Sexual Abusers: A Special Breed of Disturbed Character

No informational series on abusive characters would be complete without some words about sexual abusers.  And because I have many years of experience with this population and also because I’ve gotten so many requests for more information on the topic, I thought it best to conclude the series with a discussion of this particular group of disturbed characters. Now, I’m sure many are already wondering why I might classify sexual abusers in the disturbed character category.  But as you read on, that should become clear.

During the years I actively worked in the field, I not only completed assessments on many hundreds of (nearly 3 thousand) sexual offenders but also devised state-of-the art treatment programs.  And in my books Character Disturbance and The Judas Syndrome I give some examples of the kinds of character disturbances these individuals typically display as well as the manipulative behaviors they’re prone to use.  What I’ve come to know with some certainty is that while a small percentage of sexual abusers struggle with highly deviant sexual arousal inclinations that they neither asked for nor can easily control, the vast majority have marked deficiencies in their character that predispose them to actually abuse.

Child molesters are perhaps the most unnerving kind of sexual abusers.  And while it’s common for folks to equate child molestation with pedophilia, the fact is that the vast majority of child molesters are not pedophiles.  Some disturbed characters simply target children because they are the most vulnerable and easiest to exploit.  And make no mistake, all of the defining characteristics of character disturbance (e.g., deficient empathy and conscience, sense of entitlement, penchant for manipulation and impression-management, etc.) are at work in anyone who sexually abuses.  Furthermore, there are in fact pedophiles (individuals who, for reasons we still don’t fully understand, have an abnormal attraction – sometimes sexual – to children) who don’t molest. Why? Because some pedophiles, while possessing deviant inclinations, are not character disordered.  Having both a conscience and a heart, such folks simply couldn’t live with themselves if they even attempted to use or exploit a child.  And if they’re only abnormally interested in children but not sexually attracted to their physical characteristics, many times they can channel that interest into socially acceptable enterprises.

While it’s not particularly abnormal for an adult to find a blossoming teenager sexually titillating, there are individuals who have an unusual sexual preference for near-pubescent or post-pubescent younger persons, and sometimes these individuals are referred to as ephebophiles or hebophiles as opposed to pedophiles (a term usually reserved for those who find themselves aroused by the characteristics of pre-pubescence).  But once again, the key issue when it comes to the abuse and exploitation of an underage person is character.  Attitudes of entitlement, callous disregard for the other person, and sexual objectification are all aspects of deficient character formation.  And, of course, the predisposition to prey (i.e. establish a relationship for the primary purpose of eventual victimization) is the cardinal feature of the most serious type of character disturbance.

Then, of course, there are rapists (both emotional and physical) who satisfy their own urges at someone else’s expense and without that person’s consent.  These folks come in a wide variety of sizes, including the rare but seriously dangerous types who actually derive pleasure from the force or coercion involved (The term biastophile is often used to describe a rapist who is mostly motivated by and derives pleasure from the force involved.).  And whether the rapist is a cunning “date-rape” artist who stealthily slips debilitating drugs into an intended victim’s drink, an internet prowler, or a violent sexual assaulter, such folks are among the most seriously disordered characters there are.

There are many misconceptions about what “causes” a person to sexually abuse a child, have the urge to rape, etc.  And, as is perfectly predictable, traditional notions have always been that the such folks must have themselves been abused in some way as children and in their inner pain, anger and anguish “act-out” with their sexually abusive behavior.  But we now have some pretty solid evidence that while there may indeed be some correlation between all types of violent behavior and a past history of physical abuse, there’s no solid evidence that being the victim of sexual abuse as a child is the major reason for an adult sexually abusing. Sexual abusers (and other abusers as well) frequently report that they were the victims of all types of trauma, but several studies have demonstrated that abusers tend to over-report the degree to which they actually sustained any real abuse and to under-report the degree to which they have engaged in the abuse of others since early childhood, even in the absence of experiencing abuse themselves. Moreover, if sexual abuse inflicted on a child victim were itself the cause of that victim abusing others later in life, one would expect women to be the most frequent abusers, because they are by far the most common victims of abuse.  But in fact, just the opposite is true.  The vast majority of victims never abuse (for more on this see:  Understanding the Predatory Aggressive – Part 2, and A Footnote on the “Abuse Excuse”).  I’ve long thought that one of the main reasons sexual abusers use the “abuse excuse” is because it’s such an effective manipulation tactic (“Playing the Victim Role” is one of the most common and effective tactics I outline in In Sheep’s Clothing).  And one only has to look at the famous case of Lyle and Erik Menendez to realize how easy it is to at least create some doubt in someone’s mind that maybe a cold-hearted psychopathic killing could really be the result of “acting-out” the terrible inner pain of past victimization.

