Listen to the Cry of the Child: Excerpts from the author, Barbara Joy Hansen (Part 1)

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Excerpts from the author, Barbara Joy Hansen’s published book, “Listen to the Cry of the Child”:  
I have been called to be on the front lines to scream out against sexual violence. I speak wherever God opens the doors. The secular doors are also open to me. Often the church does not want to clean it’s stain on the stained glass windows to look at what’s dirty inside the church.
I speak with Spiritual authority as a woman who’s been violated both by my grandfather and clergy but I am now whole and healed in Jesus Name!
Growing up as the daughter of a pastor, I was given deep spiritual roots by my loving parents.
I can’t remember when the sexual abuse began, but it was when I was a very little child, maybe as young as two or three. The “secret” of my grandfather molesting me while treating me to ice cream was unthinkable!
Favors are always given to the victim. It is a way to hold power over him or her, downplaying the abuser’s part in the abuse and hoping the innocent child won’t tell.
I did not.
He told me not to.
I was too little to understand anyway.
I felt very unprotected and very vulnerable at his home. He entered my bath time without the knowledge of anyone else in the family. He exposed himself to me numerous times asking for sexual favors. He also took me alone with him in his car where he molested me.
As a little girl, I was intensely shy, quiet, very trusting, withdrawn and extremely vulnerable. Every time I see a picture of me around the age of five or six I feel quite sad. I am never smiling. I see a lot of hidden pain in my face and a voice that couldn’t speak about what had happened to me.
Like a deaf mute, I became silence about it for decades, desperately wanting to tell someone what was happening in my silent world of memories, but unable to do so.
Like the silent falling of the snowflakes, no words about it came out; no voice was heard. I had ears and a mouth, but I could not speak the unthinkable. I screamed, but no sound came out of my mouth.

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There were only tears late at night when no one but God was listening.

Although I wouldn’t remember it in the morning – and not even now – my mother tells me that when I was about five years old, I would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night screaming hysterically.
She knew I had had a nightmare and as she picked me up, she’d assure me that “Mommy is here. You’re OK.” I looked very frightened and would kick her while I sobbed hysterically and screamed, “You’re not my mommy!” She recalls that I looked so very, very scared that it frightened her terribly!
She would hold me close and pat me for about half an hour until I went back to sleep.
The second abuse began at age eleven.
“Shhh! Don’t tell!” This is what the stocky and balding twenty-seven year-old youth pastor told me as he gave in to his uncontrollable urge to molest me. He singled me out, as if picking the sweetest, ripest, freshest, undefiled oranges at the supermarket. The details of those events are as vivid in my memory as if they happened yesterday. He fondled me underneath my black tank bathing suit while he laughed and joked at the swimming hole.
When everyone around us thought we were having fun, he whispered in my ear: “This is our little secret; keep it to yourself; don’t tell!”

This sent up a warning sign: Don’t let him get too close! And it also raised a question: Why is he doing this to me?

This time I knew it wasn’t OK. I struggled and nearly drowned. Hanging onto the dock, I kicked to free myself from his advances.
I have had a fear of water ever since – and I don’t like ice cream either!

Secrets are a pedophile’s biggest tool.

Children need to be taught there are OK secrets (keeping a surprise birthday party a secret) and “go and tell” secrets (when someone who touches you inappropriately tells you not to tell anyone). My parents trusted everyone, thinking I was safe from predators, not realizing that these child molesters – who they knew – were hurting me and others, luring us all into their deceitful web!
As I grew into pre-adolescence, I looked undernourished and anorectic.
The signs are all there in my pictures – pictures I don’t like seeing. I drank milkshakes to gain weight and didn’t understand why I was so skinny. I never gained weight and I never liked the way I looked.
I thought I was ugly. I didn’t go through puberty when my friends did. I was mortified at the age of sixteen when I hadn’t started my monthly cycle my mother had to take me to the doctor for hormone shots to make my body begin doing something that should normally have started by then!
No one questioned what was wrong.
Who would have suspected it was because of the sexual abuse, least of all me?
Barbara Joy Hansen’s story is true and documented in her published book, “Listen to the Cry of the Child. . . the Deafening Silence of Sexual Abuse” Rostrum Publishing 2018 The author’s website is Contact author for her book, Beauty Out of Ashes support group material, Scripture Tee Shirts, Com Cast TV Interview, Tapes, Speaking Engagements and Training

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