Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Why is my rape not acknowledged (Content Note child rape, rape, sexual abuse)

We all are very clear as to what constitutes rape. We all think of a female victim that has been forced to have penetrative sex by a male. We all think of a man who has forced a woman in to sex and by forced sex we mainly think of it has forced penetration to the vagina, but can also include the anus and the mouth. This is an absolute horrendous crime to suffer and I am talking from experience.

From as young as I can remember I was raped by my own father, other male relatives and was brought up in a pedophile ring and so was raped and abused by multiple abusers. I grew up thinking rape was normal. It has been part of my life ever since I can remember. I know when my brother was born, so when I was 3years and 10months I was being raped. When my mother went into labor with my brother I remember hiding behind the cot because I didn’t want to be found by my dad. Sadly I was found and yes I was raped. That is probably my first memorable rape. I was raped for 29 years by my father and other men. I have moved 13 times to get away from my abusers and changed my name 3 times so I can not be traced. I have developed PTSD and DID as a way of coping with countless rapes spanning over 29 years. Now to everyone reading this they would have no problem identifying I was raped. I certainly acknowledge myself I was raped BUT when is rape not rape? When is sex without consent not rape? This question should never ever be asked as if someone is forced and pressurized in to sex and can not and does not give consent they are raped.

Now there has been times I have been raped but not raped if that makes sense. The reason why I say this is because my own mother who I prefer to refer to as my incubator raped me. I was her child. I was under 16 so legally I could not consent to sex. This should mean that anyone who had sex with me while I was under 16 was seen as raping me. My mother performed every sexual act on me that a woman can perform on another woman. This means she touched me in sexual ways. She performed oral sex on me and made me do the same to her. She penetrated me with her fingers and with sex toys. Likewise I was made to do the same to her. My mother also helped me by the way. Oh yes by pinning me down so that other men could rape me was her way of helping me. It meant I was unable to struggle or push anyone away and so by keeping me still it was suppose to cause me less pain. Now this is the very woman who should of loved me. The very woman who should of protected me from such horrendous abuse. The women who I trusted the most in the world. Instead I wanted to make her love me so did as I was told. I knew when she looked in to my eyes that she hated me for simply existing. I never had a mother. In my opinion I was brought up by a gang of male and female rapists.

Now as a 35 year old woman I should have the right to call my abuse what I like. I do have that right but legally eventhough my mother had sex with me without my consent she cant be charged with rape. Because she didn’t have a real penis she will never ever be charged with rape. Now I have to live with the legacy of my abuse that impacts my life every day. I have huge problems with intimacy. I find it difficult to trust men because of the rapes I endured but I also find it hard to trust women because I know from first hand experience they can and do rape. In a way I can live with the fact men raped me. We are taught at school that men rape. That anyone including your father can sexually abuse you. Yes your told its wrong but if you lived this life since you was at least 3 years old to you it is normal. I have every right to call my father a rapist. I am absolutely sickened that I don’t have the right to call my mother a rapist. The law tells me my mother didn’t rape me. Rape crisis campaigns tell me my mother didn’t rape me. Society and its attitudes and beliefs tell me my mother didn’t rape me. The police tell me my mother didn’t rape me. I was the one who had to endure my experiences inflicted on me by dear mother and yet I do not even have the right to name my experience. Legally I guess it would be called sexual assault. Society I guess would call it sexual abuse. Any other person that wants to label my experience has no right minimizes what I have been through. They have not lived through what I have lived through at the hands of the very person who should have seen me as the most perfect and precious person in the world. They do not have to live with my memories of feeling like I was only good for sex by everyone in my life. They do not have to live wondering what made my mother hate me so much. They do not have to live with a body that has been damaged beyond repair because of the abuse she has endured. They don’t have to live with the fact they will never have children of their own. Most of all they don’t have to live with the biggest betrayal of trust as the last person anyone thinks would sexually abuse their child is a mother.

