Myths of Childhood Abuse:
“Mothers are always to blame” because most of them really knew deep down what was going on – they must have. Most don’t.
“Young children (eg – under 5) will forget what happened to them” as their memories are unreliable. Not so – memory kind is different at different life stages and child testimony reflects this.
“All sex offenders’ are violent when they offend against a child” – not true – most don’t like to leave scars or forensic evidence that they’ve assaulted a child as they are more likely to be caught.
“Sex offenders are strangers” – they’re not – they’re someone you know, who has carefully planned and ‘groomed’ you and your child. And sometimes they are a brother, sister or cousin too – not just a stepfather, grandfather or uncle.
“Women don’t sexually offend against children” – yes they do. In much fewer cases, but with young children too, not just the teenage boys in the media.
“Only certain kinds of children are vulnerable” – partly true – offenders look for needy children. But, depending upon whether intrafamilial or extrafamilial, male and female children are both at risk.
“Offenders only target certain kinds of children” – partly true – some offenders are ‘preferential’ to age, gender, looks or body size, but others are ‘opportunistic’.
“Offenders are dirty old men” – some may be, but by then, they’ve had a long career of offending. Offenders tend to 1st offend in adolescence and then continue in various forms and environments.
“Offenders are mentally deficient” – not true – most are actually very clever given the detailed plans they make to groom and the excuses they can come up with to rationalise offending.