What Happened to Me, Could Happen to Anyone
“Do not refrain from speaking when it will do good, and do not hide your wisdom; for your wisdom is made known by what you say, your erudition by the words you utter.” – Ecclesiasticus 4:23-34
Ever since I resolved to spend more time with God in prayer and reflection, I’ve found that various trials and tribulations kept coming my way. Each one was a test of faith, patience, and courage, that led me to lean on Him even more.
The last week of January was a particularly difficult time for me, with the demands of work and stress causing me to fall ill. It all felt too much to bear and just when I thought my cup was full, something else happened.
I have come to trust God even more through this encounter, for I’ve realised that through little moments, he’s in the people around me, encouraging me every step of the way.
So I took a huge step forward and reported my case to the police. While I knew the odds of apprehending the perpetrator might be low, I wanted to make a stand. At the very least, I want others – men, women, children, and youth – to know that they’re not alone and it’s not their fault.
What happened to me, could happen to anyone.
Shame is a peculiar thing in Asian and conservative societies. Such subjects are spoken about in hushed tones because it’s regarded as taboo. But God reminded me that there is “a shame that leads to sin and a shame that is honorable and gracious” (Ecclesiasticus 4:20-21). With God’s grace, I found closure, and others came forward to share that they now realize that such incidents which they were accustomed to reading about in the news didn’t seem so distant after all. They shared that they are now more aware that this could happen to their loved ones. One of these friends is a Sikh who commended my courage for reporting this and for sharing my experience to help others.
As Catholics, we are called to be God’s light in the world, and I hope our parish community will continue to grow not only in faith and numbers, but in love and care for each other. I’m choosing to share my story today in the hopes of giving others who have had similar experiences the courage to speak out. Always remember that God is with you.
By Erin Goh*, 30
(The name has been changed to protect the identity and privacy of the person who shared this testimony)
Erin* was 23 when the first incident happened. It involved a construction worker. However, God has been merciful in sending people to heal her traumatic experiences and associations due to the aftermath of the incident, such as the Sikh friend who accompanied her to the police station.
God reminded me about how I remained silent about an incident that occurred 7.5 years ago.
During my university days, I was molested near Boon Keng MRT, along the main road at peak hour. No one came to my aid and I decided against reporting it at that time as I thought nothing would come of it. As time passed, I brushed it aside, and slowly regained my trust in others. But little did I know that God had other plans for me.
It happened again, this time in a different place. But the who, what, when, where, why or how of it didn’t matter. And it dawned on me that what matters is that it’s unacceptable. No one should feel unsafe or that they’re at fault in such situations.
This time, I heard God’s prompting loud and clear – do not be afraid for I am with you. Indeed, I wasn’t alone for He sent my best friend to accompany me every step of the way. I encountered God through quiet time spent in reflection, through my best friend who was there for me during this time. When I prayed and reflected on scripture, that verse from Ecclesiasticus came up. It was purifying for me to write an Instagram post about the incident after it happened, and with that came a sense of peace.