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Should I be concerned this person *might* be/become a sexual abuser? - Page 2

post #21 of 62

I agree, trust your instincts, don't leave your children alone with them.  It isn't so much that they were abused as a child, it's that they clearly haven't examined the issue - i.e., that they think it was fine, brag about how they enjoyed it, that it wasn't harmful, talk about it openly.  Red flag!

post #22 of 62
I agree. That is not what APToddler Mama said. It is a risk factor. A correlation, not a causation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

That is not what I said.  I said that the number of victims who go on to become abusers is unfortunately higher than the general population.  It is a risk factor, not a sure thing.

post #23 of 62
With the terribly high rate of abuse in foster homes, I don't think there is much off limits when evaluating potential foster parents. Everyone I know that was in foster care had at least one, and often multiple foster homes that were abusive. Very sad.
post #24 of 62
Quote:

Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post\

 

No survivor wants to be told that statistically speaking, they are more likely to be abusive than someone who hasn't been abused.  I am not saying that specifically about individuals, but across the board, there is a correlation.

 


 

yes, and statistically speaking, people who drive cars are more likely to get drunk and crash their car into someone and kill them than people who always take the bus.

 

there is a correlation between driving a car and drunk drivers causing fatal accidents. Statistically speaking, as a car driver, I'm more likely to kill some one by drinking and driving than a non-car driver.

 

Except that I don't drink and drive. Ever. Most car drivers don't.

 

Those of us who drive responsibly really don't want to be lumped into the same group as drunk drivers.

 

post #25 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

yes, and statistically speaking, people who drive cars are more likely to get drunk and crash their car into someone and kill them than people who always take the bus.

 

there is a correlation between driving a car and drunk drivers causing fatal accidents. Statistically speaking, as a car driver, I'm more likely to kill some one by drinking and driving than a non-car driver.

 

Except that I don't drink and drive. Ever. Most car drivers don't.

 

Those of us who drive responsibly really don't want to be lumped into the same group as drunk drivers.

 


Well, I guess I don't understand.  I really am wondering how you'd suggest saying it more sensitively since you said earlier you agree but think it was said without sensitivity.  I think there can be honest discussion of the fact that there is a correlation without lumping everyone together or blaming individuals.  There is a correlation.  Doesn't mean anyone is saying *you* or any other individual is going to perpetrate.  But to deny the correlation is silly, because it does exist.  And it is certainly worth considering in a situation like the one OP finds herself in. 
 

 

post #26 of 62

Has anyone considered that the stats may be slanted by convicted abusers using the "abuse excuse" defense, and falsely portraying themselves as victims of abuse in the hope of getting a lighter sentence?

post #27 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

Those of us who drive responsibly really don't want to be lumped into the same group as drunk drivers.


Yes, this is what I was trying to say. APToddlerMama, I know you didn't say exactly the "most people..." thing, it's just that's the tone it came across as to me. I understand what you are ultimately trying to say, I just feel like it needs to be worded more carefully. I also think that the statistics might be different for males vs. females who have been abused??? Maybe I'm remembering that wrong. Anyway, I get that it's a risk factor, but the way it is worded kind of neglects the fact that only a small percentage of survivors go on to become perpetrators. It feels like a stereotype to me.

And thank you for explaining more about why foster parents are asked if they've been abused -- I didn't think of it from that perspective, and I guess it makes sense. I just know I'd be uncomfortable disclosing my own abuse to a case worker & wouldn't expect to hear that question (good to know, since someday I'd like to be a foster parent...)
post #28 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post

Has anyone considered that the stats may be slanted by convicted abusers using the "abuse excuse" defense, and falsely portraying themselves as victims of abuse in the hope of getting a lighter sentence?

Who knows how accurate the statistics are, but I can tell you undoubtedly with the children and teens I have worked with over a span of several years, that I knew about their history of sexual abuse long in almost every case long before they started perpetrating. 

post #29 of 62
The analogy of the drunk driver is not a good one.

Abusers were often abused as children and most adults have children. Subsequently, it takes a huge amount of maturity not to repeat the cycle of abuse. It takes cognizant and conscious effort and perhaps a good support system and slug of therapy.

