Anonymous Story: Because the Bible says so

Anonymous Story: Because the Bible says so

I come from a very messed up family. My mother kept dating pedophiles. Perhaps it was because she was sexually abused as a child too. Perhaps it was because we were in poverty, and she was desperate to get us out by any means necessary. One man in particular was religious, we went to the same church. I was 10 when he began sexually assaulting me after my mother revealed that I was already raped by my father, and a few of her boyfriends. I would be so paralyzed with fear, I couldn’t scream, I couldn’t move. I just cried and begged him to please stop, but he said I had no right telling him what to do. It’s god’s will, and he read these verses to remind me…

Deuteronomy 22:23-24 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)
23 If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, 24 you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death – the young woman because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife. You must purge the evil from among you.

Deuteronomy 22:28-29 New International Version (NIV)
28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels[a] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

Deuteronomy 22:20-21 New International Version (NIV)
20 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, 21 she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.

Basically, since I lost my virginity, despite being raped, and was unable to wed my first rapist (he was my father after all),so I deserved death. Since I was unable to scream when it was happening, it didn’t count as rape, so I was a whore who deserved death. He recited these verses every day, and told me how lucky I am that he’s only beating me and raping me, when someone like me deserves to die in the first place. He said if I didn’t like it, I should just kill myself and do the world a favor. My only relief was that I met a girl who changed my world at 14. We never talked about homosexuality at home, so I didn’t know it was considered a sin, I just happened to love her. She encouraged me to report that man, and told me that what he was doing is wrong. She helped me understand it wasn’t my fault, and I don’t deserve to die. So it took a lot of strength, but I reported him.

The problem was, no one believed me. My mother lied about the situation, and began physically abusing me to keep my mouth shut. When I asked her why, she presented these verses:

Genesis 3:16:
… and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee

Colossians 3:18:
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord

Ephesians 5:22-24:
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.
Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

She explained that as a woman, it is her duty to obey the will of her new husband. Eve’s sin gives him the right to rule over us. Then she would remind me of the other verses and talk about how we both deserved death, but her new husband saved us from it, so we should be grateful. It’s not so bad, she’d say.

However, I couldn’t accept that answer, I couldn’t accept it as god’s will, so I kept trying to expose what was happening. But then she found out I was dating a girl, and told the preacher about it. She revealed the abuse, and the preacher did a whole sermon on homosexuality being evil and justifying rape using those same fucking verses.

After, the preacher came to me and told me I deserved everything that happened because I was a disgusting homo and will burn in hell. People in the church started saying that the fact I had dated a girl proves I was promiscuous and probably initiated it myself. Others outside of the church called me a liar, and told me if I was their child, they would ”beat the shit out of me”. They would say there is no way a ”good, god fearing man” would ever harm me.

When one of my Uncle’s saw what was going on, he took it as a chance to rape me too. He kept reminding me how no one believed me before, and if I tried to tell on him no one would believe me now. When he was caught in the act, my family yelled at me this time for not reporting it was proof I wanted it to happen, and again it was my fault and I should just hurry up and kill myself. They told me I was disgusting and evil, that I was the one ruining our family. So when I turn 18, I left home, disowned most of my family and never spoke to them again.

It’s been 10 years since I left home, I am happily married to a man who treats me right, and never once forced me to do anything I didn’t want to do. I have a job, I want to say I moved on. But then a well meaning strangers will post or state scriptures and my mind goes back to that time, back to those words that were used to justify rape and abuse. Back to knowing that he will never get punished despite harming other children, because the bible says it’s ok, and so my family and the church protects him. I don’t know how to make it stop. It’s really hard to share this, it’s so painful and I know people don’t want to hear any sort of criticism about their faith. However, I wanted other victims who were called liars and treated poorly for speaking up to know that you are not alone. It feels like a horrible waste of time, but you were brave and at least you tried. I also hope that it helps people understand that even if the bible ”justifies” it, it’s never OK to use scripture to manipulate, abuse, and otherwise hurt someone. You may think you are doing god’s will, but the damage lasts for years in a way that is so hard to put into words. As for me, I have been going to therapy, trying to learn coping skills, and doing my best to heal with the support of my new family and friends.




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