"For Mothers, Child Abuse"

Diba Ayten Yılmaz   September 2007

Translated from Turkish to English by Filiz Altıparmak

In all my therapy sessions which I have conducted up to present time, I have noticed the high percentage of clients who had been abused in their childhood. The rate of sexual molested little boys is also very high.

A child who had endured sexual assault may keep the traces of the trauma in all areas of life. Sexual molestation can cause all kinds of personality problems and as a result such person won’t have a healthy sexual life. Sexual assaulted little boys may experience sexual identity confusion and have difficulties in making their sexual preferences. Sexual assault traumas are such a big subject worth to be written in an extra article.

As you can assume only a few sexual abused people might take therapy sessions in the future and try to clear the traces of their wounds. But most people do carry the traces and have an unhappy and unsatisfied life.

Having experienced all kind of abuse the most hurting feeling for the victim is ‘not being protected’. Namely they haven’t been protected by their parents. In most cases the offender is a family member. He can be a first grade family member (father-brother-uncle-grandfather) as well as a close friend of the family. With threats like “I’ll kill you, if you tell your mom and dad” the abuser may achieve that the child remains silent. The most hurting thing for the child is that the parents are aware of everything but won’t do anything about it.

There is one example I can give you on this issue; a mother entering the room saw her lover over her five-year old daughter, instantly she left the room without doing anything and connived at this sexual abuse for years. After years the little girl had to seek for professional help to release feelings such as hate and range towards her mother. Her mother ought to protect her but didn’t do it. For fear of loosing her lover she pretended as if nothing had happened.

The most hurting feeling for the abused child is the fact that the parents won’t believe him/her if s/he tries to speak to them. Most parents connive at their child’s physical and emotional pain rather than facing the fact and taking brave measures. This may be the reason of low self-esteem for the whole life.

The most striking examples come from situations where the parents won’t take care of protection of the child. Sleeping with the parents in the same bed, the child may experience later sexual identity problems. Children begin to develop their sexual identity with the age of four or five. Therefore it is advisable for the parents to be carefull especially at this ages. Seeing the parent of opposite gender naked or sharing the same bed could influence the child’s emotional development negatively.

Most people say that the have some early memories that they had been hugged and touched in an unpleasant way as a baby. Both, babies and mothers feelings are very strong. Yes, during daily life we may get mentally confused and we might neglect our intuitions during the day.  Yet we have to watch very closely our children’s development.

You can be sure when your child experience sexual abuse s/he will try to tell it to you in some way. If you sense anything like that, speak to your child alone and assure that s/he can trust you and you’ll protect her/him. Listen attentively what your child has to say, evaluate it carefully and if necessary take your child to a doctor or a pedagogue. Also give your school-aged child all necessary information. If a stranger approaches him/her on the way or in the school in an inappropriate way, s/he should object, resist her/himself and inform you immediately.


Love and Blessings,
Diba Ayten Yılmaz