And sometimes you think you are over it and you are not. A good friend of mine had some flashbacks lately while she bathing her child. She was pretty shaken and called her therapist right away.


Back to the OP... did you speak to your partner? Is he on board with you making the choice not to have your child spend time alone with this person?
post #30 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

Subsequently, it takes a huge amount of maturity not to repeat the cycle of abuse. It takes cognizant and conscious effort and perhaps a good support system and slug of therapy.

 

not really. I'm no more mature than the average person.

 

I've less of a support system than the average person.

 

I had a lot more therapy than  most people. A lot more. winky.gif

post #31 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

Well, I guess I don't understand.  I really am wondering how you'd suggest saying it more sensitively since you said earlier you agree but think it was said without sensitivity. 

 

 

I wouldn't put it all together in the same sentence. Ever.

 

I find it really rude. I think there is value in considering how you come across to survivors.

 

For me, and for lots of other people, this is personal.

 

For you, it's obviously not. 

 

 

post #32 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

Who knows how accurate the statistics are, but I can tell you undoubtedly with the children and teens I have worked with over a span of several years, that I knew about their history of sexual abuse long in almost every case long before they started perpetrating. 



A significant percentage (over 50) of my teen friends were sexually abused as children. At least one of them blocked it out and never admitted it to himself or anyone else until his early 30s. At least one other one never said a word, until he went on a drunked rant in his late 20s about all the people who had hurt him. I personally think that we have NO good stats on this, from either side. I also suspect - and I say it reluctantly - that men are somewhat more likely to reoffend. I don't think it's because they're soooo sexual (which seems to be the vibe I get from a lot of people on this subject). I think it's because they're much more reluctant than women are to talk about it and work through the abuse that happened to them, so it festers badly.

 

And, yeah - this whole conversation is very uncomfortable, from the standpoint of someone who was sexually abused, because it feels like just one more variant on the "damaged goods" theme...and I've heard too many variants on that. I've had enough problems stemming directly from what happened and how it was hidden (it's the primary source of my disordered eating) - dealing with the social stigma just makes everything harder.

 

I also have to wonder how the "have you ever been sexually abused?" question even works as part of a screening process, because I'd assume those who were also abusers would just lie...

 

I would guess that the percentage of offenders who were also victims is quite high. I really don't think there are good stats on the converse, though. I've often suspected that rates of childhood sexual abuse are even higher than people think...

 

OP: I've never come across someone who was abused who talked about it like that. I wouldn't know what to make of it, but I'd definitely keep my children away from them. Even if the person wouldn't actually abuse your children, I think he/she has really messed up boundaries and concepts of appropriateness and I wouldn't want that around my kids, either.

post #33 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post


Abusers were often abused as children and most adults have children. Subsequently, it takes a huge amount of maturity not to repeat the cycle of abuse. It takes cognizant and conscious effort and perhaps a good support system and slug of therapy.
 


I've talked through my abuse a lot. I've made a conscious effort to be public with it, to do my small part to end the stigma (probably unsuccessfully, as what actually happens is that people assume every negativepersonality trait I have is a direct result of the abuse). I've had a decent support system, for the most part. I've never done therapy. I probably never will. However, it's taken none of the things you mention in this post to avoid repeating the cycle of abuse. I've never been even the slightest bit tempted to lay a hand on a child - my own or anyone else's - in a sexual fashion.

 

I have no idea what makes some victims continue the cycle, while others don't. But, your post contains the underlying assumption that any adult (or even teen, I guess) who was abused and hasn't had a slug of therapy, doesn't have a "huge" amount of maturity, and isn't making a conscious effort must be repeating the cycle. That's really offensive to the thousands (maybe millions?) of us who have been sexually abused and would never sexually abuse a child in any way...even though we don't fit your criteria for coping acceptably with our abuse.

post #34 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

Abusers were often abused as children and most adults have children. Subsequently, it takes a huge amount of maturity not to repeat the cycle of abuse. It takes cognizant and conscious effort and perhaps a good support system and slug of therapy.

