Honestly, I have enough nuggets of truth stored in my Siesta Fiesta tote bag to render a good 15-20 posts!  But, some are going to require further study and pondering before they can be adequately conveyed.  There is one thing, however, that Beth said, off the cuff, that keeps rising to the top, and makes me think “wow” every time it does.  It went something like this:

I’ve wondered again and again why there are so many women walking around with the symptoms of sexual abuse – many of them the young girls of this current generation – when I know that not all of them have actually suffered that abuse.  But then, during a conversation with Melissa [Beth’s daughter], something occurred to us.  They HAVE suffered sexual abuse – we ALL have – from the pervasive onslaught of sexual media.

This just blew me away.  While we’re all aware of the increasingly sexual media, I’ve never once thought of it in terms of abuse.  Certainly, I’ve been aware of it’s effect on girls’ self-esteem, but to go to the extent that it is causing girls to adopt the behaviors of literal, physically molested people is something that has never crossed my mind. Maybe you don’t agree, but to me, it makes perfect sense.  
According to Survivors and Friends, a support and information organization for sexual abuse survivors, these are a few behavioral signs of someone that has suffered actual sexual abuse (for a complete list, go HERE):
  • Sexually-precocious or attempts to mask seductive behavior
  • Change in eating habits (bulimia, anorexia, or compulsive eating)
  • Inappropriately seductive
  • Apparent boredom with age-appropriate activities
  • Radical change in school performance
  • Over achievement
  • Depression
  • Substance abuse/addiction
  • Angry, hostile or aggressive behavior
  • Intense efforts to gain attention/affection from adults
  • Self-mutilative behavior 
  • Self-hatred
This is only a fraction of the list, but I know quite a few young girls (and adults) that suffer from these things that have never been physically sexually abused.  I bet you know some, too.  
I went to the Fully Loaded conference with Pat Layton from A Woman’s Place Ministries
I wish I had been sitting next to her when this was mentioned in the Living Proof conference, because I know she would’ve been shouting out a big AMEN!  She watches the girls that come into that crisis pregnancy center everyday.  She counsels with them and sees the way they are dressed and hears how they really view themselves.  Have they suffered at the hands of an abuser?  Maybe.  Have the suffered from the abuse of the media?  Absolutely.
Some time ago, I posted a film from Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty.  However, there is another film that I didn’t post before, that I’ve decided to post now.  Be warned that it is somewhat graphic, however, it’s nothing you don’t see everyday on TV, and, more importantly, nothing your kids don’t see everyday, as well.  The film is appropriately titled “Onslaught”.

So, what do you think about it now?  Is it abuse?  Are we helpless to combat it?  I think not. We happen to have Truth on our side.  The abuse is out there and it’s real, but we don’t have to live like victims – not us, not our kids.  
We are heirs of God.  
And you can look for more on that statement in my next post.