In nearly all of the world’s “civilized” societies, child molestation (sexual abuse) is considered a crime that’s so vile and so repugnant in nature, that even behind prison walls where an inmate’s instinct to survive often forces him or her to forge alliances with unscrupulous peers, fellow inmates convicted on charges of child molestation are unequivocally despised and shunned by the majority of the prison’s general population.
It’s because of their abominable transgressions against children that pedophiles are excommunicated and are often targeted for assassination by fellow inmates.
Pedophiles that are able to survive “prison justice”, will for the entirety of their prison sentence, metaphorically wear the shameful “scarlet letters” of Child Molester, a badge of dishonor that disqualifies the molester from ever procuring friends and ultimately securing (life saving) allies.
Some monster are more hideous than others
In the slimy and shadowy world of pedophilia where one “monster” closely resembles another, there are monsters that are more scarier than others.
Capable of disguising their demonic intentions by pretending to be trustworthy and loving authority figures, they prey (like vultures) on children whose only “crime” was seeking out the acceptance, love and affection of a parent.
Today’s article is written specifically about the horrific ordeal of a woman that was sexually molested by her father for over 6 years. When the molestation began, she was 9 years old, when she finally was able to find the inner courage to fight back against her father and stop the molestation she was 15.
Over twenty-five years has passed since her ultimate betrayal and in hope of completing her healing process, this exceptionally strong woman is speaking out for the first time in a Question and Answer format about the monster she once loved and called “Poppa”.
For the sake of preserving her anonymity her real name will not be used and she will be referred to by the pseudo-name “Hope”. In order to highlight the inadequacies of many European child sexual abuse laws, Hope has agreed to reveal that she is Dutch by birth.
Her interview is real and it is poignant.
Q: Hope, how far back to do you remember as a child?
A: My first memories were when I was in kindergarten. I remember it in a blur though. I remember important moments when I was 7 years old; my thoughts and mindset at that time. After we moved when I was 9 I remember more.
Q: Are your memories clear or are they shadowy?
A: Some memories are very vivid. I still remember like it was yesterday; where we were, how I felt, what I said. Other memories are blurry and shadowy and if I try to reach it the door closes on me.
Q: Hope, what was your first memory of your father inappropriately touching you and how old were you?
A: I was about 9 I think. I told my father I thought French kissing was gross. His response was pushing his tongue in my mouth and saying:” Feels good doesn’t it? Now you do it to me.” I did what he asked me to do, but it felt weird doing it.
Q: Hope, at what age did you feel that your father’s actions were normal and loving?
A: I knew it wasn’t completely right, but at the same time I didn’t realize it was wrong either. My father and I would get into fights a lot and now he gave me, what I thought at the time, positive attention, because he acted friendly and caring. He said he was teaching me things when he was molesting me.
Q: Did your father “reward” you with praise or gifts after he molested you?
A: No he didn’t reward me. The reward was that when he would touch me and I had to touch him, he would act nice and caring towards me. When he wasn’t molesting me he would get angry with me, put me down and even hit me. He would tell me what an awful person I was and that I only had bad sides and no good sides. So in a way the molestation was a reward, because then he would be more caring and friendly towards me.
Q: Where was your mother during the molestations?
A: My father had night shifts and my mother day shifts, so when it happened during the day, she wasn’t around.
Q: To the best of your memory besides your father making you touch him and he fondling your genitals and breast, did your father ever sexually penetrate your vagina?
A: I really cannot remember if that happened or not.
Q: Did your father ever make you perform oral sex on him and if so, how old were you ?
A: Again, I really cannot remember if that happened or not.
Q: What is your first memory of sex with a male?
A: The only thing I know is when I had sex for the first time at the age of 19, it didn’t hurt at all. I do remember bits and pieces of my father touching my vagina and rubbing it. I also remember me sitting on top of him, so he could teach me how to have sex on top.
