Saturday 10 May 2008

One In Ten

He kept her in his cellar.

No one knew.

For years, no one knew.

He had a family with his own daughter, it went on for years.

And no one knew.

Some people think we worry too much about child molesters and rapists. That we are paranoid about them, that we are hypersensitive to their existence.
Some argue we are, as a society, going through a McCarthyite or Witch hunter phase regarding the sex offender.

I don't agree. I think the comparison is flawed. Yes, we are panicking. But no, we don't face the appalling truth.
Our whole society is perverted at the core, what we see in cases such as the man pictured above, really is the tip of the iceberg.

One in Ten.
I didn't believe it when I first heard it.
I do now.
That's the estimated proportion of the UK population who have been the victim of sexual abuse or rape.

One in twenty people in the UK is non-white- and people worry about that.
One in twenty people are gay, and we are told they are a strident minority.

What about this silent minority? What effect does the long term damage to five million people in this country alone mean?

Some of you will be thinking that you don't know any abuse victims personally. Some of you will be thinking you don't know any sex offenders.
I'm pretty sure all of you know both.

I've never been an abuse victim myself. But for reasons I'm not going to go into, but some of you know, I did receive a fairly rudimentary training in hearing the problems of distressed people- and I was taught a certain way of getting people to open up and reveal ROOT problems, as opposed to the things that APPARENTLY were distressing them. Being a salesman by trade anyway, a certain part of me always listens as much, if not more, to what people are NOT saying.

Having spent time listening to people who were abuse victims (and incidentally discovering that actually, a high proportion of crime- ordinary crime, as opposed to sex crime- is actually committed by people sexually abused as children, as well a high proportion of murders), I can generally spot the signs fairly quickly, that I am talking to a sex abuse, or rape victim.

Time and time again, I come across people in ordinary society, maybe at a party, or maybe it's a girl I'm seeing, and certain things are said, which maybe others wouldn't pick up on, but lead me to asking an open question which ultimately means 'You don't have to tell me, but were you?'

And the answer to the question- on the occasions when I ask it, is always yes.

And more often than not, the reason why it still lies at the root of the person concerned, twisting them up, hanging like a thundercloud over the rest of their lives, is the lack of resolution.
In about half the stories I have heard, the perpetrator faced the consequences.

But in the rest, it is something that still lives on.

The twenty five year old man who still visits his Dad every month. Even received birthday money from him.
As if it never happened.

The girl who throws her body at every man she meets, hoping that enough sex, will wash away the stains of the night she said no, and no one listened.

I know both these people.

One of my ex-girlfriends had a father in prison for manslaughter.
He never did any time for taking her up the attic and playing with his own daughter's genitalia.

People don't speak out. They carry their shame inside, because they feel dirtied. Sex abuse is the ultimate infliction of power by one human being over another. To admit and deal with the fact that it was done, to say it publicly DOES take courage. To say 'I couldn't stop my forced submission'.
People who stand up and say what was done to them, are the brave ones.

But we don't know the half of it.
And the ones we don't hear about, are often the worst.

It's that family dynamic. I think a high proportion of the sex abuse that goes unreported, is by family members. It's that twisted logic of the victim loving the abuser. Step fathers seem to get caught out, I think real biological fathers or siblings, really do tend to get away with it. Because the victim feels loyalty to the abuser.
Because the abuser ruined them for ever.
But he also held out his arms to catch him/her, as they took their first steps.

People don't ever get over it. How can they? If this is your first introduction to human intimacy, how can your perception of human intimacy EVER escape from being seen through this prism?
How hard is it to love other human beings, when human beings you trusted betrayed you this way?

One in Ten.

At some point in the next twenty four hours, in a house within a mile radius of you, a child is almost certainly being sexually abused.
And it could be any house. Sexual abusers are not limited to class. Yes, if you go wandering round a council estate, it is probably true you will find sex abuse going on in a shockingly high number of households.

