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#362269 - 05/15/11 04:27 PM Why do people become pedophiles?
OrionH Offline


Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 20
It's funny because I hear how they all come from all walks of life but when you see them in the news they are all the same. They don't look normal. You can tell something is wrong with them by looking at them. I have never been 'surprised' to find out that someone was outed as one.
It makes me wonder how they end up becoming the way that they are and what to do with them before they break the law. Do we tar and feather them in the name of the greater good or do we wait until they do something so they can be charged? I wonder what would happen if the guy who molested me went to a therapist and said that he had an attraction to boys and was struggling to control them.


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#362271 - 05/15/11 04:41 PM Re: Why do people become pedophiles? [Re: OrionH]
earlybird Offline
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Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 1007
Loc: WA USA
Orion,

I believe it’s a dangerous slope to think we can spot a pedophile, that they all have “a look” that is recognizable. My daughter was abused by a minister. A thirty year old wonderful man. Never in a million years would I have suspected this kind, caring man of such a horrible act - never. But then it came out that my daughter was one of many and I was stunned.

I was raped by two very ordinary looking men. To think I should have or could have recognized something about them runs the risk of somehow I should have known and therefore done things differently. No, as much as I wish one could spot them (abusers of all types) and stop them before they abuse, we can’t. I wouldn’t want to live in a “safe” society that took everyone that someone suspected of a future crime and punished or banished them. The best we can do is be alert and try to prevent but we’ll never be able to pre-spot what a pedophile looks like or how one acts they are much too much like us with an twist that is dangerous.

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#362305 - 05/16/11 09:06 AM Re: Why do people become pedophiles? [Re: earlybird]
Still Offline
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Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6571
Loc: Never Sugar Mountain
I am ALL for behavioral testing prior to anyone being accepted into positions of child-related trust. For example: A camp's insurance company could compel such testing prior to writing a policy with said camp. Same with schools, group homes, sports programs and GOD HELP US...the juvie prisons. But pubilc policy and commercial interests (insurance) are truly in the position to DO something within certain CSA sectors...some of the most notorious sectors.

Currently, you don't know who the perp is until he's acts and is caught. You can't convict and filter-out from society anyone until they actually commit the crime. We just simply can't do that. But our current dynamic with large groups of children (many very vulnerable) attract perps like magnets.

The criminal justice system and medical system can apply testing for mental pre-condition and active pedo-desires. Positive test results will simply disqualify the potential perp (whom will not likely even show up for the test). They can then be offered constructive help, but be disqualified from positions of child-trust.

Seem unrealistic? Yeah...it may seem that way to some. But tell the raped boy from the town's recreation program that testing was an unreasonable step, and that he had to be the revealing bait.

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#362314 - 05/16/11 10:52 AM Re: Why do people become pedophiles? [Re: Still]
Canuck Offline


Registered: 05/26/10
Posts: 57
Loc: CA, United States
I used to work in an industry that supplied technical services to police departments. They have "Lineup Books" with just photos and an identifying number. The number can be used to look up the person's identifying information and crimes committed. We used to spend lots of time playing "identify the crime type." We'd look at the photos, and call out Violent, Sex Offender, White Collar, etc... On the whole we were usually right probably 65% to 70% of the time (just a guestimation) We talked to cops all over the United States. They ALL said that if they could arrest people on their looks alone, the violent offenders would mostly be in jail.

I'm certainly not saying that it should be done that way. But I'd also disagree that profiling or relying on instinct is not a valid technique for people to be on higher alert.

God gave us instincts to protect us out there in the wild, including from each other. It wouldn't hurt if people who *Suspect* that someone might be a molester or other violent criminal would be discretely more vigilant about that person.

Incidentally: There were cops and dispatcher photos in the books too, in order to allow lineups with ""red herring" photos. We often picked some of them as violent offender types, probably as much as you'd expect to find in the general populace. Not surprising, really.


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#362321 - 05/16/11 11:28 AM Re: Why do people become pedophiles? [Re: Canuck]
Obi Offline
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Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 1372
Loc: kansas
i have mixed emotions about this....

part of me agrees that if you feel "suspect" about a person to protect yourself and your children is upmost important.

HOWEVER, reporting people for being pedophiles/sex abusers without concrete proof, to me, is wrong...

look at guys like robbie that are getting falsely accused of things he did not do, or will do, because others were reporting him as such?

my folks were another example of this. someone called the authorities on them claiming that they were sexually abusing me, my brother and sisters. TOTALLY UNTRUE!!!! my folks have NEVER done anything like that to any of us... however, after extensive searches and questioning, coming very close to my brother, sisters and i, being taken away from my folks, have proved that did not happen... still didn't matter to the people in town... my folks got branded that for life, because of someone else falsely accused them of it.. no apologies were given.. nothing.. basically were ran out of town because of that...

