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Finishing the Chapter on the Ravaged Stage

Continuing ‘A New Life to Come:’

Judgement moves no one out of shock.  Compassion, no matter what the SV scenario entailed, it the most important thing.  If you are a family member of a survivor, find out what she needs.  She may not be able to tell you, but some hot-line resources can.  Just listen, let her cry, get angry, hold her if she wishes.  Let her get angry in a safe environment, and don’t give advice.   Simply be there, hold her hand if she wishes.  Psalm 19:12 is a prayer that family members may want to pray, “Who can discern his [own] errors, Forgive my hidden faults.”  Understand that shock as part of Ravaged  is a necessary state.  Be present, educate your self and support each other to be a healthy support system for this precious survivor.

“…the victim’s entire world is turned upside down.  She/he has experienced the something that she/he thinks only happens to other people, the something that contradicts the ordinary “rules” of one’s environment.  The world is no longer a hospitable place.  A rape victim’s life will never be the same again….. Support and understanding from family, friends, or helpers enable a rape victim to utilize his/ her own strengths and learnings which result in growth and change.”  (italics added) [Marie Marshall Fortune, Sexual Violence the Unmentionable Sin [New York: Pilgrim Press, 1983, 143, 144.]

Growth and change is the goal for any survivor.

Shock is a necessary numbness to get through a genuine brush with death.  It is designed by God to help get you through the initial aftermath of your SV experience.  If you survived, you did the right thing, whatever that was.  This fact is true for any age survivor from birth on.  You are strong and courageous to have survived–and this applies even to a five-year-old!  So celebrate your survival and turn the page to read on into the next part of the Ravaged stage.

Questions to ponder, talk about and write about:

1.  If you are a survivor, how did you experience your family’s response?  (If they don’t know about it, what has kept  you from telling them?)

2.  If you are a survivor, are you able to identify what symptoms of shock you have experienced?  If you are a family member or friend, what shock symptoms have you observed?

3.  Do you feel more hopeful after reading this chapter?  If so, in what ways?  If not, in what ways?

4.  What kind of choices have you made?  What ones do you want to make?

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