If you count women being raped by their partners and regarding it as a normal fact of life, I dread to think what the proportion is.

But it carries on in a cycle. If the abuse is uncovered and the perpetrator caught, yes, it's good he's taken out of circulation, but more importantly the VICTIM can be helped.
Because, certainly as regard the male victims, those who don't receive the help they need, are highly likely to become sex offenders themselves.

And the women, they need help just as much. Because though they won't become child molesters or rapists, the damage that has been done to them, will live on in THEIR children.

One in Ten.

It is a series of self perpetuating evil, a virus spreading down the generations. It is like a secret cult, that has lived in the underbelly of our society- not just in the UK, but everywhere.

Our fine steel, glass and concrete cities, shining in twenty first century technology hide the true evil that lurks inside.

And it warps us. There are so many causes of the ills that affect our culture. The causes of crime and social breakdown are not limited to one factor. Poverty, drug addiction, alienation, lack of belonging, lack of common social goals, yes, they all play apart. But some are symptoms, not causes.

Sex abuse, that lies at the heart of so many social ills. Of course it does. If one in ten of us have to deal with this trauma in their general human interactions, are we surprised things are so messed up?

We need to tackle this.
If any social ill needed being eradicated- and I think we can eradicate it, though it certainly won't be easy, this has to be top of the list. Because we are allowing the systematic warping of people, warping they will never recover from. We connive at people being wasted as socially productive individuals.

How much of this has been a product of our culture? A lot, I think. I think our lack of openness about sex, the treatment of sex itself as a dirty secret in our society, not to be talked about, created this social virus back in the dark years when no one talked about sex.
And now we are suddenly waking up to the scale of the problem that has created.

Now we are all a lot more open about sex, sexuality, sexual repression, now we no longer treat sex ITSELF as perverted, maybe we can really tackle the REAL perversions, sex used as a power tool, sex used to degrade.

With Sexual Freedom, comes Responsible Social Sexuality, it is part of humanity growing up a bit about sex.

With our liberalisation on sex, we DO need to start being way more draconian- and intrusive even- in other ways. I'm not sure we can any longer risk the attitude that we just let parents bring up their own children, and don't involve society as a whole in an overseeing role. To blanketly trust the care of minors to ANYONE the way we do, is asking for trouble.

And attitudes that still exist, such as that a woman's sexual history, or whether she was drunk, should be a mitigating factor in a rapist's defence, these ideas need to be knocked on the head.

Generally speaking, I don't see why any minority cannot happily co-exist with a majority. There IS, in my view something amazing about human diversity.

But One in Ten.

Here's one minority, we SHOULD be working to reduce.


Anonymous said...

Good points and I DO know people personally (about 1 in 10 as it happens)


Anonymous said...

Very good post, and I agree 100% with it. My mom, and a close friend of mine were abused as children, as well as my wife and her sister, by their grandfather who was living next door to them, and the truama it caused her affected our entire marriage. An ex girlfriend and my sister were raped. I know of a few blogging friends, male and female, that were abused as well.
How do we change the pattern though? All I can say is that I made sure it didn't happen in my family. That's the first step in stopping the cycle I think, but I agree that society as a whole must work at changing this quiet crime.

Anonymous said...

there is another possibility - that the 1 in 10 number is way too high because the definition of abuse is set incorrectly.

Just because someone thinks they are victim doesn't mean they are, equal just because some do-gooder thinks someone is a victim doesn't mena they are (in many cases they don't even realise they are a "victim" until someone seeks them out to "save" them)

Anonymous said...

What is your definition of abuse then Baht?
I agree with you Crushed, there is one eternal hell waiting for one step father and the mother who stood beside him and still does to this day.

Anonymous said...

You say people who stand up and say what was done to them are the brave ones. However, saying what was done solves nothing if the same person doesn't change their mindset and break the cycle.

