it to suit their selfishness, so they act with a degree of reason but are by no means divine … All they do disintegrates into selfish behavior ultimately.

    Our human societies are trying to network and build together the light of love (wisdom) by manifesting God within creation. We write laws, blog posts, make art, form organizations, etc. Sometimes justice can be acquire easily … Often times entire cultures are lacking a manifest wisdom.

    It doesn’t mean God doesn’t love you, just that you’ve been let down. Maybe lawyers in free market capitalism are frequently all about the money; afterall, capitalism is a nepotist & racist’s game with all the inheritance laws & whatnot favoring the harboring of power through familial transference. What justice you can receive, my friend, is knowing that most of the time you were protected; this was the reflection of eons of social evolution & courageous martyrs just like yourself.

    Your rape is a great misfortune, and tragedy; at times you may scream to God in agony & horror—in all your powerlessness, to the most powerful … But you have been heard, somehow—and in some way you’re wiser for all that has happened and your soul is better off. I am willing to bet you wouldn’t trade your wisdom for anything. Not that it makes what happened okay; it doesn’t. But you are better prepared to deal with a world of chaotic charmers & users who with all their might wish to have you believe that it wasn’t Goodness (God/Good) that gave you anything of personal worth, power, justice, protection, mercy, or reason ever in your life. Every day, It does—and you are not just simply ruined; those, who in all the deafness of your heart—that would rape you—are ruined. They are clearly so blind that they’ve endured many years, if not an entire lifetime, devoid of the precious infinite gifts of heavenly sight. The price to gaining this sight of justice will be the same, in the path of the soul: Pain & pleasure.

  8. Bre August 1, 2016 at 9:36 am #

    we may not have all the answers but God does please keep seeking him even in the end days churches will deceive you but there are some out there and some people around that understand seek the kingdom of God first and all will be given to you please don’t give up I know this believe and forgive

  9. antago August 9, 2016 at 11:01 am #

    I think it is easy for God to forgive because he has seen it all before. He knows when it will heal and how long. God sees things from an eternal point of view, so while you might be hurt for decades he isn’t going to harbor hate for decades against someone (which is a waste of time) but that doesn’t mean he isn’t going to watch over you for decades while you heal. I also don’t think God just exempts people of their crimes; there is justice.

    The biggest problem is that the wicked are emotionally blind so they won’t be open to enduring karma. They actively run from it. Their heart is not open to it. But eventually when their heart wants to open, the Spirit will come back around with the karma they’ve built up “in heaven”, to teach them what they have asked to know through their own crimes.

    That is, what they failed to learn will bring them lessons.

    God is patient with karma, not hateful; and he doesn’t just forgive the wicked, but he does forgive the sinner and there is a difference. This forgiveness isn’t a pardon, either; forgiveness is something different.

    Forgiveness is understanding that the cycles of reincarnation, and the eternal circle of the soul; that is, time is infinite. We are often so focused on the moment that the notion of time is confusing; the moment does not die, the energy just recycles.

    Those who do wrong to others have hurt themselves; in order to join the land of the living (the conscious), we will have to find ways to awaken in consciousness. The biggest problem is understanding when someone is mentally ill or not, and finding ways to pardon their actions based upon these illnesses without worshipping or pitying them.

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