I don't think this is true. You don't necessarily need a lot of maturity or therapy or whatever to avoid abusing a child. All you need to know is that what happened to you was wrong & desire better for your child. There is not a chance in the world that I would abuse a child, but I have certainly not worked through my own abuse. And yes, having a child was really triggering for me, and yes, it makes it harder to parent, but no, it doesn't make me more likely to abuse him. In fact, it's something I'm very conscious of and I'm always making sure he is around safe people and can stand up for himself, his physical boundaries, etc. A lot of survivors I know are extra cautious to ensure their child's safety, but not all of them have worked through everything or spent time in therapy.
post #35 of 62

Quote:

Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

 

And, yeah - this whole conversation is very uncomfortable, from the standpoint of someone who was sexually abused, because it feels like just one more variant on the "damaged goods" theme...and I've heard too many variants on that. I've had enough problems stemming directly from what happened and how it was hidden (it's the primary source of my disordered eating) - dealing with the social stigma just makes everything harder.

 

I also have to wonder how the "have you ever been sexually abused?" question even works as part of a screening process, because I'd assume those who were also abusers would just lie...
 

I agree, it is another variant on the "damaged goods" theme.greensad.gif

post #36 of 62
And another thread is hijacked so that every little statement has to get picked apart over and over again. Awesome.
post #37 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

 from the standpoint of someone who was sexually abused, because it feels like just one more variant on the "damaged goods" theme...and I've heard too many variants on that.



truedat.gif

 

I was violently, sexually, and emotionally abused as a child. My kids are now teens and I've never had a problem *not* abusing them. I've had lots of other problems -- I've sliced up my arms with razor blades, I've tried to kill myself, and used drugs and alcohol to numb myself of all feelings, I've been in completely co-dependent relationships, I've worked myself into the ground trying to be super mom to make up for my own childhood, I've tried several different religions.

 

I've had lots of struggles in life stemming from the fact that I was treated like a piece of dirt for my childhood.

 

None the less, I've never come close to abusing my kids. Not even close. It has not been a struggle for me at all.

 

post #38 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post


Yes, this is what I was trying to say. APToddlerMama, I know you didn't say exactly the "most people..." thing, it's just that's the tone it came across as to me. I understand what you are ultimately trying to say, I just feel like it needs to be worded more carefully. I also think that the statistics might be different for males vs. females who have been abused??? Maybe I'm remembering that wrong. Anyway, I get that it's a risk factor, but the way it is worded kind of neglects the fact that only a small percentage of survivors go on to become perpetrators. It feels like a stereotype to me.
And thank you for explaining more about why foster parents are asked if they've been abused -- I didn't think of it from that perspective, and I guess it makes sense. I just know I'd be uncomfortable disclosing my own abuse to a case worker & wouldn't expect to hear that question (good to know, since someday I'd like to be a foster parent...)


I will bow out of this conversation after this post since I think I've explained as much as I can, and I understand that many survivors are sensitive about the topic.  The facts that have been presented to me are not that only a very small percentage of survivors go on to become perpetrators.  Like I said, I have heard numerous stats in numerous trainings, some so high I cannot possibly believe it.  There is probably no way to accurately be certain of these statistics anyhow, because sexual abuse is so private.  It is not a stereotype that there is a correlation between the two. It is widely regarded as a fact and something to be aware of in the field of social work, psychology, and therapy because of the huge impact it can have.  I will say again too that I have some very close friends and family members who are survivors who I would trust completely with my kids. If I believed most people who were sexually abused would abuse my children, I obviously would not allow them to be part of our lives.  I said to OP that it is nothing more than a red flag and something to look at as *part* of the larger picture with this person.  And yes, statistically men are way more likely to abuse than women.   I understand the topic is sensitive but I guess it is difficult for me to understand why a parent would be so sensitive as to not consider the statistical correlation, to call it a stereotype, make a connection between drunk driving, throw around the word "evil" etc when that is not at all what I'm getting at.  It really is something that is important to look at though in this situation and similar ones.  There is no blame coming from me, nor stereotyping.  I truly hope crunchy_mommy and linda that you understand that.  I don't want to offend but I do think it is an important thing to keep in mind when looking at OPs bigger picture, and for anyone else in a similar situation making similar choices.  Bowing out... wishing OP clarity in her decision making and the rest of you peace and the knowledge that I am not trying to be accusatory when pointing out the correlation. 
 

