A pattern

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-07-2003
A pattern
2
Mon, 06-02-2003 - 9:06am
I had written in before, about having flashbacks from my childhood, of being sexually abused by someone, when I was really little. My step-daughter was sexually abused by 2 men, and my neice has been both sexually and physically abused. My question is, what is the quality in children who are abused that set's them up for future victimization? I know that sentence was phrased really badly, making it seem like the child's fault. Please know that is not what is meant at all. It just seems to me, that when it happens once, it's like these predator's have a sense, and know, and prey on these children. I'm not even positive I was abused as a little child, just random scary flashbacks, and a constant fear. But I was attacked by a man I babysat for when I was around 11 or 12. And raped at a party when I was 12. So, if I was really abused as a child, then that makes 3 separate predators. I guess my question or fear is, when it happens once, do we give something off, that these people sense? Has anyone else who was abused as a child, been abused by more than that person, if even at different times in our lives? If it has happened to alot of us, then I think it should be known, to prevent this from happening to anyone else. Thanks for listening to me. Kris
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
In reply to: beenthr
Mon, 06-02-2003 - 11:26am
Hi Kris,

I don't know the answer to your question, but I wanted you to know that I read your post. I'm sorry that these things have happened to you and to these two little girls in your life. I'm sure that must be heartbreaking for you.

I could venture some guesses, but I really don't know. My first thought was that maybe they look for quiet children who seem like they can be bullied easily, but then that wouldn't fit me. My abuse happened at around the age of four, and I was extremely outgoing and friendly. My mom used to say that she didn't know why, but that all of a sudden at around that age I became very quiet, withdrawn and shy (she doesn't know that this happened to me, and I only started remembering five years ago). A very large part of me is on guard about being too "cute" or friendly, and I think that's why. I think that in my little mind I blamed myself for being too friendly, and avoided further attention by turning inward.

I'm sure you'll get some other responses, so keep an eye on your post! I hope you have a good week.

Love, Heidi

HeidiRose

co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
In reply to: beenthr
Mon, 06-02-2003 - 4:13pm
I know that many of the people I've met in recovery have believed that the first abuse does something to the child that "sets them up" for future abuse. I think Heidi is onto something about shy, withdrawn children being perceived as lower-risk by abusers. One other thing occurs to me is that some abuse situations (maybe even most) teach the child wrong-headed lessons about the world. I know that many children don't realize that sexual abuse isn't supposed to happen. And even if they know it's not supposed to happen, they also might be laboring under beliefs about "stranger-danger," so when someone they know victimizes them, they can become confused. I think the first abuse "trains" the child that such abuse is normal or is a part of life. Maybe that has something to do with it.