Child Sexual Abuse.
These are probably the most horrifying three words in recent times. At this very minute, across the world, there must be thousands becoming victim to sexual abuse.
Today we’re talking with a victim just like one of those many children. Cindrella Prakash loves God with all her heart. She works with the Communications industry and also writes gospel songs in Hindi. She has released two album – Mehfuz and Mehfuz Vani.
She recently was featured on the TV show Satyameva Jayate, a show that targets various social evils rampant in our Indian society.
In Conversation With Cindrella Prakash.
When did you come to know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? Tell us about your journey with the Lord.
When I was between 6 to 10 years of age, I accepted the Lord as my personal Savior. Thank God for Sunday School teachers
If ever another Bible would be written, I would feature as the ‘Prodigal Daughter’. That’s how my journey with the Lord has been. Though I was saved while still young, I didn’t grow up fearing God too much. I kind of forgot that He watches over us all the time. But thankfully, the glories of the world fades away and He still accepts us when we return home.
That big part of my life apart, I grew up with life and death glaring at me in the face as my mom was suffering with renal failure of both her kidneys. She was on regular dialysis (thrice a week). My parents are avid Jesus lovers and I saw their faith and love through those trying times. My mom’s smile never faded. Not even on her last day.
My journey with the Lord has been filled with lessons; lessons on strength, on Biblical womanhood, on faith, on boldness, on uniqueness and many more. But all in all, it’s been a joy ride.
Recently, a rather painful incident of your life was featured on a TV show in relation to Child Sexual Abuse. Could you tell us about that?
In my childhood, I was subject to sexual abuse by two people whom we, as a family, were very close to. The first one used to come over to our place to conduct Bible Study every week. He was an old man, as old as my grandfather. In an orderly and well-planned manner, he came over to our place when I was alone and molested me. I was 12/13 years old back then. It has taken me years to reel out of it.
To add to it, a close relative of ours abused me when I was 16 years old. That came as a blow to me because this person was my blood relative. It was during these times that I started questioning God and then, eventually, started depending on Him more for my safety.
What has helped you overcome something so drastic?
Time doesn’t heal. Jesus does.
Being abused at the tender age of 12 and 16, ordinarily causes a lot of trauma, depression and the desire to seek revenge. But with our God, He extraordinarily caused me to forgive, forget and continue to love those men with a godly kind of love. But obviously, I got to this point of closure with God on these men after months of wailing!
Where do you think God comes in this situation?
After these incidents took place, I would question God. I’ve known everything has a purpose and I failed to understand God’s purpose behind this horrendous act. I felt dirty and was majorly confused about ‘love’. I started to question relationships and men, in general. I, very strangely felt guilty for a sin that I didn’t even commit. And the worst part was the loneliness. I couldn’t tell anyone at home and so, my only venting time used to be with God. My tears ran dry and I ran out of words to pray but God heard my heart’s cry. Beautifully, the Lord showed me, myself in His sight. He showed me that He loves me, that I am precious in His sight and that after all, He hasn’t forgotten about me. I drew closer to God owing to this situation.
The best of all was that Jesus showed me that He forgives me for every sin that I commit, He showed me grace and then He showed me the cross and His love for me that drew Him there. That day was appalling as I heard the Lord probing me to forgive them, forget what happened and continue loving. And that’s difficult! But Jesus, so beautifully filled my heart with love and Himself that I had no other choice but to do as He did. In fact, it’s this joy, this happiness that completes my story. It’s about what God did inside of me after what those men did on my outside that actually took me to that show. The joy of the Lord is my strength.
What was your thought process like?
I stepped in knowing that love and forgiveness are revolutionary ideas for the world but yet for Jesus lovers, it’s a way of life. That was on my mind. The fact that here on a platter is the opportunity to initiate a revolution was all that I was thinking of. God’s plans are brilliant and He puts us in uncomfortable positions, if I may say so
What was your motivation to come out boldly?
God has blessed me with boldness and it is for Christ alone. The Psalmist says, ‘Help the poor and the needy’ and I understand that if by me just raising my voice and disclosing my testimony would stand a chance of helping even a single person, then, I should do it.
Secondly, even while I was a child, I often tried to seek inspiration from my elders who might have been through this ordeal but I never found any. Now, looking back, I’m sure that it wasn’t like they didn’t face these issues too but just that they never spoke about it. Hence, the desire to be a voice for the voiceless. God gives us the ability to set the trend and so, we should.
You are not yet married. Do you think these incidents will have any negative impact?
Though I’m unmarried, I trust God to be my defender and match maker. I’m sure He will send an awesome man who would love me for my past, present and future.
Also, I don’t think you always need a husband to be bold, you just need Jesus.
How has that experience affected you as the person you are today?
For one, it’s made me a bigger person. I’ve learnt to be vulnerable to others and their needs. I am now far more forgiving than I once was. These experiences have taught me to be accepting of others, however they be.
In short, these experiences have helped me to imitate Christ just a bit more.
Discuss: Have you been a victim like Cindrella? Or do you know of someone who has been a victim? How would you have dealt with this situation if it happened to you or someone close to you? Please do share your thoughts with us.