A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Child Safety Training — by Ps Jimmy Hinton, the son of a pedophile pastor

Of people sitting in pews, 40% have been or are currently being sexually abused. Learn from the son of a pedophile how to stop them in their tracks. One is too many — 40% is unacceptable. Know their techniques!

Pastor Jimmy Hinton’s life was turned upside down when a victim disclosed to him that she had been sexually abused by the former pastor – Jimmy’s father.  Jimmy and his mother reported his father to the police. Jimmy’s father is currently serving a 30-60 year prison sentence for sex crimes against children. Since then Jimmy has worked tirelessly to understand the mind and motives of pedophiles so that we can better protect children from them. His website is jimmyhinton.org

Jimmy presented this Child Safety Training in January 2018 at Westside Church of Christ, Bakersfield, California.

Jimmy Hinton’s Child Safety Training – playlist on YouTube

Links to the individual sessions: 

  1. Understanding predators (Part 1)
  2. Understanding predators (Part 2)
  3. Understanding ourselves
  4. From zero to texting
  5. Understanding survivors of sexual abuse
  6. Q & A
  7. Sunday Session Recap 1
  8. Sunday Session Recap 2

The Statistics

I asked Jimmy where he got that 40% figure from. Here is his answer — 

My opinion is that 40% is actually a conservative number.  If we just take raw data, we’re sitting at about 40%.  I’ll share that data below then explain why I think those numbers are actually higher in churches. 

Diana Russel did an in-depth study of 930 women in San Francisco and found that 28% of all of the women reported some kind of sexual exploitation before the age of 14.  The number of women sexually abused in her survey jumped to 38% if we include those in the 14-17 year old range. (Diana Russel, “The Incidence and Prevalence of Intrafamilial and Extrafamilial Sexual Abuse of Female Children” (1983) 7 Child Abuse and Neglect 137-46. 

Ronald and Juliette Goldman did a study in Australia with 1,000 college students and found that 28% of the women in the survey reported at least one sexually abusive experience before the age of 16. (Ronald and Juliette Goldman, “The Prevalence and Nature of Child Sexual Abuse in Australia”, (1988) 9 Australian Journal of Sex Marriage and the Family 94.

A study in Britain found that 24% of women and 9% of men experienced sexual abuse as a child. SJ Creighton and N Russell, Voices From Childhood: A Survey of Childhood Experiences and Attitudes Toward Child Rearing Among Adults in the United Kingdom (National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children, 1995), interviews with 1032 adults.

In a large study by phone interview in the US, researchers found that 27% of the women in their survey had experienced sexual abuse by the age of 18. (D Finkelhor, G Hotaling, I Lewis and C Smith, “Sexual Abuse in a National Survey of Adult Men and Women: Prevalence, Characteristics and Risk Factors” (1990) 14 Child Abuse and Neglect 19-28).

Estimates for male survivors is between 1 in 7 and 1 in 10.  David Finkelhor’s survey in the US and the Goldmans’ in Australia both found that 9% of men were sexually abused as boys, with a large number of those who were abused by a male adolescent who was at least 5 years older than the victim. (David Finkelhor, Sexually Victimized Children (New York: Free Press 1979).   (R and J Goldman, referenced above).

A study in Britain found that 8% of men surveyed were sexually abused as boys. (AW Baker and SP Duncan, “Child Sexual Abuse: A Study of the Prevalence in Great Britain” (1985) 9 Child Abuse and Neglect 457-67.  

Some surveys reveal that as many as 16% of men admit to being sexually abused as children. (Finkelhor, Hotaling, Lewis, and Smith).  

Dr. Anna Salter quotes a study by Gene Abel to say that, of a sample of 232 child molesters, they admitted to 38,000 incidents and reported more than 17,000 total victims.  Abel analyzed another sample of 561 offenders (to include all kinds of sex offenses–exhibitionism, voyeurism, adult rape, and child molestation) to find that they admitted to 291,000 sexual offenses and more than 195,000 victims.  Salter says, “It is difficult to appreciate just how large a number 195,000 is, but consider that the Louisiana Superdome, site of five Super Bowls, has a maximum seating capacity of 72,675.  If all the victims of those 561 men wanted to meet, they would have filled two and one-half Superdomes.”  (Anna Salter, Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists,  Other Sex Offenders Who They Are, How They Operate, And How We Can Protect Ourselves and Our Children (New York: Basic Books 2003), 11).  

In Abel’s study of 4,000 admitted child molesters, 93% of them self-identify as religious. (Gene Abel and Nora Harlow, The Stop Child Molestation Book: What Ordinary People Can Do in Their Everyday Lives to Save Three Million Children (Printed in US 2001), 38-39).  

Of all of these studies, roughly 30% of females have been sexually abused as a minor by an adult and anywhere from 9-16% of males.  But these studies are not current and don’t take into consideration the explosion of social media, personal electronic devices, and the various types of private communication and file sharing that has become the gateway to exploit more children at a far faster pace. 

I believe current studies will reveal that these numbers represented have only increased as we have given far more avenues to groom and exploit children.  We are seeing this increase in the US with the number of school teachers being arrested for sexual encounters with minor students.  Here is a study of the dramatic increase in Texas of teachers being arrested for sex crimes against students. Improper teacher-student relationship cases soar. There was a 36% increase in just one year, from 2016 to 2017. And these are only the ones who are getting caught! 

93% of child molesters identify as religious, so there is a higher concentration of predators in our churches.  This, combined with the naivety of many church leaders and the seeker-friendly movement which urges everyone to come “as you are”, has made the church a breeding ground for sexual exploitation of children.  Furthermore, many survivors are coming to church because they are seeking answers, hope, and healing.  When I have done training at churches over the past 6 years, I have never witnessed a church without survivors and at least one known child sexual offender who has been part of each church.  There is always a significant percentage of my audiences who reveal to me that they are childhood sexual abuse survivors.  

One pastor friend told me that approximately 90% of his congregation of over 150 mostly college-age members has revealed that they were sexually abused as children. 

