Secrecy in Accommodation

Child sexual abuse occurs when the perpetrator and victim are alone together. It is a secret behavior, one that must be kept secret if the perpetrator is able to continue it. The child understands that this is a bad secret, and that telling will bring many negative consequences.

The perpetrator does not want the secret told and has used a variety of tactics to convince the child that telling is not good. Perhaps the offender threatened the child - to hurt him or hurt someone or something that he loves. Perhaps the offender used guilt, convincing the child that it would be her fault if something terrible happens to the family or to the offender. A child is dependent on primary caregivers. If the offender is the father or partner of the mother, it is even more dangerous to tell. What if the perpetrator is right, and the child is not believed. What would happen then? The child may choose to keep the secret until an adult - or forever. 

The only safe way for a child to tell the secret is to know for sure that all the bad things will not happen if they tell. But how can they know that? The result is that most children do not disclose, and they suffer a heart-breaking array of short-term and long-term consequences.
Mothers are sometimes the only protective factor for the child at the point of disclosure. That is why it is so important for mothers to believe and support the child no matter what!        

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