Abuse can be a sensitive subject to address. Many victims of abuse choose to remain silent for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, they opt to suffer in silence. But, we cannot correct what we refuse to acknowledge is going on in our lives. So today, I want to share three ways I feel we can say NO to abuse, whether it be physical, emotional, or sexual in nature.
- Tell someone what’s happening to you. One of the worse things you can do is to keep the abuse a secret. You need a support system. You need to find someone you can trust to keep matters confidential. You never want to share your story with a gossip. The Bible says it best in Proverbs 11:13, “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.” If you want to say NO to abuse, you cannot keep it a secret.
- Refuse to make excuses for the abuser. Jesus said in John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” And the truth of the matter is this; you have the right to be treated with respect. You have the right to your own opinion. You have the right to say no or to decline an uncomfortable request. When an abuser crosses the line, refuse to make excuses for their abusive behavior. Never try to minimize what has happened to you. It is a big deal! You cannot rationalize irrational behavior. Always remember, the abuse is not your fault, nor is there ever a justifiable excuse for it.
- Make the necessary changes. If you want the abusive behavior to stop, you have to enact some changes in your own life. You either need to learn to stand up to your abuser or simply walk away. If you choose to stand up for yourself, I suggest you be confident, maintain eye contact, and keep your emotions in check as you discuss with them the things you will no longer tolerate. For example, I will no longer tolerate being threatened, belittled, or disrespected. I will no longer tolerate having my personal space invaded. If you choose not to respect my boundaries then, I will gracefully bow out of the relationship. I personally like what King Solomon said in Proverbs 13:20, “…for a companion of fools suffers harm.” In other words, if the abuser refuses to change, you don’t have to stick around to become the collateral damage of their abusive behavior.
Abuse can certainly be a sensitive subject to address, but you don’t have to suffer in silence. Decide today to tell someone what’s happening to you, refuse to make an excuse for the abuser, and make the necessary changes in your own life. Starting today, let’s collectively say NO to abuse!