And unfortunately, abusers tend to get abused again and again and again until the cycle is broken. It's like they attract it to them, like a fucking electrical storm or something.

Or they become the abuser inside the storm, and try to control everything in their environment, and then they still attract abuse to themselves again by default.

I'm beginning to realize now that everyone gets violated to a certain extinct. And everyone in this world is dysfunctional.

We're just all coexisting at different degrees of it, that's all.

And what seperates those who move on, in life, from those who stay trapped in all of the negative energy and the bullshit of it all...

is merely the ability to let go and to let God.

Because the only way to truly eliminate what is dark, is to banish it with some sort of light.

And light can only be found outside of "self" first, before anyone can feel light inside.

That's about it, in a nutshell.

Anonymous said...

I do agree with great swathes of this

But would question;

'I'm not sure we can any longer risk the attitude that we just let parents bring up their own children, and don't involve society as a whole in an overseeing role'

How would this work? I was responsible for bringing the lives of my three children into the world. And it's my responsibility to protect and provide for them. To bring them up so hopefully they will respect other people, the law and become engaged, caring and compassionate members of society.

That's my job. Not the state or some other social construct. And by the same token I don't want the aforementioned poking around to ensure that I am not committing some ghastly act of abuse.

Like many of the other people commenting I too have friends who have suffered such abuse. You would have to have a heart of stone not to cry when hearing the stories they tell. And I wish all the pain and anguish possible on the perpetrators of these hideous crimes.

But this suggestion could be taken as a presumption of guilt until you could prove otherwise.

It's my family, my responsibility, please just leave me alone to get on with it. A rewarding task for sure but it's quite hard enough as it is!

Anonymous said...

I am not convinced with baht's description of abuse...

Abuse is if you don't want something and express that opinion and the other party tries to or does enforce it anyway!

Anonymous said...

EK- Because you asked the questions. You're a good old fashioned copper, so good, they had no place in the Gestapo Police created since the Miner's Strike.

Most people don't want to know. They feel the jarring of a person saying 'ask me, I'll tell you' and walk away.

But one in ten. Yes it is, of that I'm sure.

Fusion- I really do have ideas about how it can be stopped.
to me, it's wider than just sex abuse, because I think bad parenting generally has a knock on effect.
But we do ignore it. We bang on about ways to make it easier to convict people for rape, but don't realise, we're missing the point. Making it easier to convict the innocent, isn't the answer.

It's about stopping the guilty. And that really does involve a total social paradigm shift in how we see not only bringing up our children (as a society), but also in finally practising what we preach.

It's about penetration. you can't compare Amy Gehring to a genuine sex offender, because the real point is unauthorised placement of one person's body parts into another person insides. And that really is it.

Cut the bollocks, that's the offence. That's the power trip of the nonce, nd that's what we need to give zero tolerance to, as human beings.

Baht At- I used to think that. I thought 'I bet most of them are date rapes', and like a typical sexist bloke, I didn't see that date rape, is just as bad.

Problem is, we say 'Oh, I can understand why he did that'

Yes, I can. Because we haven't made the point as a society. We haven't brought people up to realise NO MEANS NO.
So we sympathise with those who breach that, if we feel they had a good reason not to realise that.

But it has to stop.
A man putting his organs inside a woman when she doesn't want them in there, will traumatise her.
and we as a society need to ram that home to every male we bring up.

Nunyaa- :)
All I can say for you, is yes.
sorry for the briefners of the response, but you're too correct for a longer response.

Shelley- Yes, all of us- or most of us- seem to end up, to a greater or lesser degree, IN SOME WAY, being both victim or abuser, in a wider sense.
This is why I loathe the cult of the individual. The ultimate conclusion, is a herd of predators biting eachother's necks and holding women down by force.

It's been brave of you to leave a comment to this post, and I admire you for doing so.

Yes, you're right, we DO all get violated. Human beings can be nasty to eachother in many more ways than sex abuse.
And we respond by being that which e hate.