A psychiatrist later told me it is normal to block things out of your mind. Since I was so young when it happened, I could only deal with things to a certain point, the rest I blocked out of my memory. I have been too scared to let those memories surface again. I have my suspicions, but they are not vivid memories.
Q: Did your mother bathe you during the time you were molested as a little girl?
A: When I was about 6 both my parents did. I used to be very afraid of the water, even the shower, so my father would hold me down and my mother would wash me. All I could do was scream and cry. Later on I showered myself and never liked to go, because I felt so vulnerable being in the shower naked. We were not allowed to lock the door and my father would just walk in when I was in the shower.
Q: Did your father ever involve other men or women during his molestation of you?
Q: At what age did you feel what your father was doing to you was wrong?
A: When I was around 14 or 15 I knew what he was doing was wrong, so I just started acting out, got into verbal fights with him all the time, because I thought if I would act out he would not molest me anymore. Soon after that the abuse stopped.
Q: Did you ever tell your mother what your father was doing to you? If not then why didn’t you tell her?
A: No I didn’t. At the time it happened it was never an option to tell her. I didn’t have a bond with anyone in the house, so I didn’t feel safe or secure enough to tell her. As I grew older I once tried talking to my sister about it. I started talking about when my father would tie me up or hit me, but my sister just said I was a difficult child and that this was the only way for him to handle me. After that I didn’t dare tell her about the sexual abuse.
Q: Hope have you ever tried to hurt or kill yourself?
A: Yes I have. It wasn’t just the sexual abuse, but also the physical and emotional abuse. My father used to ask me why I couldn’t be more like my sister, why I had to be such an awful child. When I was 10 years old I almost drank an entire bottle of alcohol and when I was around 12 years old I started cutting myself. At first it wasn’t because I wanted to kill myself, but more to have an outlet for the pain. I couldn’t talk to anyone about it and at times I would cut myself to release the emotional pain I was in. I also started smoking, drinking and doing drugs. When I was about 15 I tried to kill myself.
Q: How many times have you attempted to commit suicide and when was the last time?
A: I think it’s about 4 or 5 times. The last time I was about 25. I took about 40 pain killers. A friend found me and called 911. She saved my life.
Q: Have you ever talked to a mental health professional about the molestations?
A: Yes I have. I asked my parents if I could get help for my problems, but my father would not allow me to go to a psychiatrist, because he said I wasn’t crazy. When I was 23 I started to have severe hyperventilation and anxiety attacks. It got so bad, I would have 5 attacks a week. I was afraid to go to my own doctor, because my parents had the same doctor. So my work arranged for me to go to a social worker in the city I worked in. Her diagnosis was that I was suicidal, depressed, had clear signs of abuse, would use self mutilation to ease my pain and that I was at the urge of a major nervous breakdown.
Q: What was their solution to your problem?
A: At that time I was still living at home, so she told me the first thing I needed to do was to move out of the house. I didn’t have much money to move out, but she said it was important I would move out as soon as possible, as my condition would only get worse if I didn’t. So I took her advice by heart and moved out into a one room apartment. Since my insurance only covered 5 sessions with the social worker, I couldn’t go see her anymore.
Q: Again, why haven’t you as an adult gone to the police?
A: After I moved out of the house, I was so relieved and had to first pick up the pieces by myself. I tried to forget it, move on, pretend it never happened, but it kept haunting me. It never occurred to me to go to the police, because part of me blamed myself for what happened. I had been a bad child, I wasn’t worthy, so I must have brought it on to myself. Now it is too long ago to charge him and I am still too afraid to do so.
Q: Is your father still alive and if so, have you ever asked him why he hurt you?
A: Yes my father is still alive. When I was 26 I did the Landmark forum, because I needed to figure myself out. In that weekend I called him and told him I forgave him for what he had done to me. He replied that he was happy I called and that he always knew he raised me the right way. He said because I was such a bad child he needed to put me straight and that’s why he did what he did. I told him I forgave me, but he chose to think I condoned what he had done. We never spoke about it after that.
Q: Hope do you hate your father? Do you hate your mother?
