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To deliver or expose to an enemy by treachery or disloyalty.

To be unfaithful in guarding, maintaining, or fulfilling:

To seduce and desert:

It is a betrayal, a desertion, deception, trust has been broken, all with one action, one bad decision, made by a person who themselves are suffering.

Sexual abuse, rape, assault, molestation, whatever you call it, it is wrong. There are no excuses for it, there is no justification. We do know those that perpetrate are sick, they are ill, with some trauma or suffering in their past. Please don’t misunderstand me; I am not here to vindicate them or their actions. Betrayal is one of the hardest challenges to overcome. It changes our very soul; it affects our way of thinking about not only society but ourselves. It destroys families, breaks apart bonds, damages relationships.

We all feel loyalty but when trust is broken it leaves us in shambles. Loyalty is natural to feel but when we are betrayed it causes confusion and bewilderment and is difficult to understand, to accept that those protectors can also be perpetrators.

When the betrayal comes from a family member it completely changes the family dynamic, there will be disbelief, non-acceptance, and disharmony between family members. Betrayal can also come in the form of close family friends, and that too is every bit as challenging to a family. Families can be torn apart, members that just can’t accept that such an action could ever happen within their family, or adversely there can be total support.

There will always be shame guilt and fear attached, the victim will contend with those emotions possibly a life time, what is worse is that it is not for them to hold. They have done nothing wrong, they are the innocent.

We must protect, we must give these victims a safe place, one that will allow them to tell their story, no matter how horrible it is, they need to feel safe with no judgement: they need to know they are not alone. There is support out there for them, no matter how long it takes for them to tell their story.

Written by Thelma Davies

* Thelma Davies is a survivor of sexual assault and offers her insight from a victims perspective.

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