We HAVE to break this cycle, we do. Because sex offenders, mushroom clouds, Darfur, it's all the same nasty dynamic, as far as I can see.

It's the residue of the Reptile holding back the love of the Manmmal.

Grendel- But you're a good parent. Of course you think that.
But anyone can bring kids into the world. There are no rules on that. No laws governing who procreates.
And the assumption is, if you managed to bring kids into the world, we'll let you do what you want with them for at least sixteen years, unless alarm bells ring.

Part of my preference for communal living, is that parents would have a gaurdianship role. In most cases, it wouldn't change anything.
It would just mean that bringing children into the world wouldn't, as a matter of right, make society approve you as the gaurdians of those children.
You, I'm sure, would be.
But not everybody should be.

CherryPie- That would also be my definition.
I really feel quite strongly about this.
In fact, I do wholeheartedly agree with a US type scheme (such as Florida and California use), LOWER the age of consent to 14, but at the same time, if they're under 25, no more than a four year age gap.

To me, a thirty year old man and a seventeen year old girl, is still abuse, just abuse condoned by law.

Because of the life experience difference. He is still using his experienced male status to gain sex.

I like your description of abuse. it's succint, it sums it up.
And if society as a whole used it as a framework (not just give lip service to it), maybe we could change things.

Anonymous said...

I think a huge positive change has taken place over the last years in this area. People need no longer fear speaking out as they did formerly and more and more are coming forth.
I have a close friend whose two daughters were abused by their stepfather. She had no idea because he did it only when she (a nurse) worked the night shift and the girls only spoke up 20 years later. He was tried and convicted and spent 18mths in gaol.
Nowadays young children are taught about inappropriate touching and hopefully they will speak up earlier.
The damage left from these experiences is horrendous, they are in fact life altering in a huge way.
But like Grendel I cannot agree that there should be interference in family situations. After all, 9 out of 10 are not abused.

Anonymous said...

You have written extremely well about an extremely distressing subject.

I do have a close friend who was an incest victim and I have been fortunate enough to read her memories of that time, and I cried buckets for that little girl.

My personal opinion is that power and privacy have a lot to answer for in the family structure.

Anonymous said...

grendel: yes I understand those points you make (I am raising three children on my own also) but I also think that some interference on a community/state and national level is SO needed - even if it's just national run media program.
On a community level, research has shown that community health nurse visits to new parent's can cut child abuse stats.

We've got to do something - make the personal the political. Too many kids don't have a voice and too many parent's don't have an outlet.

Anonymous said...

Kate, I know of a parent here in Australia that cried out for help in a distressing situation and the powers to be turned it into a situation that made that parent feel like they was at fault for asking in the first place, it was like a virtual witch hunt. Sometimes the strategies put in place by governments are not always as helpful as they were intended and the situation gets worse. The protection agencies supposedly govern the welfare of children and parents, who governs the agencies?

Anonymous said...

cherrypie - OK so I don't particularly like plain chocolate but occasionally when she's munching on a bar my gf will pop a bit in my mouth - that then is abuse?

that's the trouble with "abuse" that you have made the definition so inclusive that 10% of people are "abuse victims" (like "disabled" where again the definition includes people who suffer very minor inconveniences such that more than 10% of the population are disabled).

as to the current definition of rape which seems to me to allow somethings that was concensual at the time become rape because some emotionally unstable woman changes her mind all I can say is that society has become too accomodating of the weaker sex.

Anonymous said...

Figures vary wildly. Electro-Kevin feels that 10% is just about right, based on his observation. His observations could be quite accurate, given his enviornment. For some demographics it's less, for some more (e.g. for example, the number of Catholic men I've known who have complained of molestation is much great than one in ten, but more like one in five--other populations, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone--and yeah, I know that there would be underreportage). And government statistics don't really help, because many of them came in with no evidentiary foundation. They were actually pulled out of thin air for PR purposes (check this out).