A: No I don’t hate them, but I don’t love them either. There is no bond between us, there is just nothing really. My closest friends are my family. In my heart I have cut all ties between us.
Q: What is your sexual preference? Are you straight, gay or bi-sexual?
A: I am bi-sexual.
Q: Are you completely comfortable with relationships with men?
A: No, not completely. I have serious trust issues. When I was about 20 years old I was very promiscuous, because I thought if I would have sex with men they would like me more. For me sex was the definition of love. In my first serious relationship I was very afraid he would leave me. He needed to constantly validate his love for me. I still find it hard to trust people. I tend to test the men in my life by pushing them away, by acting like a bitch, so when they do finally walk away, I have proven once again I am worthless. I don’t want to show I am vulnerable, because I don’t want to get hurt. It is my own insecurity that makes my life so hard at times. I realize that, but it is hard to change that if you just don’t know any better.
Q: Do you have any children? Do you want any children?
A: No I don’t have any children, but I would like to have children. But I am 35 now, so I don’t know if it will happen.
Q: What is your advice to other young ladies who may be suffering through the same ordeal that you’ve gone through / are going through?
A: Because I didn’t have the chance to get help at a younger age, it took me a long time to be able to lead a somewhat normal life. I still haven’t healed yet. Being the way I am now, is all I know. I think people don’t realize what physical, sexual and emotional abuse can do to a child and how it has such an impact in the rest of your life. My advice would be to get help as soon as possible. If it is not within your family, see if there is someone at school or a friend that you can talk to. Because the sooner you get help, the sooner the abuse stops and the sooner you can start to heal.
Q: Do you love yourself? And do you feel that you still have some issues from the molestation that plague you today?
A: Yes I do, although I cannot say I completely love myself. I still have issues that plague me today and I guess that will stay that way for the rest of my life. My entire life I have tried to please everyone but myself. I cannot put myself first. I still have hyperventilation attacks sometimes. I still don’t know how to handle my emotions. I have mood swings. I cannot be completely happy. I eat to comfort myself. I still feel anger and rage at times. I sometimes get so depressed again that I wonder why I am still on this earth. But I also have times I am happy, I do feel I am contributing something in this world. I don’t want people to see me as a victim and I don’t want people to feel sorry for me.
Q: Hope do you ever blame yourself for what happened?
A: Yes I do. I blamed myself for not saying no, for not standing up to him, for not talking to someone about it, for allowing him to do this to me. And now I sometimes blame myself for still letting it have such an impact in my life.
Q: Hope in closing, can you ever forgive your father for the hurt that he caused you?
A: Oprah once said in one of her shows: Forgiveness is accepting you cannot change your past. Although I told my father many years ago I have forgiven him, I haven’t completely. I still feel the anger and I still feel the rage. I still blame myself at times. That tells me I haven’t forgiven him completely yet. I guess I still haven’t accepted I cannot change my past.
- 1 in 4 girls will sexually abused before she turns 18 years old.
- More than 90% of abusers are people the child know, love, or trust.
- There are more than 39 million survivors of sexual abuse in America.
- More than 60% of pregnant teens have been sexually abused. The majority of these young women never tell of their ordeal.
· The average child molester will molest fifty girls before being caught and convicted.
· A child molester that seeks out boys will molest 150 boys before being caught and convicted and he will commit at least 280 sexual crimes in his lifetime.
· The standard pedophile will commit 117 sexual crimes in their lifetime.
· Most sexual abuse happens between the ages of 7 and 13.
· There are over 491,720 registered sex offenders in the United States.
· 80,000 to 100,000 of the above offenders are missing.
· Molesters known by the family or victim are the most common abusers. The “Acquaintance Molester” accounts for 70-90% of reported cases
National Child Abuse Hotline
The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD is dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. Serving the United States, its territories, and Canada, the Hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with professional crisis counselors who, through interpreters, can provide assistance in 170 languages. The Hotline offers crisis intervention, information, literature, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls are anonymous and confidential.