Child abuse is still a taboo subject in today's society. However it is a subject that needs to be talked about more in order to help victims come forward to talk about and take the stigma away from the subject by acknowledging that it is happening today, as much as it happened thirty years ago. One such story told by a 41 year old woman, described as 'single and childless' tells her story, and a familiar story in the world of Child sexual abuse. The headline reads " My Mum didn't stop my stepfather abusing me".
This is quite a shocking headline to some, but alas a very common theme amongst the victims of CSA. As a counsellor with several years experience in the field of rape, and CSA, I found working with these women, this was the case for seven out of ten victims. Their Mother knew it was happening but did nothing to protect their daughters. Consequently as adults, these women cant come to terms with what happened to them and why why why did their sole carer not protect them? These are just some of the questions a victim of CSA goes through, when they come to counselling.
Counselling enables victims to talk through their traumatic experience, with adult eyes, and therefore not that helpless little girl that once was. This in turn allows the little girl to heal and move away from that place of abuse, and move forward in adult life with growing confidence. In a lot of cases when moving forward clients realise that it was not their fault but their adult abusers, usually a male father figure in many cases, but they also come to realise that Mum was around why did she not come and stop this happening, which then leads to a realisation that Mum was colluding with the abuser, and this can be more damaging than the abuse itself.
I believe counselling helps victims of CSA enormously some victims have never told anyone before and can be so empowering to have someone just believe you, and listen to your story, as another big theme in CSA is secrecy. Children are warned if they tell anyone they will be hurt, or Mum will get hurt or worst still they will be killed. One can only imagine the psychological impact this has on a 7yr old child.
This would silence anyone let alone a child. This is just a small example of the work I have carried out with my clients, but have found it to be very beneficial and extremely rewarding to see these women walk with their head held high again.