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#362322 - 05/16/11 11:31 AM Re: Why do people become pedophiles? [Re: Canuck]
earlybird Offline
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Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 1007
Loc: WA USA
I wish it were as simple as a “look” that would determine the bad guys from the good. I just cannot accept that this is a legitimate formula to use to protect oneself and society as a whole. I do agree we have some instincts and never would suggest we not listen to those internal concerns edging us to be high alert. But to think one “can know” by a certain look or subtle behavior that “feels” odd to us is a huge error and a set up to be catch unawares as to the perp that knows how to “look” safe.

Plus

I was raped by a teacher. So for years I suspected every teacher and most anyone who had any instructional power over me. I watched them like a hawk. Kept my family safe from them. But I also belong to a church where I felt safe because everyone there looked just like me. I let my guard down and the minister there molested and raped my thirteen year old daughter along with others. My child I’d never put in harm’s way yet I drove her to his house and left her there. He simply looked okay.

My point is twofold.

1) I/we can misjudge others because of our own histories so we must be on another form of high alert - our own bias in our judgments of others
2) We CANNOT spot them (sexual abusers) and to think we can is dangerous to ourselves, our loved ones and those that we spot as predators that are not.

I’m not saying we should not be on alert or not to watch for suspicious actions and keep awake to the dangers. My only contention is to think we can just ”know” is a set up for injury either to ourselves or others.

_________________________
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#362323 - 05/16/11 12:09 PM Re: Why do people become pedophiles? [Re: earlybird]
risingagain Offline
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Registered: 11/09/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Wow guys
Seriously you think you can judge someone on the way they look? That is wrong on so many levels.

Pedophilia, in my opinion, is related to a wounded inner child. This is based on my observations of my perps, my mother and father. Their childhood was stolen by war and by other abusers. They never dealt with it, in fact their whole psychological profile has been to deny the past and blame their children. My mom once pulled down her pants and pointed to the c-section scar where I was born and said, "you see this, YOU DID THIS TO ME." Tears were streaming down her face.

Their choices to bury the past, and their insistence on using their kids to FIX their pain, combined with their own abuse history, in my opinion is what brought them to sexually abuse me.

Looking at my parents, most people would probably not see abusers. Not at first, anyway.

Be careful.


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#362324 - 05/16/11 12:12 PM Re: Why do people become pedophiles? [Re: risingagain]
risingagain Offline
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Registered: 11/09/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
To quote the famous Jewish spiritual text, the Talmud:

"We do not see the world as it is.
We see the world as we are."


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#362531 - 05/19/11 08:38 AM Re: Why do people become pedophiles? [Re: risingagain]
king tut Offline
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Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2469
Loc: UK
I agree with the others- you certainly can't tell if somebody is a paedo by how they look. It is true that often the newspapers show photos of some "weird looking" guys who have been convicted, but in general you can't tell by how people look.

As others have said people can look completely ordinary and act outwardly ordinary but may be paedos. If people start thinking that you can tell by how people look it will result in strange looking people being under suspicion and all of the real ordinary looking paedos will have free rein. As it stands organisations with children rightly monitor all of their employees, no matter how they look or what their level of respect or trust is. That way Paedos can know that there is no freedom by hiding behind stereotypes. Paedos are generally quite clever, if they think we are looking for somebody with spectacles with 2 inch lenses and messy hair then they will certainly go to specsavers (buy different spectacles). If a person did go to find help i think there is limited help out there, but some therapists do specialise in helping perpetrators, and i believe there are books on that topic. Ken Singer who is on this site would have more information on that.

Why do people become paedophiles, there are many possible reasons- the first and most popular reasoning is that abuse is about power (of course no single reason can be the whole story- there must be a whole list of things that intertwine, power can't be a reason of its own- there are many ways to have power- and many forms of abuse that people can inflict on somebody to gain a sick feeling of power, like physical and emotional). A person wants power over something (maybe they have no power anywhere else in their life), and they can have power over a child. They can totally dominate and control a child. Another idea is the sexual gratification, which although part of it clearly isn't the whole picture. People would agree that children can be beautiful- but paedos somehow have distorted this into a sexual picture. Some paedos may do it because it is a taboo to an extent, and because it is dangerous. Maybe that is their high in what is a pathetic life. Another is the idea that by abusing a child it is almost like stealing their innoccence and other qualities that the abuser may feel he/she lacks or have lost or had stolen. An abuser may want what the child has, perceived beauty and qualities, and again it relates to sexual satisfaction. However abusers should know that you can't steal those things, only destroy what you "love". Which brings me to that- some paedos feel they love the kids, this whole "boy love" business, but children are children, not adults, so that kind of equal partnership can never exist. It is abuse, however you cut it. Some abusers have low intelligence and mistakingly see children as being sexual- they may misinterpret a childs attention, but children do not have sexual desires like adults. They may want affection, but that is different.