There is not a day that goes past that I don’t think of my abuse. There is not a day where I am not reminded that I am different from other people. I know other people who have been abused but most have a healthy relationship with other family members or have children of their own. I have no family whatsoever. I feel alienated in so many ways and that is because I was raped by my own mother. It is because to my mother I was simply a doll and a sex toy to be used at her leisure. If I was just raped by my father I think I would find that easier to live with. I may still have a relationship with my mother. I would be deemed a normal stereotypical survivor. I would not have my experiences discredited by people who quite frankly have no fucking right telling me what I have and haven’t experienced. I am pleased that society can see a father can rape his own daughter. I am happy that this angers people as these sub humans really are the scum of the earth. I am very hurt and angry that people can not see that mothers rape their own sons and daughters. My brother was also raped by my mum and dad but I do not want to write his life story as I don’t have his permission. Boys are also raped though by men and women. Forced sex is rape. A woman can have sex with other men and with other women, and sadly children even though she does not have a penis. Would we say that every lesbian out there does not have real sex because neither woman has a penis. Sex is not just the act of a penis entering a vagina. There a several acts that can be classed as sex and when any of these acts are forced by a woman it is not consensual sex and therefore it should be seen as rape. If these sex acts take place with a child under 16 who can not give consent it should be classed as rape. I should never feel like my rape wasn’t real. I should never have to feel that what I went through with my mother isn’t as bad as what I went through with my father. Emotionally it’s the worst thing I have lived through. As a woman I can not understand why anyone would do such sickening things to their daughter. I can not understand why my mother didn’t love me. I have to live with the fact that my mothers rapes were not as painful as the rapes from my father and other men and so my body responded. To a young child I thought this was a sign my mother finally loved me as she had made me feel pleasure. This has just caused further damage harm and confusion.

Laws need to be changed so that all victims get justice. I will never ever get justice for many reasons. One of the biggest reasons is because my rapist was a woman. The law means a woman can not rape. This means I am silenced. It means I do not even have the right to label what happened to me it is already determined by others who can not imagine what I have suffered. I am invisible when it comes to victims. I am a survivor but when it comes to the abuse I suffered from my mother I do not exist. I am not a survivor because what I deem as the truth I am told its not. I may as well be called a liar. I not only have to live with my abuse and the shame pain and blame that causes but I also have to live with society compounding my distorted views. How can I be a survivor when what my mother did is not even seen as rape? How can I feel normal when I am bombarded by rape crisis campaigns showing every possible scenario of rape but not one where a woman man or child is raped by a woman? These campaigns exclude me and yet the campaigners are ignorant to the damage they cause me as to them people like me don’t even exist. They tell me to keep quiet. They tell me my experience was abuse not rape. They tell me women don’t do that sort of thing. They tell me rape by women is not as bad as rape by men because women can not and are not charged with rape. Yes men get away with rape but at least when they are arrested etc they are arrested for rape. My mother would be arrested for sexual assault. Sexual assault is a lesser offence than rape and so this tells me what happened was not that bad.

Well to be frank I couldn’t give a toss what the law wants to stipulate. I don’t care for these campaign’s. They are simply run by people who think they are acting in the best interest of women but are actually scared to tackle the unspeakable and the unbelievable. I am not scared to talk about the unthinkable, the unimaginable, the unbearable, the unspeakable and the unbelievable. I cant not afford to be scared because if I allowed the fear that controlled me for so long to carry on controlling I wouldn’t survive. I can not afford to be silent because I am fully aware that silence allows abusers and rapists the biggest tool they need to carry on. I will not allow others the power to keep me quiet and allow their campaigns to focus on stereotypical victims. I exist. My experience was real. I lived it and I get to name it. Yes I was raped. Yes I lived through it. Yes I still suffer the aftermath but my mother no longer has the right to control me. She no longer has the right to rape me. To me staying silent is allowing her to rape me all over again because my silence allows people to think it didn’t happen and doesn’t happen. I know it did. My mother knows it did and we both have to live with our conscience. Mine is a lot clearer than hers. To me no woman deserves to be raped. Given the fact I am called a liar every day simply because society is ignorant a taste of her own medicine may just help her realize what agony she inflicted on me. Seeing as the legal system will forever let me down maybe the only punishment for her would be if she happens to fall victim to rape. She would become one of the 1/3 women who are raped and to be honest I would smile to myself. Justice finally done because she has suffered like I have. She cant be charged with her crime so maybe in this one case what goes around comes around. I should love my mother but I hate her. She is the only person I would wish rape upon. No two wrongs don’t make a right but there should never be a case where rape is not rape and no victim should feel powerless and unable to name her experience for what it was.

So is there a case when rape isn’t rape. To one brave survivor no. She suffered it, she endured it, she has survived it but most importantly she has herself named her experience. Everyone who tries to tell her she wasn’t raped is condoning rape and silencing others. I will never be silenced. I hope others are just as brave and strong and tell their stories. These campaigns silence people who have been raped by women. It means they don’t come forward. That means because survivors don’t come forward society and the people behind these campaigns can go on living with the comfortable idea that women don’t rape. We continue to fight for womens right and for women to be safe but at what price? By telling survivors they don’t matter and by telling women yes you deserve equal rights but not equal responsibilities when they do wrong. I want a equal system for everyone where every survivor of rape gets justice and every rapist regardless of gender gets punishment. That is one reason I set up http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/55331. I have also written the following documents highlighting men two can be victims.