***

Helpful websites 

Jimmy Hinton’s website
Twitter: @jimmyhinton12

Jimmy Hinton interviewed by Mary DeMuth   Note: this interview was done in 2016 when Jimmy was part of Church Protect. He left that organization in 2017 and at the time Jimmy was leaving we decided to no longer recommend or endorse Church Protect.

Finding A Healing Place  – Clara Hinton’s website where Jimmy Hinton’s mother shares her experience of being married to a pedophile.
Twitter: @clarahinton 

Speaking Out On Sexual Abuse (SOOSA) –Jimmy & Clara Hinton’s weekly podcast. You can subscribe to this podcast from either Jimmy’s or Clara’s websites.

A Solitary Journey
Brenda Elysium shares her experience of being married to a pedophile

Spiritual Sounding Board has a category called Wives or (ex) of Pedophiles

Related posts on A Cry For Justice

Signs Your Husband May Be Addicted to Pornography – By Wendell

The Lord shielded not my eyes but my soul from the filth on the screen

The Unique Nature of Sexual Intimacy Makes its Abuse Uniquely Destructive

She did not cry out while being raped … so is she guilty?

39 Comments

  1. Un-Tangled

    Jimmy’s ministry focuses on child sexual abuse and he estimates that at least 40% of people in church have been sexually abused. I often wonder what the percentages would be if the figures included ALL forms of abuse, including emotional abuse. I used to think that the churches were safe places, filled with godly people. I no longer believe this.

  2. LL

    I just watched one of the segments on YouTube and indeed, Hinton seems to know his stuff. And it’s from a guy, too, which isn’t an insult but rather my just saying that it’s rare to hear from men who get it, who seem to understand what the victimized, raped, abused, humiliated woman feels. Ps. Crippen, Ps. Powell, and now Ps. Hinton.

    I also like how he talks about parents needing to teach children that it’s not okay for anyone to have physical contact with them if they don’t want it, even Grandma’s innocent hug should be TOTALLY voluntary, to say NO, that not all adults are to be respected/obeyed, authority can be questioned, no adult should be berating a child and if that does happen, tell the parents and they’ll stand up for the child.

    And since we know that pedophiles and psychephiles operate in the same ways, these predator YouTube videos can be used by all, kids or no kids.

  3. LL

    Since Barb introduced us to Hennessey and did a wonderful series on his works, I’ve been watching the YouTube videos even though there are no children in the picture because predators and predators. I don’t see much difference between a pedophile and a stranger rapist and a wife-beater.

    What Hinton talks about rings true. My abuser is very, very smart and his dialogue was rarely heard as he didn’t want to give anyone any information, especially not me, his victim but he considered it all to be a game, was enthralled with magic, con artistry, criminals, etc. and considered other people to be but “suckers”. And operated towards others in baiting ways, “hook, line, and sinker”. If his preferred victim was children, instead of adults, he’d have been a prolific pedophile but kids don’t seem to appeal to him as he likes a challenge.

    People want to believe in the good of others and this is especially true within conservative circles and Christians. Well worth the watch, along with Anna Salter’s videos on YouTube, which show one young pedophile being interviewed and the video clip is referenced in Hinton’s presentation and they talk an excellent game. Most abusers target ‘safe’ victims who are somehow most likely not to report, or about whom society does not care (if they are poor, have substance abuse problems, have mental illness, are disabled, persons of color, or with a criminal record, etc.) as they know they can victimize with relative impunity. Kids are targeted, too, because they can easily be silenced, scared, controlled, discredited, intimidated, etc.

    • Can you please tell us the link to that video by Anna Salter?

      If his preferred victim was children, instead of adults, he’d have been a prolific pedophile but kids don’t seem to appeal to him as he likes a challenge.

      That fits with what Don Hennessy said about how the psychephile (the man who abuses his intimate female partner) is MORE skilled than a pedophile.

      my abuser was enthralled with magic, con artistry, criminals, etc. and considered other people to be but “suckers”.

      That fits with what Jimmy says about how pedophiles use the same tricks as stage magicians (but they do it with malignant intent to abuse their targets, rather than to entertain an audience).

      It also reminds me of Deborah’s post My own private Dexter: insights into the psychopath.

      most abusers target ‘safe’ victims who are somehow most likely not to report

      That fits with what Don Hennessy says about how psychephiles target women who are kind. A kind woman is less likely to report her abusive husband’s bad behavior, because she is kind and she doesn’t want to ‘hurt’ him.

      • LL

        Listening to Sex Offenders – Part One by Anna Saltar — old video but there’s 5 or so to the series and the predators you see are ones she also writes about in her book, “Predators, Sex Offenders….” it’s a longer title.

        So I watched the Hinton series of videos with interest not because there are children in my life but because I just see how it is all a blending…. predators are predators, whether it is a pedophile or a rapist or a wife-beater and having been eaten alive by a psychopath (or 2 or 3), I’m just barely holding on.

        Hinton mentioned survivors still cutting, and mentions one woman sleeps in her tennis shoes and she is in her 40s. I wonder how many of us are really struggling and barely holding on. With one or two exceptions, I wasn’t preyed upon as a kid, but my gosh did the predators make up for lost time in my adult years. Like I married satan himself.

        Prevention and/or early intervention is so crucial for victims of abuse, rape, beatings, etc. because once you are at the escalated end stages, even if he doesn’t shoot you dead, you’re still a walking dead person. You’re done.

      • LL

        Anna Salter video:

        Sex, Lies, and Sex Offenders – Part 1 – Protect your children from dangerous people!
        The first man she talks to was a youth pastor.

      • LL

        A Psychopathic Sex Offender – An interview with a real psychopath – Disturbing!

        In this video, Anna Salter speaks to the guy who groomed his stepdaughter to become his sexual slave….assuming you read the book and I am recalling it correctly. It’s the one where he started shaping her personality, etc. from 1 years of age in anticipation of having a perfect teenage girl sex slave.