There is obviously a lot more to say about this subject but i need to get going.

But a quick note, profiling a paedophile can be very varied, you can have a power hungry highly intelligent person at the head of a successful world-wide business or you could have some old guy in the shack down the road. Actually police officers fit the profile quite well- especially higher ones, the need to pursue law and get power is something that fits in there- seems very counter-intuitive doesn't it.

Lewis

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#362597 - 05/20/11 10:13 AM Re: Why do people become pedophiles? [Re: king tut]
Castle Offline


Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 733
Loc: NJ
It has been mentioned here many times that the majority of abuse comes at the hands of people within or with trust from the family....the majority of cases is not by "crazy" pedos out there..although that certainly does happen...but most perpetrators are known to the victim/survivor.

No need to perpetuate myths that hurt us.

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#362600 - 05/20/11 10:48 AM Re: Why do people become pedophiles? [Re: Castle]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
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Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5780
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Good point, Castle. While all pedophiles are child molesters/rapists, not all child molesters are pedophiles. The vast majority of sex abusers I've worked with over the last 30+ years are NOT pedophiles but most have abused children.

The reasons people turn to children for sexual reasons are complex and varied. However, true pedophiles have a strong sexual attraction to pre-pubescent children. The majority of "pedophile priests" are not generally involved with pre-pubescent children but are attracted to young adolescents and older teenagers.

The US Dept of Justice research shows that about 93% of all victims of sexual abuse are related to or are acquainted with the abuser. So, the stranger-danger myth, residency restrictions, public notification registries, etc. don't really protect children and waste resources that could be used for true primary prevention.


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#362627 - 05/20/11 09:17 PM Re: Why do people become pedophiles? [Re: Castle]
Still Offline
Member
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Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6571
Loc: Never Sugar Mountain
If you want some in-depth material, this is a GREAT paper to read. Its written by the pro of pros in the FBI.

http://www.missingkids.com/en_US/publications/NC70.pdf

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#362690 - 05/21/11 01:54 PM Re: Why do people become pedophiles? [Re: Still]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5780
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
The link that Robbie posted above is called "Child Molesters: A Behavioral Analysis". A member here pmed me pointing out I was putting child molestation (a behavior) with pedophilia (a psychological disorder). I plead guilty to the lazy or ignorant mixing of the two that many people out there do when referring to pedophiles (or paedophiles like our Brit friends such as Lewis note) with the behavior of child molesting.

The point I was trying to make is that the media and many people call child molesters "pedophiles" when they don't meet the criteria for the illness. While I've worked with many men and women who have molested children, few would meet the criteria for pedophilia.

The problem also exists with those who abuse adolescents. Technically, they would not be pedophiles. Some clinicians would refer to them as "hebophiles" or "ephebophiles" but that is not listed in the DSM-IV and as far as I know is not being considered for the upcoming DSM-5 that is coming out in a couple years.


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#362700 - 05/21/11 08:58 PM Re: Why do people become pedophiles? [Re: Castle]
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
I actually took the perv that groomed/abused me to court!

Several friends attended different days in court.

The general comment from them was 'I thought he would have looked like some weirdo, however he just looked like everyone else'.

Not exact words for each friend, but that generalises it.

I have a sort of picture in my head as to what pervs look like, but strangely they don't look like the one in my case.

I imagine that they are grossly overweight, with jam-jar glasses, unkempt greasy hair and with a deodorant problem.

