Others Who Were Involved — Or Not

Why do people sexually use or abuse children?
Why don't other people stop them?

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Big, Important Questions

People who’ve been through unwanted or abusive sexual experiences usually have lots of questions about the people who used or abused them.

They also have questions about other people who had a role in what happened, or how it affected them. They may be wondering: Why did ______ not want to know what was happening? Why did he not attempt to stop it? Why did she not talk to me about it, or help me deal with the effects?

Such questions may not just be about the past. They may be about how to relate to – or deal with – that person, or those people, now. For example, you may be wondering: Should I confront the person who used me sexually? Should I tell other family members what happened?

The same questions arise for people who are close to someone who was sexually used or abused as a child. Or maybe it didn’t happen to you or someone you know, but you’re concerned about your own children’s safety, wondering how it is that people can sexually abuse children or look the other way. Or maybe a story in the media has suddenly brought up these questions for you.

This section is about those questions, and helping you find understandings and answers that work for you.

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