http://twitdoc.com/view.asp?id=111990&sid=2EEU&ext=DOCX&lcl=Men.docx&usr=MaleAbuseHelp&doc=177251489&key=key-1ho7cc308thzeq0socp9 and

http://twitdoc.com/view.asp?id=110012&sid=2CVW&ext=DOCX&lcl=Male-Abuse.docx&usr=MaleAbuseHelp&doc=172258313&key=key-89p0feuo4xyp23bwd9i

 

We do NOT give permission for posts published as personal experiences to be reproduced, translated or otherwise published elsewhere. We will not contact people who submit their personal experiences on behalf of journalists, bloggers or other third sector organisations. These testimonies remain the intellectual copyright of their authors and must be treated with the ethical guidelines used by academics for research involving human subjects. Our full guidelines can be read here.

Download this post as PDF? Click here Download PDF

Comments are currently closed.

19 thoughts on “Why is my rape not acknowledged (Content Note child rape, rape, sexual abuse)

  • Heather says:

    best wishes for your continuing recovery
    xxx

  • Liz Houghton says:

    My heart aches for you and I want you to know that you are not alone. I too was raped by my mother, vaginally and anally throughout my childhood. I agree completely with your feelings of outrage that this possibility is not acknowledged. Many people seem to think that it is impossible, or that this ‘abuse’ by a woman can’t be as bad as something done by a man.
    You are completely right, it can be worse, especially if it was your own mother. The feeling of betrayal never goes away.
    I was raped by a man at 19. Yes, it was painful and humiliating, and yes, I have never forgotten it. But my mother! My close family, my husband, children and nieces, now know that the should never mention her. A year ago, following the Jimmy Saville revelations, I found the courage to tell a few more people. Only one, a cousin, who had previously thought me cold and critical of my mother, surprised me by immediately telling me that she believed me, was shocked and distressed and sorry for all I have suffered.
    My mother has finally died, but every year on Mother’s Day a feel a cold shiver. My children know not to make a fuss of me that day and wait for my birthday.
    My life was blighted and I found it harder to trust women than men. The men I trusted when I was young let me down and I only gradually was able to identify with women’s issues.
    Like you I often feel that many, perhaps most, women don’t want to believe that what happened to us was really rape.
    It is rape of the basest and most terrifying kind.
    Thank you for what you have written.
    Be as kind to yourself as possible and know that you are and have been incredibly brave.
    I will think of you often. x

    • Michaela says:

      Hi Liz

      I am sorry you too suffered and was raped by your mother and I am sorry you have had to live with the life that has been tainted by your abuse. Have you ever managed to receive any support for the abuse you suffered? I am glad you now have what seems like a loving family to support you but you should of had this from day one. Every child has the right to a safe loving and happy childhood and it is a huge loss when this doesnt happen. I do not believe you can make up for a lost childhood and unlike a burglar our thieves go unpunished for what they took. Even when a mother is charged with sexual abuse she is never charged with rape even if she has forced someone to have sex against their wishes. Thats what triggered me. A rape crisis campaign was as black and white as to state sex without consent is rape. No upset was meant by the campaign but at the same time nor was there any thought or consideration into the fact that what about men women boys and girls who have been raped by a woman? Sadly its not as black and white as no consent equals rape as it leaves people like you and me wondering where do our experiences fit then. Most can acknowledge women abuse but I dont think most can even comprehend that a woman would rape their own child. I strongly believe the legal definition of rape needs to change so people who have been forced to have sex by a woman get the justice they deserve. If charges were brought against my incubator and sperm donor he would be rightly charged with rape. She would have the very same crime which I feel has done me more damage reduced to sexual assault or assault by penetration which actually implies my incubators crimes were less serious! A witness statement would say otherwise but no matter what I said or did my mother wouldnt be charged with rape and anything less is not good enough. We are told every day how loving caring protective mothers are. Some are not. We are warned about violence against women and girls perpetrated by men and this is accepted by society. We expect in a way for men to abuse but no one looks for the signs of a girl or boy who is being abused by their mother. More education and awareness is needed so no victim goes unnoticed and no perpetrator gets away with their crimes. We need to realise that there is no stereotypical victim as while we live under the illusion only men rape and abuse we ignore the silent cries of those being raped and abused by women. As we know women can and are just as evil and vile as their male counterpart.

