Tips dating abused women
'I've been having sex with my aunt - she's 28,' says one 15-year-old caller, in a harrowing transcript of his call.'I want it to stop 'cos I know it's wrong and my mother would go crazy if she knew but we keep doing it.' And another 15-year-old: 'Sometimes when Mum is very drunk she touches me and tries to get me to touch her. It's not right.' Following the case of Vanessa George, who pleaded guilty last month to seven counts of sexual abuse and distributing pornographic pictures of children at the nursery where she worked, the traditionally-held image of women as carers and nurturers, incapable of behaving in such a despicable fashion with a child, is being challenged as never before.'Their offending tends to start earlier in life in childhood. But that's quite a common claim for all sex offenders to make.'We don't see large-scale networks with loads of women,' says DCI Hill.It implies you are a wimp.' This emotional conflict is echoed by the voices of more recent victims, desperate boys and young teenagers who turn to Child Line for help.Many of them fear being seen as unmasculine and worry that what is happening to them will be dismissed as a teenage rite of passage.
But what it's revealing is how many of them are being sexually abused by women.' Historically, of course, it has been hard for society to accept that women abuse children at all.He vividly remembers, too, how he was expected to bath and touch his naked abuser, an ordeal which left him confused and ashamed, and changed the course of his life. What took place in the bathroom of that house in Sussex 50 years ago is shocking enough, but what makes it even harder to comprehend is that Bill's abuser was his foster mother - a woman entrusted with caring for him when his own parents couldn't.'My lasting feelings about my childhood are feelings of fear,' says the 55-year-old from Thorpe in Surrey.Research for the helpline found that boys were more likely to say they had been abused by a woman than by a man.
'This report has shattered common myths about sexual abuse,' says Child Line founder and president Esther Rantzen.'Years ago, people were very shocked to hear that children were abused at all,' says child psychotherapist Diana Cant, who works with the victims of female sex abuse. People can hardly bear to think about it or get their minds around it. It flies in the face of the image of mothers as carers.