The spectre of abuse


The specter of abuse is not confronted and dealt with adequately. Those who are regarded and remain lower than the accepted social structure, are vulnerable. It is easy to set the young up to become the property of those with immoral intentions. This can happen unintentionally, as the social rules are set and not questioned or thought through. Young women are groomed to be the prey of unscrupulous men and the sheltered upbringing of young people in organisations, is a hunting ground for the predator.

It appears that abuse is soft-pedaled, and women realise the consequences for them if they should talk about it. The horror of abuse become yet another horror of the possibility of your social group knowing your inner pain and heartaches. Whether we like it or not there are still consequences for sufferers of abuse and judgment of their moral values for being involved in such a situation.

Many women, are silent and carry around huge burdens throughout their lives. Even though they have done nothing wrong, they are sidelined and blamed for being attractive, friendly, soft-hearted, and other female “weaknesses.” Women read the judgmental social mores extremely well, and they know that somehow they themselves will be blamed for what they have suffered.

Abuse is not an isolated issue but is linked with other issues. The status of women, and also children within the social hierarchy of our society is the chink in the protection for them as people. Abuse is a “higher” or “stronger” person taking advantage of another who is perceived as “lower” or “weak.” It is the attitude of the predator that searches for its prey, to maim and kill and destroy. There are those who believe it is their right to take pickings from women and they regard their own immoral behaviour, as part of the lessons of life. This happens on many levels. Human history has a heritage of men using women for their own gain.

If we are to deal with this issue, we must deal with the underlying attitudes that drive it along. We must take away all perceived justification for taking advantage of another person. The mindset of the bully must be dealt with and put out from our social psyche. This will be difficult to do, since it has been there from the start of time, and is an attitude that is part of our human character. The attitude of the weak being easy prey for the strong and power hungry, is an attitude that infiltrates all aspects of our human cultures.

There was one who broke the pattern. Even though He was the Lord of everything and all power resides in His will, He humbled Himself and came among us. He showed us healing and not hurt. He demonstrated humility and washed the feet of His rebellious creation. He loved the unlovely and healed their wounds. When we turned against Him and killed Him, He loved still and paid the awful price for our rebellion and hatred. He brings all who seek Him, into His eternal kingdom, and cancels all their debt and dispels all their fears.

We are not like this man. We cannot change people, or educate them into good behaviour. Our only hope as individual people, is to repent and be changed. The purpose of this man, this God, is to save us. Only He can do it. Only He can forgive sin and give a new heart. The answer to our problems in regard to abuse, is this Saviour.

We reject our own self-righteousness and ask for His. He gives it freely to anyone who believes. He alone is the answer for the abused and the abuser. There is no other hope. Our social groups must be places of refuge and protection, and that means we must act and be like He is. We must open our eyes to our own weaknesses and face our sins. When we deal with our own predisposition to regard others as less, we will be in a good place to address this issue in our minds, families, societies and cultures.