Predatory sexual abusers are different from other predatory aggressors only in their principal aim.  That’s why the notion that all rape is solely about power is also erroneous.  All predatory aggression is about power and dominance in large measure.  But not all predatory aggressors sexually prey.  And sexual predators are among the most skilled when it comes to manipulation.  Overtly revealing one’s deviant interests and one’s intentions would certainly lead most folks to take defensive action.  So, sexual predators learn early how to keep their agendas hidden and how to best exploit the unsuspecting.

Of all the instincts we must tame to be persons of character, gaining mastery over both our sexual and our aggressive urges is the most challenging.  But that’s what building character is all about.  It’s about raising ourselves above the level of mere animals who satisfy our hungers at the expense of others.

I’ll be particularly attentive to the discussion on this topic, inasmuch as so many have asked me to write about it and given how much more there is to say about it.  Hopefully, in my responses to questions that might be asked in the forum and the comments I might make on the input supplied by the readers, some of the lingering questions and concerns folks have had about the topic will be suitably addressed.

I’ll be having a special guest on this Sunday’s Character Matters program (7 pm EDT) and we’ll be discussing not only the character crisis and its tremendous cost to society but also the folly of trying to solve our character-related problems legislatively.

28 thoughts on “Sexual Abusers: A Special Breed of Disturbed Character

  1. I have a brother-in-law who molested my sister when she was 4 or 5. He assaulted another sister when she was a young adult, and attempted to molest a 3rd sister when she was a young adult. I learned of this about a year ago. He is a violent physical and verbal abuser to the sister to whom he has been married fit 50+ years. I told my sister, the ones who experienced these inappropriate behaviors, that I would like to repot this to the District Attorney’s Office, and they are not supportive. He is very active in his church, and is seen as a wonderful person. He and my sister are god-parents to a girl who is now between 10 to 12 years old. There is considerable contact between him, my sister (his wife), and this child. By the way, there is a second child in the possible victim’s family. She may be 7 or 8 years old.
    I have concerns for both children. The godchild especially is regaled with gifts at Christmas, Birthdays, and other times throughout the year. She is also frequently taken to restaurants with my sister and her molester husband. Please give me some thoughts as to what I might do. I feel trapped. With reference to the molest of the 5 year old sister, this happened about 48 years go. That sister is now 62 years old. The statute of limitation in Wisconsin is:the crime must be reported before the victim is 35 years old.

    1. Dear Helen, What a horrible situation and I can completely see how you WOULD feel trapped! The sad reality of these disturbed characters (various types) is that the situation you find yourself in over this is the same situation most if not all victims find themselves in. Basically it leaves you between a rock and a hard place and quite often there IS no resolution, they “win”/ get away with it. These types are just unimaginably slimy and annoyingly charming.
      I have a strong hunch that unless you can get someone to testify against him in a court of law, which means charges would have already had to be filed for SOMEthing, there really isn’t much you can do, at least that is my take on it but I could be mistaken.
      Something I have read, and it’s not absolute, is that many child molesters especially target pre-pubesents, as in the age of this godchild. it’s just SO sick and must be incredibly concerning for you but without legal charges against this man and your sister’s willingness to testify against him, I’m at a loss. They may be too concerned about their safety to risk exposing him and if the time has elapsed, they cant file charges against him anyhow, right?

    2. I understand you grave concerns, Helen and I think you are right to have them. I can only suggest that you make contact with the children’s parents or other adult gate-keepers in their lives if you know of any of them. Obviously most of the predators church people are going to be in the dark and unlikly to believe you concerns, but there may be one or two (often folk in the church who don’t have much power, but maybe a little bit of influence) who you could alert to your concerns. And alerting the children’s parents to your concerns would also be something worth considering. And also, I don’t know whether there is a Child Protection office in your state that would heed your concerns, but it’s worth researching that too. Even if none of those people (the adult gatekeepers) give creedence to your concerns, at least you will have tried your best.