      Still we both survived. You are not alone as you have me who understands exactly how you feel. I am sorry there has to be stories like ours around but I firmly believe that any survivor has the right to tell their story even if it goes against every belief in the book. I want my story out there. It helps me feel less ashamed. The person who should be ashamed is my incubator and if I was allowed to name her I would. If I was allowed to print her address I would as in my opinion she deserves all the harassment anyone could throw at her. I want my story to reach other people who have suffered like you and I have so that they know they are not alone. I hope it encourages others to be brave and speak out so society as a whole know these heinous people are out there. Mostly I want people to know no matter how uncomfortable a topic it is I will not be silenced for their convenience. We should not be shut away because we challenge every myth out there. Quite the opposite. We should shout from the roof tops what has happened and if people dont like what they hear it is their problem. It could just well be their son daughter brother sister who come forward one day and say they was raped by a woman. Some of us sadly know by first hand experience it happens.

      You are a very brave for sharing part of your story on here. I know it wouldnt of been easy to do. You too should look after yourself and know you are a better person than your mother. That despite the odds you have turned out to be a good parent. Like me stick your fingers up to these psychologists who claim the nature nurture report goes some way in explaining why we are the way we are. I grew up in a unsafe environment with unsafe people and yet I have turned out to be a good kind decent moral person despite being shown everything but what I am today. Survivors are the most resilient people around and anyone who says differently should walk a mile in our shoes and see how they feel at the end of the walk when they get to take the shoes off!

      If you ever want to chat email me. I am not sure you are allowed to put your address on here but I do give permission for it to be given out. If not follow me on twitter – MaleAbuseHelp and I can DM you my details

      All the very best

      Safe hugs

      M x

      • Liz Houghton says:

        Thank you for your kind reply Michaela. It was very caring of you to ask if I’ve had help. I did have help from a very kind female psychologist I was referred to on the nhs, regarding the physical legacy of the anal abuse which left me with something called animus, which causes severe constipation. She gave me very sympathetic counselling, but did at the end suggest it was time I forgave my mother. I do not think this would be suggested if the perpetrator was male.
        I feel so sorry that you were surrounded by other unsafe people and you deserve so much credit for surviving so well
        My story was different: a loving father and brother who I was never able to appeal to under threats from my controlling disturbed mother. I told her when I was 13 and finally strong enough to put an end to it: ‘I’ll come back one day and make you sorry for what you’ve done.’ Her answer was:’You will forget.’
        On one level I appeared to have forgotten. I buried my anger, and buried it deeper after my brother’s early death. I felt protective of my father. Finally I had buried it so deeply that I could not account for the extreme hatred I felt and even felt guilty about it.
        Finally the truth came tumbling out when I was at a creative writing class and another woman read out a piece about her abuse by her mother. This woman was very supportive and we exchanged a number of letters.
        That was 18 years ago. It has been a hard struggle dealing with the many and frequent flashbacks for so long. Only recently have I felt calmer and I think it has come from a determination to speak out.
        My brother’s children never liked their grandmother, but since her death had fallen into the habit if asked about her by their children of saying things like: ‘She was a nice lady, who made lovely cakes,’ albeit with a snigger.
        I have made it clear that I want them to tell their children the truth and realised they weren’t sure if perhaps I felt that despite the abuse she was ‘still my mother’.
        No I do not feel that, as you don’t. It is painful when people talk as if all mothers are basically good. No, they are people – some are good, some bad and some appalling. Sometimes they have been turned bad by men in their lives, but not always.
        Thank you for replying. I hope that you have found some people who will listen. I’m afraid I’m not on Twitter, but I will keep you in my thoughts.
        Safe hugs to you too, Liz x

        • Michaela says:

          Hi Liz

          I am glad you had support from a Psychologist. I dont feel as a professional she should of shared her opinions of forgiveness with you as only you, or any survivor can make that decision. I am not sure what these people think you get from forgiving. I guess if for the right reasons it may some how be healing but if done under guidance or part of your therapy and its not truly what you want I would say it could have a very harmful affect on someone. You may end up with even more anger! At this moment in time I have no intention of forgiving my incubator or sperm donor. I will never forgive them for their abuse of me, my brother and other children and I will never forgive them for not protecting me from the abuse of others. They let me down on every level and in my opinion they will never ever be forgiven. I dont suppose they care but there you go. Have your physical injuries healed now? I hope they have as it must be awful having a constant reminder of the abuse you suffered. I guess to a certain extent you can put some things out of your mind but if there is physical problems it is a constant reminder and I know this can be very upsetting as there is always this niggle I have this pain because of my abuse. For me I am half deaf because of my abuse. The deafness itself doesnt really affect me but as a kind of side affect I have poor balance and so it has prevented me doing some of the things I enjoy, well I enjoy them but I can only do my best. Then I have had a back operation and I am always aware there are things I can not do so in a way although my abuse has ended the control hasnt. If I hadnt of had my back problem caused by abuse I could for eg go jogging or take up the rowing I had to give up. Still the main thing is I do believe after suffering so much I will always survive no matter what life throws at me and I believe all survivors have a strength that many others lack. We have had to be strong to be where we are today.

