I’ve been reading lately about discussing abusive & traumatic experiences. It seems many people have very definite opinions on the matter. Some think it is the duty of the victim to talk about it, to raise awareness & help other victims. Others think talking puts unfair pressure on the victim, & they’ve been through enough.
It seems to me that in a way, they’re both right.
Proverbs 31:8-9 says,
“8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.” (KJV)
I believe this clearly states that it is right to speak up against abuse. But, if you notice, it says to “speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.” That could be those who are still being abused & unable to escape, but it also could be those who are recently traumatized or even those who only recently realized they were abused (as abusers love to convince victims they are helping, the victim made them hurt them, it isn’t abuse, etc). It can be hard or even impossible to talk about your trauma when you’ve only recently escaped your abuser or learned what was done to you was abuse.
So how do you know what is right for you to do? Pray. Ask God to show you what He would have you to do.
If you feel speaking about your experiences is the answer for you at this time, it can be scary, I know. Lean on God to enable you to do it. Not everyone who discusses their abusive experiences is in the public eye. God may not want you to write a book or blog. He may instead send people across your path periodically who need to hear your story. That calling is no less important than those who are in the public eye. Helping people cope with their pain is an extremely important calling, no matter how it is done.
If you don’t feel the need to discuss your experiences, probably this means you have some healing to do first. Talking about things really isn’t easy. Abusers always make victims afraid to talk. When you first escape the abusive situation or first realize what was done was actually abuse, you may need to think & pray a lot to come to terms with things. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that! Do what you need to do! Prayer, writing in a journal & even writing letters you never show to the abuser are excellent places to start. Never feel bad if you’re in this place! Everyone starts their recovery somewhere, & often it’s alone. Besides, if you hope to be one who can help other victims, you have to be able to do so. Self-care is vital! You have to take care of yourself if you want to be of any help to others.