When the boogie man is your father.

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Since Halloween is coming up very soon it is a good time to talk about the boogie man and monsters in general. The boogie man in many cultures is the embodiment of all fear for children. He is the monster you hide from and believe your parents will protect you against.

Here are some statistics from the Crimes Against Children Research Centre:

3 out of 4 adolescents who have been sexually assaulted were victimised by someone they knew well

Only 14% of children who suffered sexual abuse were violated by an unknown perpetrator

60% of children are sexually abused by someone in their social circle

I researched these statistics and am writing this post because it occurred to me yesterday that my mother and father would never allow me to be alone at home even in my twenties.

I remember coming home for holidays when I was studying and living on campus at university. I would be very indignant when my mother would insist that I had to go out with them or have my younger brother stay with me so that I wouldn’t be alone in the house in the middle of the day!

“No, it’s too dangerous. Anything could happen!”

How ironic then, are terms like ‘Stranger Danger’ in light of the above statistics; children it seems are much more likely to suffer abuse at the hands of the people who live with them. Fathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers! I am not saying here that only men are the perpetrators of abuse, but merely referring to my own situation and that of people I know.

How painfully ironic that my mother and father should worry about some stranger breaking down the door to attack their daughter while they are away when I was in more danger when they were around.

When I was five my father sexually abused me and my mother said and did nothing to protect me.

Young children need to be made aware of the dangers they face not only from strangers, but from their own families and friends of the family!

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2 thoughts on “When the boogie man is your father.

  1. She sure wrapped herself up in her fantasy, her façade, her charade of the ‘good’ mother. Makes me queasy how much you suffered, how much they were willing to make you suffer to protect their crimes from exposure.

    Sexual attacks, whether forced brutally or with whispers of love, causes so many layers of destruction. But the additional burden of psychological abuse they colluded in dishing out towards their beautiful, innocent little girl by covering up then pretending to be protective is too much. How does one unravel all the layers. How have you found your voice when it has been so confusing? Just how?

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  2. It is only now that I have been able to start unraveling it all; because the truth inevitably always comes out! I have been able to find my voice through therapy, standing up to my husband and the connections I have with people; people like you who are encouraging and supportive and who give me hope.
    My mother is an empty shell, she has always been who others want her to be. She doesn’t face reality and hides behind the illusion of her love for my father.

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