Best wishes...Rik

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#362733 - 05/22/11 09:37 AM Re: Why do people become pedophiles? [Re: RICK57]
OrionH Offline


Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 20
Just some points:
1. Your stereotype/profile of what a pedophile looks like is different then what I consider to be a pedophile to look like. It's not just looks but also their demeanor. When I see a picture of one that was arrested, I am not surprised. It's like the characteristics of a pedophile are so broad that they can be anyone (hence stranger danger) but I have found those characteristics to be way off. For example, a male who works as a kindergarten teacher would probably be suspected as a pedophile (and we all know it) because of what we're told about the profile of a pedophile but the people who get arrested are those that don't make the news because they're more under the radar.
2. I don't think my question about why people become sexually attracted to boys was answered. I guess that means there is no answer to it but that's not surprising since there is so much ignorance (no offensive) on here. It sounds like a lot of people on here probably had too much therapy for their own good. They almost sound as hysterical as the women!
I wanted to know what made this person that I revered for become what he became. That is why I can't really be angry with him because if the professionals can't understand him then how can he? Even more confusing is the suggesting for pedophiles to seek help from people who obviously don't know much about it.
3. Nevertheless, I don't think it happens as much anymore. I think that when it does happen it's more of a cultural thing. For example, I was watching a program with kids who were removed from the homes for being sexually abused and the one common denominator was that they all looked like they just crossed the border. I would be shocked if any of the kids that I knew (especially the boys) were molested. By molested, I don't mean 'covertly.' I see it more as an 'industry' trying to stay alive to sell books or something so they redefine it to include more people that wouldn't have been included 10 years ago.



Edited by OrionH (05/22/11 09:41 AM)

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#362737 - 05/22/11 01:17 PM Re: Why do people become pedophiles? [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6571
Loc: Never Sugar Mountain
Originally Posted By: Ken Singer, LCSW
The link that Robbie posted above is called "Child Molesters: A Behavioral Analysis".


Yeah, this paper was clearly written for agents and police to be edified in understanding the "bahavior" and nothing more. In reading the thing cover-to-cover, I quickly realed how freakin scary this all is (so it was very triggering) and it taught me some of the realities out there. Though he mentions youthfull offenders (such as in my case) he does not dig deeply enough into the abnormal child psychology for my wishes. He also neglects some enablement found in certain issolating circumstances, but every paragraph was a learning experience for me. Do not read the article in search of any self-understanding or healing information. Its snot there.

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#454615 - 11/21/13 03:53 AM pedophile profile file - FBI [Re: Still]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3413
Loc: O Kanada
Child Molesters: A Behavioral Analysis

Originally Posted By: Still
If you want some in-depth material, this is a GREAT paper to read. Its written by the pro of pros in the FBI.

http://www.missingkids.com/en_US/publications/NC70.pdf


this is an excellent document, and should be required reading.
thanks for the link, Still!

quoted from the document:
"Children who are seduced or actively
participate in their victimization, however, often feel guilty and blame themselves
because they did not do what they were “supposed” to do.
They did not recognize, resist, and report. When humans do something they know they were not supposed
to do, they tend not to tell others they did it and lie when asked about it. These
seduced and manipulated victims may also feel a need to sometimes describe their
victimization in more socially acceptable, but inaccurate ways that relieve them of
this shame and guilt
.
"

"Acquaintance child molesters, although sometimes violent, tend by necessity to
control their victims primarily through the grooming or seduction process and by
exploiting the immaturity of their victims. They usually need long-term access to do
this. They have been labeled as “groomers” (van Dam, 2006). This process not only
gains the victim’s initial cooperation, but also decreases the likelihood of disclosure
and increases the likelihood of ongoing, repeated access. Acquaintance offenders
with a preference for younger victims (younger than 12) are more likely to also
have to spend time seducing the potential victim’s parents/guardians or caretakers
to gain their trust and confidence. An acquaintance molester who uses violence to
control victims is more likely to be quickly reported to law enforcement and easily
identified. An acquaintance molester who seduces his victims can sometimes go
unreported for years if not indefinitely
.
"

"There is not one 'profile' that will determine if someone is a
child molester. But there are some child molesters who tend to engage in highly
predictable and recognizable behavior patterns. The potential evidence available
as a result of the long-term, persistent, and ritualized behavior patterns of many
preferential sex offenders makes the understanding and recognition of these patterns
important and useful to investigators and prosecutors in legally appropriate ways
."



regarding whether a perpetrator, predator, or pedophile can be physically profiled, i would have to say no.

the FBI document claims...
"He cannot
be identified by physical description and,
often, not even by “bad” character traits.
Without specialized training or experience
and an objective perspective, he cannot
easily be distinguished from others
."

although i do agree with canuck.
Originally Posted By: Canuck

God gave us instincts to protect us out there in the wild, including from each other. It wouldn't hurt if people who *Suspect* that someone might be a molester or other violent criminal would be discretely more vigilant about that person.


