Tag Archives: God

“God Does Care”: A Letter of Encouragement from a Rape Survivor

2 Sep

This morning I got an e-mail from a new reader named “Chloe”. With her permission, I’d like to share what she wrote:

Hi E.A,

I just wanted to say that I absolutely love your blog. I found [Willing To Survive] from a search on Fran Drescher.

I am a single mother in my 30s. My 7-year-old son is the product of a date rape. I never spoke about it. I thought about abortion all through my pregnancy and I tried to kill myself so many times. When my son was born I hated him.

I think about the past now and I’m so thankful because I’m not that scared angry girl anymore. Finding a therapy group at a Bible church in my neighborhood helped me in ways I cant even describe. The people in my group taught me how to fall in love with my son, they became my friends, they helped me find confidence and a new job, and they showed me who God is.

I just wanted to answer your question from before and say that God does care about us. If God could show me that he cares, then he can show anyone. You already wrote about my favorite preacher Joyce Meyer, so here’s an inspirational article she wrote. Maybe it can help someone else too. [posted below]

Please keep writing for [Willing To Survive], because people need to know that there is hope and life after rape.

God bless you

Chloe

The article Chloe mentioned can be found here: Abuse and the Miracle of Recovery.

Thank you, Chloe, for sharing your experience and thinking of reaching out to others. I remember how desperate I was for an answer when I wrote my first post about God; your letter of encouragement is so heart-warming. I hope you’ll consider writing here again in the future.

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.