April 13, 2008
I am in my forties and was raised in the southwest in a professing family, third generation. At about age 13 (until age 16 or so), a trusted member of our meeting began showing interest in me. He was single but about 15 years older than I was.
Every opportunity he had, he would hug, kiss and touch me. I was flattered, I guess, at his interest. This progressed to reaching under my shirt, rubbing my legs under my dress, touching me through my underwear and placing my hand on his private parts. He was forceful with his advances even when I said no. Luckily, this happened in semi-public, so he had to stop when I told him no. This happened after meetings or at church get togethers.
I didn’t tell because I fantasized about dating him when I was old enough and believed his spoken love for me. I was sad when he moved away and never contacted me again. In hindsight, I see it was the best thing possible. I never told anyone about it after I got older because I was afraid I wouldn’t be believed. I’ve learned since that this person came from a family where sexual abuse was known to have happened.
Why was this fact kept a secret? I’ve kept this a secret until the past year, but it has affected me negatively in many ways throughout my life. I began having sex at an early age and was promiscuous. I never connected these and other facts of my life until a counselor connected them for me.
My advice to parents is to educate their children about abuse, keep an open communication with their children and NEVER feel church/meeting/conventions etc. are safe places for their children.