Sexually Abused in College – Now What?

Sexually Abused in College, Now What? My time in college was nothing like what I planned. I entered college thinking I was a Christian. I believed in God, but I didn’t know Him. I didn’t know His heart, His character or that He was the only one who could satisfy the longing in my heart to be loved.

Instead, I thought that hole in my heart could only be filled by a guy.

Day 1 of college, I hugged my mom goodbye and watched her drive away in our empty van. We had just moved my stuff into my dorm at the University of South Florida. I walked back to my new dorm room, excited for my new journey to begin. But I was scared. Would I find good friends? Would I meet a cute guy in one of my classes? My heart raced with these feelings of insecurity, doubt, and fear.

I was a freshman in college. Just like any freshman, I had the freedom to do anything and be anyone I wanted. I had no idea how God was going to break me in order for me to get to know Him.

Day 3. I walked into orientation and there he was, sitting in my small group. He was so cute. Hispanic with dark brown eyes.

That night he invited me over to his place to watch a movie. That night he raped me on that tiny twin bed.

My love awakened way too early. It was awakened in a way that I did not consent to. I felt defined by guilt, shame, and dirt. I asked God, “Well, now what? Is it too late for me?” Song of Solomon 8:4 says, “Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” (NIV).

So what do I do? My mind was opened to a curiosity of sex. (Read more of my story.)

In our world, love can easily awaken. You could accidentally stumble onto porn, you could watch a movie saturated with sex scenes, you could experience premarital sex, or maybe something happened that you did not consent to.

If any of the above events or other events have happened to you, know that you are not alone.

In fact, statistics show that many of you have similar struggles:

1 in 4 women in America have been sexually assaulted
1 in 5 experience their sexual assault in college
1 in 3 visitors to porn sites are women
8 in 10 evangelical Christians were not virgins when they got married

It is very common to awaken love early and experience sexual things outside of marriage. Because why not? The rest of the world is doing it.

Because of your experiences, I want to ask you these questions.

Have you ever felt so dirty that God couldn’t love you?
Have you ever felt so guilty that you couldn’t worship our Savior?
Have you ever thought that it was too late for you because love was awakened early?
Have you ever wondered why God would give you sexual desires and feelings, yet you can’t act on them outside of marriage?

I’ve felt and thought all of the above. But the hardest thing for me to understand was the last question, what do I do now that love has been awakened? I’ve already had these experiences. I know how great they feel. I crave them and I crave the pleasure.

It is easy to feel guilty for having these feelings. But we are sexual beings, designed and created by God, so sexual desires are natural.

Look at Genesis 1:27-28:

So God created man in His own image, in the image of God, He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

In the act of creating “man in His own image” as male and female, God created human sexuality. It’s His design. It’s His idea, His gift to us. And the very first command given from God to man is to “be fruitful and multiply”. God is commanding us to have sex. He could have chosen another way to populate the earth, but He chose to make the sexual union part of His design, and He blessed that relationship.

God designed sex for a perfect place – in marriage. So what should those whose love awakened early do now? For us, this becomes even harder, but we must fight for purity and flee from impurity.

We can’t give in to our bodies. I had to come to grips with the fact that yes, I now know the goodness of sex, but that doesn’t change God’s plan for sex to only occur in marriage. But marriage is not our life goal. Our life goal is to glorify God in all that we do. As single women, we aren’t promised marriage. We aren’t promised that one day we will have an amazing sex life. So what do we do?

We have to retrain our mind and body. We have to want purity. (What does the Bible say about purity?)

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 says, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

The Holy Spirit lives inside of us, and that is exactly why God does not want us to awaken love early. When we sin sexually, we are sinning against God’s temple.

Whatever you’ve gone through, I want you to know that it is never too late for God to redeem you. Maybe you chose to awaken love too early or someone else abusively did it to you – God can and will redeem you and your situation.

Want to know God and experience redemption? Learn how you can know God personally today.

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5 Comments on Sexually Abused in College – Now What?

  1. Tonya dalton
    at (8 years ago)

    I’m sorry, it bothers me that you included your story and the topic of sexual assault within the rest of the story being about sexual immorality and purity. Sexual assault should not be included in articles that talk about immorality and consent, making a choice. They should be in two separate articles.

    • joypedrow
      at (8 years ago)

      Hi Tonya, thanks for the feedback. I completely understand what you are saying. I was trying to share my struggle of what to do after love was awakened early. How after my experience, I now knew about sex, and yet I still had to live out purity. I’m sorry if that message was poorly communicated. I do not believe anyone who was sexually abused was at fault.

      • tonya dalton
        at (8 years ago)

        I think if other sexual assault/abuse survivors read this, I believe many would also take issue and be upset. Rape/sexual assault/abuse do not fall under the category of “love awakened early” at all. I agree with many experts who say that rape is not about sex but about power and control…and often, about humiliating and punishing and terrifying victims.

        I understand you were trying to say that sexual abuse is not our fault and that God is able to heal it and redeem it, but I still wish you would not include rape/sexual abuse within an article about making a choice to disobey God and have sex outside of marriage. But we can see if other survivors feel the same way. Blessings.

        • joypedrow
          at (8 years ago)

          Thank you for your comment and opinions Tonya. As a victim, I never would want to hurt another victim. I will take your feedback into consideration for all future blog posts. I truly appreciate your honest comment. God bless.

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