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#345102 - 11/13/10 04:55 PM uncovering the problem
jesusfreesya Offline


Registered: 11/13/10
Posts: 27
Hi,
A little background. I have been trying to help a family member figure out what her husband's problem is. We have a friend who was molested as a child and she told us that he has all the symptoms of someone who has been molested. So, I started looking into this. It is at the point now where the wife feels her husband should enter a live-in program for those with sexual addictions as he has made life miserable for her and their children with his dishonesty about his behavior and neglect of the family. They have separated several times and this is her last resort. I have been researching sexual abuse and I understand that the dishonesty has to do with concealing the problem. The symptoms he exhibits does sound like someone who has been molested. When his wife has asked him about his childhood, he has said he could not remember anything. I am learning increasingly more about this subject the more I read. I saw the Opra show featuring Tyler Perry and the 2 subsequent shows with the 200 male survivors of sexual abuse. I am reading all the material posted at the Opra.com site related to these programs. It is very time consuming, but I'm getting the picture.

As of today I have a couple of questions:

1) How do you distinguish between whether the symptoms are those of molestation vs one who has never been molested but has been involved in immoral behaviors he is covering up, because he is ashamed of his past actions thus puts distance between himself and his family, displays unloving behaviors,acts out sexually etc.?

2) Out of those who have been molested, what is the difference between the 1/3 who go on to abuse vs the 2/3 who don't?


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#345129 - 11/13/10 07:36 PM Re: uncovering the problem [Re: jesusfreesya]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5779
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Quote:
Out of those who have been molested, what is the difference between the 1/3 who go on to abuse vs the 2/3 who don't?

Your figure of 1/3 of victims going on to abuse is totally inaccurate. The percentage of victims who later abuse is a fraction of that.

This is a myth that hurts the overwhelming majority of men who are victimized in childhood who do not go on to abuse others.


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#345132 - 11/13/10 08:02 PM Re: uncovering the problem [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
SunnyGirl Offline


Registered: 07/13/10
Posts: 79
I wanted to reiterate what Ken said. As a licensed therapist and an expert on the subject, he knows what he's talking about. Please also see the myths page on this very website which addresses this topic: http://www.malesurvivor.org/myths.html.

I know that you are new to this subject, but as a supporter, I wanted to offer some helpful advice because, quite honestly, you may have isolated a lot of survivors in the way that you wrote your post. I'd just ask that you re-read what you wrote and consider whether your characterization of the situation and your choice of words is unduly critical or judgmental. I know you are trying to help your friend, but please be sensitive to those who use this board -- male survivors and also their supporters. Please check your facts before you quote things as if they are fact -- I could imagine that reading your post could be quite upsetting to survivors (and also their supporters) to read because it propagates this myth. If you don't know something, ask a question, but please don't state unsupported statistics as if they are truth. Any good book you might find on the subject will support Ken's statement.

Please just be sensitive to other users when you post and you'll find you get many more replies. The men here are working to better themselves and should be applauded for their efforts.

_________________________
"When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us." - H. Keller

"Change & growth take place when a person has risked himself & dares to become involved w/ experimenting w/ his own life." - H. Otto

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#345138 - 11/13/10 09:03 PM Re: uncovering the problem [Re: SunnyGirl]
jesusfreesya Offline


Registered: 11/13/10
Posts: 27
I feel that you have both unfairly harshly criticized me. Is that any way to welcome a newbie to the board? I had no intention in the world of offending anyone. I had read this myth, as you call it, somewhere on this board I thought, or possibly at Oprah.com. If it is untrue, it was an honest mistake. When I read the 30% statistic earlier in the day, it answered one of my own questions as I had wondered what % of those who have been molested go on to molest. To S.- jumping on me as you did seems very unfriendly to me. If I made an error, all you had to say was the statistic I stated was incorrect and I would of thanked you and tried to retrace my steps to see where I read that statistic. But by judgmentally accusing me of purposely bringing a post to the board that was "unduly critical or judgmental" you show me that you are guilty of what you have accused me of. No, I meant nothing of the sort. I asked two honest questions and nothing more. I care very much about this subject. I can not think of anything more horrible then harming innocent children in this vile fashion. I want to work in any way I can to understand this abuse of power so I can help as many as I can. Labeling me with wrong motives as you did does not support me. I am not thin skinned, but what if I was? I think you are the one who needs to learn to be more sensitive in your remarks or you will turn away those who are sincerely here to help.



Edited by jesusfreesya (11/13/10 09:15 PM)

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#345141 - 11/13/10 09:39 PM Re: uncovering the problem [Re: jesusfreesya]
hopeandtry Offline


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 476
I'm not a therapist (I'm a loved one of a survivor), but I'm guessing it would be hard to answer both of the questions you asked. People can have the same symptoms for totally different problems/causes. Again, I am not a therapist so I don't know for sure. Also, about the statistics, I think it is important to recognize that there are a lot of statistics out there about sexual abuse (and other things) and it often depends on who does the study or how the study is done. For instance, a lot of people will claim that females are sexually abused more than men, which may be true, but then one has to consider other factors such as men being less forthcoming, etc. My point being, I don't think ANYONE really knows the "true" statistics because so many people do not report abuse (this goes for statistics about perpetrators and victims). Anyhow, that's just my two cents. Thanks for visiting the board, Jesusfreesya.


