I don’t feel safe (TW: sexual abuse)

A few months ago, I opened up here about being sexually assaulted when I was a kid by another kid at my church. I had forgotten about it until I was an adult and understood what he did to me. I was scared because I found that my dad had reconnected with this now adult man and was trying to mentor him. This guy hasn’t gone to my church in years outside of dropping by for five minutes every few months.
He and my dad haven’t really talked or met up for a few months, so I thought it was kinda over. But he has shown up to church the past two services and stayed the whole time. And I’ve had to be around him with no way to leave. I tried giving him the benefit of the doubt that he’s maybe changed since we were kids. But not much has changed at all, and I was terrified to be around him. I didn’t even feel safe leaving without someone nearby in case he were to follow me.
I know I need to tell my parents so they can help feel safe (my dad’s the pastor). However, when I’ve been the most vulnerable with my parents, they automatically deny that there is a problem to address and say I’m fine. But if they do listen to me, I’m worried they will just be like, “oh you need to forgive and forget”. (Which, considering the circumstances, I still struggle to acknowledge he did something wrong. so how can you forgive someone who you try to rationalize as innocent? Idk it’s messed up). And now I’m scared about what this guy will do if he hears that I told someone. Now that I’ve actually talked to him and know for myself what he’s like, I’m more scared that he’ll try to hurt me again.


You definetly need to tell someone. You have absolutely no reason to “forgive and forget” that’s a load of bullshit because you have no reason to brush something so serious under the rug. He did something to you, he hurt you, he touched you, he needs to be reported. When I told my mom I was almost raped in highschool she just said “oh yea, that happens”. And when my father was arrested for child molestation she just completely forgot about it and swept it under the rug pretending like life was just some fucking fairytale. So if your father (pastor) doesn’t beleive you that just shows how little they care about you, and how little they understand about the reality of very serious situations. Forgive and forget does not always apply to people who physically assult you, ecpseically if it’s sexual assult. He is probably a potential danger to many young and older people and should definetly be reported to police if you really beleive he hasn’t changed. You can try reporting him to an officer nearby and asking someone to stay around you or near you all the time. I need you to know that struggling to acknowledge if someone did something wrong is you ignoring your intuition. Intuition is a very real thing and being around certain people can influence you to think it’s negative or judgemental when it is the very thing that can save your life. He is anything but innocent for commiting a very real crime, you are trying to rationalize something that is not real. You are denying your own trauma. You will be okay if you tell someone, I hope you can stay safe. Please tell someone you know will take you seriously, do not let him control your actions with one look, you are stronger than him. Carry a weapon around you if you need to, the police will understand. Bear mace or pepper spray. And other stuff if they are okay with it.
Please stay safe.


Hey @beth_the_fake_ginger

I am watching @Danjo and @Casers reply to your topic on Twitch. I am a sexual assault crisis counselor in the state of Connecticut. I can help you seek out support and resources if you want it. I am here for you and you can get through this.

DM me or find me on Discord @sarahk #5020

Hold fast. I believe you and I believe IN you


Thank you for sharing this with the community In the past I have opened up about someone who hurt me when I was younger is not a easy thing to go throw special when you have to keep meeting up with this person I know because I keep having to see this person who hurt me I understand my parents have not listen to me as they think am Lying about what this person did to me I have gone to the police but they don’t believe me as am minor and my parents told them that it didn’t happen so they never did a follow up with me so I’m having to deal with it on my own is vere different Situation i understanding how scary and unsafe it being around the person who hurt you I would go to pepole in the church and ask for help if they don’t help I would go to the police since you are adult they most likely listen to you just know you are not alone and you are loved in this community


Video Response: (says private, but should load when it processes)


