Hear the Hearts of the Abused

by Roger Barrier

“Forty-two percent of the women in our church were sexually abused, inappropriately touched, fondled or molested before the age of sixteen!” I couldn’t believe my ears!


Steve and I were leading a women’s conference for 200 women in our church. I’ll never forget the results of an impromptu survey we administered near the end of the final session. We passed out paper and asked the women to answer “yes” or “no” to the question above: “Were you sexually abused … before the age of 16?”


I was stunned by the result! The women were aghast!


Forty-two percent answered, “Yes.”


Later, reflecting on the results, it dawned on me that if 42% of the church women answered, “yes,” what must be going on among the women outside the church?


About one-half of the questions to “Ask Roger” are about sour relationships. Most of these are from women tormented in one way or another by the man in her life—or by the men and boys in her past?


Last week I received an insightful poem from a woman abused. She shares of her shattered life, and of the hope and wholeness that came from the Lord Jesus Christ.

(I’ve made several small editorial changes—Roger)


She once laughed with abandon;

but now she’s scared to feel joy.

She cringes at the sounds of his coming.


Tears fill her eyes:

she knows that no matter how she tries,

she’ll never be good enough,

pretty enough,

or smart enough,

for the one who thinks that he’s perfect.


She puts up her invisible wall,

and he wonders why.


She cries rivers of tears,

and he steps right over them,

afraid that his feet might get wet.


Sometimes she prays for his demise—

lost in wicked imaginings.

At the same time prays for her soul.


Sometimes she prays to be gone—

finally she would be free.


When he soaks her in poison,

she prays it won’t seep into her soul…

for she knows she’s better than this.


She gives until she’s spent.

She loves ‘til she’s depleted.


She once sang with angels,

but her voice is now stilled.


A girl forgotten and unloved,

abused and beaten,

pushed away and shoved.


How are some girls worth fighting for…

while I’m all alone…bleeding on the floor.


I cried, “God, where are you?! Rescue me!”

and finally He came.


“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit”

(Psalm 34:18).

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