Child Abuse: Dispelling 6 Myths About Self Blame

by Darlene Barriere - Webmaster
(Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada)

ADOPTED from August 2007 issue Barriere Bits E-zine

ADOPTED from August 2007 issue Barriere Bits E-zine

The following are statements I receive from abuse victims, both children and adults, almost every day through my website. I'm addressing them here in an effort to dispel some myths about self-blame.

  1. I deserved to be beaten because I mouthed off after doing something I knew was wrong.

    Nothing you said or did warranted being physically abused. It was up to the adult to keep his or her anger in check.

    It wasn't your fault

  2. If I had been a better daughter (son), my mother (father) would have loved me and treated me better.

    A parent's love should be—must be—unconditional. If a parent's love isn't unconditional, it is the parent that is to blame, not the child.

  3. It wasn't your fault

  4. I let the abuse go on.

    You were powerless to stop the abuse. You were the child. The adult had ALL the power.

  5. It wasn't your fault

  6. I was a willing participant.

    You "submitted" in order to protect yourself or one of your siblings, but that doesn't mean you were a "willing" participant in the sexual abuse. You did what you had to do to prevent further violence or pain. You were powerless to stop the abuse. You were the child. Your offender had ALL the power.

  7. It wasn't your fault

  8. It felt good, so it couldn't be sexual abuse.

    Sexual stimulation does feel good, but that has nothing to do with whether or not you were sexually molested. The definition of sexual abuse is when an adult, a youth or an older child (more than 2 years older) uses a child for his or her own sexual gratification. Sometimes the body betrays: It is perfectly natural for a young male to achieve an erection when he is anxious, scared or nervous. This is called "involuntary sexual arousal." It is also perfectly natural for a male to reach an orgasm, even when he is being sexually assaulted. Although less common than males, it is not uncommon for females to experience an orgasm during a sexual assault. Even if it "felt good," you were sexually abused.

  9. It wasn't your fault

  10. I can't believe I was so stupid to not tell someone.

    You weren't stupid, you were afraid. You were afraid of not being believed. You were afraid of the repercussions.

  11. It wasn't your fault
Whether you are a child still being abused, or an adult dealing with the long-term effects of child abuse, do not for one more second blame yourself. You were not to blame. You are not to blame.

It Wasn't Your Fault!


IT . . . WASN'T . . . YOUR . . . FAULT!

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Disclaimer: To the best of my knowledge the child abuse
stories on this site are true. While I cannot guarantee
this, I do try to balance the need for the submitter to be
heard and validated with the needs of my visitors.

E-book: Victim To Victory

From Victim to Victory
a memoir

How I got over the devastating effects of child abuse and moved on with my life


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