      • Innoscent

        TWBC, it looks like the first link LL mentions is invalid. [Part 1]

      • Thanks for letting us know, Innoscent. I think I have now fixed the link. Let me know if there is still a problem. 🙂

      • Innoscent

        Thanks Barb for that, the link is working now.
        I have watched part 1 to 3 of Jimmy’s training and jotting down many key points! I want to gain as much discernment as I can in order not to be fooled ever again by these demonic people.
        Many thanks for pointing us to this excellent training series! Thank be to God for such ministries.

  4. Song of Joy

    Since I had the day to myself, I spent the afternoon watching the first six of eight segments in their entirety.

    This Jimmy Hinton teaching series is outstanding, and I think everyone should try and watch as many segments as they can. I commend the Westside Church of Christ in Bakersfield, CA for hosting and recording the series and making it available to the public.

    Pastor Hinton has a refreshing and very compassionate viewpoint for victims of pedophile abusers. He emphasizes that evil resides in the heart of the abuser, and that they are persistent, possessive, and (I don’t recall him using this exact word yet describes them as) persuasive. In the second segment he discusses 20 identifiable patterns of behavior to watch out for, rather than simplistic “red flags”. Later in the series, he makes it clear that churches should be supportive of victims, not requiring them to forgive their abusers. He also makes it clear that pedophiles do not change, and that churches are foolish (not his word, but it sums it up for me) to accept supposedly “repentant” pedophiles into their midst and to assume that the church can successfully contain the pedophile while he is part of the congregation.

    So much info! It really got me to thinking. Please watch this series, it’s a critical topic that the church at large wants to avoid, ignore or turn its eyes away from and walk away from on the other side of the road.

  5. W

    The way I understood it, the porn-filled 17 year old guys are going after and relentlessly pursuing the 20-something year old teachers, not the other way around as you said in a prior comment. The average 10 year old boy has seen porn and many have regular porn-viewing habits from that point on. Gail Hines does a tremendous job with her work to educate the public of the harms of porn and our porn-infused society. Almost all men are porn users and viewing porn changes the way you think about, regard, and treat women. When anyone says that media images, etc. are mere fantasy and don’t get played out in real life, their senseless message need not be heeded. Not true. Porn tells lies about women. Porn furthers rape myths. Porn rewires and shapes the brains of the users and porn is basically filmed rape.

    It was disappointing to watch Pastor Hinton, in his church presentation, talk about 50 Shades of Grey. 50 shades of grey is not a mere romance novel. Every pastor alive should condemn that book and movie series.

    Also, as long as I am talking about porn, every single serial killer/serial rapist is a porn user. Every single one. Many of them act out specific porn on their victims and some leave their victims’ corpses styled in very porn-specific ways.

    I am assuming that most Christian women have little to no idea what porn looks like, how violent it is, and how sickeningly evil the crap is. But we are to be wise as serpents, ladies, and porn is all about harming, abusing, beating, degrading, and raping women and girls. Gail Hines’ book(s) likely give examples and illustrations and I most certainly wouldn’t want to give any porn website the traffic in clicks, but 50 Shades of Gray, porn culture, rape culture, it needs to be understood for the true evil and threat it truly is.

    Pastor Powell talks about medical doctors seeing men in their 20s who can’t have a physical relationships because of the effects of porn.Those 20 year old males who can’t get it up are NOT victims. The reason why they cannot is because a willing, consenting, loving partner who isn’t being raped, beaten, degraded, humiliated, crying, vomiting, gagging [or worse]… isn’t titillating enough for them to get and sustain an erection. It isn’t considered sexy and exciting enough to be around their girlfriends or wives. What excites and arouses the average 20 year old is truly revolting content …

    • I invited Jimmy to respond to this comment. He’s having techno problems so could’t reply here himself but he sent me his response by email.

      Jimmy’s response:

      You said, “It was disappointing to watch Pastor Hinton, in his church presentation, talk about 50 Shades of Grey. 50 shades of grey is not a mere romance novel. Every pastor alive should condemn that book and movie series.” Am I missing something here? I don’t remember referring to it as a “mere romance novel” or speaking favorably of 50 Shades. I agree with you on the effects of pornography. There is absolutely nothing good that comes from pornography. My point with 50 Shades is that it is being consumed by A LOT of women and this is making them more vulnerable. When they begin to romanticize rape and make it “sexy,” they are playing right into the hands of the men who are consuming pornography.

  6. MarkQ

    I watched 5 and the Q/A, and now I think I need to watch the rest. Really really good.

  7. Finding Answers

    I was sexually violated in infancy by my “dad”, and as a small child by two of my siblings.

    In later years, I discovered my grandfather was a paedophile. (I would not have suspected him.)

    I definitely need to add Jimmy Hinton’s videos to my list of “homework”. (I had read all his posts before I found ACFJ.)

    There is so much to learn…..

    • Your grandfather too! How awful.

      • Finding Answers

        Fortunately for me, he did not live anywhere in my proximity, or I’m sure i would have been added to his victim list. Three were mentioned – knowing paedophiles, I doubt they were the only ones.

        The very few times I met him, he seemed a “nice man”…..

      • Pedophiles craft and polish their ‘nice person’ persona. I’m not surprised your grandfather seemed nice to you, since he did not make you one of his victims.

    • Finding Answers

      Adding on to my own comment….

      As time progresses, I face the understanding my sexual violation in infancy by my “dad” happened way more frequently than I originally grasped.

      No wonder those emotional boundary blank spots are so pervasive……

      In comparison, the sexual violation by my siblings seems like relatively “small potatoes”.

      Not much consolation, but a help in seeing the bigger picture.

      • Now Free (formerly struggling to be free)

        finding answers you are so right, we can only take one day at a time. Actually in Matthew 6:25-34 – it’s all God wants us to do. v34 – “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
        Matthew 11:28-30
        28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

        Just to rest in Him and not to worry. To let Him worry about tomorrow. “Today has enough troubles of its own!” As the old Native American used to say “tomorrow is another day!”

        It is with this and your “blank spots” in my mind and many of us have them I’m reminded of God’s amazing creation….psalm139:14 tells us – 28 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” We are not were or will be it is present tense despite all that has gone on and going on. It is how we are made. 🙂
        Psalm 103:14 says “He knows our frame.”

