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Abuse is Often a Hidden Secret

Victims Often Are Silent for Years Due to Self-Blame
Men Will Keep It In & Rarely Disclose
Lifelong Impact of Being Groomed
What Keeps Survivors Quiet

For the survivor, untold horror can be going on where people least expect it... where everything looks so normal.  So ordinary.  But, under the surface and behind the scenes, something very dark can be going on, which is maintained by perpetrators ensuring their victims maintain the secrets... that they never let on.

Classmates can be unaware
Neighbors can be unaware
Friends can be unaware
Family can be unaware

So often, there are family secrets that few outside the home know. But, inside the home, perpetrators can have their way, while others are supposed to look the other way.  It is the keeping of those secrets that keeps the predator free to harm, while keeping the victims bound and trapped.

The family dynamics can be used to keep the secrets, and the perpetrators know how play with the child's mind.  And, it can extend well beyond childhood.
The relational dynamics can be manipulated by the abuser to keep the victim quiet and still involved... thus decreasing the likelihood of the perpetrator ever being arrested.
The messages about not disclosing can be so strongly understood within the family, that the abuse can continue for years.  And those who secretly know what is going on, or don't want to know,  never elect to step in to stop it.

So, what does it take to begin the journey toward healing?  

   The first step is to realize that you are not alone... that you are not the only one who has felt like they needed to keep a secret for so many years.

   And, if you are just starting to realize that something probably happened to you, that is a very normal experience for many survivors who pushed memories down without even knowing it.  The issues they have wrestled with were simply attributed to some personality or emotional issue. However, deep within, they had a sense that there was something else... something that was trying to come up... but was kept at arms length, lest it come to the surface.

  The good news is you are not alone... you are not unusual... you are close to finally breaking free of some things that have kept you bound.  This portion of Survivor Support will provide you with the information you need to begin your journey. 

   You can do this.  But, you need to risk believing that you will make it.  God is for you, and wants to help you break free into healing.  So, take heart from the following story, which will help you realize that "you are only as sick as your secrets."  

Jessica's Secret

To all Survivors, please know that the journey into healing, though so painful at times, is worth it, because there is hope and healing available.  Others have made the journey, so you can as well.  Take strength from them, as you learn what is involved in that process, and as you read the stories of those who are moving toward freedom.
We will have many stories of hope to share as the months progress.  We will post them so you can find strength for the journey.  But, the first story we wanted to share is that of Jessica Wills-Fisher.  Hers is one of significant courage, as she was the victim of years of incest at the hands of a truly conniving, controlling, violent, and potentially lethal sexual predator-father, Toby Willis, who masqueraded  to outsiders and the media as an exemplary "Christian" husband, father, homeschooling dad, and the leader of an amazingly talented family of musicians.  Her story is gripping and compelling, and can hopefully serve as a source of encouragement to take a risk in your own life, into the freedom that is available for you.
As far as the world knew, they were the picture of the ideal family...  the perfect church-going family... the perfect Christian home school family... the perfectly blessed home, who were all so close and happy...
But, something very different was true behind the scenes... at home, when no one was watching.  What looked so picture perfect was in reality a nightmare of sexual abuse... of a lifetime of incest by her father... endured by Jessica and her younger sisters by a father who was, in reality, a heinous sexual predator.
For years, Jessica dutifully kept the secret.  But, the truth finally did its work in her life.  She realized that she did not have to be silent any longer.  She could stop the abuse, for her sake and for the sake of her younger sisters.  Once Jessica finally found her true voice, she broke the silence, which helped rescue her siblings, and sent her violent sexually abusive father to prison for 40 years.
Can you relate?  Feel like you are alone, to carry on like everything is "normal," despite the horror, the pain and the secrets that lie buried under the surface, that exist behind the curtain of the "performance" you feel forced to maintain?  You are not alone!  And, more importantly, there is hope of breaking free, of experiencing freedom from the chains that have kept you bound, and have kept so much of you shut up in very dark places.
Watch how the kids maintain elegance and keep silent about the secrets, about a year before the Jessica broke free and the truth came rushing out into the daylight.
This is just how amazingly adept and profoundly deceptive the sexual predator is in front of the world.  This is the face of a profoundly twisted, warped, and evil sexual psychopath.  He has worked hard to reach the point where he has no conscience, no empathy, and no remorse.  He would never have stopped, and would have continued to make money off his kids to the believing world, had Jessica not risked it all to break free, by finally finding her voice. 
Watch closely to see the masterful way that this sadistic psychopathic father was able to manipulate the kids into keeping up their image... saying the right things, looking the right way, appearing to be so free and joyful before the world... before Jessica finally broke free from the spell, from the control, from the manipulation, and from the threats, to disclose that her sexual predator father, Toby Willis, has been raping his own daughters for years. 
Watch just how much this evil predator-of-a-father was able to keep everyone in line... getting them to be able to say the right things in order to maintain the facade to the watching world... and, to get them individually to keep silent the secrets... and to keep up the appearance as though everything was fine... all so that he would never have to face justice for the evil he had perpetrated.  This is the degree of power and control over his victims the profound "white collar" sexual psychopath skillfully exercises over his victims.  
And, equally as important, listen to how, without even realizing it, Jessica was forced to "drink the cool-aid," in that she actively puts on a strong,happy appearance, to convince others... and herself... that everything is just fine.  Without realizing it, the amount of effort and energy she is having to exert to keep a lid on the truth, lest it come rushing out, is unbelievable.  That is why SO many victims report being burned out, and feeling emotionally dead, despite being able to maintain the appearance as being so happy to be a part of the "perfect Christian"  family.  She learned early on how to "put on a happy face."
Once the family secrets came out, what was that like for the siblings?  Hear in their own words, and notice the wide array of feelings and issues they need to wrestle through in order to come to terms with the abuse. 
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