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Solutions for Emotional and Sexual Abuse
Managing Emotions Martyn Carruthers 2006

Online Help, Counseling & Soulwork Therapy

Do your children risk emotional and sexual abuse? Yes!

Sexual abuse of children by adults may start with kissing or fondling, and can progress to oral, vaginal or anal penetration. Child abuse includes repeated punishments, shouting, threats, humiliation, criticism, neglect and demands for secrecy.

Covert emotional incest is a form of child abuse that refers to
expressions of love that are more appropriate
for an adult partner than a child.

Sexual Abuse . Emotional Incest . Sexual Solutions . Sexual Affairs

Pedophiles: adults who sexually desire children,
or adults who have committed the crime of sex with a child

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is unwanted sexual contact or attention, following physical force - or non physical force such as threats, bribes, manipulation or violence - any form which forces an individual to participate in unwanted sexual contact or attention. Sexual assault includes rape and attempted rape, child molestation, voyeurism, exhibitionism and sexual harassment. It can be by anyone, and anyone can be sexually assaulted.

Preventing Child Sexual Abuse

Our models for change places responsibility on the abuser while recognizing the influences of the abuser's family and culture. We integrate emotional factors related to the victim, the victim's family, the abuser and the abuser's family. We incorporated theories and observations to create simple models for explaining and remedying sexual abuse.

Signs and Symptoms of Sexual Abuse

Children who have been sexually abused may later show:

  • anger or rage
  • anxiety / panic
  • compulsions
  • depression
  • distrust authority
  • eating disorders
  • guilt or shame
  • insomnia
  • memory blocks
  • obsessions
  • passive-aggression
  • perfectionism
  • promiscuity
  • sexual addiction
  • sexual dysfunction
  • sexual confusion
  • suicidal thoughts
  • withdrawal

No symptom or group of symptoms is evidence
that sexual abuse took place.

1: Motivation to abuse

a. Emotional Needs: sexual contact with a child satisfies emotional needs
b. Sexual Arousal: a child represents sexual gratification for the abuser
c. Substitutions: alternative sexual gratification is unavailable or unsatisfying

a. Emotional Needs

In our experience, an emotional need to abuse children usually originates in an abuser's childhood. A pedophile is likely male, and was likely subjected to physical or emotional incest and/or sexual molestation by relatives, teachers, etc.

A child who is molested will usually dissociate, or "mentally step out" of the abuse. The safest or strongest place of refuge may be to identify with the abuser. If a child identifies (becomes emotionally enmeshed) with an abuser during sexual abuse, that child can create a bond, a latent personality, an inner sexual abuser, which will likely be repressed or mostly dormant until adolescence.

Similarly, during covert emotional incest, a child loved as a substitute for a partner may create a latent sub-personality (or part) that, after adolescence, responds to children as sexual objects.

b. Sexual Arousal

Sexual gratification for a sexual abuser may express a repressed bond (or sub-personality or part). When this bond or sub-personality is expressed, relief may be experienced, although the dominant personality may be guilt-ridden about the abuse. The dominant personality may then forget, justify or excuse this behavior ... until the repressed sub-personality is again triggered.

c. Substitution

Fantasies, pornography and watching children appear to be common substitutes for pedophile sexual gratification. If these substitutes release emotional pressure from abusers' sub-personalities, this may prevent sexual contact with children. (Some researchers believe that these substitute activities motivate further abuse ... it seems likely that both can be true).

2: Internal Inhibition

If the potential abuser is bonded by personal, cultural or religious taboos - he will not abuse children - unless or until emotional pressure reaches a threshold that requires action. Studies of pedophilia in the Catholic church exposed the inner conflicts of men who could not manage their sexuality.

Personal, cultural or religious taboos can decrease an abuser's motivation to abuse. Some ways that people free themselves from these taboos are alcohol, illegal drugs and philosophies that teach that impulses should be expressed without inhibition.

3: External Obstacles

As well as internal inhibitions, abusers must overcome obstacles such as family members, neighbors, the child's friends, supervision and training. Risk factors that contribute to child sexual abuse are:

  • Lack of careful education of children
  • Physical closeness of these adults to children
  • Available locations that are unlikely to be disturbed
  • Trust of adult guardians (teachers, clergy, scoutmasters etc)

4: Resistance

After inhibitions and obstacles, a pedophile must overcome the child's own resistance. Abusers may select children based on insecure or dissociated body postures - children who lack friends or siblings. Children selected by abusers are rarely aware that they are being sexually approached. Some perverts groom children with attention until they comply with sexual requests, and/or until they reach a legal age of consent.

Abuse Prevention

Effective prevention includes teaching children to avoid, resist and report abuse, and educating counselors and therapists in systemic psychology. Although child abuse may be the result of bribery, force, threats or violence; children can be taught to deter abusers by increasing their risk of detection or capture. Examples are:

  1. resist abuse by screaming and running away
  2. confident posture and assertive body language
  3. avoid locations of higher risk, especially when alone
  4. always tell trusted adults of attempted abuse or excessive friendliness

Abuse may also be prevented by appropriate treatment for the abusers who accept responsibility for their urges. Yet, some pedophiles do not want to change and do not accept responsibility. Instead they blame their parents, culture and/or their victims.

Beware: there are many reports of therapists implanting
false memories
in people who may have only fantasized
sexual activity with family members.

Abused people may try to control their betrayal, shame and emotional pain by:

  1. Identity loss, compulsions and obsessions
  2. Chronic depression, anxiety, anger and guilt
  3. Caught between promiscuity and no sexual desire
  4. Eating disorders, drug or alcohol abuse, physical ailments
  5. Health problems such as migraines, ulcers, shingles, or constipation

Do you want to manage your emotions and solve relationship problems?

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I thought you were just another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 2006-2018 All rights reserved.

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Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email