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You Shall Know The Truth

Recently I was sitting in a training on an extremely intense topic learning about the tactics sex offenders use to manipulate and control their victims.  The topics ranged from “Creepy but Crucial Information” to “What Sex Offenders Can Teach Us About How They Think.”  Information that is disturbing and yet permeates our society, from individuals that live, work and are a part of our communities.  While it is important to try and glimpse into the mind of such deviants and how they have the ability to destroy lives, it was even more important to understand the mind controlling torture that many we serve have to navigate.  


Mental anguish and anxiety are a daily reality for many. Every time they close their eyes, they relive what many would call a nightmare but for them was an experience. And those experiences go on day after day, year after year.  Mental health is at a critical level for so many, with resources at capacity and the difficult task of escaping the offenders that hold them captive are daunting, we must provide a light source from the darkness that surrounds so many.  


We often see victims portrayed with chains and held against their will.  The more accurate depiction of victims in our communities is the terror they endure mentally by their abuser, invisible chains with talons so deep that it feels impossible to find release.  So, for a brief moment I endured the despicable narrative into the mind of sex offenders to try and understand a way to bring freedom from bonds that are so invisibly deep. It’s not a simple one and done, do this and everything will be better.  The determination of a sex offender’s intricate capture over time to completely ensnare their prey, takes intentional and careful steps to build trust for someone to realize they can be free from their captors.  


We learned statistics that it’s not strangers that offend for the most part, they are less than 3%, most offenders, 75% are from a family member or close friend, and 22% of offenders are persons in authority. The barrier to not expose the secrets of a family member is paralyzing. 


The task for law enforcement, mental health professionals and advocates seems insurmountable at times. The path for victims seems even more impossible.  


The title of the introduction to this training was “You Shall Know The Truth and the Truth Shall Make You Flinch” I audibly said “well that sure does not provide much hope!” A law enforcement friend sitting next to me said, “Did you see that title? We have Jesus! And that’s the hope we can provide, and that truth sets us free.”  Yes, that is the hope that can change the trajectory of destruction.  That is the hope that can set a mind free.  That is the hope that can wrap its arms around someone that is tormented not only by a physical person, but the torture that is endured in their mind by that same calculated offender that has determined to destroy them. 


The mind of a sex offender is disturbing and destructive.  The mind of their captive is tormented, and they need to know they are loved and valued which will indeed bring hope. We have the privilege to provide a glimpse of hope by sharing the truth. The truth that there is life beyond what grips them, the truth that they are not the lies that they’ve been told. The truth that by renewing their mind, they can move forward slowly and deliberately. 


So, while the title of a part of this training was “You Shall Know The Truth And The Truth Will Make You Flinch” I am grateful for my friend’s reminder that there is hope, and it’s found in Jesus. The scripture in it’s true form from John 8:32 in the Passion version says, “For if you embrace the truth, it will release freedom into you lives.”    


Truth doesn’t have to make you flinch!  We know the truth and it will set us free.  That’s our mission. That’s our passion!  We won’t settle for the only option being to flinch!  We will passionately move forward in truth to set us free. 


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