The symptoms you describe are quite accurate, and in my experience I have come across a number of people who have been molested, or whom I suspect might have been molested.

The problem is much more insidious, however, than mere numbers. Part of the problem is that there are actually witchhunts, and I've witnessed these too first-hand. As an attorney friend once cautioned me, one cannot paint with a broad brush on serious topics, but rather evaluate them on a case-by-case basis. Of course, that takes a lot of work. Painting with a broad brush is much easier.

I do agree, though, that it is a significant social problem that manifests itself in a number of ways: increases in crime; poverty; mental health problems; lost productivity; drug abuse; and sometimes in assault and murder.

Anonymous said...

I'd also point out Cherrypie that raising children involves making them do many things they expressly don't want to do - being nice to others for example.

Perhaps the concept that children must be allowed absolute freedom is the reason society is disintegrating before our very eyes.

Anonymous said...

One in five girls, one in 4 boys in Australia have been the victim of sexual abuse.

"Because the abuser ruined them for ever." many victims would be greatly offended by this statement, crushed.

They would feel that the abuser has not ruined them "forever" because that gives the perp enormous power over their whole life, not just that segment/age group.

Anonymous said...

If you are made to feel your whole life from time of abuse to current day that it was your fault and been painted as the black sheep of the family, as the perpetrator was a family member then in a sense they do have a power over you. It is not an easy thing to get over, you fight the emotions and the asshole who did this lives in denial and in the publics eye puts on a good front. I should know, I live with it.

Anonymous said...

This is an important post. Yes, a serious issue; you presented it very well, and it DOES support your idea about not leaving these kids with parents who can;t care for them.

> The girl who throws her body at every man she meets, hoping that enough sex, will wash away the stains of the night she said no, and no one listened.
Flawless. This line says it all; a whole story; a lifetime, even, summed in a sentence :-)

Anonymous said...

its a mad world we live in, and this is really important topic that ppl tend to hush down.

one out of ten - thats a scary statistic. Ppl always think that these sort of thinks happen to others, that they will never fall victim for it. but its alot more closer than you think - i'm quite certain everyone knows someone directly or indirectly that is being abused, its just nothing ppl talk abt it.

Awarness is the key and the first step to finding a solution...

Anonymous said...

Although it is hardly spoken of, for whatever reasons be it ridicule or no one believing, the majority of reported cases are by men but let us not forget that women do abuse and sexually assault men and boys also.

Anonymous said...

jmb- That's a common scenario, I think. I know of a similar case, in fact the perpetrator is currently serving in HMP Shrewsbury. What allows unnerved me, when I first heard the story, was whether the offender had targeted a woman with children working night shifts right from the start, to marry her, just to get to her daughters. In this case it went on for about five years.

But 18 months says it all. Much as I don't really like eye for an eye justice, some of these sentences are a joke. Such as the barrister convicted of possessing 1,000 images on his PC, some of them as young as three. 12 months, which means he serves a maximimum of six. It sickens you, really.

OK, nine of ten aren't abused. But a fair few still end up being brought up in ways leaving them ill equipped to deal with adult life.

If ten percent of the goods produced by any business were being recalled, there'd be a problem. Aren't people the most important thing produced?

Kate- It is the power yes, because let's face it, we do grow up believing our parents to basically always be right.
I didn't realise how much my (then) opinions had been created my parents till I went to Uni. As a teen, yes you argue in a teen way 'You're so unfair, etc, etc'. It takes adulthood to actually see your parents as flawd people, just like anyone else.
I think it must be almost impossible for a child to break the psychological barrier of realising that their own parent/brother/grandparent is wrong in what they're doing.

One positive thing does seem to be free nursery education. I don't think there are more of these cases around than there were thirty years ago, just now we are able to spot them more.

Videolink evidence in law courts as well has made a difference, I think.

