OPINION: Sex abuse survivors want to be believed

Newcastle Herald

By Bob O’Toole and Lindsay Gardiner
April 2, 2013

Why didn’t the victims say something years ago?

In most situations, children are groomed for sexual abuse by the perpetrating priest, brother, teacher etc over a period of years.

Their family is also groomed by the perpetrator, who becomes a close and trusted family friend and, sometimes, a spiritual adviser and confidant. The family feel great pride at the special attention they are being paid.

The perpetrator has spent years building a trusted and respected community profile. He makes the child believe the child has invited the abuse and enjoyed the relationship.

At first, the child enjoyed being special to someone so important.

The perpetrator tells the child no one will believe the story of abuse or he tells them something bad will happen to those he or she loves if the child speaks up.

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