 

post #39 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

I will bow out of this conversation after this post since I think I've explained as much as I can, and I understand that many survivors are sensitive about the topic.  The facts that have been presented to me are not that only a very small percentage of survivors go on to become perpetrators.  Like I said, I have heard numerous stats in numerous trainings, some so high I cannot possibly believe it.  There is probably no way to accurately be certain of these statistics anyhow, because sexual abuse is so private.  It is not a stereotype that there is a correlation between the two. It is widely regarded as a fact and something to be aware of in the field of social work, psychology, and therapy because of the huge impact it can have. 

 

Read this again. Look at the parts I bolded. This is far from rigorous, and far from conclusive. It's widely regarded as a fact that doctors are experts on nutrition, too - doesn't make it so.

 

I'm not saying that there is no correlation. My first abuser wasn't abused as a child, as far as anyone has ever been able to ascertain - but he did have a brain hemorrhage shortly after I was born, and the brain damage was quite extensive. I know absolutely nothing about the background of my second abuser. I know another man who was abused as a child, and I suspect, but don't know, that he abused a younger girl as a teen. However, I'm willing to believe that most sexual abusers were sexual abuse victims themselves. I don't think there's anywhere near adequate data to support an assertion that "most" or even "many" victims of abuse become abusers themselves, and these stats are thrown around without any apparent understanding that they re-victimize abuse victims every day. There isn't a single aspect of the paragraph posted above that supports the idea that large percentages of victims become abusers. Unless you're seeing fairly consistent stats - which you obviously aren't - they don't mean very much at all.

 

I think there are red flags in the OP. I think there are big red flags in the OP. But, they have very little to do with the fact that the person she talked to had been sexually abused...and whole lot to do with the fact the person looked at that abuse as a positive aspect of her upbringing and felt the need to share it in a social situation. There's a lot to be worked through there.

 

I will say again too that I have some very close friends and family members who are survivors who I would trust completely with my kids. If I believed most people who were sexually abused would abuse my children, I obviously would not allow them to be part of our lives.  I said to OP that it is nothing more than a red flag and something to look at as *part* of the larger picture with this person.  And yes, statistically men are way more likely to abuse than women.   I understand the topic is sensitive but I guess it is difficult for me to understand why a parent would be so sensitive as to not consider the statistical correlation, to call it a stereotype, make a connection between drunk driving, throw around the word "evil" etc when that is not at all what I'm getting at.  It really is something that is important to look at though in this situation and similar ones.  There is no blame coming from me, nor stereotyping.  I truly hope crunchy_mommy and linda that you understand that.  I don't want to offend but I do think it is an important thing to keep in mind when looking at OPs bigger picture, and for anyone else in a similar situation making similar choices.  Bowing out... wishing OP clarity in her decision making and the rest of you peace and the knowledge that I am not trying to be accusatory when pointing out the correlation.  

 

 

Really? You really don't understand? This affects everything about who I am and how I interact with people around me (and with myself!!) in a myriad of ways, and you don't understand how a parent can be "so sensitive" so as to blah, blah, blah? We can be "so sensitive", because being parents doesn't mean we're not human. It doesn't mean we don't carry around pain. It doesn't mean that having people look at us differently when they find out what's in our history (up to and including suddenly wondering if we're safe to have around their kids!) doesn't hurt us again. I want you to imagine - just imagine - what it would feel like to have someone decide that you're not safe to have around her family, because of something that someone else did to you when you were a child. Think about that. And, then think about how someone can be "so sensitive".

OMG. And, you're a social worker??

post #40 of 62
Quote:

Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by HappyHappyMommy View Post

APToddlerMama, can you provide some support for this statistic? While some people who are abused do become abusers, many do not.


Of course many many who are abused do not become perpetrators.  I hope I made that clear in my post.  

 


APToddlerMama, this was not clear in your earlier post, so I do appreciate you taking the time to post again and clarify.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

When I was in therapy at a rape crises center, I was told that nearly all predators were sexually assaulted as children. Such a high percentage, in fact, that people in the field assume the actual number to be 100% even though it has not been proven.

 

It doesn't not follow that all victims grow up to be predators. Some do, some don't. 

