How They Made Us Remain Silent
If you are a survivor of a child sexual abuse, you will recognize the words of your abuser in some of the following sentences. All abusers use a range of tactics to keep children silent and to make sure they will never tell.
- “This is our secret.”
- “I would never hurt you. I love you.”
- “This is just a game, there is nothing wrong with it.”
- “You make me do this.”
- “It is your fault.”
- “You want this.”
- “You enjoy it, see – you like it.”
- “Nobody will believe you if you tell.”
- “You are not innocent any more.”
- “You are not God’s child any more.”
- “You belong to me.”
- “Your parents will hate you and will leave you if they find out.”
- “You or your family will be hurt if you tell.”
- “You will be taken away from your family to a foster care where this will be happening to you again.”
- “You will ruin your family if you tell.”
- “You can trust me. I am the only one who cares about you.”
- “I love you. This is why I do this to you.”
- “This is how you express your feelings when you love someone.”
- “You are old enough now, every child have to go through this in a way to grow up.”
- “We are friends. All friends play such games.”
- “Everybody will think that you are gay if you tell.”
- “Everybody will think that you are a whore if you tell.”
- “Nobody will love you ever if they know your dirty secret.”
- “You are dirty now, you have to be ashamed of yourself.”
- “If you do not tell, I will stop.”
- “If you tell, I will do worst to you.”
- “You deserve this, you have to be punished for being a bad child.”
- “I am only trying to protect you from others like me, because out there there’s worst than me, so you can be only safe with me.”
- “I am the only one who understands you.”
- “I am the only one who loves you.”
- “If you do not obey, you will be hurt.”
- “Do not be a bad girl/boy. Do what I tell you.”
- “If you don’t do what I tell you, I will tell your parents/friends/family/teachers etc. ”
There are many reasons for children to justify their silence. Depending on the tactics used by the abuser, every child sees things differently but the common thing is that usually children don’t tell anyone about the abuse until they grow up. And even then most victims remain silent. And it is a fact that most of the child abuse cases are never reported and are kept in the shadows of victim’s mind forever because of the ”successful” manipulation from the abuser in the childhood.
In adulthood some survivors still believe in the words of the abuser, and these strong beliefs are what is the most difficult to comprehend and to be change in victim’s mind in a way to become a Survivor.
To fight something we have to understand it. This is what drives me to study Psychology, and Criminal Psychology in particular. I need to understand myself and what I’ve been through as a victim and survivor.
And I need to understand him-the abuser who stole my childhood, why he did it, what drives him to be who he is and to do what he does, what tactics he used with me and what tactics use others like him to get more children in their ”victims list.” I need to understand why they all do it and how to stop them.
Then I can fight them better, when I know them better, and when I know myself better too.