Why do people believe the lies of child molesters?

Charles Whitfield (2011) researched the defense tactics of accused and convicted child molesters and found that of all the defenses that a child molester has at his/her disposal, the most effective is our collective desire not to know. We all so much want the abuser not to have happened that when an accused person says they didn't do it, it resonates with our own personal hopes and beliefs about the incident.

How Society Enables Child Molesters
Charles Whitfield (2001) researched the defense tactics of accused and convicted child molesters and found that of all the defenses that a child molester has at his disposal, the most effective is our collective desire not to know. We all so much want the abuse not to have happened that when an accused person says they didn’t do it, it resonates with our own personal hopes and beliefs about the incident.

Read more about this research from The Leadership Council’s post

“Society gives the image of sexual violators as weird, ugly, anti-social, alcoholics. Society gives the impression that violators kidnap children are out of their homes and take them to some wooded area and abandon them after the violation. Society gives the impression that everyone hates people who violate children. If all of these myths were true, healing would not be as challenging as it is.
Half of our healing is about the actual abuse. The other half is about how survivors fit into society in the face of the myths that people hold in order to make themselves feel safe. The truth is that 80% of childhood sexual abuse is perpetrated by family members. Yet we rarely hear the word “incest”. The word is too ugly and the truth is too scary. Think about what would happen if we ran a campaign to end incest instead of childhood sexual abuse. The number one place that children should know they are safe is in their homes. As it stands, as long as violators keep sexual abuse within the family, the chances of repercussion by anyone is pretty low. Wives won’t leave violating husbands, mothers won’t kick their violating children out of the home, and violating grandparents still get invited to holiday dinners. It is time to start cleaning house. If we stop incest first, then we will strengthen our cause against all sexual abuse.”
― Rosenna Bakari, Talking Trees facebook page

Related Posts

Coping with Father’s Day – a difficult day for abuse survivors

Father’s Day is a diffcult day for anyone who grew up with a father who was difficult, dismissing, emotionally absent, abusive or otherwise neglectful.

Coping with Father's Day when your father was a bad Dad

Perhaps you’re one of those people who will play the charade of giving a gift, sending a card or making a phone call out of obligation or guilt. Maybe you carry deep wounds from your relationship (or lack thereof) with your father. Perhaps you’ve suffered from the disapproval, rejection, absence or abandonment of your father. Maybe you will try to drum up some positive demeanor toward your dad on Father’s Day even though you really feel nothing at all. – Jim Morris
Read more (mentions religion)

What to Do About Father’s Day? (Ideas for Estranged Adult Children or Those With Late Abusive Fathers) – mentions religion offer some great suggestions to help you get through it, whether or not you are currently in touch with your father.

Browsing some funny Father’s Day cards (for both good and bad, or just unusual dads) might interest those in need of humor and distraction.
   Thanks Dad, for showing me how NOT to raise my kids. Happy Father's Day! rotten ecard

If your father has passed away Overcoming Sexual Abuse has some reflections on this in Christina’s post The Death of My Molester Father.

Related links

Complex PTSD as an official diagnosis

Complex PTSD is planned to be included in the ICD-11 diagnostic manual produced by the World Health Organization, and planned for release in 2017. The ICD is an alternative diagnostic manual to the American DSM manual – but unlike the DSM it includes both physical and mental disorders, and will be available in multiple ‘official’ languages too.

The Complex PTSD description has recently been updated to include the causes of Complex PTSD, including child abuse.

Did you know... The World Health Organization now recognizes that child abuse, and prolonged domestic violence can cause Complex PTSD - which has a more pervasive effect on life, and more symptoms, than 'simple' PTSD. Source: ICD-11 draft description, 29 May 2016

Causes of Complex PTSD in the World Health Organization’s ICD-11 diagnostic manual now include child abuse, and prolonged domestic violence.

Not many people realize that the current ICD-10 has an equivalent diagnosis called Enduring Personality Change After Catastrophic Event, which is classed as in the ‘other personality disorders’ section. Complex PTSD will, of course, be in the same category as PTSD in the ICD-11, since it is not a personality disorder (and can exist alongside a personality disorder).

The description of Complex PTSD may change in the future, find the most recent description at http://traumadissociation.com/complexptsd.html#icd

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10 Male Sexual Assault Myths – Male Abuse Awareness Week

Survivor - to remain alive or in existence, to carry on despite hardships or trauma; persevere. Abuse - intentional harm or injury to another person, can be physical, sexual, and/or psychological. Dec 1- 8th Male Abuse Awareness Week. http://Facebook.com/TraumaAndDissociation

Male Abuse Awareness Week

~ May Trigger ~

Myth 1: Men can’t be raped or sexually assaulted.