Nunyaa- There are such stories one hears, and this is why some say we are oversensitive as a society. Problem is, yes, innocent until proven gulity, in terms of convicting people, but guilty until proven innocent as regards what is done with the children's welfare.

The problem is the shocking environment that kids taken away from their parents potentially face- out of frying pan into the fire.

Baht At- There is a legal precedent (controversial in some ways, but it was a female Judge ruled on it), that says that the definition of consent is whether any reasonable person would be realistically be under the impression that consent was given.

I suppose it IS a difficult line, but the line has to be somewhere, and I guess that's a fair place to put it.

The scenario you refer to, is of course still controversial, and yes it does sems to boost the reported rape stats. Five percent of reported rapes are result in conviction, and yes, it's partly because a large number quickly turn out to be cases of crying wolf.

But partly because a lot of women won't testify when they realise it's going to be a he said she said battle on the stand.

I know at least one girl who's first introduction to sex was in the first year at university, when she said no. Several times. But it happened.
It never went to court, for the reasons I've just outlined.

X-dell- Well, I think a lot of the witch hunts were a few years back, mainly to to belief in repressed memory syndrome.

I read a book about the final debuking of repressed memory syndrome- the results were no great shock.

A study was done on 1,500 testimonies of people who said they'd been abducted by aliens, and it had come out under hypnosis.
The conclusion of the researchers- no great shock- almost all these cases were cases of sleep paralysis and the memories created under hypnosis were effectively implanted as false memories by the questioner.

But these methods were used to gain convictions in child abuse cases- a condition, reprsssed memory syndromem, that looks now like it's a load of bollocks.

Baht At- I don't know. I do agree, that children should be disciplined. But the idea that they are property of a specific set of adults, I'm not sure I like that either.

Ms S- As I say, it depends on whether there has been resolution.
I'm thinking of where it hasn't.

OK, we have a situation where a grown man has an apparently normal relationship with his father. There's nothing normal about it, but things carry on as if the past never happened. Except when this lad gets more than two pints in him, in which case he threatens violence to almost anyone.
He lives with his girlfriend, and I suspect she feels the back of his hand quite often.
He also has a five year old daughter.

If the perpatrator is brought to account and the victim receives the help they need, then yes, they can take steps to move on. But in the situation I've just described, one cannot help but worry that the lack of resolution, leads to this tree bearing fruit of a like kind.

Nunyaa- I think what you describe is often the case. It's that whole trust issue.
Kids are taught to obey their parents. And yes, some would say 'Kids theses days run riot, no respect for their parents'

But unless we make sure parents are worthy of respect, should we have children obeying them unconditionally?

Anonymous said...

Eve- I suppose it's worth me outlining the basic model I support for everyone else's benefit.

Increased human life span and the way social structure is changing, means in some ways, grandparents playing more of a role in bringing up children is not only the way things are moving, but has a lot commend it.

If we did live more communal lives, than we could have children in our twenties and thirties, and bring up our grandchildren in our forties and fifties.

But on the birth of any child, society would make a decision as to were it's most appropriate gaurdians. And perhaps a lower age limit, say forty, would be an idea. Most often, this would be granparents, but either way, being guardian to a child, should not be an automatic right of being a blood relative.

There are many girls out there like that. And it's hard for them. They don't realise they are effectively repeating their ordeal, by allowing men to use them over and over again, because deep down, they think that's what they should be.

Crashie- It is scary, isn't? Sometimes I stand at the bar in the pub on a day like today- sun's out, lot's of parents chatting at the bar, while the kids sit outside sipping coke. And you wonder.
And you look at the couples. How many of them have violent relationships?

And these things aren't easy to talk about.

But look at the sea change that has taken place in public opinion over corporal punishment.
Both my parents saw physical chastisement, with say, a carpet beater, as fair.
Even I grew up to dread the slipper.

But nowadays, we wouldn't EVER think of raising an object to a child.
It is about awareness and society as a whole taking resonsibility for ALL our young.