      The best outcome, if you do this, is that one or more of the adult gatekeepers in those children’s lives has already some concerns themselves or has heard other reports about that man being a supspected sexual predator, and your story will confirm the info /observations / gut feelings those adults have already, and they will then be more vigilance in watching closely for any signs that he is mollesting the child/ren.

      Our best defence in these matters is to have as many adults vigialant and aware of the tactics of socially skilled child molesters, as it is only by colllective vigilance that these offenders are caught adn charged sooner rather than later. There is a very good book call the Socially Skilled Child Molseter by Carla Van Dam. I don’t konw what Dr Simon thinks about that book, so he will hopefully chime in too and let us know. Here is a link to the book on Amazon.

      Also the major MAJOR problem you have in the USA is that horrible statute of limitations. We here in Australia can report a crime of sexual abuse no matter how long ago it happened. (I am no a lawyer, so I may not be 100 right on that, but with my limited knowledge I am pretty sure that is the case. ) Getting rid of the statute of limitation for sexual crimes would make a big difference, I believe. So many victims do not disclose the abuse till decades after it happened. Many do not even remember it til decades later. . . I did not remember my childhood sexual abuse (which happend when I was nine) until I was 23.

    3. When it comes to the sexual molestation of a child, most states have both a lengthy statute of limitations and mandated reporting by those in professional positions. But when victims become of legal age to fend for themselves so to speak as far as prosecution goes, the picture changes dramatically. And when, as you point out, the statue of limitations has been exceeded, well, there’s even less hope justice will ever be served. Still, if there’s any reasonable suspicion that any of these other children have been subjected to any inappropriate behavior on his part, calling the abuse hotline is the right thing to do. Vigilance on the part of all the adults involved for the children’s sake is paramount here.

      1. I do not see anyone talking about educating the children appropriately against this abuse, about inappropriate touching etc and that if an adult does this they should tell their parents. Also if he is known predator for Gods sake do not leave any child alone with him, that should be easy enough to avoid a tragedy

  2. I have survived child sexual abuse,on a group campwhen i was eleven by one of the directors,who i later found out had been having sex with a 13 year old girl,she went to the police later, he was in his 80’s but still went to prision,i was also sexually touched by a friend of my parents while he was babysitting,so when i had my own children they were never looked after by anyone but close family, ususally females.I was not raped,in the sense that it was full sexual intercourse,so maybe i am not qualified to talk about this! these men took advantage of the trust put in them by my parents,so i looked after my own children in a different way to them! I was Raped as an Adult by a close family friend, also Beaten by Abusive Husband, and an Abusive Father as a child.As you have said Doctor,these men were not attracted Sexually to children but to the vulnerability of children who were just available.Of course we all know that Predatory Peadophiles do get themselves into positions of trust as Care workers,etc, i know two friends both male, who grew up in childrens home now both around 50 yers old,one was sexually molested, and my Aspergers friend was Sodomised by a person in a position of trust at age 15.
    Neither went to the Authorities, so these Offenders got away with it, and no doubt went on to abuse others.

  3. Hi Elisa, I’m so sorry that you have had so much trauma in your life. The damage can be a life long affliction and in the case of a friend of mine, she had repressed the molestation(s) for over thirty years. She remembered nothing but the scars were there and I know that they were fueling most of her dysfunctional behavior……she was one of many walking wounded in this world but had no ability to address her core issue because she was unaware of it.
    As painful as your experiences were and the memories of them are, you are able to at least recognize and acknowledge what has happened to you and take proactive steps to protect your own children. It absolutely makes my blood boil that these monsters get away with the things they do and leave life long trauma in their wake.

    1. This answer is very validating for me. At 58, after a lifetime of verbal and emotional abuse by both parents, but particularly my dad, I discovered he’d sexually abused me as a young child. Presumably with the complicity of my mother. I found this out eight or nine months ago when during a conversation I said, “Well, I know I’ve never been sexually abused”. My dad went scarlet and tried to hide his face. It’s taken me months to actually recognise what his reaction meant. It explains so much of the anguish and dysfunction I’ve experienced all my life. It’s distressing but it’s also validating and gives me some hope that I can now find some peace. I’ve since cut contact with my parents.

