The Girls' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

What if you are living with a rapist who is a part of your family, and they keep trying to have sex with you, but you had no choice? Every time he asks, I let him because of my fear of him getting upset and trying to hurt me. What can I do to get right with the Lord? It feels like He won't listen since I have prayed before and it keeps going anyway. Please answer I need help.

(age 16)


Answer

I'm going to be straight forward and blunt because you need straight answers. You have not sinned in this matter. You are a minor and someone is taking advantage of your lack of experience. There are people who like power over other people, and this family member is one of them. They manipulate your feelings and tell you things to make it feel like you have no other choice. But, like all other things from Satan, it is a lie. You always have choices, but if Satan can keep you from looking, you won't realize the choices are there. "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (I Corinthians 10:13).

You must leave the house immediately. Go to your minister's house or one of the other church leaders. Or, go to the police station -- take a close friend with you if not bold enough. Or go to your school and ask for one of the summer session counselors or the principle. Or, go to the library and ask the librarian for a way to contact a rape crisis center. Any of these will immediately trigger a series of events which will make sure you are protected from further harm. Some of what you are going to face won't be easy, but trust that God will see you through this. You aren't the first that has been manipulated in this way and people do know how to take care of the problem.

Do not involve your immediate family in seeking help at this moment. I don't know your family dynamics, but it is clear that something is happening that is allowing other people, who should know better, to allow this sin to continue. If you tell them, they will try to protect themselves by denying that it happened and making you out to be the bad person.

But the problem is that other people are not mind readers. You have been expecting your problems to be solved without having to say anything or to take a stand for what is right. That is not what God wants from us. That is a person who wants to claim they believe without doing anything. "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead" (James 2:14-17).

God wants us to do the best we can. We each know that our best isn't good enough, but that doesn't matter. God takes what we can do and shapes it into something wonderful in the long run. The short term might be rough as we are molded into a tool that God can use to accomplish His will, but the long term results never disappoint.

My prayers are with you. When you get a chance, let me know how you are doing. I might be a long ways away, but I'll hold your hand though email as best I can. And always, always remember your God and others truly and deeply love you. The Lord Almighty be with you.

Thank you for your help, but I can't take chances going to the police or something that would let the guy know that I said something about it. I do not want to get split from my family considering that if the rapist goes, everything would fall apart within my home since my family lives under him. The last time someone got involved when I told the police, a social worker comes along and tells him to his face (but the worker didn't know who it was) and said that I said that someone in this house had been sexually assaulting me, which I didn't say and made the problem worse. I don't want him to go to jail because long term problems can happen. I can't let this go on but I just need a way that doesn't involve law enforcement because in the past they didn't help, they just made it worse. I am a peace-loving person and I don't want anything to happen to him. It's just that I want his habit to stop.

I told you before that I'm going to be blunt. The police and the social worker were not at fault. They did the best that they could with the limited information that you gave them. The one who is at fault is yourself. You are shielding a scumbag rapist. Because you proved yourself unwilling to call evil "evil" he was emboldened to become worse. "Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil" (Ecclesiastes 8:11).

I wasn't joking about what you must do, nor was I hiding the fact that it will be difficult for you for a while. But in order for this to stop, you must stop thinking you can out think evil. You are going to have to trust God to take care of you.

People who are in authority must be told everything so that they can make the best decisions they can. To complain that they did poorly because they were unable to read your mind and didn't know what happened is being cruel and unfair to them. Tell them what happened, who did it, when it happened (as best as you can remember), and tell them that you are afraid to return home. They have to know all this in order to do the duty God gave them. "For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil" (Romans 13:3-4).

You don't know what will happen to your family. You don't know the future or the possible long term problems. You are not God. I can tell you from long experience that the results will be far milder that you ever imagined. People always tend to imagine things to the extreme. And that isn't even taking into account that God is able to turn evil things around into good in the long run.

Yes, you will be moved to a safe home while those in authority investigate. They are not going to risk you being injured when this man finds out. It doesn't matter whether you want this man to stay out of jail or not, the fact is that he is breaking both man's law and God's law. There are consequences to breaking laws and he must face them or he will get worse. The choice was his. He chose to commit rape on a minor. The results of his choice are his to face. You are not God or a judge to excuse his sins. If you continue to shield him, then you are stating that you approve of what he is doing -- both to him and anyone who finds out.