Doc,

I have been letting my friends and relatives know of my childhood sexual abuse, to let go of the humiliation I have experienced. In my honesty, some of them have said CSA victims become perps themselves. I have never molested, I have been submissive when males make advances though.

What is the percentage of CSA victims becoming Perps?
_______________________________________________

Congratulations on no longer keeping the secret of your abuse and telling others. I hope it is helping you remove the shame and humiliation and put it back where it belongs--on the perp!

Research shows that there is a correlation between childhood sexual abuse in adult offenders but there is not a causation. In other words, CSA does not cause these children to grow into offending adults. The reasons for why people sexually abuse children are much more complex than simply having been sexually abused themselves.

It is awful that people are telling you that CSA's become perpetrators. It is blaming the victim and putting you in the same category as the abuser him or herself and it is inexcusable. It is dated thinking to believe that CSA causes one to become a perpetrator themselves.

You do not have to worry that you will offend a child. You are much more at risk of offending yourself and harming yourself in terms of drug use, reenacting the abuse by finding others to abuse you the way you were abused, and having difficulty in relationships.

I am not sure what you mean by saying you are submissive when a man makes an advance toward you. If you are submissive when men make advances toward you and you don't want to be, I hope you are working on this in therapy. I would hate for you to be feeling submissive as a result of the abuse and losing your sense of power over yourself. However, if you like the feeling and it feels okay to you there is nothing wrong with this other than making sure you keep your boundaries and now allow yourself to be taken advantage.

_________________________
Featured Ph.D. Columnist