i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

23 truths every victim of child molestation needs to know

 

 

1223

1. Please, please, please, please x ten million know the molestation was not your fault. No matter what the person who molested you said, you are never to blame. You were a child. You were preyed upon, lied to, and abused.

2. If you were asleep, and they touched you, even over your jammies. It is abuse. It is a crime.

3. Please talk to someone you trust. Tell your story. It is your story. And it is your story to tell. My friend told her story, and her family got mad, because they made it about them. Secrets hurt.

4. Every State has different laws about when you can criminal prosecute the molester. If someone molested you, they will probably molest someone else. I know there are statistics that say what the percentage is. I will look it up in a minute for you, if you want to know exactly. ( I put a link to an article at the end of this post.)

5. Go to the Police. Tell them your story. It is okay to be scared. You might feel scared that no one will believe you.  The police department in most cities and towns have police officers who specialize in talking to victims of child molestation. You can always bring a friend along with you.

6. You can  help protect other children, and prevent more abuse. I tried to find the person who molested me after I read an article in the newspaper about child molesters and how they often abuse more than one child. The police found the man we called Uncle Carl. He had committed suicide.

7. And, please know that no matter what happened to you as a child. Your past doesn’t have to define your future. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. God made you. He loves you. You can live a live of joy, no matter what your past is.

8. Your abuse was not your fault. I know I already said that once. But, I have to say it again. You are not to blame.Your abuse was not your fault.

9. Please, please, please, talk to someone. Talk to someone who will listen, and not judge. Talk to someone who will hold you if you want to cry. Talk to someone who will help you grow away from the pain and the fear.

10. God knit you together in your mother’s womb. He chose the color of yarn for your hair. He chose the color of your eyes to match emeralds and precious gems. I don’t know why bad things happen to little kids. I don’t understand why God doesn’t come down out of the clouds and zap child molesters.  I don’t know. Really I don’t. But, I know, what I do really know, is that God loves that little girl and he loves you. And, I can picture him up in heaven crying when we cry.

11. If your past if keeping you from having joy today,  you are giving the molester power over you.  No matter what happened to you, it doesn’t have to define you.

12. I believe in you. I believe you are lovely and beautiful. I believe the angels sang the day you were born. God made you special and he loves you very much.

13. Go to the police. You may want to talk to your pastor first. Talk to your pastor. Get counselling. If your pastor doesn’t want to report it to the police. If they say. “We will deal with this internally. The deacons and I will talk to the molester.” Still go to the police. Don’t let them intimidate you. Molesting a child is a crime.

14. Don’t let anyone talk down to you or insinuate you were at fault.

15. If you are an adult now and you want to report the crime, do it even if your family doesn’t want you to. If they say, “Why are you stirring up an old pot of soup?” Say, “It is my pot of soup to stir, and I will stir it.”

16. If your brother molested you, it is still a crime. Even if you were asleep and you have no memory of being touched. It is still a crime. And if you say it wasn’t a big deal, and even if your parents say he was sorry. It is still a crime. Even if you forgive him, what he did is still wrong. Brothers are not supposed to touch their sisters breasts or genitals. Never, ever, ever.

17. If you were molested by someone you still have to see at family gatherings, I am so sorry. I am sorry your mother or your father or your uncle or aunt doesn’t know any better. You don’t have to go. If you don’t want to go to the party, don’t go. And if you want to tell everyone in your family what your Uncle did to you. Tell everyone. Tell the police. If you can, send them to jail. If you are a bad guy, and you break the law, you go to jail. And if your family say, “He is such a good father. You are ruining his life.” Say, “He ruined his own life, and he tried to ruin mine.”

18. Brush your hair, go for a walk, take care of yourself. You are valuable. A precious child of God. You were preyed upon by a person. They tried to pretend they were your friend. They were not your friend. Friends don’t molest.

19. There are no secrets. If someone tried to tell you to keep a secret. It is not your fault you didn’t tell anyone. If you say, “I should have known better.” No, you were a child. A child trusts, and you really thought they might harm your parents.