          I am glad you had a loving father and brother. You must have got a lot of comfort from these safe people and I am glad you had the love that I lacked – although I did have a loving relationship with my nan. Was you ever able to tell your Dad what happened? Its very sad your brother died at such a young age as when you are abused safe people are even more important to you. Was your brother abused by your mother as well. I guess even if she didnt abuse him sexually if she was so disturbed etc he didnt have the relationship a child should have with their mother.

          I can understand you burying your anger. I guess in a way it was safer to bury it than to express it. I guess it was impossible to express it to your mother. Did your Psychologist help you express your anger safely as I guess it would simply build up until you exploded in some way. I have issues with my anger. I get very very upset with injustices and have been told I get angry about this to mask what I am really angry about. I am angry with my parents and if I could get away with murder I would seriously think of killing at least my incubator. After all she has put me and my brother through she deserves to suffer a slow and painful death.

          Do you have a relationship with your brothers children? I wonder why they didn’t like their grand mother. It really annoys me that when someone dies even when they are evil they suddenly become saints. I dont believe in speaking ill of the dead but I do believe in speaking honestly about everyone and so yes the children should be told the truth in age appropriate ways. It is unfair to lie to children and if they know the truth they can be more understanding if your ever upset etc. I cant see why society have to paint this perfect picture of mothers as like you say they are first and foremost human beings. No human being is perfect but there are some mothers who dont deserve to have children. Yes I wish I had a mother but the days are gone where I see my mother as a mum. All she is to me is someone who was able to get pregnant and give birth. She has no right to call herself a mother and actually gives good mums a bad name! My dogs would nurse a litter of puppies better than she raised her children.

          Still there is comfort in knowing your not alone. You certainly are not and I fear there are many more victims out there who for whatever reason dont speak out. I hope if they dont speak out they can read others stories and gain comfort in knowing they are not alone.

          I will continue to hold you in my thoughts and know in my darkest hours there are sadly others who can understand me because they have been there, not because they have done a training course on sexual violence. To me anyone can be trained to have empathy but only others who have been in a similar experience can have a true understanding and a real empathy. In a ideal world there would be no survivors. While there are we need to reach out and offer kindness and love to them in any small way we can.

          I wish you the very best in life. I hope you continue on your road to recovery and live the life you want. They say living well is the best revenge and so live well and prove to all abusers they can not destroy us.

          Safe hugs

          M

      • Liz says:

        Michaela I have now signed your petition. I wonder if you have tried change.org, which has online petitions, for example the recent one started by a girl in Bristol, calling on Michael Gove to write to all schools telling them the to teach about the horrors of fgm. This awful genital mutilation of girls is illegal here, but only after thousands of signatures were collected is action finally being taken.
        I am so sorry that you are unable to have children. I adore my children, as you can imagine and, perhaps mercifully did not fully regain my horrific memories until my own daughter was thirteen. Sadly, although I was completely uninhibited when my children were little, I am now sometimes self conscious when my daughter cuddles up to me. I wonder how much hugging ‘normal’ mothers give their grown up daughters and how to advise her, because of having no normal role model.
        Have you tried getting help from Napac for your brother – the National Association for People Abused as Children. I think they are probably still inundated with requests following the Jimmy Saville revelations, but I know they definitely help men. The example I read on their website was a man abused as a young boy by a family friend and the whole family refused to believe him and forced him out.
        My brother was seven years older and I do not know whether he was abused, but fear he was. He died in a road accident at the age of thirty, before I allowed myself to remember. I do know that he didn’t speak until he started school. I’ve been told it is called ‘elective mutism’ and is a common reaction to abuse.
        I hope that you and your brother can draw strength from each other. I still miss mine very much.
        You are wonderfully strong and your brother is lucky to have you.
        Stay safe. x

        • Michaela says:

          Hi Liz

          I have set up a petition on change.org but sadly it hasnt gained much support. However sharing it with every rape crisis, every womens aid, every survivors trust member I have at least sowed the seed in to many minds that abuse does happen to men and boys and that women can be the perpetrator. Although I havent got 1000s of signatures I have made changes in other ways. For eg my story is now used as part of the national rape crisis training programme so volunteers etc will know that woman can and do rape. I have written talks for training days and was even invited to give a talk highlighting men can be victims of domestic violence.

          I am glad action has been taken against the horror of FGM. I am lucky enough to have been spared that form of abuse at least. I cant imagine the suffering of the women and girls who have to endure it. I also dont agree with the circumcision of young boys. To me no adult has the right to touch or alter a child’s genitals. If a adult man or woman wants to consent to this treatment then thats fine but leave children how nature intended and don’t touch anyones body but your own.

