Sexual abuse and rape are very real and life altering events that occur in the life of all too many men and women. According to I Am My Brother's Keeper Christian Advocacy Council
* 1 In 7 men have been sexually molested
* 25% Of women have experienced sexual abuse
* Less than 30% of sex crimes are reported
* 80 - 90% of sex offenders assault people they know
These statistics are thought to be much worse because the majority of sex crimes go unreported.
"As most children do I kept quiet because I didn't know if this was caused by something that I was doing. Plus I didn't want my mother to get upset with me because I knew that she really cared about this individual."
Such was the case of former Basketball Wives star, Tami Roman. One could never tell that Ms. Roman, a self described "fighter", also the former wife of former NBA star Kenny Anderson (there are a lot of "formers" here), former runner up in a Ms. Black California Pageant and former "Real World" star, is also a former victim of rape and molestation that went unreported for years.
As found in a 2012 article of Real Health Magazine, According to Ms. Roman, now 44, she was kidnapped at age 21, raped, and held captive for 4 days before her captors let her go. This was a sad followup to a childhood in which molestation took place at age 8 by her mother's then boyfriend, who was in the home and took advantage of her, when her mother would leave for work.
At the height of "Basketball Wives", one of the noticeable things about Tami's personality on the show was her ability to bully and be brash. That began when she was much younger as a sort of defense mechanism:
"I became defiant and rude and acted out in school. My mother knew there was something wrong, but I just explained things by telling her I didn't like this man, I didn't disclose why."For Tami, therapy was an important path to helping her heal from these very tragic and life changing events.
"I have to say that I did not know that my deep rooted anger or the way I deal with people stemmed from these things and the fact that I was holding them in for so many years. That didn't come out until I started therapy"
The Silence & Isolation Of Abuse
I have often said that a person is victimized a second time by the silence of those who could help, but fail to do so. I certainly yet hold to that premise and will continue to deal with my advocacy for those who suffer from sexual abuse and molestation as a result of their relationship with the church and religious institutions, and especially those who have suffered within my church, the Church Of God In Christ, Inc. Memphis, TN.
However, I want to take special time to minister to those individuals who come across this blog who may think that their life is over because of these atrocities. I want to say, your life is NOT over and you mean something to God. The critic says if you meant something to God, he would have stopped this from happening. The fact is that bad things happen to all people, even very good people, all the time. If there can be found any strength, it is in the fact that what happened to you did not kill and or destroy you. Because it did not and could not do that, you are already an overcomer and made stronger than you ever imagined.
As I present this article, I am aware that abuse and molestation has no age boundaries and healing has no time limits. As a result of abuse, many have had to struggle with serious issues about one's own sexuality and even sexual identity. I know the path and the road has not been easy. Healing is a lifetime process.
Reconciling the issues of self-worth and assessing one's own self-value may be the proposition and effort of one's life. These facts are often underestimated when it comes to sex and sexual abuse. The prevailing thought is that, "it was just sex"...but it was not "just sex". It was a violation of your being, both physically and spiritually.
As the abused, or as the family of a victimizer, who often are overlooked, you didn't ask for the hand that was dealt to you. Although the selfish acts of another has damaged you in the wake, you have been given the ability to overcome anything that has been sent your way. Some of you may not be religious. Some may not have ever called on God or trusted in anyone or anything that you couldn't see with your eyes. that's OK, God loves you for who you are, and he loves you so much that his intent towards you is not to leave you as you were.
Healing, You Deserve It
First, don't wast any time trying to convince anyone of your pain. Having to convince others of your pain and victimization and that you are not right mentally or physically, and that you have experienced nothing less than a life changing and life altering event such as this, is one of the most damaging parts of the healing processes. That effort alone can continues to set you back and causes you to relive the pain of abuse over and over. You can be free and deserve your freedom.
John 8:36 ~ If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Romans 10:10 ~ For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
2 Cor. 5:17 ~ Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Share Your Story
Personally, I would like to hear your story. I may even feature it here or on the I Am My Brother's Keeper site so that others will be encouraged and inspired. You may save not only yourself and your most close loved ones, but countless individuals who are sitting on the edge wondering if there is any hope.
Feel free to share your story in the comments section or anonymously via email at Dunamis1@netzero.com or Imbkcac@gmail.com Thank you.