I was hoping to update everyone when there was an end to the situation or a safety plan. But something came up that added on to the situation and I needed to kinda process it.
So I finally had a moment to tell my mom about how I feel. Both parents haven’t been around for me to talk to both of them. I planned on telling her how I don’t feel safe first and then if we had time go into what happened. I told her I don’t feel safe at all around this guy and I don’t trust him and I don’t want to even see his face, let alone be around him without someone around.
Here’s where it gets interesting. I said something about him treating me pretty badly as a kid to transition the topic to what he actually did. Before I could tell her, she brought up an incident that I totally forgot about until then. Apparently my parents have caught him multiple times sexually harassing and abusing me and have had to separate us on multiple occasions. She went into one incident more specifically that actually brought back a lot more memories about how I confused I felt during this time.
I didn’t get a chance to tell her the incident I remembered (which was a lot worse than the events she brought up). My little brother joined in on the conversation and I don’t want him knowing about it right now. But this new information is a game changer. I always doubted if he actually abused me because I had little memories or evidence for it. But now knowing this, there’s no way he didn’t do it. And I have so many questions about what measures my parents did take and how was I even available for him to continue abusing me. I’m worried he may have done it to my other friends at the time. What if he did something even more serious and I don’t remember? I feel even worse seeing him because now I know for a fact he hurt me multiple times and it wasn’t a one time thing.
I plan on telling my mom what I remember and then coming up with a plan with her to talk to my dad. I’m also really scared because his parents said he’s taking an interest in another woman at our church. Knowing what I know now, I don’t want her to be at risk for him to do the same thing. So I feel like I need to speak up now or jeopardize both my safety and hers. But it also hasn’t been easy to get time from one parent, let alone both.


Defiently let her know, don’t let little degenerates like that get treated gracefully in a place they should be burned. Show that fucker that he isn’t welcome.
I’m sorry you have to relive those memories, and I can’t beleive your parents knew and didn’t tell anyone back then. Parents are meant to protect their children, it’s good that they seperated you from that shithead but it doesn’t sound like they kept that good an eye on you if it was more than once.
Please keep a very close eye on that scum and make sure he doesn’t hurt anyone else. Let that girl know as soon as you can and tell your father if you can. No one should have to deal with a creeps bullshit, they just suck the life out of everyone and should be dealt with immediatly before it starts a fire of toxicity and trauma. Make sure he doesn’t lie or try to gaslight you, make sure he doesn’t make up shit about you too. They do that alot. I would defiently ask if he did it to others because chances are he defiently did. Also, don’t let anyone tell you what happened to you was your fault. People like to do that and idk why, and defiently don’t let him make you think that. He isn’t someone you should beleive even with a grain of salt. His words mean nothing compared to the evidence piled of against him. Remember that.
Stay safe.

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Dear Beth,

wow. Simply wow. I am so sorry this is your experience right now. It sounds incredibly painful and a difficult challenge. Those who are close to you are meant to be your allies and for you to feel fear around telling them, is actually really normal, but it does sound like you fear gaslighting. I am so sorry this is happening to you. And you feel scared, i feel for you truly. I wish there was an easy solution to this problem but I feel this is going to require a lot of strength, which you’ve demonstrated and already possess. I am hoping for a quick solution and an easing of transition and a healing for the soul too as it is a very confusing thing and for this person to pop up like that. wow.

I am so sorry again this is your experience, and I believe the answer will be found. <3 Thinking of you, warmly Dot.

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Beth. There’s not enough words to express how proud I am of you for reaching out to your mom the way you did. That was very brave and I personally understand how draining it is to actually talk about those things. There’s a lot of thoughts, fears and doubts that surround this kind of conversation, but you did it despite it all and that is something incredibly strong.

Although the conversation indeed took a turn you certainly didn’t expect, it’s really good that your mom was honest about it, that there is a place there to have those conversations without any fear or argument. However, I’m really sorry my friend. You didn’t deserve to be sexually harassed and abused by this guy before, and you don’t deserve to have to deal with all the stress it creates right now. You didn’t ask to be in this situation and I understand the pressure it brings on someone’s shoulders to know, rationally, that speaking up is the only right thing to do for everyone. Dan and Casey last time reminded something very important though: the situation is not your fault, yet you have a power there, the power to speak and make sure that your safety - and eventually this woman’s as well - would be preserved. The plan that you have and described there is very good and safe. Please let us know, whether it’s here, on streams or privately, how it goes, if that’s okay for you. You know it already, but you have a family right there to support you as well through all of it.

Please make sure to take time and give space for yourself too. To process what you’ve learned. To write down your thoughts just like you did here. To relax as well - as much as possible given the circumstances. Processing that kind of memory can be really heavy and/or strike us when we expect it the least. I hope with all my heart that the incoming conversations with your parents will also bring you the answers you need. Know that asking for those answers is also a right that you own, whether they respond to your questions or not.