Nunyaa- Interesting area.
On the whole, I think a lot of cases- such as the 24 year old female teacher having sex with 15 year olds really doesn't worry me overmuch- I just don't think it traumatises the teenage lads in any way shape or form, though obviously, it depends on the leven of force.
I'm not sure male consent works the same way, I think generally if sex happens betwen a man and a woman, male consent can be usually be taken as red, though I admit there are borderline cases.

Domestic abuse- as in violence, well that is something that often gets overlooked- what man wants to admit his missus regularly smacks him in the face, scratches him, covers his arm with the bruises her grip creates as she holds him down?

And no, you don't tell anyone, because no one would believe you.

Anonymous said...


cherrypie - OK so I don't particularly like plain chocolate but occasionally when she's munching on a bar my gf will pop a bit in my mouth - that then is abuse?

No that sounds like being playful. I do agree with you in that abuse is very difficult to define.

Anonymous said...

Baht - missed your second comment.

Perhaps the concept that children must be allowed absolute freedom is the reason society is disintegrating before our very eyes.

I totally agree with that, children need to learn what is right and wrong.

Anonymous said...

Have seen many cases where women abuse their man with words. Some say don't be a wussy but in a relationship, words can cut deep and with emotional abuse you don't see visible scars. We have just had domestic violence awareness week here in Queensland. All the television ads show a man abusing a woman either with threats or physical violence. It shits me no end. Please excuse my expression but some guys are pussy whipped and the women have balls bigger than boar pigs. I am NO advocate of any violence be it emotional, sexual or physical, just get tired of seeing only men portrayed as the the perpetrators, lot of women(not all) are very good at playing the victim and they do it.

Anonymous said...

Abuse is about power and how it is wield upon the victim. Whether it's the power of status, role, money, occupation, size, weight, etc.

The type of abuse is how they wield that power, either with physical violence, emotional or pyschological abuse, sexual abuse or otherwise.

Anonymous said...

CherryPie- But they shouldn't be treated as parental property.
They should be the charges of society as a whole.

Nunyaa- You are right of course. My experience of living with one particular woman, unfortunately, did leave a lasting impression on me, because she had a filthy temper, and unfortunately, although I probably was physically stronger than her, you just don't fight back. You try pull her off, but that's all you can do. But at times, my eyeball was that close to actually being torn out.

She also knew which buttons to press in terms of jibes as well.

But the thing was, I also felt she needed me. Because she did. That's how things work.

I think it's mainly down to her I just can't deal with the idea of actually living with a woman in that way again. I get really worried about being in a position where I can't escape.

And yes, a lot of women are VERY good at playing the victim.

Ms S- I agree. Abuse is about power. It is about having a hold over someone they cannot break and using that to press down on their nerves.

It's unpleasant however it's done, it is always a violation.

I like your point about psychological abuse.

I think all of are open, in different ways, to different kinds of abuse.

Man's inumanity to man, eh? What hope have we got of not blowing ourselves up, when we inflict so many different types of pain on those around us?

Anonymous said...

This brought tears to my eyes.

It took me five years to realize that I wasn't alone.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post Crushed. I agree wholeheartedly that it is a minority that must be extinguished, whatever the proportion.

Anonymous said...

>And one of the saddest things is that the abused often becomeds an abuser in later life - because they knew nothing else.

Anonymous said...

Kizzie- So many people do think they're alone. They're not.

People can take steps towards dealing with it, but I don't think it ever ntirely goes away.
But if people around those who've suffered it always appreciate what happened, then people can lead normal lives.

Jams- I retain some optimism that it can be. I think we are suddenly aware of the problem in a whole new light, and that's a start.
And the answer I think, DOES lie in education and how we bring children up from the start.

Welshcakes- I think that's beyond dispute. I don't know the figures, but I'd say maybe even a majority of abused males become abusers.

I wonder if the problem was worse yet, if less talked about, when male boarding schools were the norm.