I am a 23-year-old female.
I was nine years old and in the third grade when I was violated, not by an adult, but by a peer who had presumably just learned about sex. This peer had been at my home one day, when she pulled me into the bathroom and started touching my genitalia. I didn't make her stop, but I was startled. One instance turned into multiple instances. It was either occurring in the bathroom, at school, or somewhere in my house. I didn't know what was happening, but I did feel that at that moment my sexuality was awakened. Another friend was brought into it. We had competitions to see who was the better kisser. One day, another peer witnessed the sexual interactions occurring, and the girl who started the entire exchange from the very beginning blamed everything on me. For that, I was humiliated and shamed. Accused of being the initiator of this kind of violation. I was bullied and struggled with severe self-worth issues from feeling so ashamed.
Afterwards, all of the memories were pushed into my subconscious. They did not arise again until I started praying this year that God would show me the roots of the sins I needed to flee from, and what needed to be brought into the light.
Besides the shame I felt of this occurring not only with a peer, but another girl, I also struggled with confusion. The interactions were enjoyable, so was I a lesbian? This led to years of a sexual identity crisis during my teens. Furthermore, I partly attribute my struggle with pornography and masturbation to this incident. When I realized I was not a lesbian, I became boy crazy. I misused my body in ways I shouldn't have.
I became the church leader that was serving in church and then going home and watching pornography, so I became skeptical of church leadership, and wondered whether or not they were also engaging in secret sin while leading the church. The church did not talk about things like sex at all, so I didn't want to be the one to bring it up.
I recognize that this is an instance of childhood exploration occurring. While I do not believe that this peer of mine understood the gravity of what was occurring, it was still a violation of my body and led to so many distorted ways of thinking. I wonder what could have been done, and this is what I have concluded:
Parents, you don't want to discuss sex with your middle schooler, when in fact, this should be discussed starting at an even younger age than that. Kids must learn about sex through the lens of the Bible and the church, or they will learn about it from the world. Kids also NEED to learn about this from their parents, so they are not taught by their peers or influenced by their culture. The average age in which children are exposed to pornography is age six. Age six. And they have no idea how to control their desires and fetishes. We are setting children up for a lifetime of confusion by not changing the culture associated with sexual sin, and my prayer is that we address this immediately.. In today's day and age, this is only going to get worse.