Sending lots of love your way. We’re in this with you, Beth. None of what happened or is happening will ever change how much we love you. Make sure to keep safety your very first priority. You’ve been doing great so far, and I believe in you. :hrtlegolove:

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I was finally able to tell my mom about what he did to me as a kid. I also asked her to clarify what she had told me the week prior. So apparently, my mom only caught him harassing me once, not multiple times like she made it sound like. She separated us and yelled at the kid for being inappropriate, and that was the only incident she knew of or saw. She even had her own doubts of if she went too far because it was the only occasion and she thought both of us were too young to understand how it was inappropriate.
I told her that was not an isolated situation and told her what this guy did to me. I didn’t go into detail, but I was to the point and got it out there. After hearing what he did, she again agreed I shouldn’t have to be around him. She also said she would talk on my behalf to my dad about the situation.
While the conversation went really well, I’m still concerned about my safety. We did make a plan for this past Sunday where she would stay with me while I was teaching the kids (this guy has been walking around the church building during services without anyone knowing). However, my mom left me alone multiple times during the service. One of these times was we were waiting on kids in the bathroom and this guy was walking down in the hallway towards us. I couldn’t even finish cleaning up because she left and he was in the room I needed to be in.
I’m frustrated because I can’t even walk freely without being hyper scared that he’s gonna come up behind me and try something. It’s now interfering with the work I do at the church. I couldn’t even walk home last week because he was hanging around outside and could see me walking to my house by myself (we live across the street from the church). I’ve told all of this to my mom and stressed that I don’t even want to be in the same building as this guy, let alone same room. At this point, I don’t know what I should do. With my dad being the pastor, leaving is not much of an option. I understand being a little hesitant to kick this guy out of the church, but also there’s good cause to make him leave. There are church safety rules that he’s breaking every week when he walks around the hallways in the middle of service. The fact these basic rules made to protect our church kids aren’t being enforced in the slightest bit is extremely concerning. My mom also told me more things that gives me reason to believe that this guy is still and unsafe person. It’s hard because my parents can actually do something about it, and not much is being done. And I feel like I should do more, but I’ve done almost all I can. My only other option is to go to other church staff, but that’s even dicy because half the other staff are related to this guy and are excited he’s even willing to come to church.
I’m not 100% sure of what to do now. I am glad my parents know though. It was hard to get even one of them alone to talk to, let alone both of them. I’m glad my mom at least believes me. That aspect could not have worked out better. But now I’m dealing with the emotions of knowing he did more than I remembered. I know this situation is extremely effed up and no one deserves this (myself included). I feel like my only reliable game plan is to do everything I can to get a job and move out of state ASAP.


Dear @beth_the_fake_ginger,

You’ve been so brave and strong for reaching out to your mom once again. Since the first time you’ve shared about this situation here, you haven’t ceased to keep reaching out, taking steps forward and working on making sure to ensure your safety. I truly commend you for doing so. You don’t deserve to feel unsafe because of this person. You deserve to get a break from this and get some relief.

It is reassuring to hear that your mom understood the seriousness of the situation and agreed that this person shouldn’t be around you. Given what happened in the past, this is an absolutely non-negotiable point. However, I’m so sorry that there is actually a difference between your parents words and actions. On the top of that, your dad’s position at the church seems to make things more complex for you while there should be a freedom to speach, a guarantee to be heard and a real acknowledgment of your voice.

As a middle ground between reaching out to church staff or leaving, could asking your parents to directly talk to other church staff members, to see if they would come to a decision about this person’s presence, be something to consider? At this point it seems that whether the church there uses their own authority to make him go away, or it would be the police at best - hope mentioning this doesn’t stress you by the way. No pressure in what I’m saying, these decisions are entirely yours and will always be yours. :hrtlegolove: It’s just that sometimes small communities have their own way to function, which is not always the best when there’s a matter of safety to ensure, as it can conflict their values and the need of their members. In any case, if you feel comfortable to consider the church staff option, even if it’s dicy, it might be worth the try anyway. Again, your safety should be a priority. That can’t be negotiated, and it’s a certainty to hold on to.

I feel like my only reliable game plan is to do everything I can to get a job and move out of state ASAP.

How do you feel about this, if I may ask?

But now I’m dealing with the emotions of knowing he did more than I remembered. I know this situation is extremely effed up and no one deserves this (myself included).

I’m glad that you are fully aware that you didn’t deserve to be put in this situation and having to deal with it again. It’s definitely not your fault, and I hope you keep that thought with you whenever this whole situation feels like a huge burden, or like a “responsibility” of some sort. You didn’t create any of this. You are trying to figure out what’s the best move, for yourself and others.

