top of page

Shame Off You: Healing from Childhood Sexual Exploitation

By Amy Kratzer

God's Brave Women - Amy's Story

When I share my story of childhood exploitation, I’m often asked, “How could this happen to you?” The answer to that question isn’t an easy one, but I do know this: Despite my circumstances, God has redeemed me and continues to heal me each and every day. He is Jehovah Rapha—the God who heals!

To understand the how, I have to take you back to my childhood and the circumstances that gave my abusers the opportunity to hurt me.

My parents each had struggles of their own, even before I was born. My Mom loved the Lord but lost her Mama at the age of 6. While life was difficult, she kept her eyes on the Lord and was the one to lead me to faith in Jesus. For that, I’m forever grateful!

Everyone has both good and bad tendencies, but for my Dad, the bad seemed to overtake the good most of his life. He loved women and battled sexual addictions. This erratic behavior led to an unstable home life, and by the time I was 18, I had lived in 19 different homes.

I was the baby of four ragamuffin kids, just trying to survive. As a gregarious, tow-headed girl who just wanted to be loved, I was an “easy target” for the neighborhood acquaintance who seized on an opportunity to take advantage of me. A day that took my innocence away, causing me to hide away from everyone—even myself—for so many years.