Steps toward forgiveness

“Do I need to forgive to heal from sexual abuse?”

“Sexual abuse and forgiveness”

“Survivors of rape”

“Forgiving my rapist” BMW

“Forgiving my rapist” HP


“How to forgive a friend”

“Forgive someone who hurt you”

“9 Things to Do When Someone Hurts You”

“Betrayal: How to forgive when you’re still mad”

“Steps to recover from betrayal”

“Forgiveness after betrayal”

“On Anger, Forgiveness, and What Maturity Really Means”


“This idea that you must forgive the person who sexually abused you is the worst kind of vapid nonsense. You can forgive your abuser, if and when you want to. You’re also perfectly free to never forgive your abuser. The former is not necessarily better—it’s not necessarily any more moral—than the latter. What’s most moral is whatever works best for you. You’re the one who got hurt. You get to decide what your attitude is toward the person who hurt you, and no one but you (and especially not anyone whose opinion about it you haven’t asked) should have jack to say about it. If you ever feel like forgiving your abuser (whatever “forgiving” in this context actually means—and the people who use that infernally vague word in this context invariably have little if any idea what the heck they actually mean by it: usually they just like the Oprah-esque way it sounds), you’ll know you feel that way. Until/if you do feel that way, everyone else can just wait on the party to which no one’s invited them anyway.

Remember: anyone—be they family, friend, sibling, pastor, therapist … anyone—who in even the slightest way pressures you to forgive your abuser before you’re good and ready to do that, is at best tragically ignorant, and at worst harboring their own terrible reason for desiring that your pain vaporize away into a warmly glowing mist of sunshine, unicorns and rainbows. They want that to happen for their sake. For your sake, ignore them. You’ve got reality to deal with. And reality actually dealt with beats fantasy every time.” (“Sexual abuse and forgiveness”)

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