Knowing also that someone had hurt you but not remembering everything is a disturbing and pretty distressing experience. Do not hesitate to take a break from your thoughts when you can, in a healthy way. These emotions can be very overwhelming, though it’s okay to focus on things that are more simple and comforting sometimes, as it would give you time to breathe as well. Maybe in the future you will remember. Maybe you won’t. None of it is wrong, even though we have to learn to compose with it differently. Our mind has its own ways to function and to protect us from what we are not ready to process yet. You know we’ll be there in any case to keep supporting you. You are not left alone with this. :hrtlegolove:

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Another update:
It’s kinda been a weird few weeks. First, the guy hasn’t really been around. He hasn’t been to church services in almost 3 weeks, and he’s only stopped by to visit once or twice (one time was just for 15 minutes and I wasn’t home for majority of it). I found out he did go on a date with the girl from our church. However, he apparently insulted her enough that she isn’t talking to him anymore. So a small part of me wonders if that was the reason why he kept showing up to church and now isn’t?
I found out that my state laws have changed and that I can still take legal action for what he did. I’m still on the fence of what to do though. There’s a lot of little things to consider, but there’s one big thing I’m pretty hung up on. I know I would have to be emotionally ready to tell multiple people the details of what all he did to me. And now that I know for a fact he did more, I don’t know if I am ready to discuss it with others. I’m not sure if I’m ready for a full investigation, especially if the only “evidence” would be my testimony. He also hasn’t been around as much, so it seems excessive to try to get a restraining order or to press charges (especially for something that happened 15 years ago). But I also know something needs to change. I ran into him over the weekend and that 30 second encounter set off an anxiety attack. So I kinda can’t put this issue behind me either.
My church did listen to the concerns I had about the safety of the children’s building. They started locking the entrances on that side and have agreed to make sure this guy isn’t walking around the hallways during service. He hasn’t been around since then, so they haven’t had to do the latter yet. Right now I’m putting most of my effort and energy into job hunting and trying to get a job out of state. My family may even be moving out of state soon, so that’s another possibility I’m preparing for. It’s hard because I feel like I’m ignoring the issue and I need to do something now, but I can’t for multiple reasons. There’s so many reasons to wait, but this issue has also waited long enough.


Ultimately, you need to do whatever it takes to give you the most peace of mind. You have a lot of options to consider. I am here to talk it out more if you need it. I am a sexual assault crisis counselor in my free time, so if you want a trusted partner in this, I am here for you. No obligation to reach out, but wanted to offer my services. Things to consider: What will give you the most peace of mind? Sometimes, reporting to the authorities in empowering. Sometimes doing nothing else is fine for the survivor too. What will benefit your mental health the most?

Let me know if you want to talk out your options.

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Yes, you would be but, it’s very empowering and a huge step in healing.

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Hey @beth_the_fake_ginger,

Thank you so much once again for the updates. :hrtlegolove:

All the questions you’re asking yourself regarding the possibility to report him are absolutely valid. You are trying to consider everything and it’s awesome that you are anticipating how this could affect you first and foremost, and whether you feel emotionally ready or not. Know that, in any case and no matter which decision you’ll take, now or in the future, we will support all of it. We will support you. And your decisions can change, you can be uncertain, you can have mixed emotions - all of it is okay and respected. These decisions belong to you entirely.

I can only speak from my own experience, but for me just considering the possibility of making a report has been a very long process because I’ve been in denial and living in fear for a very long time too, also because I didn’t see the point of reporting people I couldn’t even identify. I’ve started to feel a deep need for justice only recently, one that would be strong enough to accept the discomfort that a report would create. A little bit like switching from a flight/freeze mode to a fight one… but not against myself this time. It is truly this need for justice that tends to give me a strength I didn’t think that I had before. I acknowledge the pain, how past events still affect me, and I see in justice a type of restoration I thought I could never pretend to get (or deserve to have). It has made me realize that for some events that happened, I can’t report them anymore because of laws and time that has passed, which is, I won’t lie, a deep grieving process in itself. But, regardless of the outcomes, I’ve also tried to engage myself in that kind of procedure for more recent events (with more or less success/failure), events that made me fall into a dark pit again. I’ve been approaching this as something to do for me, first and foremost, and just the existence of that intention in my heart has created a new kind of energy within me that I can feel, and an ability to embrace some important truths a little more.

I am proud of you for even “just” considering this option and potential outcomes right now. It is huge and very brave of you.

When we have that power to decide, and again regardless of the decision, we are in control, one that was taken away from us by someone else before. Being in this position, as scary as it is, comes with the awareness that the narrative changes and this person, what they did, doesn’t have any control over you anymore. That’s how strong and powerful you are today, regardless of how you are going to approach this possibility to report them in the future.

You are loved so much, Beth. Do what is good for you. And know that we keep standing with you. :hrtlegolove:


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