        That to me says in His amazing wisdom and being omniscient (all knowing) He knows exactly what we are like (better than we will ever know ourselves) and what we will go through. He has built into us a safety mechanism of self protection.
        What a wonderful God we have who lavishes us with love, but does not overwhelm us with burdens we cannot bear. So often in trauma and after we hit “blank spots” or things that for one reason or another amount to filing away into the deep subconscious realm of our beings. Things too traumatic at the time and for the future. Things that maybe from time to time God brings to the fore or allows something to trigger back those times. He allows that not to hurt us again, although it can be so painful, but to wrought another little facet of healing into those areas. In our impatience, we want it all done and dusted overnight, but I am beginning to see we could not handle it. Little by little God is changing us as He heals us. His timing is perfect.

        This is our amazing God we can only cling on to Him for He knows exactly what we need just at the right time. He is a wonderful counsellor (psalm 23) who does not push or prod but just lets us “be” and works with where we are at.

        I know for me that was one aspect of counselling I hated. I fumed inside when I was being prevented from venting or steered in a direction that I was not wanting or ready to go. Knowing in the moment I needed something else sorted that was deeply troubling me and needed answers. Too many have their agendas, even churches do. Sometimes we do well to be wise and just listen and let a person “be” and work with where they are. All too often we rush and do not let God do His work. Work that lasts – churches today need to get back to basics and let God be the head in the church again. Today with all the fancy programs and agendas, many operate with man made structures and God’s work is shoved out. Sometimes God just works best in the stillness and when man is quietly tuned into Him. Like the world too busy to take notice, too busy to care, to busy but not always for God!

        finding answers you have been such an inspiration and encouragement this week to me and I am so glad you are sharing your journey with us through tough times. Praying you continue to find answers and more pieces of the big jigsaw puzzle as you trust the one true and living but very amazing God. 🙂

        Leaving you all with the blessed Psalm 121. Take time out – Read it, meditate on it and let God work in you!

      • As time progresses, I face the understanding my sexual violation in infancy by my “dad” happened way more frequently than I originally grasped.

        No wonder those emotional boundary blank spots are so pervasive……

        Oh … I’m so sorry… (netspeak for wordless hug)

  8. Finding Answers

    In reply to Now Free (Formerly Struggling To Be Free) OCTOBER 25, 2018 – 6:02 AM

    Unfortunately, the emotional boundary blank spots are not repressed or hidden traumatic memories. They are permanently damaged neural pathways associated with certain words and concepts.

    In many of the breadcrumbs of my story strewn throughout the ACFJ website, I have called myself a “misfit”. Not because I think there is something “wrong” with me, but because there is no single source covering all the aspects of my circumstances – and I realize I am not alone in my search for the truth.

    I have needed multiple secular and non-secular resources to identify things that did not add-up or make sense.

    The permanently damaged emotional boundary blank spots surround words and concepts like…..

    Rape
    Safety
    Security
    Trust
    Provider

    ….to name a few.

    While I have no physical ability to cry or shed tears – unless I am betrayed – I can feel intense heart pain when I am hurt.

    The Holy Spirit gifted me with a gift of healing, and is presently using the gift to develop alternate methods of communication. In reading stories of abuse victims and survivors, I can feel the light, pressure sense of a plough leaving deep furrows on my back.

    I labelled myself a “misfit” on the Asperger’s and Autism post because I am not ASD, but I do display some Asperger-like traits. I empathize through the gift of healing given me by the Holy Spirit, not because of the actual emotional connection.

    Through the Holy Spirit, I have learned to trust God, though I have no capacity to feel the emotional meaning. A true paradox.

    The emotional boundary blank spots are just that – there is nothing there, it’s a shiny piece of blackest obsidian.

    For the last number of weeks, I have been coping with the physical discomfort involved with healing many instances of my sexual violation in infancy by my “dad”. I can identify whether the events occurred before or after a nearly fatal infant illness.

    The healing process is slow. I cannot “cry out” the pain, so the Holy Spirit uses a number of other means. In the meantime, the physical pain – at times – is nearly debilitating. In experiencing the physical pain, I remember I am not alone….there are other victims and survivors dealing with variations on a similar struggle.

    I pray regularly for the voiceless, the “misfits”, the isolated, the hard-pressed.

    I may be isolated, but I am not alone.

    • Now Free (formerly struggling to be free)

      Thank you for clarifying that more finding answers. I got that gist of your “blank spots”,
      as you describe it before from something you had said in another blog, but I thought it was a bit of what I said here too. It’s much clearer now what you mean. I knew someone who had similar problems with crying. They had not shed a tear for anything in well over 40 years and did not have a clue as to why. He handed it over to God. To cut a long story short, God suddenly touched them one Sunday morning during a praise &
      Worship time, and suddenly the tears flowed and flowed. The immense healing from some sort of blockage for some reason had started and continues. I’m learning more and more we are unique and “complex” beings. Truly very specially made. We just don’t fully understand things even about ourselves, but I’m so glad we have a God who does.

      It is amazing how our bodies react due to stress/trauma/abuse. I had my doctor tell me my symptoms of a problem I received were psychosomatic due to what I had been enduring. I knew something just wasn’t right and tablets were making not one bit of a difference. It was quite an eye opener once it was explained to me, and why it happened due to my reaction to verbal abuse. My body was shutting out physically in response to what was happening within me mentally. Unbeknown to the doctor, my counsellor a few days later said exactly the same thing. In fact, I was even doing certain actions of “freezing out” in both meetings and I didn’t even know it. In some ways now when it happens I know something is very wrong going on in my life and I need to re address. It’s a different kind of red flag I guess for me.

      Apologies again for my mistake re your “blank spots”, although hopefully some of the comments I gave will still help others who are trying to get through those difficult times as and when they arise.
      Do forgive me if I got it wrong. Your explanation is very good and gives me greater insight and a lot to think over.
      Got you re misfit thing. I had a wife who was diagnosed Asperger’s, but because she was right on the edge of the spectrum, it is very difficult to quite grasp with other mental illnesses and learned behavioural problems just exactly what is going on. I still don’t think she fully has found who she truly is. She often said the same as you and she was a “misfit.” I knew what she meant, but to me she was still a person. All her life, she knew something was very wrong in her life and wondered who she was.

