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How Sex Offenders Convince Victims They Are To Blame

A Utah couple is arrested and put in jail on multiple counts of child sexual abuse.

Police report that a girl told them she had been sexually abused by a 34-year-old man since she was 10. She said it happened between 40 to 50 times over the course of several years. The alleged perpetrator "sexually abused her, raped her and forced her to do sexual acts on both him and his wife."

The victim told police that man would also instruct her to "take naked pictures of herself, so he could have them on his phone." He also frequently watched pornography while the victim was with him.

The girl also described a camera system which she believed the perpetrator used to photograph her in the bathroom and her bedroom. The man would also give her alcohol before and during the sexual abuse incidents.

The man's wife admitted to also sexually abusing the girl. She admitted to knowing about the sexual abuse the girl endured, but that she did not report to police. "Layton couple arrested for sexually abusing 10-year-old girl 40-50 times" www.abc4.com (Mar. 31, 2019).

Commentary and Checklist

Why the girl lived with the couple and whether there were other children or adults living there is not revealed in the article.

Many child sex abuse victims do not tell anyone about their abuse. Abusers often convince their victims that nobody will believe them or that they are somehow responsible for the abuse, and they will be punished for it.

Victims also feel confused if they feel positive physical pleasure or arousal from the abuse. An abuser would often use this to convince the victim that he/she liked being abused and that he/she consented to everything that the abuser is doing to him/her.

Here are signs of possible child sexual abuse safe adults need to know:

  • An older child behaves like a younger child (e.g., thumb sucking, bedwetting);
  • When a young child has new words for private body parts;
  • When a child does not want to remove clothes at appropriate times (i.e., going to bed, taking a bath, using the toilet);
  • When a young child asks other children to behave sexually or play sexual games;
  • When a child mimics adult sexual behaviors with toys;
  • When a child begins to have nightmares or other sleep problems;
  • Sometimes acts distracted or distant;
  • Sudden change in eating habits (refusing to eat, drastic decrease or increase in appetite, or has trouble swallowing);
  • Mood swings (e.g., rage, fear, insecurity, or withdrawal);
  • Leaves "clues" that may provoke a discussion about sexual issues;
  • Develops unusual fear of certain places or people;
  • May talk about a new older friend;
  • Has money, toys, or other gifts for no reason;
  • May think that he/she or his/her body is repulsive; and/or
  • May show adult-like sexual behaviors and/or language.
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