 


yeahthat.gif Linda, thank you for saying that so well.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

Quote:

Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

 The number of sex offenders who have been abused is clearly higher than the number of sexual abuse survivors who go on to offend. 

 

 

 

Although I agree with you, I find the way you worded this to be really insensitive.

 

I don't think it's even in the same ball park.

 

clap.gifwell said, Linda.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

Although I agree with you, I find the way you worded this to be really insensitive.

 

I don't think it's even in the same ball park.

 

I'm a survivor, but not evil. Not even close.


yeahthat.gif I think this can be worded more like... "Almost all offenders were abused themselves," not "Most victims go on to become abusers."
 


yeahthat.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

Well, I guess I don't understand.  I really am wondering how you'd suggest saying it more sensitively since you said earlier you agree but think it was said without sensitivity. 

 

 

I wouldn't put it all together in the same sentence. Ever.

 

I find it really rude. I think there is value in considering how you come across to survivors.

 

For me, and for lots of other people, this is personal.

 

yeahthat.gif

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post


Yes, this is what I was trying to say. APToddlerMama, I know you didn't say exactly the "most people..." thing, it's just that's the tone it came across as to me. I understand what you are ultimately trying to say, I just feel like it needs to be worded more carefully. I also think that the statistics might be different for males vs. females who have been abused??? Maybe I'm remembering that wrong. Anyway, I get that it's a risk factor, but the way it is worded kind of neglects the fact that only a small percentage of survivors go on to become perpetrators. It feels like a stereotype to me.
And thank you for explaining more about why foster parents are asked if they've been abused -- I didn't think of it from that perspective, and I guess it makes sense. I just know I'd be uncomfortable disclosing my own abuse to a case worker & wouldn't expect to hear that question (good to know, since someday I'd like to be a foster parent...)


I will bow out of this conversation after this post since I think I've explained as much as I can, and I understand that many survivors are sensitive about the topic.  The facts that have been presented to me are not that only a very small percentage of survivors go on to become perpetrators.  Like I said, I have heard numerous stats in numerous trainings, some so high I cannot possibly believe it.  There is probably no way to accurately be certain of these statistics anyhow, because sexual abuse is so private.  It is not a stereotype that there is a correlation between the two. It is widely regarded as a fact and something to be aware of in the field of social work, psychology, and therapy because of the huge impact it can have. 
 

 


APToddlerMama, the reason I firsts asked about statistics was because I too have been through numerous trainings and read numerous statistics and I have not been able to find any (and I did do a google search) that support what you are saying. In fact, what I've found is that only a small percentage of survivors go on to become perpetrators.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post


Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

I will bow out of this conversation after this post since I think I've explained as much as I can, and I understand that many survivors are sensitive about the topic.  The facts that have been presented to me are not that only a very small percentage of survivors go on to become perpetrators.  Like I said, I have heard numerous stats in numerous trainings, some so high I cannot possibly believe it.  There is probably no way to accurately be certain of these statistics anyhow, because sexual abuse is so private.  It is not a stereotype that there is a correlation between the two. It is widely regarded as a fact and something to be aware of in the field of social work, psychology, and therapy because of the huge impact it can have. 

 

Read this again. Look at the parts I bolded. This is far from rigorous, and far from conclusive. It's widely regarded as a fact that doctors are experts on nutrition, too - doesn't make it so.

 

I understand the topic is sensitive but I guess it is difficult for me to understand why a parent would be so sensitive as to not consider the statistical correlation, to call it a stereotype, make a connection between drunk driving, throw around the word "evil" etc when that is not at all what I'm getting at.

 

 

Really? You really don't understand? This affects everything about who I am and how I interact with people around me (and with myself!!) in a myriad of ways, and you don't understand how a parent can be "so sensitive" so as to blah, blah, blah? We can be "so sensitive", because being parents doesn't mean we're not human. It doesn't mean we don't carry around pain. It doesn't mean that having people look at us differently when they find out what's in our history (up to and including suddenly wondering if we're safe to have around their kids!) doesn't hurt us again. I want you to imagine - just imagine - what it would feel like to have someone decide that you're not safe to have around her family, because of something that someone else did to you when you were a child. Think about that. And, then think about how someone can be "so sensitive".

 

clap.gif well said, Storm Bride.
 

 

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