      That made it extremely difficult for me to understand and realise I was being abused. It created a lot of things in me that I couldn’t understand and piece together. In some ways, I still haven’t figured it all out, but I just know what I was receiving was not right and most definitely a pattern of abuse. I will say it again here, as I know there has been misconceptions even on this site by some. I do not believe autism or those with ASD or any similar traits results in being abusive. People are abusers because they are abusers, not because of any mental illness. They are two different things.

      However, those who do abuse, very often will use their other problems to heighten the confusion and blame their diagnosis for the way they are. It makes it much harder for victims to discern and realise what is happening to them and why. I had an awful amount of guilt because I had to take a stand and break free for my life and my sanity. The battle raged in my head and heart, if I was a good husband I should be doing all I can to help her find herself, get her help, do more to show concern and love, more practical things and help her cope better in life. God knows I did my utmost best to be the best husband a man I could ever be. That coupled with my marital sense of duty, obeying my vows, family, and pastor etc, trying to keep us together, I did not know what to do. I received so many mixed messages and I was going crazy with confusion, while my heart was being ripped in two. I lost my confidence and self-esteem and felt totally drained of life, I was dead inside . I’ve still a long way to go, as I know I am not right, but I’m alive and as they say “kicking!”

      I’m still just glad “finding answers” you are you and you are learning to just “be”. It thrills my soul when I hear you describe some things and how you cling to God and trust Him. It encourages me to do the same. Needless to say, I can pray a bit more wiser now for you. God is a great healer. I am learning so much through this site. I’ve been so blessed by all the comments. It gives me so much food for thought, insight, and good advice. I feel each day I read I receive something more to make me stronger.

      Thank you again for sharing your experiences, as it helps us all as we move forward and also hopefully helping us in turn help others along the way who may need us. Thank you for helping me gain a greater understanding. If anything, I hope readers who are trying to help others recover realise that the effects of abuse are immense and they must not minimise what abuse is. It is devastating and Satan’s seeks to use it to destroy mind, body and soul and breaks our spirit. I think some think when we break free from an abusive person, that we just almost overnight change and all should be fine within a few weeks. I know I struggle at times with that with people around me who just don’t get the damage done and that I need reworking. “working out” the things we have been programmed to believe, think, act, react etc takes time, not to mention the whole triggers issue. There’s no quick fix. It is even more horrendous when others make little of ongoing abuse that many are enduring and are really struggling to be free.

      I’m so glad you and others here are sharing with us and please do correct any misgivings or misunderstandings. I know for me I appreciate that as it helps me learn more.

      One of the things I struggle with is I am forever saying sorry, and it drives people crazy when they don’t understand why I do it. Another is I can’t process silence too well if I’m with others and especially if I’ve been texting someone and we are chatting and suddenly there is nothing. I feel ignored, abused, hurt and sometimes there is a simple explanation, but my mind is in overdrive and driving me crazy with worry. Sometimes for days there may be nothing. I struggle and tend to overthink and feel I have done something. I am forever saying sorry and trying to get that person to come back to me as I feel I have upset them. I feel I need to always check there is a valid reason for broken contact, but it would kill me if I had said something that hurt them. I have no self esteem I guess. I need to learn to be quiet and content. Maybe this is why I am so alone. They do not understand why I freak out so much (part of me is screaming inside at them for being so inconsiderate and discourteous) or get it and I am made to feel then stupid and they get angry with me. I am then made to feel that I am crazy and so stupid and I feel that I am not good enough for them. I am a nobody or no worth. That’s why I get snubbed and anything I say is ignored. That then really hurts me and upsets me, as I have by my stupidity hurt them – the very thing I am trying not to do. Second guessing is a terrible thing. I then walk on eggshells and don’t know anymore how to properly interact. I don’t feel good enough to contact people. I never had that problem ever before, but now I struggle with conversations at times. I thought I had my self esteem building back up and was doing good. I had realised I am not dead, there is that fun, daft whacky guy still there, and then through some upsets in my life I just don’t feel I’m of any good to anyone anymore. I’m pushed back again and again every day. I’m my own worst enemy and critic, I guess. I’m too hard on myself so some say. I’ve made too much of a mess and I’m just the laughing stock to people. I get to a point I just feel in my attempts to care and make sure I am loving I cause them headaches, so to speak. I feel I’m a nightmare to people and no good. Just some things I need to rework and sort in my being.

      God bless you as you continue to piece life together. I think your name is very apt and I’m praying you continue to find answers.

  9. Finding Answers

    Now Free (Formerly Struggling To Be Free) commented “Do forgive me if I got it wrong. Your explanation is very good and gives me greater insight and a lot to think over.”

    I am glad my explanation helped. The first time I encountered an emotional boundary blank spot was….SO…..weird. I was reading through the Don Hennessy series the first time it happened, like opening up a dictionary and finding a gap where the word was intended to be listed.

    Your comment on apologizing reminded me of a post on / containing the topic. You might find it interesting – if I remember correctly, I think I commented on apologizing to God. Especially after the “not me” voices in my head had me spewing their vile stuff. (I could identify which abuser’s “voice” by tone, words used, and associated triggers.)

    Now Free (Formerly Struggling To Be Free) also commented “…..I think some think when we break free from an abusive person, that we just almost overnight change and all should be fine within a few weeks. I know I struggle at times with that with people around me who just don’t get the damage done and that I need reworking. “working out” the things we have been programmed to believe, think, act, react etc takes time, not to mention the whole triggers issue. There’s no quick fix. It is even more horrendous when others make little of ongoing abuse that many are enduring and are really struggling to be free.”

    ^That.

    Many on ACFJ have made similar comments, starting pretty much from the earliest posts. Add in the secondary abuse, about which you and many others have written. Plus (possible) post-abuse contact, especially with shared parenting or ongoing court battles.