one should never ignore a gut instinct, and should at least investigate a hunch.
safety first, and where the safety of children is concerned, it is best to err on the side of caution.
suspicion, alone, can do no harm, if handled delicately and discretely.
unsupported suspicions that lead to accusations and rumours can destroy decent people, quicker than black magic and evil spells.
the fallout from such a disaster will likely damage the very child one is attempting to protect.

that being said,
i can honestly confess that i instantly and instinctively did not trust any of my abusers from the moment i met them.
something in the eyes, the tone of voice, the touch...
i'd get a creepy vibe, which i suppressed, dismissed or ignored, to my own peril.
the abuse never came as a total surprise.
it was expected, anticipated even.
but beneath that pervading sense of impending doom,
i harboured and nurtured a fragile hope that "this time" it would be different.
"this time" i was wrong.
"this time" i was worthy.

when it happened,
it was like i knew it was coming all along,
and the deed, once complete and confirmed, was better behind me than looming ahead.
that "just get it over with" feeling.
that blessed moment when the struggle between "dread vs. hope" gave way to the certainty of surrender and submission.

part of the reason i later carried a lot of blame, shame and guilt.
i started to think, i was too stupid or too weak to protect myself.
i may have even wanted it to happen.
crazy thoughts. self doubt. mental torture.

of course, being the intended child victim, the abuser would look at and talk to me differently than to another adult.
that might have been clue enough for me, but they would go to great lengths to conceal their hidden side from potential accusers.

i used to hold a lot of blame and resentment for the adults in my life that failed to protect me from what i thought were obvious threats, but i now believe that the grooming process might not have been as visible to them as it was to me.

public education and awareness is a good healthy start toward CSA prevention.


i will add this note:
the adults who got involved in my life,
and were truly trying to help me,
and were genuine good people,
(i.e. did not try to abuse me sexually)
did not show me enough affection to get my attention.
their professionally distant demeanour and "no fun" attitude made me think they were boring robots who had no idea what was really going on.
to my own discredit, i usually betrayed those people, forcing them to reject me, just to prove they didn't "really" care.

now that i look back...
considering how determined i was to perpetuate my self destruction,
it is a miracle i made it this far.

"Broken and sick, again I live. By death's taste, I know life's worth."
~ Zahir~ad~Din (Babur the Tiger)
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#454637 - 11/21/13 12:04 PM Re: Why do people become pedophiles? [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
InsideTheWall Offline


Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 286
Originally Posted By: Ken Singer, LCSW
Good point, Castle. While all pedophiles are child molesters/rapists, not all child molesters are pedophiles.
Thats actually different than what I've read. Most pedos don't abuse children. They want to, but don't.


Edited by InsideTheWall (11/21/13 12:05 PM)

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#454644 - 11/21/13 01:32 PM Re: Why do people become pedophiles? [Re: InsideTheWall]
BraveFalcon Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1137
Loc: The ATL
Originally Posted By: InsideTheWall
Originally Posted By: Ken Singer, LCSW
Good point, Castle. While all pedophiles are child molesters/rapists, not all child molesters are pedophiles.
Thats actually different than what I've read. Most pedos don't abuse children. They want to, but don't.


I'm not sure it's really possible to know this one way or another. I mean, surely there are people out there who live with pedophilic attractions and urges and who do not act on them but those ones you'll never hear about, so I can't imagine how one could conduct a legitimate study to confirm how prevalent such people are vs pedophiles who do act out and abuse. Just sayin'. Peace,

Ken

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#454649 - 11/21/13 03:24 PM Re: Why do people become pedophiles? [Re: OrionH]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3413
Loc: O Kanada
not all pedophiles are molestors, not all molestors are rapists, not all rapists are pedophiles.

some people are all three.
some are a combination of two.
some only fall into one of these categories.

this is what i have learned from my own therapy and research studies, including the FBI document listed above.
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#454682 - 11/21/13 08:50 PM Re: Why do people become pedophiles? [Re: OrionH]
Onesimus75 Offline


Registered: 08/22/13
Posts: 158
Loc: Minnesota
I do religious baeed volunteer work w this population, mostly correspondence ministry stuff w imprisoned folks.

I have to echo the all-types comment.

To answer the first question about how one becomes.one, think abuze can bea contributing factor but i also heard an fbi polyghrapher state that the number one lie he catches perps giving is that they were abused when they were not, to be.more.sympathetic.

But that just leads.me.to more questions. I doubt anyone ever choses.messed up attractions like that any more than I chose to like redheaded girls. But they are one hundred percent responsible for.what they have done about how they feel. I like redheaded women but i have never assaulted one.

I think previous comments about power and control having a lot to di with abuse is spot on.
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