20. If you told someone and they didn’t believe you. I am so sorry. How sad, to be a child, and try to get help, and no one believed you.

21. If you told someone and they believed you, but they didn’t protect you. If they didn’t stop the abuse, I am so sorry. Not all adults are kind.

22. And, please. May I say one more time. The abuse is not your fault.

23. And, one more time. You are precious. Please take care of yourself.

A list of helpful resources

Justice for Children – an agency that helps advocate for children, and helps custodial parents protect their children against an abusive parent.
ChildHelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-422-4453. – From the web-site Darkness to Light: End Child Sexual Abuse

The Strange You Know: How to Spot a Child Molester’s Tricks.   By Pattie Fitzgerald. A great article.

Overall, follow-up studies typically find sexual recidivism rates of 10%-15% after five years, 20% after 10 years, and 30%-40% after 20 years (see, Hanson, Morton, & Harris, 2003). From the Leadership Council

About Pamela Hodges

I write slice of life stories to help you know you are loved, valuable and worthy just as you are. I am a writer, an artist, and a cleaner of seven litter boxes. I live in Pennsylvania with one husband, four cats, one dog and two birds.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

Feature Box

Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Christine

    Oh, I could tell you some stories — too many! The sexual abuse of children was too common in the world where I grew up.
    But I’ll share just one, re: “it’s your fault.”

    When I was seven my Dad’s sister came to stay and brought her eighteen-year-old son. I guess he wanted to “practice” before he tackled the world of big girls. And I was clueless–Mom told me zilch before-hand. So “it” happened a few times. (I wasn’t hurt in any way.)
    A month (?) later Mom was giving my little sisters a lecture on some impropriety and I told her what he’d done. I can’t remember how clear I made it; I think she got the picture. Her response was “You never should have let him do that.”
    I doubt she realized it, but her reaction gave me more negative feelings than the actual incidents. Then she said, “If Dad found this out, he’d punch him in the nose.” So I felt twice as bad now; I was making trouble in the family!
    If a child shares something of this nature, I’d say it’s best to sit on your anger or guilt and take it calmly. Best not display outrage or let your own feelings of guilt (for not knowing) spill out on the child.

    • Hello Christine,
      I am so sorry you had this experience as a child. How could you have known? You didn’t. And, how sad, your mother’s response wasn’t a positive experience.
      Yes, good advice Christine.
      Thank you for sharing.
      xo
      Pamela

  • I didn’t expect this to hit home as much as it did? After all, my abuse happened 28 years ago, when I was 8. I have openly discussed it with a select few people. I never told my parents until I was 23, and they were shocked, but nothing was ever really done about it. He was an uncle by marriage but they were long divorced by the time I was able to talk about it…he’s still my cousins’ father though. He had the gall to send me a Facebook friend request just a few weeks ago. I ignored it. It was abuse that happened over the jammies, while I was “asleep” ( I wasn’t, I never slept when I was over there, just pretended to). I was afraid nobody would believe me and it would cause my aunt and uncle to divorce, so I was silent for many years, relieved when they divorced anyway without any help from me.
    I didn’t come to this site by way of searching about my abuse, I actually found it a while ago because I’m an artist and was looking for resources…and stayed for the dry humor. Even though I wasn’t searching this out, I found this post to be comforting in many ways. Thanks for writing it.

    • Dear Jaime,
      Please forgive me. The title of this story was so inappropriate. I am so sorry you were molested as a child. I am glad this story was comforting. I can’t imagine what the title appearing in your in-box must have looked like.
      I don’t know who searches, I just see what they searched for.
      I wish you all my best,
      xo
      Pamela

      • No worries! I was not really offended by the title, just had wanted mention that I hadn’t been searching for that. Thank you, though!

  • Excellent post, Pamela! I hope that many (from both sides of the coin) read this and follow through with your advice. Blessings…

    • Good Morning Joan,
      Thank you. I hope my story helps someone.
      xo
      Pamela