THERE is no simple answer to this question but I did some research and can offer some information on some thoughtful reflections on this issue. This is an important question to ask, because we all know that there are several reasons for understanding why people chose to sexually abuse or use children.
This might sound strange but many victims still love the person who abuse them. But wait, they only want to understand why they did it, or if it was their fault. Or even help them understand why to prevent other children from being abused. Whoever you, are the interest in exploring this difficult question is a great sign of courage.
While some children may want to forget and forgive, others want justice and revenge, while some may be in shock and go through an entire range of emotions. I have learnt that there are several reason why you want to understand this: who was (and is) the person who used or abused you, whether he or she is still in your life, the nature of his her relationship with you, then and now, how dependent you were on them, or continue to be, how long you knew them, how you felt about them before the sexual experiences happened; How you felt about them after the sexual experiences (began), how much you have suffered and lost as a consequence of what happened.
But if you did not know them , you might have little interest in understanding what could have led them to hurt you. Remember, all situations might seem the same because the same person who did it to you might have done it to several others. But we all are different , so what is true for you is your situation and it is completely different from someone else’s.
I came across some common facts to our not-so-simple question. The person with power over a child develops a sexual interest in the child or any internal external/barriers that would otherwise prevent them from betraying the child’s trust are violated. He or she acts on their sexual fantasies and desires towards the child.
In my research, I’ve learnt that understanding is not about excuses or forgiveness. Trying to understand why someone is behaving in this harmful way is absolutely not about making excuses for their behaviour nor about the negative effects of what happened in your life. Please note that excuses are reasons why the person is not responsible so we must never make excuses for those types of abuse issues. the victim did not make a choice the abuser did on all levels.
Once you take interest in sexually abusing a child, you should be held accountable for it. People who sexually use or abuse children are complex – and deeply confused. I know what you’re thinking “deeply confused”, you say. How can you abuse and be deeply confused”. Well, in reality, those who abuse children are complex like every human being, they have good and bad qualities, both positive and negative motivations and have basic human needs and wants and those people need to have control on how they seek their needs. I don’t want to repeat it but some of those people who abuse children are deeply confused but a massive confusion is required for someone to believe that they have a right to use a child sexual. Also, with children who abuse children, this is about sexual abuse they have experienced themselves, as well as the general confusion and misunderstanding that children have about sex.
There are some general principles that therapists and researchers have learned, by working with and studying adults who have engaged in such behaviours, about why people sexually use or abuse children.
Some adults who sexually use or abuse children focus all their sexual energy on children.
Some who sexually use or abuse children maintain sexual relationships with age-appropriate partners, including at the same time they are using or abusing a child.
Most adults who sexually use or abuse children were, during their own childhood, abused sexually, physically, and/or emotionally, as well as neglected physically and/or emotionally. In reaction to those experiences of abuse, neglect, betrayal and powerlessness, they may have attempted to find feelings of power and control over others, including sexual power over children.
Tune in next week for more information on understanding child sexual abuse. Let’s start a new conversation about child abuse in St. Lucia. Send us your views on the matter, either by answering the various questions posed in our introductory article or by giving us your own insights into the topic. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Send us a message on Facebook (Annou Palé) or like the page. Visit The VOICE website at http://wwww.thevoiceslu.com or Whatsapp us at 1-758-519-2718