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

What is it like to be suffering from something that isn’t adequately recognized?

Today I stumbled across an excellent article by UK psychotherapist Valerie Sinason about Dissociative Identity Disorder and the difficulties in both diagnosis and treatment which exist within the very traditional British public health care system.

Sinason writes:

Without early specialist training on the consequences of abuse, professionals are attacking each other’s contradictory diagnoses without realising the aptness of Walt Whitman’s words “I am large. I contain multitudes”.

 

truth hidden attachment John Bowlby

We cannot see what we cannot bear – John Bowlby, psychoanalyst

Compared with Freud’s ability to recognise the traumatic aetiology of hysteria one hundred years ago (Freud, 1896), contemporary clinicians have found it extremely hard to bear the horrors of patients’ objective lives. Sometimes (Hale & Sinason 1994) psychotherapists’focus on the internal narrative is a defence against the historic external reality.

However, as de Zulueta (1995) comments: “a refusal on the part of psychiatrists and therapists to validate the horrors of their patients’ tortured past implies a refusal to take seriously the unconscious psychological mechanisms that individuals need to use to protect themselves from the unspeakable.

Both quotes come from the revised edition of Attachment, Trauma and Multiplicity by Valerie Sinason (Editor), which contains contributions by both survivors of trauma with Dissociative Identity Disorder and professionals working with psychological trauma.

Does the NHS have (undiagnosed) Dissociative Identity Disorder?

Recently I heard a therapist who does a great deal of trauma work in the UK refer humourusly to the British NHS health care as having a so many separate states that do not communicate with each other, and typically have different and opposing ideas, that it felt as if the NHS system itself was in fact suffering from dissociative identity disorder… Sinason writes about “Fragmentation within professional teams” as well as between them:

“the psychiatrist who meets a frozen DID patient who shows only one state (as a result of correctly assessing their psychiatrist’s inability to deal with the subject) then attacks the other psychiatrist/social worker/psychologist/psychotherapist who points out the fragmentation into states. We are then witnessing the trauma-organised systems… that systemically mirror the DID experience.”

Read more (Details may trigger.)

 

Stress relieving tips and quotes for the Holiday Season

5 tips for reducing holiday stress

  • Plan ahead, and plan time for relaxing quietly
  • Practice saying “No” if you have to much to do already, or are already feel tired or ill
  • Spend time outdoors, stretch your legs with some gentle exercise and fresh air
  • Remember to take care of yourself, and do things for yourself, not just for others
  • Try practicing mindfulness, which can help with traumatic memories

The Science of Mindfulness (Oxford University)

For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.
Lily Tomlin

“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.”
Amit Ray, Om Chanting and Meditation

Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering
Pooh’s little Instruction Book

What is your favorite way to relieve stress and relax?

Read more stress-relieving quotes…

15 Inspiring and Positive Quotes

Inspiring and positive quotes to help you through difficult times

wiki ad simplify steve marabolia

Your dream is not impossible

Your dream is not impossible

wiki ad pain to blossom

wiki ad my past destroyed strengthened Steve Maraboli

Belief in ourselves EE Cummings

wiki ad blue people treat you

cannot protect from sadness protect from happiness

wiki ad weakest is strongest-DV

snow mindfulness Sylvia Plath

life needs space beach

today is a new beginning

image

wiki ad strawberries purpose

The world needs more warm hearts and fewer hot heads

we always have a choice

Male Abuse Awareness – survivors of abuse speaking out

How does abuse affect men?

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

Effects of abuse are devastating

“At night I no longer dreamed, nor did I let my imagination work during the day. The once vibrant escapes of watching myself fly through the clouds in bright blue costumes, were now a thing of the past. When I fell asleep, my soul became consumed in a black void. I no longer awoke in the mornings refreshed; I was tired and told myself that I had one day less to live in this world. I shuffled through my chores, dreading every moment of every day. With no dreams, I found that words like hope and faith were only letters, randomly put together into something meaningless – words only for fairy tales. ”
Dave Pelzer,  A Child Called “It”

Dave Pelzer - what childhood should be like

“Inside, my soul became so cold I hated everything. I even despised the sun, for I knew I would never be able to play in its warm presence. I cringed with hate whenever I heard other children laughing, as they played outside. My stomach coiled whenever I smelled food that was about to be served to somebody else, knowing it wasn’t for me.”
Dave Pelzer, A Child Called “It”

We must understand that those who experience abuse as children, and particularly those who experience incest, almost invariably suffer from a profound sense of guilt and shame that is not meliorated merely by unearthing memories or focusing on the content of traumatic material. It is not enough to just remember. Nor is achieving a sense of wholeness and peace necessarily accomplished by either placing blame on others or by forgiving those we perceive as having wronged us. It is achieved through understanding, acceptance, and reinvention of the self.
Cameron WestFirst Person Plural: My Life as a Multiple

“Chosen Ignorance” – people with the luxury of pretending abuse isn’t there

"Chosen Ignorance" - society's denials of certain types of abuse

“Chosen Ignorance” – society’s denials of certain types of abuse

In the 1980s, research on post traumatic stress disorder in Vietnam veterans was regarded as important, noble, and useful. When the same researchers looked at the same problem in children who had been sexually abused, a tremendous controversy ensued a controversy that persists to this day. There were those who disputed the extent and severity of the sexual abuse that had been uncovered.
― Patrick J. Carnes, Sexual Anorexia: Overcoming Sexual Self-Hatred

You can travel the world but If you cannot let go of the past, you will never move on.

Gerald Freeman, Kill Daddy (child sexual abuse survivor)

I would give anything to be someone who this has not happened to

I would give anything to be someone who this has not happened to

I hope you see what you’ve done to me.  Matthew Little, Hell in a Basket (confessional poetry)

We are so used to our own history, we do not see it as remarkable or out of the ordinary, whereas others might see it as horrendous. Further, we tend to minimize that which we feel shameful about.
― Patrick J. Carnes, Sexual Anorexia: Overcoming Sexual Self-Hatred

Recovery and Healing

“There’a a phrase, “the elephant in the living room”, which purports to describe what it’s like to live with a drug addict, an alcoholic, an abuser. People outside such relationships will sometimes ask, “How could you let such a business go on for so many years? Didn’t you see the elephant in the living room?” And it’s so hard for anyone living in a more normal situation to understand the answer that comes closest to the truth; “I’m sorry, but it was there when I moved in. I didn’t know it was an elephant; I thought it was part of the furniture.” There comes an aha-moment for some folks – the lucky ones – when they suddenly recognize the difference.”
Stephen King, former alcohol & addict

“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a tellar but for want of an understanding ear.”
Stephen King, Different Seasons

Even in its darkest passages, the heart is unconquerable - Dale Pelzer

Even in its darkest passages, the heart is unconquerable – Dale Pelzer

It is important for people to know that no matter what lies in their past, they can overcome the dark side and press on the a brighter world. ― Dave Pelzer, A Child Called “It”

Don’t judge yourself by what others did to you.
C. Kennedy