    An add-on and slightly off-topic thought for you, Now Free. In thinking of other comments I’ve made incorporating lyrics from your songs, I never commented on the lyrics’ powerful impact. (I would add the emoji for hands clapping, but the resemblance is not great – I tried it once before….. 🙂 )

    • Now Free (formerly struggling to be free)

      Oh no need for hand clapping emoji’s but it is funny to hear. I appreciate just that you find them helpful etc and I hope they encourage. I’m saving everything maybe one day I’ll write a book of them all recording a journey that others may find encouraging to go forward in their own.

      I find writing everything down is my way of venting/coping and it is very therapeutic and part of my healing. It’s amazing what floods out sometimes from just a phrase that strikes your heart. It just flows some of those songs/poems are written in one fell swoop in matter of minutes.

      I encourage all of us to write write write. Put the feelings etc onto paper. It will help you and perhaps even one day help your children or those around you understand someday or better understand what is going on with you. Sometimes people have asked me why I had to leave my abusive marriage. The initial song and a very brief few words is enough for them to realise more than I could verbally say. I have been very careful who I show my songs or poems to. They are more for me and perhaps future use to help others. I know I am safe here.

      Of course only put things down if it is safe to do so. Keep a diary etc. I’m very mindful it is not always possible to have something at home. You may though find a locked away place at work or with a close friend may help. Safety is key!
      I’ve found it an eye opener and at times very encouraging, when you read back.

      Btw I note that the police ask victims of abuse or harassment to note everything down and especially your feelings and how things are affecting you. That is perhaps another reason that if possible write things down. You may not always, like me, have anyone to vent to. I am alone but it really does help and often keeps you focused as you reflect those words back. Sometimes you realise you are very wrong to think something and you can correct it. Sometimes some word or idea leaps out at you that gives you better direction or a thought to ponder on more that perhaps needs some action. For me it’s been all my life a place of healing.

      As a pastor I know often says: “I’m not where I should be but I’m definitely not where I used to be.” A work in progress yip that is me.

      Praying we all have a “moving forward” day and are encouraged in some way today!

  10. Now Free (formerly struggling to be free)

    Just watched the series and been blown away. A great resource for us all but especially churches and the laurenskids stuff too

    Hoping my family watch and I corporate into their own church. If only they had watched before dealing with me.
    Cried buckets at series three my family and perhaps pastor wife are in false reality

    I cried buckets at Jimmy’s words on series five. Oh if only my pastor had saw that and his wife.
    Sadly I’m one of the ones who had to leave and others before me to a different pastor. Was encouraged there perhaps are churches who see things differently. I know of mine here things are so evangelical but so entrenched in the past traditions and divorce is such a taboo. Both of those former pastors have shocked me and the one who dealt with me has damaged me even more than I realised. The tears tell me so. Healing tears but I feel totally drained by it all.

    Now I contemplate another nite alone
    No one to talk to or laugh with

    Sighs those around me haven’t a clue the misery of loneliness and the loss of everything.
    Been a tough day in many ways but I’ll be ok. Jesus sees and knows. Still it’s nice to have care here on Earth too. I don’t see it but am glad for those here who have shared they have friends that stand by them. For want if a word you are so lucky.

    Hoping family watch and the penny drops but I’m concerned that as this is re child abuse and the church has its firm policies on such I am wondering will the penny ever drop that they need adult abuse policies too and this btw includes me. It seems everyone else has the problems but me well oh I just had a hard time with someone who had a bad upbringing and problems. It’s so sad.

    Maybe just maybe this will get watched and help. I know Jeff’s sermons I gave them never were listened to. I think they just think me a basket case.

    • It’s so disappointing when people are not willing to listen to the material we give them which might help them learn more about how to respond to abuse. 😦 😦

      Many victims have this experience. You are not alone, NF.

      • Now Free (formerly struggling to be free)

        Thanks barb, I’m not going to give up. Tbh I’m not sure why the attitude. Disappointed but not going to give up. I sent Jimmy’s series and notified. Not a word of acknowledgment, which is totally out of character. This is not normal, thee is something going on behind the scenes I think I’m not being let in on. Glad of support here. It’s been a very tough weekend.

      • Now Free (formerly struggling to be free)

        Like I’ve said before (re pastors etc) it’s to me nothing more than pride at fault. I see it staring at me so often. Too proud to say I was wrong. Too proud to say I’ve changed my belief on that. Too proud to say sorry. Too scared to admit and too stubborn to acknowledge yeh I have learnt something more and I was wrong.

        And to avoid being ‘shown up’ which is certainly not how we would we feel, it’s often easier to avoid. Selfishness and pride are often hand in hand.

        It takes a bigger man or woman to say sorry. We are all still learning though. Perhaps fear is in there. They don’t want to get involved and don’t like to be told you are wrong.

        It seems to me some just don’t get it but instead of being willing to listen are so stuck in their own minds they are right (ones who have not even been there) they are adamant we cannot teach them anything.

        Just my observations. This is why I prefer not to converse but thought hey these resources may help. It’s not me in their face then. They can watch and listen or read and take what they want from it. I’m so hurt – it’s like “oh we support you” and are raging if you dare say they don’t fully. It’s like talk of it is taboo now. They have moved on and just expect me to have forgotten it all. At least they come across that way by action and reaction. Every week I feel re-abused just by wrong words or attitude, but terrible there is no willingness it seems to be really supportive by learning.

        Now if my pastor who had done so much damage wasn’t willing to learn a bit or listen and gain more in order just to be loving and supportive of you, that’s one thing. Loving parents and sister, pillars of the church and community, known for their loving service to all, and yet are not willing even to let you speak.

        It’s this attitude of pride and selfishness and even self protection and unwilling attitude that is so bad in the church i.e. the people of God.

        So painful as I prepare myself to go visit. I’m beginning to realise I may be out of my abusive marriage, and I thought I now can be me, but sometimes I have no choice but to revert back to being someone else.

        I’m so so sad and hurting. I’m trying my best to recover and the ones closest are not helping. Yet they get so upset if I don’t bother much with them or sometimes I make other plans. Could this be some kind of control too??