  4. Here is a modus operandi of pedophiles:

    Pedophiles go online, meet and flatter targets, lie about their ages and/or identities, pretend to be young and/or wealthy and/or celebrities, gain children’s trust, and then abuse them by cajoling them, whether it’s by talking them into taking lewd selfies, creating Skype accounts and then convincing them to strip in front of a camera, sextorting them by threatening to tell parents or share images publicly, or even, as in this case, meeting in real life.

    Here is a recent news story about a pedophile and the psychological manipulation he used on a victim:

    Adam Brown, 21, of south Wales in the UK, was sentenced in Cardiff Crown Court to 14 months in prison after admitting to meeting a child on Facebook, sexually grooming him, and talking him into creeping away from his home in the middle of the night.

    Brown … started by posting videos of himself online, telling jokes and inviting people to tell him whether or not he was funny.

    Within an hour of the boy having clicked “Like” on the posting, Brown had replied, asked to be his Facebook friend, and started talking about sex.

    Next, Brown said that he might kill himself if the boy didn’t reply.

    The prosecution told the court:

    [Brown] told [the boy} he was cute and then made a sexual suggestion.

    Then [Brown] said he might commit suicide if he didn’t reply, and there was an agreement to meet up in a park.

    The boy left his home in the early hours and the defendant met him and gave him a hug.

    The boy thought the whole thing was weird and returned home where his mother immediately contacted Adam Brown and told him to block contact with her son.

    Brown soon contacted the boy again, telling him, “I have just spoken to your Mum – you are an amazing guy – all I want is for you to be happy’ and following it with ‘you and I are [going] to have a good chat later, OK Hun?”

    When police arrested him, Brown reportedly said that all he’d wanted was to kiss the boy and that he wouldn’t have done anything else.

    1. Great comment, but to be precise, you’ve identified the typical m.o. of a predator and not all individuals with deviant inclinations are predators. Again, it’s matter of character.

      1. Dr. Simon, that is a fantastic distinction and it kind of clicked in my mind in a very important way. I would however hazard a guess, and there is no real way to prove it when it comes right down to it……….the more inclined to deviancy, the more likely someone would or could(?) be to take it to the next level and offend. it’s kind of like alcohol/ drug abuse… might start by experimentation and unfold gradually into more and more severe abuse and in the process affect someones choices and character.

        1. Also, there are very subtle forms of coercion and manipulation that might be extremely hard to objectively classify as predatory abuse yet gain the manipulator what they are seeking and leave the manipulated party oddly confused and feeling taken advantage of.

          1. Puddle, can you expand on what you mean by “subtle forms of coercion and manipulation that … leave the manipulated party oddly confused”?

          2. Dots, I have a hard time putting this into words. I’m referring to an adult “grooming” a child. Say the child is from a bad family situation, the Mother is impoverished and has to work a lot of hours just to make ends meet. This could create a very love hungry child susceptible to being manipulated by a predator. All he would have to do was give the child attention and be nice to the child and the child could easily form an attachment very quickly, thereby powering her guard. Also, the child now forms an attachment to this person and is still not getting the much needed love and attention from her financially stress mother. She NEEDS that in her life, all children do, and she is getting this from someone who intends to abuse her. He can now take it to the next step,,,,,ask her to do something for him….anything…..but something wrong. She refuses and he withdraws his attention for a time………he asks again and she complies, he showers her with attention…..yet she feels conflicted and confused. This can all fly way under the “abuse” radar and could continue off and on for a period of time. She is technically not being abused but is being set up (manipulated) to comply with his wishes.
            I hope that is clearer. my earlier comment was kind of rushed and I just now saw your comment asking for clarification. Manipulators do this adult victims ALL the time as well and will play on what ever hunger you have. Everyone has needs but when an unmet need has become a hunger they smell it.

  5. P.S. Self-entitled people, such as Adam “Logan” Brown (see above news story), are narcissists, correct? Narcissists almost never commit suicide. As such, Brown will probably never commit suicide. So, his threat to commit suicide is pure psychological manipulation.

    Out of curiosity, how can you tell when someone is making a genuine suicide threat and when someone is manipulating you with BS?

