Christian author and speaker Joyce Meyer has revealed further details about the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her father growing up, sharing that she was raped at least 200 times.
In an interview posted on her website Monday, Meyer admitted that some of the things her father did were too crude to publicly talk about, but said she is sharing her testimony in order to inspire others and give them hope that recovery and healing through God is possible.
Although Meyer has talked about the sexual abuse she suffered as a child numerous times in the past, in the latest interview she said using the term “sexual abuse” is not enough anymore, and the real truth is that her father raped her.
“He didn’t force me physically, but through lies, and manipulation, and fears, and threats, I was still forced,” she said.
“My father did rape me, numerous times, at least 200 times.”
In a sermon, the Christian author detailed the numerous occasions and tactics her father would use while she was growing up to abuse her, such as when her mother would go out shopping, or when he would take her swimming.
“There was no place I ever felt safe growing up,” she said.
Meyer revealed that her father abused other girls as well.
“He wanted me to bring girls from school home so he can abuse them,” she said.
And while she was able to come up with excuses for her classmates, she said her father sexually abused their neighbor’s daughter.
“I was ashamed of my parents,” Meyer revealed, noting the shame was extremely overbearing to her as a child, for what she suffered through, and what her father did to her and other girls.
“Sexual abuse is so shaming that nobody talks about it. Nobody knows how to talk about it,” Meyer stated, adding that she was too afraid to tell anyone about the way she was being mistreated as a child.
The Christian speaker noted that she lived in a very “controlled atmosphere,” where her father prevented her from doing any after school activities, including getting her a graduation dress or ring.
“Even on good days the atmosphere that we lived in was super charged with fear, because you never knew what might set him off,” she added.
What is more, she was forced to pretend she was someone she wasn’t, as her father would give her pornography to look at, and ask her how it makes her feel.
“For me to have to pretend that I liked something that I despised, I think that was one of the most damaging things,” she said.
Meyer shared that part of the reason she is being so open now with her testimony is that she is thankful for God’s gift of freedom in not having to pretend anymore.
“Literally, what he did was rape me, every week, at least once a week, until the time I was 18. My father, who I was supposed to be able to trust, who was supposed to keep me safe, raped me a minimum of 200 times,” she said.
Despite what she suffered through, Meyer said she loves her life now, noting that she has four grown children with her husband, Dave, including 10 grandchildren.
“How can that have happened to me, and me be standing here today, if God is not alive and well?” she asked the audience.
“I want people to know how good God is, and that your struggle is worth it, your journey is worth it. Don’t give up,” she encouraged.