As most of us know, child abusers can more often than not scare us quiet. So that I would remain silent about my own sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, my abuser told me things like, “I will kill your brothers and sisters if you talk.” “I will kill your mother if you talk.” “I will kill you if you talk.” So of course, as a child, I never told anyone about the sins being wielded against my young human form. I locked the truth away inside the lining of my innocent soul.

But I am an adult now and God gave us a voice for a reason: to speak the truth. Why do we need to speak the truth about what happened to us? Because if we don’t, the ugliness festers inside and can cause us to feel things like shame, anxiety, and depression. And so I ask those of you who have been scared to share your own story of abuse in the past to be scared no more. No matter your age, tell a friend, a pastor, a counselor. Go on one of the many private Facebook groups and tell your story. Child abusers have no right to extinguish our voices. It is we, adult survivors of childhood abuse, who have the absolute God-given right to extinguish their evil voices from our lives.

I wish you God’s peace and the courage to speak out.

Reverend Sherri L. Board, M.A.