One can’t help but feel inspired within minutes of talking with Janet Napper. Janet, a 55 year old firmly rooted Christian woman, is a survivor of child abuse and neglect, foster care molestation, domestic violence and rape, as well as verbal, emotional, physical and financial abuse.
Her abuse began at the tender age of 2 1/2 and did not come to an end for good until she was 36 years old. In her own words:
“I was abandoned in an apartment by my parents. The police found me after a few days crying (and) put me in an orphanage, then in foster care. In the only foster home I had (til 18), I was emotionally, verbally and sexually abused. I lost my virginity at 13 (and) became pregnant at 16. Living with my boyfriend, I was physically abused then raped. In and out of relationships offering me security and safety, I was abused off and on and became the abuser as well.”
Janet stated that after turning her life over to God and seeking biblical counseling, she is happily married. Now married five years, she met her husband, Kenneth, six years ago on a Christian dating site. She says that what she loves most about her husband is that he is gentle, kind, caring and loves her conditionally. As she put it, “just because I am me.” When asked about knowing when she was ready to explore a romantic relationship, she stated that she felt she was ready after five years of being single, understanding her value and learning how to implement her choices and boundaries.
Janet is the Founder of Overcoming Abuse Gods Way, a group of of internationally qualified passionate people used of God to help educate the cause and effects of abuse to men, women and children. The proud mother of six is the Author of a book with the same title.
Our final question was to ask if she had any advice regarding relationships for anyone who is currently experiencing abuse or has in the past. We will close this edition of “Finding Love After Trauma” with her response.
“If you are in abuse (male or female) and in danger, seek help immediately to get out of harms way with your children, if you’re a parent. Take courage to understand your value as a person and that you are worth getting help and having a joyful life with your children, if you are a parent. Take courage to forgive yourself so you can begin to love yourself by sharing with a trustworthy Christian friend or counselor. If you choose to leave your abuser, stay single for at least three years to really understand the cause and effects of abuse so you have an opportunity to say ‘no’ when you see danger in a relationship before it goes into a courtship-intimacy. Love yourself so you can love your children, family and friends properly with boundaries. God bless you as you seek out healing and restoration.”