    1. Even manipulative “gesturers” can be careless and make fatal mistakes. Best to take all threats seriously but you don’t have to allow anyone’s behavior coerce you into subjecting yourself to abuse or maltreatment.

    2. The difference between genuinely suicidal individuals and manipulators using suicide threats as a tool (whether they accidentally succeed or not), I think, is revealed by what is motivating the individual.

      I really appreciate Dr. Simon for bringing the issue of character to my attention. I had never thought about it before, so the recognition here of its role as a mitigating factor is enlightening. Regarding suicidal propensity, considering the individual’s character can be helpful in evaluating suicide threats. I think that’s something I have always considered, but have never put into such clear terms.

      People who are genuinely suicidal are typically motivated by feelings of overwhelming defeat and failure, and an unrealistic and unfair sense of responsibility. I think this is where character assessment helps us draw clear distinctions. Many people who succeed in suicide, NEVER tell anyone how they are feeling. I suspect this is because of *too much accountability – many of these people probably felt they were already a burden on general, and never reach out, because they reduce their own feelings to a burden they wouldn’t dream of letting others shoulder. In terms of character, these are the upstanding kinds of people with the strength of character to carry the weight of the world – all alone and without complaint. I knew someone who recently committed suicide using a firearm, and I was not surprised he drove to the hospital to do it outside the ER entrance. I understood, not only was he unable to “burden” those who love him and reach out for help – he was considerate of the burden his family would bear to have to find him like that and to have to clean up the mess.

      Manipulators and abusive types don’t share this aversion to a real or imagined burdening of others. On the contrary, the relevant character deficiency is their penchant for imposing inappropriate burdens on others out of a sense of entitlement and self-aggrandized importance and social value. Unlike people with an exaggerated sense of their imposition on the world and a sense they owe the world relief from themselves, manipulators expect they should be free to impose on the world they feel owes *them. Unlike those who take responsibility they aren’t even accountable to, a manipulator threatening suicide is attempting to hold others responsible for their feelings and their life.

      As a rule of thumb, to decide if I need to be a friend or if I need to be wary of my kindness being exploited as weakness, I work from the assumption that if a friend is at risk they will only accidentally tell me in very subtle ways without realizing it. An abuser or manipulator, puts themselves first and doesn’t question their assumption everyone else should, too. The character question becomes, selfish, or selfless?

      Love is a one-way street. It’s about just wanting another person to be okay. If I love someone, who is happier and fulfilled giving love to our getting it from another, it shouldn’t make me want to die or even feel rejected. It should give me comfort and joy, whatever it is that makes them okay.

      Dr. Simon is right, those using suicide threats risk accidentally going too far. However, I don’t take abusive demands for attention and acquiescence seriously and I wouldn’t lose sleep over an abusive person’s consequences for going too far.

  6. My ex for 16 years of our relationship increasingly verbalized during sex with me a desire to be having sex with prepubescent girls (he would say this aloud, during our intimacy). He also actively verbalized rape fantasies for years. No surprise that after discovering his cheating, and breaking up with him, I also found indications he left behind on a family PC that he had had some “romantic” (if you can call it that) attachment with a 12 year old girl when he was 31, years before I met him. I wouldn’t have thought that were it not for his fantasies. I have talked to my therapist and to private investigators who believe me, but the investigators say it was “too long ago” to do anything about. Should I talk to law enforcement? I’m concerned about the future, and possible future victims.

    1. Anonymous, while it might not be possible to do anything specific with regard to past high-risk behaviors, and while you don’t have information about a possible current underage victim or target, having this guy on law enforcement’s “radar” is not a bad idea at all. In fact, given what you’ve said, it’s quite likely he’s still engaging in risk-posing behavior, so if he’s been scrutinized in any way, it’s much more likely a behavior for which he can be dealt with (e.g., possessing child porn, soliciting minors through social media, etc.) will be found out. It might even save a potential victim.

