Why Victims Never Disclose Child Sexual Abuse

Tom Omwenga Stop Child Sexual Abuse

This is a very good question and there are many factors that compact the silence that surrounds sexual abuse. When the victim is a child it can be complicated even further by love, affection, attention, gifts, a feeling of being special (all grooming techniques by abusers) and the slow introduction into the sexual abuse. The abuse of a child causes them to have the feeling that this is not right, that this shouldn’t be done to them or that they shouldn’t be doing this to another. These mixed feeling when coupled with the grooming techniques causes even further confusion for a child. In addition to this it is worth noting that from birth we are all sexual beings and as such if we are touched in a certain manner some nice feelings may be experienced . These unwanted feeling when mixed with the other emotions such as fear, guilt, not being believed, of being a child -v- an adult, together causes a child to begin to think that they have done something to cause this to happen to them or they start to believe that they didn’t do enough to stop it. This further compounds the mixed feelings and emotions and when then, added to the threats that they will be punished or that some one they love will be punished or suffer, the mixed feelings and emotions are compounded even further. Now add in their mental age and capacity and ask yourself how could a child even start to try and comprehend what has happened to them? How can they tell what has happened to them? Will they think that they did something wrong? Will they think that they will be in trouble? These emotion are too great for their conscious mind to comprehend, so one technique is to dissociate from it and in some cases lock the memories away for years; only for them to resurface later in life when triggered by some event. One has to ask themselves how could a child disclose when burdened by all of these factors. Those who manage to find the strength to disclose usually only tell enough to make the abuse stop. The whole story may never be told unless a professional manages to assist them to tell their stories. The brave victims that do tell their stories I acknowledge as ‘ingenious survivors’. I use the word ingenious because they found a way to survive the unbearable. For someone to disclose abuse, trust, active listening, empathy, sensitivity, rapport, attuning, exploration together with periodic and extensive summarising need to be applied before meaningful communication can be created with a victim that will allow them to feel safe enough to disclose their horrendous experiences. The lack of an understanding or the ability to develop meaningful communication is the reason in my belief why people do not disclose sexual abuse.

(This article was written by John O’Reilly author of “Sex Slavery the way back”. www.victimsliberation.com