Comments for Child Abuse Story From Susan2

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Jan 28, 2009
Assaulted and manipulated, NOT "involved"...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Susan, I need to be clear here: you were NOT "involved" with this woman. The understandable feelings you had for this molesting aunt when you were a child has interfered with your ability to use language that is more fitting to the circumstances. This was not an affair; it was an adolescent sex offender manipulating you, a little girl, for her own sexual gratification. It was nothing short of criminal.

There is a dynamic present between offenders and their victims that goes way beyond the scope of what I can deal with on this website, let alone discuss in such a limited amount of space; and this dynamic carries sometimes well into adulthood, not just puberty. The fact that you came to understand the perversion of what your aunt was doing when you became a teenager, and then put a stop to it, is a testament to your inner strength.

And don't for one second berate yourself for not understanding sooner. You didn't have the maturity to understand what this woman was doing to you when you were a little girl. So don't for one second apply mature values to what you did and didn't do when you were that little girl. None of what happened to you was your fault. It will NEVER be your fault. The fault lies squarely on the shoulders of your offender aunt.

As for your point about your grandparents never checking in on you and never insisting upon the door to the bedroom being left open; an eye-opening point for MANY of my visitors. There is a societal mindset that girls don't molest, and that girls certainly don't molest other girls. Therefore, precautions aren't even considered, let alone taken. In truth, girls DO molest; and they DO molest other girls. It should be noted here that whenever there is an age (generally 2 years or more) or stage of development difference between children, the older child has power over the younger one. It is this power imbalance that puts the younger one at risk for various forms of abuse. Parents and caregivers must be aware of this in order to ensure children are protected.

In your case, Susan, the fact that there was a full 10 years difference in age between your aunt and you, and that she was spending such an inordinate amount of time with you behind closed doors should have raised the red flags of concern.

Given your aunt's history as a sex offender with you as her young victim, I would be remiss if I didn't also point out that your aunt's daughter may be at risk of being sexually molested by her mother.

I hope you'll gain the courage to attend a child abuse survivor group, Susan. You certainly have no shame or guilt to bear in what happened to you; and you could certainly use the help.

Thank you for sharing your story with my visitors and me.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir


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