          I am glad you have had a chance to have your own children and share the unconditional love with them that you didnt get. I have had miscarriages and my baby died when I was 15. She would be 21 this year. At nearly 36 I feel my chances of having my own children are up – although I havent even been told I can not have children. I just feel its to late. I guess if your now adult daughter wants to cuddle up to you that is fine. We all need safe hugs and she obviously loves you to seek this affection from you. I always wish I had a person I could cuddle up to for comfort but as a adult it usually turns sexual which is not what I want. I have a few people to receive safe hugs from. As for not having a role model, you did albeit a unhealthy one. To me you learnt how not to parent as you wouldnt of wanted to be like your mother. I am sure how you parent your daughter is just fine, if it wasnt I doubt she would come to you for love and affection. They say you learn to parent by being parented. I know I would make such a better parent than my parents were to me purely because I was shown how not to parent. My dogs are looked after better than I was. I am very certain that people who have suffered abuse can be very good parents and I know some who are. Enjoy your daughter and the relationship you have with her and cherish her like she is the most important person in the world as to her you are the best mum there is!

          I do hope your brother was not abused but I find it difficult to understand why one child would of suffered and the other didn’t. Although I do know a person who was abused but the sister wasn’t. I guess if he hadn’t of died so young you could of been a good source of support for each other as even if he wasnt abused you both grew up in a dysfunctional family. His death must of been a huge loss and left a huge void in your life that wont ever be filled. Still his memory lives on in your heart and although its not the same I hope you gain comfort in the good times you had together.

          I have have had to recently give all information I have about my brother and his abuse to his probation officer. I dont have a relationship with him as his life took a different past. He was and may still be a heroine addict and has committed domestic violence and god knows what else. Still my parents fed his drug habit at a price. I fear if he goes home now he is released from prison he will be further abused. I have to protect myself and so sadly I am limited to what I can do. Again I hate my parents for destroying my right to a relationship with my brother. I will never condone what he has done but I cant help but wonder if he had the help I had would his life be different. I strongly believe we need more support for male victims of CSA.

          I wish you the very best for the future

          M

          • Liz says:

            Thank you for this Michaela. You have said something that I have never fully thought out – yes I did learn how to be a parent by doing everything differently to the way my mother did it. Also I had a good father who was a support to me later in my life although never knowing fully what had happened to me.
            It is fantastic that you have been able to campaign on the issues of female abusers and also male victims. I just tried to sign your petition on change.org, but something wasn’t working. I will try again later.
            From what I have read some people who have been abused go on to abuse, but
            others go on to be further abused and that was certainly the case for me as a young adult, especially with my first husband, who was an alcoholic.
            I hope that you won’t give up on the idea of having children. It sounds like you would be a wonderful mum and you are only 36.
            I met the man I am married to when I was 36. My daughter was born when I was nearly 38 and my son when I was nearly 42.

          • Liz says:

            Michaela, I did not finish my last reply to you, I must have accidentally pressed something that sent it unfinished.
            I wanted to say how sorry I am that your baby died, I know you must think of her often. I do know about this too. I had two stillborn babies and several miscarriages when I was younger. When my son was born prematurely and it was possible we might lose him I felt I wasn’t sure I could survive that much pain.
            You have survived, you are helping others and you have taken time to respond to me even though you suffered so much more. I am glad of your comments about forgiveness. I can never forgive my mother and feel it would be bad for me to try. I am someone who likes people and even if they do not respond to my kindness I never feel hate. But yes, I hate my mother and always will.
            We have been following the issue of male abuse because there is a court case pending in relation to my husband’s catholic school in Manchester where several boys were abused by the head, who has now died. My husband was not abused, but remembers the creepy atmosphere and an incident where the head cornered him and stared at him for a long time. He picked up that this has come to light from a blog by someone who was at the school whose friend committed suicide because of the abuse he suffered.
            The head was moved when a complaint was made years ago. It was all covered up and the abuser is now dead, but lawyers are seeking compensation from the diocese.
            I am so impressed by all you have been doing. I have been sending money to Capac since I discovered its existence, but I haven’t any experience of it.
            With thanks and very best wishes, Liz x

          • Liz says:

            Hi Michaela,
            I’m writing again because one of my comments didn’t show up and I wanted you to know two important things. Firstly to thank you for saying that I am probably a good mother because I learnt how not to parent. It is perfectly true that I have tried to do the complete opposite of everything she did and my daughter says I am a lovely mum and the best in the world (which of course I’m sure I’m not.)
            The other thing I wanted to say was that I’m sure you would be a lovely mum for the same reason and 36 is definitely not too late. my daughter was born when I was 37 and my son when I was 41. Having my children and my loving husband has made up for so much.
            In my comment that was meant to follow this I say how sorry I am that your baby died.
            I’m not experienced at using blogs but I’m happy for my e.mail to be given you if you want to tell me of any way I might be able to help your efforts: I have now signed the petition on change.org and passed it on.
            All the best again from Liz

