Over the past couple weeks one of the most trending highlights on social media has been the #MeToo campaign. Assuredly, it has captured the attention of many and served as a grievous reminder to how many individuals have been victims of sexual abuse. Author and psychologist, Dr. Diane Langberg, suggests that victims of sexual abuse are often robbed of 3 very important aspects that make up one’s personhood – voice, power, and relationship. While all three of these are highly significant, I would like to spend some time focusing solely on voice.
When we think about the concept of voice and how it presents itself in Scripture, we read that God’s voice is the first to be heard. Right there starting in Genesis 1, He speaks everything into existence using only His voice. The magnitude and power of the voice of God is so immense that whatever He speaks instantly exists.
In the same way, He spoke you and me and all of humanity into existence. After speaking us into existence, he then extended this concept of voice over to us. Just look at Genesis 2 - He left Adam and Eve the task of using their own voices to create names for animals, birds, and the like. Whatever beast and creature God created, Adam and Eve named, and that was its name (v19). Likewise, He leaves us with the power to use our voices to influence those and the world around us. With our voice, we are able to articulate and express ourselves in numerous different ways. However, in the case of sexual abuse, the voice of the abused is trampled. He or she, in a sense, is “shut up”. The victim lives in a world where voices she once trusted now lie, deceive, and distort the truth. The abuse is almost never mentioned and is kept a secret often leaving the victim sitting in a tumultuous amount of shame and utterly silent. Ultimately, according to Diane Langberg, to have been silenced or shut up is to feel powerless. At what point does a victim gain his or her voice back?
The #MeToo campaign has offered a platform for victims to use their voice and I greatly appreciate and commend those who have given such a voice to an event that held influence over them for far too long. While giving voice to such an event is significant, it is important to note that healing of such a trauma does not end once a victim gives voice to it. It’s actually just the beginning. These past few weeks may have been empowering for some but maybe also triggering and painful for others. For those who have experienced the latter, please know that my heart grieves for you and I want to encourage you that you do not have to silently sit in it alone anymore. Whether you have publically responded with #MeToo or not, the injustice that was done to you is not normal nor is it ever okay.
We know that we live in a very fallen, sinful and broken world. However, we are offered hope that it doesn’t just stop there. We also firmly believe that God is actively moving and redeeming this world and we are a part of that process. More specifically, CCM can serve as a platform for the beginning or continuation of the healing journey necessary for those who have suffered sexual abuse or a trauma of any nature. There are a couple ways in which we can help. First, CCM has a few trauma informed therapists on staff who offer individual counseling. Second, starting mid-January 2018, CCM will be hosting healing groups once a week for about 8 weeks using the Healing the Wounds of Trauma curriculum. With this curriculum, we hope to offer women a safe space to speak of their trauma, an empathetic response, and the fellowship of other women who may have walked similar journeys in their own lives.
If you or someone you know is interested in either of the aforementioned options, please do not hesitate to call our center. We were not created to be silenced and to feel powerless. Allow CCM, whether through individual counseling or a healing group, to walk with you through this healing journey. Your voice matters; it always has.
Written by Brianna Consiglio, M.A