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#345152 - 11/14/10 09:12 AM Re: uncovering the problem [Re: hopeandtry]
jesusfreesya Offline


Registered: 11/13/10
Posts: 27
hope4him,

Ty for the kind welcome and your ideas/answers to my questions. As I stated, I am a family member of a man who was possibly victimized as a child. We don't know for sure. I am searching for anyone who can shed light on the process they went through to determine if child molestation was indeed the cause of their loved one's inability to handle his role as husband/father or if it was something else. So far, I have read a number of accounts where wives said they went for many yrs. in troubled marriages, because their husbands could not come to grips with their past abuse. I am wondering if progress has been made today with interventions that help men deal with their past abuse, sooner, so that they and their families don't waste precious years of living when they could be in recovery?

Re the statistics, I read where a member of this site said he felt the statistic of 1 in 6 was way off. He felt the statistics should be 1 in 2 for both men and women. I see what you mean about how this is an often un-reported crime so no one can know clear percentages with any accuracy.

I am glad to hear the other posters say that it is a very small % of victims of this abuse who go on to repeat the abuse against others. I had the impression that this crime often repeats itself, because so often in the news when a perpetrator is apprehended, it comes out that he was also abused as a child.

Could you or someone else point me to the top texts on this subject? And a hard hitting question I am trying to find the answer to is, is there any information re the small % who do repeat the behavior if they consciously know they are harming a child as they were once harmed, or is it something they repeat without any conscious awareness?


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#345187 - 11/14/10 07:53 PM Re: uncovering the problem [Re: jesusfreesya]
hopeandtry Offline


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 476
Honestly I would not worry so much about the repeat behavior thing. It's like this (from what I understand) - many perpetrators were abused, but a small percentage of victims become perpetrators. That makes sense to me, I guess, because the perpetrators had that background, but there are a much larger number of abused children who do not go on to repeat the behavior. Same with the general population. Think about most of the criminals you hear about. Usually they have some sort of background that influenced them to act in a bad way, but there are so many more people in the general population who had bad childhoods (or whatever factor you can think of) who do NOT commit crimes. It's the same to me. Obsessing about a survivor of sexual abuse becoming a perpetrator really is not on the mark to me. I can understand your concern of course, but I guess because I have SO many friends who were sexually abused (men and women) but have not harmed anyone else, it's easy for me to see why this is not something to worry about too much.

Anyway, another thing I wanted to mention is that you may not really be able to "figure out" if someone was abused or not. There are lots of symptoms that are the same but have different causes. For instance, someone might be prone to angry outbursts, withdrawal, low (or high) sex drive, etc, but these things can be caused by SO many factors. Can you guess if something happened? Sure, but be careful trying to make up your mind if it happened or not, because you may be wrong.

That being said, I am still glad you are here and that you are trying to be understanding. Some books I have read are Betrayed as Boys, Victims No Longer, Above His Shoulders, and Evicting the Perpetrator. I don't know of any specific info about the repeat behavior thing, but again, please don't project that worry onto someone who is innocent (unless you have a clear reason to worry about this...something that has happened already).


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#345207 - 11/14/10 09:49 PM Re: uncovering the problem [Re: hopeandtry]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5779
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
JFY:
No intention to attack you. I merely responded to a false myth that is harmful to survivors who think they are likely to offend others because they were abused. Please accept my apologies for criticizing you. That was not my intent. I just wanted to disabuse that myth.

This site is useful for discussing the issues that arise from the csa of males. We are here to support the partners and helpers of those who were abused. We hope this place will be useful for you and others who are here on behalf of the men who were abused.


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#345230 - 11/15/10 12:26 AM Re: uncovering the problem [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
Avery46 Offline


Registered: 09/23/10
Posts: 1243
Loc: USA
I am a survivor and I believed this myth myself about those who are abused go onto abuse. My ex-wife reinforced this myth.

It is a myth that needs to addressed. The myth itself has hurt millions.

Peace,
Donnie

_________________________
aka DJsport

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#345335 - 11/15/10 08:40 PM Re: uncovering the problem [Re: hopeandtry]
jesusfreesya Offline


Registered: 11/13/10
Posts: 27
Hi hope4him,
Please know that we are not worrying or obsessing needlessly. The husband has acted out. He has acknowledged he has a problem and has agreed to go into a faith-based live-in program. Had we understood what was going on with him and where to find help, we would of looked into a live-in program a long time ago. We have observed that he has been unraveling for quite some time, but did not know how to handle it. We have counseled with several trusted friends and a pastor who suggested wise steps for him to take, but he has been too unmotivated to follow through. So, now he must leave the home as it has gotten to the point that he is not helping himself so he must go where he will get more intense help.

Please understand we are not trying to guess what has happened to him in his childhood, if anything. The fact is he comes from a very troubled family and only qualified counselors can help him come to terms with his past if he is ready. If there was abuse he is repeating it. I am glad that only a small percentage repeat. Ty for the book titles.If there is one thing we have learned from this situation it is that intervention sooner is better than waiting out the years.



Edited by jesusfreesya (11/16/10 05:22 AM)

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