  7. My 33 year old son revealed to me and his sisters that my husband of thirty years, his stepfather, had abused him when he was between the ages of 10-13. My soon to be X admitted to it – and then expected us all to forgive him.”Maybe we can work all this out before our vacation on the Cape” he said. He just keeps making excuses, and feels that if I would only forgive him, all would be well. He never groomed my son – he was very hard on him, making him clean excessively, always annoyed with him, having awful fights with me if I dared to confront him about his dreadful parenting style. My daughters think he is sick, but I think he is just a selfish person. He is now dragging his feet about the divorce – he seems to have no idea about the consequences of his employers or musicians he works with finding out(he is free lance), and I will get up and tell the judge why I am divorcing him if this drags on much longer. My son seems to be doing well, but has problems with moving constantly. He is relieved and happy that I am divorcing his offender. I’m crushed, will lose my house, but I need to start anew.

    1. While your son is no longer a child and mandated reporting laws don’t apply, there’s no statute of limitations in most states on child sexual assaults. IMHO, it’s not enough to just get away. There is at least a possibility that gaining access to a potential victim was part of the reason this man pursued a relationship with you and unless charges are pressed against him and he’s held accountable, others could also continue to be at risk. IMO the perpetrator is begging for forgiveness in the hopes no one will want to press for justice. But from what you say, this man is an admitted child sex offender, yet he remains under-the-radar for public protection. That can be remedied, although it might prove emotionally quite challenging for your son. And while you might think the offender didn’t engage in typical “grooming” (in fact, there are really no “typical” modi operandi for skillful predators), it’s dangerous to make assumptions about both the motivations of and the overall risks posed by such offenders. Just my two cents here.

      1. As more and more people become aware of his behavior (my lawyer, his lawyer, 3 local therapists, family members and a few close friends) it is getting harder and harder to justify letting him get off scott free. I want to get divorced, sell the house(which is in both our names) and then move out of town. At that point, my son is considering a civil lawsuit. He has also written a book about his experiences, and has an interested agent. My soon to be X is too narcissistic to see that putting off the divorce will make things harder for him.He is very charming and I sometimes worry that even my lawyer sympathizes with him. He is saying he is too poor to help with keeping the household expenses going while it is on the market.
        It is very hard for me to look back on my family life for all those years and know that it was a charade. My children are very reassuring and helpful, but sometimes I just feel dead inside.

        1. I’m concerned putting the priory of breaking silence after divorcing puts your family’s experience at risk to be discredited as slanderous messy divorce mud-slinging. That’s not fair.

          It seems it would be in everyone’s best interest to blow the whole secret completely out of the water, NOW, so there’s no mistaking WHY you’re divorcing. It’s scary, but the sooner your son can move forward with his civil claim and publishing his story, the sooner he can free himself from the burden of an adult’s secret he’s been forced to carry and protect since he was a child. The divorce is inevitable and, IMO, less urgent.

          My father treated me the same way, BTW. There were 3 able kids, but things like excessive cleaning were expected of me and not my siblings. I often got in trouble for reading, when I was supposed to be cleaning the kitchen (daily) in preparation for a Mr. Clean commercial (while my brother and sister watched television). My brother was responsible for taking the garbage out, once a week, at his leisure; my sister, for feeding her cats if mom forgot that day. I was perpetually grounded and, at times, locked in my bedroom to enforce the restriction. These things had the effect of “grooming” me, by painting me as an incorrigible problem child causing problems for everyone else. He effectively discredited me before, and in case, I opened my mouth with the truth.

  8. Thank you for this article, it makes so much sense.

    I split from my ex of 8 years a few years ago. I left him about a year after our son was born, who is now 4. By the time I finally left his anger issues and manipulations had increased to so severe there was no way to reason with him. He ended up becoming almost two different people it seemed, the nice guy I fell in love with, and this raging unrealistic lunatic. I finally left and have since been able to see right through him almost every time and just never played into it… until recently.

    Four months ago my son started saying some very odd things. This of course came soon after a uncharacteristic meltdown he had at preschool, and little odd behaviors I had noticed from time to time, but individually can be caused by a number of reasons. However, these odd comments in May triggered my instincts as a red flag.

    I tried to be very rational since I was finally getting along with my ex again and being able to co-parent rather well. But my son, having strange bruises and scared to tell me but reluctantly told me was because he didn’t want to play with daddy funny. Of course more comments began to spiral as he opened up saying very concerning comments a 4 year old should not be saying. I am very close to my family and immediately told them and was shocked when they did not believe me and actually treated me as if I am being ridiculous. I come from a highly intelligent and hard working family with no reason to make this up or even want to. I was so mad at my family for not trusting me but they could not come to think he was a “pedophile.”

