My Message for Abuse Survivors {And the Myth of “It Could Have Been Worse”}

My Message for Abuse Survivors {And the Myth of “It Could Have Been Worse”}

Trigger warning: discusses healing from sexual abuse

You’re reading the series If You Only Knew: Awareness, Healing, Hope. We began with my personal story of childhood sexual abuse and my path to healing. We then moved on to ways to keep your children safer and why it doesn’t work to handle abuse situations “in house.” If you missed any, you can find previous posts here.

(photo from

Before you ever took a breath, long before the world began

Of all the wonders He possessed, there was one more precious.

Of all the earth and skies above, you’re the one He madly loves

Enough to die.

–”Beautiful,” by MercyMe

Dear precious wounded soul,


If you’ve suffered the pain of sexual abuse, then I want you to know:

You matter. Your story matters. Your voice matters.

Regardless of the degree of suffering, violation, and betrayal you experienced, you deserve healing and redemption. Don’t believe the lie that “it wasn’t even that bad,” or stated another way, “others have experienced much worse.” Abuse is abuse is abuse.

You are the daughter of the King. His image is stamped right into you, and you radiate His glory in your very being. You are a vessel of His Spirit, and He created you out of a reckless, boundless love for you. On purpose. When someone so much as looks at you, he should fall to his knees in worship of the God who both created you and dwells within you. (TOBfB)

That is how cherished you are. How precious.

That is your dignity and identity. And it takes little more than a lustful glance to feel like that dignity is being stripped away. That is why you feel used, like an object, even when “it wasn’t that bad.” Did you know that research shows that survivors report traumatic effects, regardless of their degree of abuse? (TWH)

So, sweet sister, don’t throw away your right to heal. Your pain matters, and healing is possible.

(art by Be Small Studios)

I’m sorry you had to know the pain at all.

I’m sorry someone robbed you of your dignity,

I’m sorry people failed to protect you.

I’m sorry that people may be failing you still.

I’m sorry that you have to live with the lingering effects.

I didn’t always believe what I’m about to repeat to you, but I’m now making it my mission that you know:

Healing is possible! 

Even if your abuse was severe. No matter where you’re at on your journey.

No matter what–healing is possible.

With God there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

–Psalm 130:7

I’m living it. Layer after layer, God peels away my pain and restores my understanding of my true worth—the worth and voice stolen from me years ago.

You don’t have to live the rest of your life trapped in anxiety, depression, insecurity, hurt and hopelessness.

You deserve to believe in your own worth. And how very much this world needs you and your authentic voice.

You deserve to have someone stand up for you. That’s what the body of Christ is for.

You deserve to walk in freedom. It’s why your Jesus died for you–not just for your sins, but also to heal your wounds.

You deserve life in abundance and the fullness of joy. He promises it. (Ps. 16:11, Romans 5:17)

You’re beautiful.

You were meant for so much more than all of this.

You’re beautiful.

You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His.

–”Beautiful,” by MercyMe

Listen to these words, sister. I’ve posted it before, and I’ll keep posting it when you need to hear it again. Click to play, and let the lyrics soak into your heart. This is truth for you. Hold it tight.

(Subscribers, click here to see the video.)

I am in your corner. I’m rooting for you. Praying for you. Believing for you.

There is hope.


Is there someone in pain who you can reach out to today?

If you are in pain, how can I pray for you or support you?

Please feel free to use the comment section or email me at:

mandy.mianecki {at}


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  1. “That is your dignity and identity. And it takes little more than a lustful glance to feel like that dignity is being stripped away. That is why you feel used, like an object…”
    Yes, this. This sense that even when your husband looks at you in that way, you’re just a body or a thing to him. Thank you for writing that down in a way that makes sense. Thank you for sharing with me, with all of us so desperate for healing.
    Melissa Ann recently posted..Setting Exposure in Manual Mode: The Zone SystemMy Profile

  2. Thank you, Mandy, for sharing this post. Yes, healing is possible. I’ve come so far. I know I have a ways to go to allow myself to be free of the guilt and shame. But I know He will lead me there!
    Barbie recently posted..Inspired Blogger: April of Hearts On GuardMy Profile

  3. Loved this piece! Must read again and again and again. How do you know this beautiful truth so clearly?!! You amaze me beyond words, I love you so very much!! Xoxox

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