          • Michaela says:

            Hi Liz

            I am glad I have given you food for thought regarding being a good parent – because you learnt how not to parent. There is never ever a silver lining to abuse but I am glad you turned out to be a good mother despite every thing. Like you say some who have been abused go on to abuse but like you and I there are so many more that don’t. I don’t fully understand this myth really because when you look at statistics more women and girls are abused by men and yet apparently more men abuse. This would suggest that there should be many more female abusers out there than research suggests – or women sex offenders are doing a good job at hiding their crimes. Or there are more boys abused then research suggests who are now our adult perps. Regardless there is never an excuse to abuse and those who have been abused who then go on to abuse are the worst type of abuser. They know full well the horror of abuse through first hand experience and so why put someone else through the hell they endured. They should even though they have not been taught right from wrong know better as deep down every person knows abuse is wrong.

            I am sorry to hear that after an abusive childhood you then had an abusive marriage with your first marriage. I guess at a younger age all you knew in a way was abuse and so didnt recognise the signs of an abusive partner. I am glad to hear you went on to marry another man where you seem to be a healthy relationship that you deserve. I bet your children are a blessing to you both and thank you for highlighting that maybe I am not to old to have children!! The problem with having children is they obviously have to be conceived and I currently don’t want a sexual relationship with any man!

            I am sorry to hear of your still born babies and your miscarriages. You must of been devastated and like me I guess you think of your babies often. To me I think its one of the most painful losses a woman can go through and many don’t understand that you don’t just get over the loss and the feelings are still strong many years on. Your lucky to have gone on to have children. I am not saying they make up for the losses of your other babies but I am glad you have had the opportunity to be a mum. I am sure you have been a very good parent and they are as proud of you as you will be of them.

            I am happy to help survivors in any small way I can and I am glad you have found my replies helpful. They are only a small gesture of kindness to you and to any other survivor that reads them. Its the small things that make a huge difference to others I think. I would never say I suffered more than you did. I never find it helpful really to compare abuse and suffering as everyones abuse and response to that abuse is different. Its not a case of someone suffered more as none of us deserved to suffer and suffering in a way is suffering. We are all survivors and are all equally deserving of support etc regardless of what and how much we suffered.

            I am lucky to have met many lovely people in my life who have restored my faith in human kindness really. Like you I find it hard to hate people even if a relationship ends. I do however hate my mother and I think we both have every right to hate our mothers. A mother is the very person who should protect their children from such abuse and yet she was the very person who inflicted it. Our very first relationship with another person was tented and wrong and I strongly believe this has a big impact on how you view relationships even when you are a adult. You can build up meaningful relationships but the relationship of mother and child to me is the most significant. If a mother can’t love her child and even worse abuses that child she doesn’t deserve to be loved and rightly deserves to be hated. I know I will never ever forgive her and if I am lucky to visit her on her death bed I will tell her she is not forgiven so she dies knowing she is not forgive. My feelings of hatred are that strong that the least words I want her to hear is she is hated and not forgiven.

            It is a crying shame that the man who was abused at your husbands school committed suicide. I guess that abuser truly did destroy his victims life. It is common knowledge that the suicide rate in men is higher than that in women and I always wonder just how many of these men who take their own lives are survivors of abuse. At the end of the day men are not encouraged to seek help. There isn’t much help for male survivors and I wonder if this living in isolation trying to be the stereotypical strong man actually gets to much for some.

            To me the people who cover up abuse and move the teacher, the priest or whatever to cover up the abuse should be charged with abuse themselves. They are basically saying what the abuser has done is OK. I really hope the victims get compensation. Money can’t buy happiness but it at least goes some way in recognising the wrong doings seeing as the abusers can not be punished. I personally wouldn’t want compensation to be honest. I want nothing from my parents and I would see the compensation as just that. Money for the suffering I went through. I would rather the money went to charities who help victims – but all victims not just women and girls.

            I am not sure what Capac is. Do you mean NAPAC? I am currently raising money for my local MIND as they really have helped me turn my life around. Another charity that I am hoping can be involved in the fundraising event is my local rape crisis as I went to them at a very bleak time in my life and my support worker there has shown me there is good in the world. She taught me that it is possible to trust at a time I thought I would never trust again. Both charities I feel I will forever be in debt to for all they have done for me. I am thinking of writing up all the poems i have written over the years and selling them to raise money for a survivors charity.

