If someone asks him, ‘What are these wounds on your body?’ he will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.’ Zech 13 v 6

Sunday, April 5, 2009


What good are we if in a moment of real need we deflect, distant ourselves, or ignore the issue? I don't want to ever be that person!

In our situation, for the first two weeks our family was trying to figure out how to maneuver through all of what was happening. Initially, we stated that we didn't want our family named as the "victim family" when the leadership spoke of the matter. We wanted to try and control who knew it was our family for the simple reason of protecting our child's privacy.

Together we decided we didn't have anything to hide and communicated to the leadership that it didn't matter to us who knew it was our family that was "the victim family". (About a week after the discovery the leadership had a meeting and told the congregation that there had been "inappropriate affection" between Patrick Rojas and a child in the congregation. They informed the church members that the authorities were involved.)

When we started to tell our close family and friends the reactions were so diverse. I would start by saying that we called 911 to report sexual abuse by Patrick Rojas against one of our children. It was always disbelief first but after that some would actually start to cry and show deep concern for our child and family. They would want to listen and ask questions, they would be real.

Some reactions were even hurtful! I had a few people after the initial shock actually turn their concern towards Patrick. No kidding, one comment was, "Well he better get a good lawyer, the state will be out to get him." Another one went right into rantings of how "The Rojas ways weren't all that great after all, now were they?" In those moments, I was struck by the fact that the individual in front of me really hadn't heard me. I had just told them I had to call 911 because my child had been sexually molested by our pastors adult son.

The comments I resent the most are the ones where the person would say, "At least that's all he did, it could of been worse." I wanted to scream, WHAT IS WORSE?" These people just don't get it!

Do you get it?

Do you get what is taken from a child when they are sexually molested, regardless of the level of molestation?
Their innocence. Their ability to trust. What should be beautiful,(sexual intimacy) gets introduced as something dirty and bad. The child's sense of safety is robbed. From the first deviant sexual act the child is forever changed!

The child that is damaged far more is the child who never tells or isn't supported when they tell. The trauma that is caused by childhood sexual abuse, if not properly dealt with, can lead to a lifetime of residual consequences.

Then you have the people who wanted to bury their heads in the sand. They didn't want to know what was really happening with our case or in our family. This way they could be friends with everybody. I am not good at playing that game. This was too big! All the areas of our lives that this affected made it such that we just couldn't play along. Essentially, we stayed away from these people, they didn't want to know and we didn't have the emotional energy at the time to make them face the facts. Amazingly enough most of these people were the ones who wrote letters in support of Patrick. No one was telling them not to and hey, he was Patrick Rojas, and it was only "inappropriate affections." They didn't bother to ask questions of us, the prosecutor, or sheriff detective. They simple pulled their heads out of the sand, wrote a letter of support for Patrick, and stuck their heads back in the sand. Now they act as if they shouldn't be held accountable for writing the letters of support because, "If they knew then what they know now......"

I don't even know what to say about the people who would quote scripture only. I have to be careful here so I am not misunderstood. When I would tell someone about what had happened in our family and then their response was something along the lines of, "Just trust God", "God is in control", or "God is sovereign." I wanted to shake the person and say, "Does that make you feel better because it doesn't change any of the consequences that our family will endure."

 By their statements I also felt like saying, "What are you implying?"

 The countenance of the person and the way in which they were talking to me made it seem as if I was suppose to be happy about all of this because it was Gods' will. If I would just trust God everything would be fine. It was like I was doing something wrong by mourning the betrayal of so many people. It is still surprising to me how many people fell into this category!

We had a few families that were very supportive from the beginning. That is how God carried us in that time!

My best advice for you, if ever you are face to face with someone who is devastated by a crime, a death of a loved one, or dealing with a terminal illness, just listen to them, cry with them, be there for them. It's not your job to make it better or to try and fix it. They just need a friend, to love them in the moment and if necessary stand up on their behalf for what is right.

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