      • Yes, it could be some kind of control. It seems like they are trying to coerce you to stop speaking about your wishes, your feelings and your needs. You are out of the fog; but they prefer to stay in the fog.

  11. Now Free (struggling to be free)

    I mentioned that I had tried to get the videos to my sister. [My sister/family] made a very quiet response to me mentioning them, but I began to share some things in the videos… as a little perhaps appetiser to watch. I shared quite a bit but the response was muted though they do see there is problems generally in society.

    I then mentioned a little re false reality. Again it received a response of quiet thinking.

    I’m not exactly sure whether it was received well or not. At least I said things – to be honest I didn’t give much room this time to refuse. I just spoke and was not going to be quiet – I’ve been put down far too much. So I took a stand, hinting at myself and other things. Mentioning stuff from vids and Don Hennessy book etc. Things I’m learning and seeing. I don’t think they see anything related to me at all.

    I really get the feeling they believe I’m not moving on and they cannot see this is my moving on and part of recovery. I’m of the impression that all that they want is me to shut up and forget it all.

    I’m definitely of the opinion that there is a strong defensiveness and hanging on every word just so they can trip me up. Dad inc today was defensive of things I mentioned. He was terribly quiet and listened to every word. Very quickly – I mean like lightning – he was in my face posing a question. It was legitimate, but just a shocking way to do it. It made me jump back in my seat but I said, “Watch the videos; it’s all dealt with in there.”

    unfortunately.
    I did see another act of controlling later, towards him, so I stood up for him and pointed it out. It was nothing major but it was a show of controlling attitudes. Browbeating attitudes that I know if continue get worse and drain you. It reminded me of my own abuse and the way things were said to me in the past. Personally I didn’t like it and have said before about it, but it’s not seen till you check it. I know it’s not meant, but it is and there are better ways of saying things.

    I still got hammered on stuff I did as a young kid so far back I can’t remember. But why is stuff long gone mentioned to get a dig at you when it has no real relevance to what your conversing about except to get at you? I’m beginning to see something I always felt when younger that there is an environment of negativity. Always quick to point out your faults. I feel I’m not a good person and of little worth. I chatted about a lot of biblical stuff…all good until I mentioned biblical stuff that Jimmy Hinton had mentioned re the woman at well, the millstone, the adulteress woman, etc. All went quiet again and I felt ok it’s best I leave. I can only be around in short bursts anyways.

    I also got my answer very quickly that which I had suspected. They do not see any correlation between abuse of others or children, and what happened with me. I shared things Don Hennessy had said in his book re pedophiles and adult abusers. I got a strong impression I had said enough about that. I can mention for a while re Jimmy’s videos or terrible acts, but how dare I even bring in about myself. I see walls of defence rise immediately and a change to totally irrelevant other things.

    I honestly don’t know why this is happening. I know I took a huge risk to say anything. Something is going on behind the scenes and I’m not sure what, but I get met a lot with silence, or a few words and let’s get off this subject to even the most absurd conversation. Today I can’t tell you how absurd or I might be identified, but I thought “What? How is this in any way remotely relevant?” Probably the point was, it wasn’t relevant: Any daft thing is better to talk about. I can only say I feel rejected, even more alone, and I come away feeling I’m not good enough for them. I’m only wanted if I talk “normally”. I’m not allowed to be me. [My family give me sense that] I must be like back then [before I saw the abuse. It feels like they want me to] pretend to be someone else [and they prefer] steering clear [of who I am now.]

    Like walking on eggshells.

    I’ve been so restless all weekend. I feel so enthused and then brought down to Earth. I’ve been critiqued and had much fun poked at me for the way I say things (same phrases others used, but I guess I was good to be poked fun at) and that I say “sorry” a lot. I just feel I’m no good to people and annoy. I don’t want to annoy anyone, and I want to keep peace and things right.

    I was heavily got at for saying sorry that I’d said something that person went to town on and made big deal of. I felt I had upset them or annoyed them as they kept at me even when I said I didn’t feel it was nice. They say I don’t annoy them but I feel it sometimes. Later it emerged I had annoyed them as I didn’t see the fun of their getting at me. Initially I did and laughed but they kept it going then got annoyed with me for saying they were making fun of me. But eh? They said they were making fun of me. I don’t get it so I apologised and got told off.
    This with intensity of Jimmy vids and a lot to take onboard etc
    I’ve been totally confused and hurt and I don’t understand, just that I’m a big joke to some.

    My body aches it’s telling me I’m tensed out.
    I was trying to chill out but some just won’t let me. There may be people who cross my path but I’m totally alone. Despite presence of bodies I am invisible – the real me. I can only appear if I follow others agenda.

    Just realised something was said today and it really was a case of trying to contradict. It wasn’t really relevant but an attempt to say why should we listen
    What jimmy is explaining is wrong.
    A total inability to see the point I was sharing. Again another attempt to make me feel stupid.
    I feel I’m still in the fog sometimes. I’m very confused by some things. It’s probably me but I haven’t it figured out.

    A day of rest ….I wish!

    • Hi Now Free

      yes, from what you’ve described I get the sense you are still coming out of the fog. And I want to reassure you – that’s FINE!

      Coming out of the fog is a process. And I think that none of us are fully ‘out of the fog’.

      Only God is out of the fog. God — Father, Son and Spirit – is not in the fog.

      But you and I and all other human beings are still in the fog to some extent. Some of us are a bit more out of the fog than others, but none of us are fully out of the fog. So rest assured that you are not alone.

      The fog is the fog of sin: our sins and the sins others have committed against us… and the flesh bias which we all have because even if God has regenerated us and we are born again we still have to battle against the flesh…and the cultural conditioning we each have received from our churches, our families, our societies, our communities. All those things have contributed to the fog we each find ourselves in.

      I encourage you to be gentle on yourself and let yourself recover from the wounds.

      And I encourage you to give yourself a pat on the back for how you are doing your best to be yourself with integrity, while at the same time you are trying to love your family and help them awaken to the insights and understanding of truth that you have learned – which is God’s truth applied to the real world at the coal face of human suffering and human sin.

