We live among sexual abuse victims who have kept secrets to themselves for various reasons. Sexual abuse comes in many forms, and many people don’t come out to say they are victims. They live with this bitterness, guilt, and sadness, and some end up committing suicide. There have been cases of people being harassed sexually by clergy members, and there is always a clergy abuse lawyer ready to help when the victim comes out. So why do most sexual victims refuse to tell when it happens? Here are some reasons.
Most sexual abuse victims fail to come out due to shame. They are ashamed of what happened to them, and coming out means they have to remember everything that happened. This is even harder for men or small boys who have been molested. Many of them don’t want to remember or tell things to other people. So, they would rather keep them buried and deal with the consequences. Most survivors are not physically or emotionally ready to tell the things that happened.
When a person is abused sexually, the first thing that might come to their mind is worrying about the cause of the incident. Most of them think they did something that led to what happened. Therefore, they start to blame themselves. Sexual abuse survivors assume they could have done something to stop the perpetrator and regret why they did not take action. They blame themselves for being there at that time or location or for not screaming or fighting hard to stop the abuser.
If the abuser is an admired person in the family or community, the victim may be reluctant to come forward. In some cases, victims or their parents report sexual abuse cases to the authorities or institutions, but nobody believes them. Therefore, this factor of admiration significantly reduces the chances of sexual abuse victims coming forward.
Many sexual abuse victims, especially children, fear for their lives. They fear to tell when the abuser threatens them or their family. They fear whatever will happen after they come forward, whether people will believe them, friends will mock them, or fear that the people they care about will shun them off. Telling this type of secret will raise many issues that the victim may not be ready to deal with. So, they choose not to tell.
Other sexual abuse survivors don’t come out about the incidents because they want to protect the people they love. This mostly happens with children because they know such news will inflict pain on their parents. Therefore, they choose to protect their families from such pain. The survivors opt to carry the pain, trauma, and bitterness by themselves.
Children grow knowing that the world is a safe place, especially when people who care about them are around. Once such an incident happens, it changes the child’s point of view about life. They now start to think that being safe is just an illusion that people create. They become silent and the process of healing all by themselves takes a lot from them.
These are reasons why most sexual abuse survivors don’t come forward to tell about their misfortunes. However, whenever such a thing happens, it is crucial to find someone you can trust and disclose the incident to get the right help.