Reality: Any man can be sexually assaulted or raped regardless of size, strength, appearance, age, occupation, race or sexual identity. The idea that men can’t be raped or sexually assaulted is linked to unrealistic beliefs that a ‘man’ should be able to defend himself against attack. Until 1997, under Australia’s Queensland Criminal Code, the offence of rape could only be committed against a woman.

Myth 2: Only gay men are sexually assaulted.

Reality: Any man can be raped, whether he identifies as straight, gay, bi, transgender or fluid sexuality. Rape is an act of force or coercion where someone’s personal choice is ignored. Just as being robbed does not tell you anything about someone’s sexuality, neither does rape. However, research does suggest that gay identifying men are more likely to be the subject of sexual violence.

Myth 3: It is gay men who sexually assault other men.

Reality: Most men who sexually assault other men identify themselves as straight.

Myth 4: Men cannot be sexually assaulted by women.

Reality: Although the majority of sexual assaults of men are committed by men, women do sexually assault men. Sexual assault is not always enacted through overwhelming physical force: it can involve emotional manipulation whereby a man can be coerced into sexual act out of fear of potential repercussions for his relationships, work, etc. The number of men identifying sexual abuse by a woman as a boy or young man has increased over the past few years. Ideas that men should always want sex with women and that as a young man you should feel lucky if you have sex with an older woman also make it difficult for a man to publicly name sexual assault by a woman.

Myth 5: Erection or ejaculation during sexual assault means you “really wanted it” or consented to it.

Reality: Erection or ejaculation are physiological responses that can be induced through manipulation and pressure on the prostate. Some people who commit sexual assault are aware how erections and ejaculations can confuse a man and this motivates them to manipulate their body and penis to the point of erections or ejaculation. They also can use this manipulation as a way to increase their feelings of control and to discourage reporting of the offence.

Myth 6: Most rapists are strangers.

Reality: Most men know the person who assaults them in some way. Often he/she is well known to them. They may be a friend, neighbour, boss or a relative, father, uncle, aunt, brother, sister, partner or ex partner. They may be a tradesperson or a professional e.g. doctor, teacher, psychiatrist, police officer, clergy or public servant.

Myth 7: Some people physically can’t commit rape.

Reality: A person’s physical strength, sex, sexual potency and sexual preference does not affect their ability to rape. Sexual assault can be committed through coercion or manipulation, by using fingers or objects such as sticks, marker pens or bottles. Rape is not all about physical force: young people and old people do sexually assault young and old people.

Myth 8: Men who sexually assault can’t control their sexuality.

Reality: People can control their sexual desires if they want to, however strong they might be. No “desire” gives anyone the right to violate and abuse another person. Far from being caused by lack of control, many sexual assaults are pre-planned and involve considerable abuse of power and control.

Myth 9: Men who have been sexually assaulted will go on to perpetrate sexual assault.

Reality: The majority of men who experience sexual violence do not perpetrate abuse or assault (they are horrified by such a suggestion). This is one of the most difficult myths for men: it can make men very reluctant to talk about experiences of rape or sexual abuse. There is no evidence to suggest an automatic route from experiencing abuse to going on to commit sexual offences. However, particular experiences (additional to sexual abuse) and models of masculinity are associated with an increased risk of someone perpetrating abuse.

Myth 10: Men who are raped are damaged and scarred for life.

Reality: Men can and do survive sexual assault, physically and emotionally, and go on to live full lives, enjoying rewarding relationships as friends, partners or parents. Although sexual assault can have a profound impact on men, they can and do find a way through and live the kind of life they would like. The media and many professional publications concentrate on stories of damage, recounting horror stories of what happened and the associated problems, without providing equal time to detail how men get on with their lives.

Source:

http://www.livingwell.org.au/information/unhelpful-myths-about-the-sexual-assault-and-rape-of-men/ (some changes made)

Help and Information

http://help4guys.com

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/help-for-abused-men.htm Domestic violence information and help

The Cupcake incident – a personal story of Shame and Guilt

'Unlike guilt, which is the feeling of doing something wrong shame is the feeling of being something wrong.' Marilyn J. Sorensen 

Unlike guilt, which is the feeling of doing something wrong, shame is the feeling of being something wrong – Marilyn J. Sorensen

If something bad happens, do you normally think it is your fault and search for what you did wrong?

Many survivors of child abuse automatically blame themselves for anything bad, and feel guilty and ashamed most of the time – especially about anything related to their immediate family.

Can you remember how old you were when you first felt this way?

Where do our feelings of guilt and shame come from?

Darlene, a survivor of multiple types of child abuse, explains one of the things that gave her the core belief that bad things were always her fault, and that the abuse was her fault.

The Cupcake incident – How Shame and Guilt get misapplied to the Self

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