The Aftermath – You Can Win This Battle Too

The Aftermath – You Can Win This Battle Too

What happens to us – the sexually abused children – while and when we grow up? How does the abuse affect us? We often have difficulties trusting other people and we are always cautious. We sometimes cannot really love another person, because we just don’t know how. We are likely to use drugs, alcohol, pills etc. just to forget the abuse and to escape from the stress and pressure in our life. We can easily fall in love (with our image of love actually) because deep within we want to be loved too. We are likely to go into casual sexual relationships because we want to have positive sex experience and to forget the bad one. We get easily depressed, frustrated or desperate because we don`t really powerful and strong enough to manage the life challenges. We are likely to hate sex sometimes because we connect the thought of it with the abusive sexual experience in the past. We often think that nobody understands us because we cannot be completely honest to anyone. We often think we are not pretty/handsome or clever or strong enough and this is the reason for our low self-esteem sometimes. We often feel helpless and we are likely to believe that life is unfair because the abuse happened to us in the first place. We often end up in bad or abusive relationships because we are always looking for love, and sometimes in all the wrong places. We are likely to be abused again in our adulthood because we already have the “victim-thinking” and we think nobody can help us, or we are sometimes just promiscuous which leads us to dangerous social relationships again. We often do not understand what’s the reason for the many mistakes we have done in our life. We often live our life feeling guilty for what happened or because we didn’t tell about it. We are constantly afraid that probably our silence made others to suffer (other possible victims of the abuser), and that we didn’t prevent this from happening to others. We are likely to feel constantly ashamed of ourselves in case our body actually responded to the abuse, not realizing that this is just a physical body response to sexual stimulation. We often don’t think that it was really an abuse, especially if it was not physically painful. We are likely to minimize the damage and the facts. We sometimes try to forget the abuse by trying to keep our minds busy – reading, writing, movies, sports or other causes. We are likely to get involved in “bigger” causes – political, animal rescue, Red Cross volunteering etc. – and this is something like a “rescuer-syndrome.” When helping...

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Why Children Don’t Tell

Why Children Don’t Tell

There are many possible reasons why children do not report the sexual abuse. These are some of the reasons why sexually abused children never tell, and in fact the silence is what empowers the abuser. Children don’t have the language for it, they don’t know what is sex, touching, penetration. All this is a completely new thing for them and they just don’t know how to describe it. Children don’t make a difference between appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Children are usually warned by their parents not to trust strangers, but in fact only 5-6% of the sexually abused children are abused by strangers. In all the other cases the abuser is someone who the child knows, a parent, a relative, a family friend, a teacher, a coach, a priest. Children don’t realize this is an abuse and a crime if it does not cause them physical pain. Children feel guilty if they feel physical pleasure, which is just a natural body response to the sexual stimulation, but physiological pleasure does not mean an emotional pleasure, and this is difficult for children to understand. Children are ashamed of the abuse, and of themselves in general. Children are afraid that if they tell everyone will blame them for the abuse. Children believe the abuse was their own fault, because they did not do anything to stop it. Children think this is something that happens to all children. Children think no one will believe their story. Children are afraid of being punished, rejected, or not believed. Children believe they might be hurt even worst by the abuser if they try to resist. Children are afraid for themselves and their families, in case that the abuser is aggressive and threatening. Read more blog articles… Read our Commenting...

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How They Made Us Remain Silent

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”...

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Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

So who is the child molester? He is just like you and me, at least on the outside. He is the ordinary citizen, he is also a human like you and me. And it’s hard to tell this person would harm any other being. Even the opposite-he is nicer than most people, always smiling and well respected in community. He is the friendly neighbor who is always available when you need someone for babysitting or to watch over your kids while you go away for an hour or two. He is the devoted teacher or coach who is always ready to help when your child struggles at school or needs help with the homework. He is the genuine priest who is always there when you need support. He is the one who is always there to listen to your problems and who is always willing to help you and your children in the church, and outside the church too. He is the smiling, funny uncle, relative or family friend who is always there when you need help at home or with the kids. He is the one who is ready to leave everything when you need his assistance and always brings a present for your child when he comes to visit. He is the lovely father or brother who loves his family more than anything and is always ready to spend some extra time playing with the kids. Who is he? Who is the child molester? He is one of us. He is the one you would never suspect. And eventually if someone tells you about his crimes, you would never believe that he is capable of such horror actions towards a child. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. This is why he is so successful in what he does. This is why most of his kind are never reported or even if reported – never convicted of the crimes they do. He relays on your trust and he relays on your good impressions about him. Then he knows he is free to do his thing not bothered by anyone. He knows he is a good manipulator and this is his power, this is his strength. Once you and the community are convinced that he is “a nice guy,” once he wins people’s trust – he is free to abuse children not worried about the consequences because he knows he will be never caught. This is why statistics show that: Male offenders who abused girls had an average of 52 victims each. Men who molested boys had an astonishing average of 150 victims each. Only 3% of these crimes had ever been detected. How do child molesters get into situations where they can exploit...

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The Boy Who Tried To Help

The Boy Who Tried To Help

When I was 12 years old, I was accosted by a group of teenage boys. It was a beautiful day and I was riding my bike with a friend on a country road, in my hometown, just outside of Montreal, Quebec. My friend sensed danger and got away. I did not. The boys formed an arc with their bikes across the road, blocking my path. The ringleader was a cocky kid who laughed and carried on as he instructed his friends to hold my hands behind my back. I was bewildered – not sure what was happening. I laughed with them, until I realized this wasn’t a joke. I tried to pull away and started screaming and crying but the boys held me while the others shoved their hands up my shirt. I remember there was a boy who tried to help. He yelled at his friends to stop and he tried to push them off me but he couldn’t.  He locked eyes with my crying eyes -and it was as if he was saying to me silently – this is wrong, I am sorry. I don’t know how long it lasted – 15-20 minutes. When I got home, my friend was there and my mother was frantic, on the phone with the police. My mother loaded us both into the station wagon and barreled down the road, the police car in hot pursuit. I have an image seared into my memory like a movie in slow-motion – our screams as we spot the boys, spitting gravel as our station wagon careens up their driveway, the piercing burst of the police siren, and the look of shock on the boys’ faces as they turn – slowly – to see their fate drive into view. I remember being red with tears and shame as the Police Chief asked me what had happened and clutching my mother’s hand tightly. I remember making a very clear request: There was a boy who tried to help. Please don’t let anything happen to him.  Even then, I sensed the importance of that boy’s actions. He had tried to help me. I wanted to be sure I did my part to help him. In the years since that event, I have thought many times about those boys and why they did what they did. I have wondered if they suffered anything stronger than a stern warning from the police. I wondered if they got married and had children – and if in having children, they ever reflected on their actions. I have hoped that their crime began and ended with me – that they didn’t go on to repeat those actions or do anything worse. I have wanted most of...

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