Today, an acknowledgement of you sister and brother survivors!

In the 1980’s when I started to search for any publication that reflected my experiences as a survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse, I ran into the brick wall of the unintended consequences of statistics. Since the greatest reporting of CSA at that time was male perpetrated childhood sexual abuse on female victims, I fell into the invisible minority of survivors of CSA perpetrated by women. Intensifying the invisibiity was that that this was same sex child sexual abuse by an adult woman employed by my public school. People seemed unable to perceive that such abuse could a) happen, and b) be all that bad. Unfortunately, I had company in this invisible population. Male victims of childhood sexual abuse perpetrated by either male or female abusers were also pushed deeper into shame’s invisibility and darkness.

The image I hold of those early years of healing and searching for help for the ramifications of the child sexual abuse perpetrated on me by a female teacher/coach is one of a wounded butterfly attempting to pick itself up and fly out of a toxic, mucky mess. I found no compassion, sympathy, or understanding among lesbians who cruelly dismissed my experience by saying I was probably just a “baby dyke,” meaning I liked and/or deserved the abuse. Victim blaming knows no bounds by sexual orientation, gender, or any other classifier. Being a victim of CSA by a same sex abuser creates another layer of shame.

I see you out there sister and brother survivors. I understand the fracturing of trust and safety that you experienced as a victim of CSA. Your pain is warranted. You matter. You have nothing to be ashamed of nor any guilt to carry. You are a survivor or soon to be survivor of the CSA you suffered, and of the added layer of judgment of society’s lack of compassion.

  • What is possible for you today as you release yourself from shame?
  • How will you take another step out of the shadows today?

RAINN provides many services for survivors of sexual violence. Please vist the RAINN website for more information.

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