            Here is a link to my just givings page if your interested in reading. Yes donations are appreciated but there really is no obligation or pressure. http://www.justgiving.com/michaela-robinson1

            Again take care of yourself and find a happy memory in each day. Do something good for yourself each day and remember your a lovely person.

            M x

          • Liz says:

            Thanks for the the link Michaela. Sorry, I did mean Napac. I did not go to my mother’s death bed. She had Alzheimer’s, which she already had by the time I recovered my memories. I think the care home staff thought I was a very hard person not to go and I could not bring myself to tell them the reason. I did the funeral because there was no one else to do it and I wasn’t ready to tell my young children the truth. Now my daughter knows and my nieces, who I have a good relationship with. They were not abused by her but disliked her because she was cold and controlling. Thank you for all your kind words and good luck with the exercise challenge! Liz x

  • Red says:

    Caution. May Trigger. 

    My deepest admiration for you and your article. I acknowledge your existence and send you strong, warm positive energy.

    Reading this article for the first time I was reminded of the arguments and total disbelief I endured (early 2000’s) in trying to explain these almost identical observations to yours, to several people who knew me well. They did not understand the implications on the people I worked with and several of them absolutely would not believe me when I attempted to explain the traumatic experiences we were uncovering. Entirely due to the gender of the abuser.

    I feel I should mention that I am a Singleton. 

    The people I was working with had eating disorders and then we discovered that the eating disorder was only a very small part of the incredibly difficult to believe truth.
    Just because it is difficult to believe does not make it a lie. This of course just feeds into the ease with which people can remain under the radar.

    This was also the first time I heard the name Ji**y Sa*ile mentioned. (Yet another reason for ridicule and disbelief; those I was helping remained silent ffs what could we do with this information?)

    The trauma’s these people endured were horrific and many included abuse and r*pe by women including the mothers of the women I was attempting to support. Who btw were also ‘helped’ by restraining them whilst being r*ped so it wouldn’t be as ‘bad’.

    This article highlights so many of the problems with our current society, I am now quite sure that it was left to the male alters (not always recognised by me, especially in the earlier meetings) to attempt to tell me who had hurt them as the females in the systems were either unable to recall or too embarrassed, broken or ashamed to tell me, compounding the ease with which female rapists manage to escape. Fear is a powerful weapon and abusers take complete advantage of this.

    It was only when the female nursery worker Va*essa Ge*rge was in the news that those disbelievers around me and the people I was supporting, finally started to believe female r*pists might be a possibility – still it was not easy to feel pleased we had been proven correct.

    Part of the problem is that because so many rules have been made by men for men and for so many years, it is difficult to break the cycle of ‘the unthinkable’. Add DID (dissociative identity disorder) into the mix and it is much easier to deny female r*pists than accept they are in this world because it is not easy to find them, let alone attempt to prosecute them, especially as there is no way to charge them with r*pe.

    This article has also reminded me of something I (sadly) had not really given any time or thought too, and therefore by default was unable to highlight to those I was supporting with regard to siblings and / or children especially the males as I at that time had little understanding myself of the nature of female abusers and r*pists.
    Due to the nature of discovery it was impossible to discuss the abuse by women on the (by then adult) male children taken from the women when they were very young. I once again would like to thank you for writing and sharing this article. I have tried to raise awareness of your e-petition and would gladly help you in any way to push this subject further into the public psyche 

    I don’t know that I agree that most of these campaigners are necessarily “scared to tackle the unspeakable and the unbelievable” tis much more likely that the majority of them are caught up in those convenient cover words of the unthinkable, the unimaginable, the unbearable, unspeakable and unbelievable and have no idea of how their untrained and / or they are unaware of, the damage they incur, most likely they will be very upset that they are causing so much unnecessary re-traumatisation, that is, if they ever have it explained to them.

    This article has also made me think about the expression ‘keeping mum’ – “mum adjective silent, quiet, dumb, mute, secretive, uncommunicative, unforthcoming, tight-lipped, closemouthed I’d be in trouble if I let on. So I kept mum.“ (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Keeping+Mum)

    with warmth
    Red
    x

    The Public Voice of Women
    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n06/mary-beard/the-public-voice-of-women )

    Va*essa Ge*rge
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/5488501/Female-nursery-worker-arrested-over-paedophile-network-investigation.html

    • Liz says:

      This is a very helpful and sympathetic piece. You mention an e petition: is this something that I have missed? I would naturally like to support it. With thanks, Liz

    • Liz says:

      I’m sorry Red, I’ve just reread Michaela’s first piece and found the petition at the end. Best wishes.

      • Red says:

        thank you for letting me know you’d found the e-petition, I agree maybe change.org would be a good move forward?

        Red
        x