Thursday, November 19, 2009

"I was abused by a woman and it haunts me every day "

This story is an important one:

It seems unthinkable, but ChildLine says calls from boys abused by women have doubled in a year. This deeply disturbing investigation reveals the terrible impact of a crime that society has never dared to confront.


The psychology of men is so much more complex when it comes to abuse than we realize. Read the article and let me know what you think.

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16 Comments:

Blogger Jacob said...

I thought it was a good article. On my blog I mentioned that the most important part to me is that we hear stories like Bill Jenkin's. We may not want to hear the details and victims themselves may not want to discuss the details (I certainly dislike doing it), but I think that hearing the impact the abuse had at the time the abuse occurred will help shatter the myth that female abuse is harmless.

11:11 AM, November 19, 2009  
Blogger Anne B. said...

'Years ago, people were very shocked to hear that children were abused at all,' says child psychotherapist Diana Cant, who works with the victims of female sex abuse.''


I can believe that. Years ago a woman would have to murder her kid outright, or break all his limbs, before anyone might notice that anything was wrong.

11:49 AM, November 19, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

I think it is so scarry to believe that moms and aunts and femal baby sitters are potentially dangerous that we do everything we can to shut out the information.

Women have most of the access to children, and we like to think that they are all safe. It makes us feel better to do so, it is comfortable.

But obviously, all women are not safe. And that is frightening. My daughter was harmed by a woman therapist. My father abused by a woman teacher for two years.

We need to toughen up and face facts, that abuse is a human problem, not a male one.

Trey

12:10 PM, November 19, 2009  
Blogger Topher said...

"It seems unthinkable"

Did anyone else shudder with disappointment but not surprise? Suggesting to the audience that it is "unthinkable" undermines the case the article seeks to make.

Trey -
"Women have most of the access to children, and we like to think that they are all safe. It makes us feel better to do so, it is comfortable."

Mmm hmm...there's been a lot of deserved media activity about male sex offenders, but it seems to have simply influenced the elimination of men in young-child fields. I coach youth sports and I have to be super-careful around the kids so someone doesn't accuse me of something and throw it all into a Kafkaesque cloud of suspicion.

12:29 PM, November 19, 2009  
Blogger Topher said...

"Mmm hmm...there's been a lot of deserved media activity about male sex offenders,"

Correction - this should have read "about certain male sex offenders," monstrous anecdote cases.

Lorena Bobbit committed a sex-offense act, but her case has entered popular culture as a mildly humorous deserved case of payback.

12:42 PM, November 19, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Topher, you raise a really important point, the loss of male non parental relationships for kids. There are three great guys at my children's after school care. They are energetic, polite, fun, and always speak to me.
I try to let them know how much I appreciate them and to encourage them for what they are doing. Same thing with the other fathers and older kids at our church.


Let me do the same for you, keep at it dude. Your positive relationships with kids are important for the children and important for our whole culture. Thanks man, your taking the time and effort is part of the solution.

Trey

12:56 PM, November 19, 2009  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

my mother had a friend, a large angry woman who was just bursting with agression. my memories of her were to stay out of her way as best as possible.

one day my friends and i were running home from school with our school overcoats over our shoulders like capes, playng batman i suppose.

my mom`s friend saw us and freaked out. she yelled at me about being disrespectful to the school uniform and so on, and dragged me home by my ear.

this woman was always hostile and loud and i remember she had dry scaly skin on her elbows and neck. some sort of psoriasis i would imagine.

her youngest daughter was overweight like her and always smelled incontinent. she was about my age.

her oldest daughter was maybe thirteen or fourteen. she tried to seduce me when i was probably eight or nine. she told me she loved me and that we were going to get married.

i remember those things in a sort of dream-like state. there were other things but i don`t explore those memories often.

1:56 PM, November 19, 2009  
Blogger Ern said...

The psychology of men is so much more complex when it comes to abuse than we realize.

Dr. Helen, are you getting that from the article, or is it your opinion based on more general experience or reading? I'm not seeing anything in the article that suggests men's psychology in this regard is complex, so I'd like to hear more from you.

4:46 PM, November 19, 2009  
Blogger Jack said...

It was a very interesting article. There is a definite bias that exists. If I had been abused by a woman I would never want to admit it. It would be so shameful.

10:20 PM, November 19, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...

Ern,

No, I'm not getting that from the article. I have seen what female abuse can do to men first-hand, it is emotionally devastating and can create one of two psychological consequences in men--one is a combination of anger and difficulty connecting to others and the other is a never-ending desire to please a woman for whom he is never good enough. Rage and frustration can lead to doing something illegal or violent and the latter can lead a man to choose a woman who will give him a lifetime of pain. Neither are good outcomes. Society makes it difficult for men to discuss these issues and even to seek treatment for it. For women, it is just the opposite. They are told they need help for any type of abuse, even if the "abuse" is minor or imaginary.

While I don't think it is healthy too dwell constantly on abuse, I do think that men who have been abused can get help from a good professional and should not be shy about seeking that help.

4:20 AM, November 20, 2009  
Blogger Trust said...

The article appropriately highlighted the quote: 'Experts have known for years that women are just as able to abuse children as men are.'

Duh.

I do think the number of cases is going up largely because society is so quick to make excuses for women. Any behavior that is excused or rewarded is a behavior that you get more of.

8:38 AM, November 20, 2009  
Blogger Ern said...

Dr. Helen,

Thank you. That's quite illuminating.

10:39 AM, November 20, 2009  
Blogger Bear80 said...

As a male, who is now a single parent, I can tell you that this phenomenon is far from new. I was sexually abused several times as an adolescent and teenager by older women. I'm glad it's finally seeing the light of day. It's an epidemic.

2:50 PM, November 23, 2009  
Blogger Bear80 said...

I forgot to say, I am currently working on my Master's in Forensic Counseling and plan on doing some research on this topic...if someone doesn't go a quality study before then. I think it's a serious topic and is leaving a lot of adolescent boys confused about relationships.

Although some in the press want to make it out to be a "fantasy come true" or a "thrill" for these young men, in most cases it leaves then damaged for a very long time.

2:55 PM, November 23, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

"Although some in the press want to make it out to be a "fantasy come true" or a "thrill" for these young men, in most cases it leaves then damaged for a very long time."

Well stated. And I am so sorry that happened to you.

In a similar manner, some gay guys will tell you that they learned that they were gay having sex with their 30 year old uncle when they were 8. Sexual abuse is a nightmare for the people who do not get quick, competent help.

Best wishes with your graduate studies! The literature needs so much more in this area.

Trey

8:15 AM, November 24, 2009  
Blogger Michael A. said...

I can relate to this article very much. I think I was abused by a woman when I was much younger and it definitely has had an affect on my life. I have difficulty creating and maintaining emotionally intimate relationships with women. I have never married and probably never will and it breaks my heart to know that, especially after spending Thanksgiving with family and extended family and getting lots of love from them.

Mike

8:35 PM, November 27, 2009  

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