On my blog entry entitled Marital Issues after Healing from Child Abuse, a reader posted the following comment:
On this taboo on female abuse, I recurringly dont know whether to cry or to rage because I find it just so violating. This whole “male violence” BS is a BIG FAT LIE!! the reality is that abuse is done by people. and people happen to be male AND female. and I would like to very much shout it out into the world. and since I would like for it to be discussed a bit further I think I will send Faith an email and ask if she would like to adress it in a future post so we might also get her thoughts on this ~ carolin4real
I agree – There is unquestioningly a bias toward male abusers and against female abusers in the United States and, I suspect, in most other Western cultures. When I reveal to someone that I was abused as a child, the assumption is always that my abuser was male. There is also a bias toward female victims and against male victims, which is why males who were abused by female abusers appear to have the fewest healing resources available to them. It’s a travesty.
Carolin4real is correct that people abuse, not just men. In fact, my most sadistic and damaging abuse was at the hands of two females. S, my most sadistic abuser, was female and, I suspect, a female psychopath. Her cruelty was much worse than the cruelty inflicted upon me by my male abusers. Most of my male abusers raped me. When they were finished with the rape, they were finished with me. S was much more interested in breaking my will, forcing me to harm innocent animals and perform sexual acts on my sister. She is the one who threatened my sister’s life if I showed any sign of hesitation in following her orders, and she is the one who instilled phobias in both my sisters and me. She was pure evil – a psychopath.
My mother’s abuse was the most damaging because she was my mother. The person who was supposed to love me and who society said was the one person I could always count on was the same person who started sexually abusing me as a toddler, tied me to a chair and forced me to watch her sexually abuse my baby sister, and who repeatedly pulled me out of my bed at night to drive me to be abused by a group of male and female abusers.
My abuse was so evenly distributed among men and women that I don’t associate “abuser” with either gender. Part of my “group abuse” was having my abusers’ identities hidden through hooded robes so that I wouldn’t know which body part I was about to have to handle. To this day, I am triggered by the inability to determine a person’s gender because of this. (Let’s just say watching Cabaret was a bad idea!)
I don’t know why society continues to perpetuate the myth that only men abuse because it is simply not true. Here are some articles on the topic:
- Female Child Sexual Abusers: A Critical Review of the Literature
- Female Sex Offenders – Female Sexual Predators
- Female sexual abuse of children: ‘the ultimate taboo’
Photo credit: Hekatekris