    The lack of support was making me second guess myself a bit, but my sons behaviors were so obvious to me that something was up, so I called a child therapist. She confirmed my concerns and agreed to perform an assessment. In the meantime she reminded me that I was never married, nor been to court, so I had 100% custody. It was getting so bad and I had to trust my instinct, and no longer allowed parenting time with his dad. It needed to be supervised. He was not happy, but after calling the police with no rights he had to abide.

    He has since hired a lawyer to establish custody and we are in the midst of a nasty custody battle. His extreme manipulation has become so apparent to us that my family has now come around and realized this is not right. He has turned my son’s school against me, his former daycare provider, they for who knows what reason, think I am a terrible person. Former mutual friends of ours no longer talk to me and these people are praising him as if he is just an amazing, swell father and person. And they all buy it, it is so bizarre!!!

    I am very aware of his grooming process of getting people on “his side” and notice his obvious attempt at simply winning this battle, not looking out for the best for his child. However I knew my child was safe with me for at least the next few months and would let him see his father with me always there. I was always within earshot and close to them both, so when I slowly started to catch on something somehow was still happening based on my child’s behaviors after the visits. Finally I learned he was touching him under the table, and when I started to catch on to that he was grabbing and squeezing my sons penis while pretending to “rough house” or play. I would have never in a million years thought it would happen in front of me, or in public but it did, multiple occasions. We now use a safety center.

    Dating him for 8 years he had never mentioned any type of pedophile comments and fairly sure he still has sex and is attracted to women. I still can’t imagine he has done this before, but I know this is happening and he almost throws it in my face that I have no proof and my son will not talk (besides to me.) I loved this article. You hit the nail on the head. This is 100% his character, everything you described is him.

    People need to know this. So many people sexually touching and mentally messing with our children are not pedophiles. Please every parent, family member or human being, trust your instincts, follow your gut… these people are great manipulators to everybody, they make your life a living hell, make you sometimes question your sanity, but keep strong. When you believe and trust in yourself their manipulations and games become more obvious and use that to your advantage. I even sometimes let him think he is winning but really I am just not giving into what he is trying to create. Many people currently believe I can only imagine the worst possible things about me. I don’t care. My child is my only care. Whatever I need to do to make sure he is safe, happy, healthy I will do whether or not its awkward for me. I will not let him win. He is good, but I am better. His disturbing emotional states are starting to show through on his own as I cautiously and cordially show my true character which is exactly opposite of what he portrays me. It will eventually show through. Its tough, hard, roller coaster, but got to do it. I pray everyday for the best. Head up.

  9. What about wife rapists? How does a woman spot the rapist and batterer so she doesn’t marry him? How does a woman prevent from being raped again? And again? Rape victims are all the more likely to be raped again.

    How does a woman get rid of the intense wounding and harm?

    Based on my experiences, I think wife rapists rape because it’s fun for them, it entertains them, and it gives them great pleasure to damage, destroy, humiliate, violate, and desecrate their wives. Is this consistent with your findings in interviewed (presumably incarcerated) rapists? I think stranger rapists are rare but they seem to be the ones that are successfully prosecuted so you may not have much experience with wife rapists. I think wife rapists are a special breed of evil.

    Rape, battery, abuse, torture. It’s all a living death. Sometimes a victim cannot remember as it’s all a blank. Sometimes it comes flooding back and overwhelms. Either way, the victim lives a living death.

    1. that’s when you get the gun and get him up out of there. And if he is raping, you will need the gun..

  10. Wow this really ressonnated with me. During our super short engagement my husband date raped me twice…no drugs… this was in 1980…no term for this…I wrote in my journal…he used me as a thing to release himself with…. not consensual…he did a second time even when I said no stop…then he said we had to go confess to our pastor that WE had sex…so that’s the manipulation of covering it up…. we’ve had a very empty marriage… painful for me. I’m just waking up to the manipulation. After 39 years…I’ve been married and alone and he used me sexually in our marriage to masturbate with as well as doing this with himself and his fantasy images. I do not want to stay with him we’ve been separated over 18 months

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