  12. Finding Answers

    Sometimes it’s confusing…..

    ….discerning between abusers and abusive behaviour.

    ….discerning between a genuine pat on the shoulder / back and predatory behaviour.

    ….discerning between ignorance and intentional denial.

    ….discerning between friend, “friend”, and foe.

    Now Free (Formerly Struggling To Be Free), might this be some of what you are encountering? In some ways, exactly the kind of thing about which Jimmy Hinton spoke? Near the beginning, I remember him saying many people would identify themself / someone else with some of the “signs” or “red flags”, though not be an abuser or predator.

    Sometimes it’s confusing…..

    • Yes, it can be difficult discerning between those things you listed.

      Is it a pattern of behavior which that person is demonstrating? Pattern is the key word there.

      Does it indicate a mentality of entitlement? Are there indications that the person believes he/she is entitled to treat you with disrespect? Are there indications that the person believes he/she has the right to treat you that way, because of some fundamental beliefs he/she holds about… gender… skin colour… ethnic origin… rank/status in society…etc.

      Is the person doing this behavior to obtain/maintain power and control over you for his/her selfish ends?

      One of the ways to discern is to ask yourself this: How does the person respond when you tell them you are not comfortable with the way they are treating you?

      Do they ignore your feedback? Do they resist or fight against your feedback? Do they tell you that YOU are the problem and there’s nothing wrong with the way they are treating you? Do they apologize and make sustained efforts to not mistreat you from then on? Do they shift the blame? Do they divert or block the conversation? Do they make false allegations about your conduct and your attitudes? Do they admit fault? Do they try to negotiate with you a better way for the relationship to go forward? Do they ignore you when you express a grievance? Do they hector you? Do they escalate the conflict? Do they demonstrate over time that they want to work at mutually problem-solving the difficulties in the relationship?

      • Now Free (formerly struggling to be free)

        Thanks, Barb and finding answers your comments have given me a lot to think about.
        That list Barb is very good and in many ways it’s the sort of things I have been keeping in mind.
        I see quite a lot of those reactions as I share or say things.

        My counselor (put in place by my doctor) before I was separating mentioned some patterns she saw and hinted a good few times when I struggled in my abusive marriage at the time….”do you not see a pattern…

        I did. For years, as I knew there were always complex family problems. I have never figured it all out. However yesterday I saw things happening and staring me in the face and it kind of took me back a bit. Both mother and sister acting and reacting and backing each other up. I’m convinced, as with myself and others in family, it’s why we don’t tend to stay about too long and tend to keep any time all together to a minimum. Sometimes it’s very difficult to recover, as it keeps adding a waft of fog into the mix (like one of those fake fog/dry ice machines at concerts or film sets).

        I always go home drained and trying to figure out why certain things were said or happened. There was a very big turn around to point finger of blame at me of something totally unrelated and did not need to be said. I just felt here we go again. I’m the punching bag have a go.
        It obviously has been a carried hurt of a mother and has never been dealt with. Very interesting but I’ve said this over and over again especially about my abusive wife and her background.
        We can learn behaviours but we are adults. When we abuse as adults and others consistently say that we are the ones who need to change our behaviour, we cannot blame or use things in past or upbringing as excuses when there has been absolutely no attempts made to try and sort that behaviour out in fact quite the opposite. I had a wife who often relished in her mental illness problems (or at least it seemed she did) and so called diagnosis.
        Using it as an excuse to abuse.

        I know things have been handed down but that does not always compute as I also know there are lots who have had bad upbringings and are the best of people. I see that so much in other family members.

        There are issues that have never been dealt with and as a result actions and reactions done and said that accompany that, and whilst I may not always call it abuse, (yet at other times I would). From your list barb I would at times say yes it is very much a form of some kind of abuse…. that keeps you guessing and on eggshells. The walking on eggshells feeling is a massive give away actually.
        I often come away hurt betrayed and feel I am worthless is there nothing I can do or say is good. A little encouragement goes a long way than being brow beaten or silenced.

        Any wonder those in similar positions to my own in family ie. with problems of not our own making are struggling or have struggled and they get me and I got them.

        Yet there’s a pretender if Christianity that to me sucks. It is not love, I even loved my wife more and I was told I didn’t.

        1 Cor 13 – love protects and love holds no record of wrongs etc etc was always my motto and even in the end I could see it was not being reciprocated fully despite words.

        I did not break my vows on that but an abusive person did and same goes for family love.

        It’s just very tough but one day I hope and pray they get it as I see others in the family suffering and I step in when I can and stand up for them. I will not be silent but I get badly hurt in the process.
        I guess I just have to keep moving forward keep getting stronger, but this abuse has so much secondary abuse attached it’s like wading in mud.
        Thanks again everyone. I will get there.

      • Finding Answers

        Y’know what, Barb? Before my walls crumbled, I don’t think I could have accurately assessed or answered any of your questions. Nor could I have come up with my list on difficulties with discernment.

        Maybe because I spent my entire life surrounded by abusers? And surrounded by a society and cultural environment that – for one reason or another – thought they had certain “rights” without the attendant responsibilities?

        What I still find odd is how, in the past, I could see all this play out in other’s lives, but not my own.

        I couldn’t see the patterns in my own life until I wasn’t part of the pattern.

    • Now Free (formerly struggling to be free)

      Hi Finding Answers. Yes probably discerning a lot from ignorance. Certainly there’s a lot of false reality in there as was said in series. I’m still thinking through it all but seeing more and more things as I processed yesterday.

      Btw it’s a thrill and joy to read your comments and I’m overjoyed with you as you see progress. It’s not an easy journey but as long as we are going forward and gaining some measure of recovery, healing and insight it’s good.

      I thought Jimmy’s point that often in the church we have some feeling that wolves will look different to sheep and easily recognisable but no they will just look like sheep, but we need to watch what they do and act and be vigilant. Plus the fruits will look the same and not always be in your face different but we need to disect and see what’s inside. Very interesting indeed. Food for thought.

      Thank you for your concern I appreciate it and you 🙂

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