HAVOCA Survey Results

HAVOCA Survivor Survey Results

The HAVOCA Survey is a live survey; that means questionnaires are being completed all the time.  Therefore the following results show the latest set of results at the time of posting.  So far, 10,627 questionnaires have been completed. The answers are broken down below:
If you have already completed this Survey please also consider;

HAVOCA Survivors' Network MapHAVOCA Survivors’ Network Map – We would like to populate this map with Survivors’ locations so that the scale of the problem can be visualised but more importantly, survivors can see that they aren’t alone. See here for more details.

The results:


survey results


Please note these results were last updated in Aug 2020.  At the time of publishing these results, 10,627 questionnaires have been completed. If you haven’t done so already and would like to take part in the study, please follow this link.

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120 Responses to HAVOCA Survey Results

  1. Debbie Campbell says:

    This was a helpful survey.

    • Anne-Marie says:

      These statistics are alarming! The proportion of abuse that remains undisclosed is alarming, the proportion of reports not taken seriously is alarming, the tiny proportion of abusers taken to court is alarming, the proportion of cases taken to court resulting in convictions is alarming, the reported numbers of abusers being mothers and grandmothers is alarming (it would be interesting to know the proportions of these that were emotional abuse – the mother child relationship is incredibly intense and if emotional abuse makes up the majority of the abuse but mothers and grandmothers I find it a little more believable). The psychological effect of abuse, while predictable, is alarming, but more importantly the apparent lack of effective therapy is also alarming. The comments below are equally alarming, particularly in light of the apparent ineffectiveness of therapy. While I am sure most abusers have themselves been the victims of abuse, all victims must take responsibility to do their best to seek help and not to pass on the result of their abuse. We must all make abuse more widely discussed and work on effective therapies and CRUCIALLY peer support!

      • Mrs j says:

        What an ignorant comment. Do you not think if it was so easy to seek help the abused wouldn’t have done so? Not all abused go on to abuse,just so you know that.

        • Anne-Marie says:

          Ignorant? Mrs J – you have misread my comment and misinterpreted my message.
          I said the lack of effective therapy is alarming! It is. I know!
          I said that we must work on effective therapies!
          I want therapy to be available to everyone who has been abused and who wants therapy (not everyone does – and the timing of when people feel the need for therapy is different. Some people cope for years and then something throws them and they feel the need for therapy. I know from personal experience)
          I did not say that all abused people go on to abuse others, I said that I feel sure that all abusers have (at some time) been abused themselves (to quote MacBeth ‘Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return To plague th’ inventor’). I was abused but I have (certainly not knowingly) abused anyone.

      • david binks says:

        The problem is what is abuse. Someone may consider normal if that is the way they where raised first its tolerated then its accepted then the abusive sociopath considers themselves normal by their own standards. The problem is they probably know they are wrong but say don tell anyone indicating they accept it is wrong but deny anything is wrong to save the family from embarrassment. Lack of integrity and basic moral awareness can be responsible for continuation of abuse from generation to generation, until someone says enough this is wrong.,

        • Anne-Marie says:

          Exactly David.
          Unfortunately, whatever we experience as normal as a child, we accept as normal for us.
          Therefore it is easy for someone who has been abused enough, without having experienced what most people see as a normal, supportive, loving relationship, to see an abusive relationship as normal.
          Which is why I feel the abusers need therapy as much as the abused – to prevent further perpetuating the abuse.

          • Isabella Raine says:

            What an ignorant comment ! My childhood abuse made me all the more aware ! l made sure that my three children never suffered the same experience ! I may be damaged but l made sure that they are not !!!!!

          • tjbrysch73 says:

            There is widespread belief in a ‘cycle’ of child sexual abuse, but little empirical evidence for this belief. Conclusions: The data support the notion of a victim-to-victimizer cycle in a minority of male perpetrators but not among the female victims studied. Those were taken from governmental mental health research sites. Your belief that any abuser deserves compassion because most were abused is an old school belief and has no merit. Any research you do on the long-term effects of abuse for adult survivors says nothing that they are likely to abuse others but instead say that they are highly likely to put themselves in situations of revictmizing themselves. As the victim, what they “know” is not being the abuser or perpetrator but being a victim. Abuse is inflicted for power over the victim. Most victims take on a more submissive role and not power driven. The myth of victims becoming abusers was brought on ages ago when interviewing serial perpetrators and in order to get sympathy said they were abused themselves and can’t help it cuz it’s what they “know.” Abusers deserve no compassion. The only compassion should be for their victims. My nephew was murdered a few years ago, it caused me pain I didn’t know existed. It made him, my family and myself victims and I guess is what we “know” so would 1 of us deserve compassion if we became serial killers cuz we were victims? Only an abuser would think abusers deserve compassion. Please save your ridiculous compassion theory for yourself cuz it’s obviously unsettling for many of us victims having to repeatedly read something so ignorant…ignorant meaning it’s said without merit and knowledge. No 1 has agreed with you and in fact have said each time that it’s disturbing to them.

      • P says:

        What a ridiculous thing to say. Think first before you write as what you have written is upsetting to others. People sometimes can’t speak out and not all people who have been abused go on to abuse others. Any kind of abuse can be damaging, and it’s all individual. So in my mind, that doesn’t need discussing.

        • Anne-Marie says:

          P – like Mrs J you have misread or misinterpreted my comment.
          I apologise profusely if I have upset anyone – that was not my intent.
          I agree that all abuse is both individual and damaging and would add that everyone’s response to abuse is equally individual.
          The reason why I feel abuse must be more widely discussed is precisely so that people who have been abused feel that they can speak out and seek help.
          I did not even recognise that I had been abused as a child until it was pointed out to me by a therapist while we were attending therapy because my husband had decided to admit that he was gay and (ultimately) was leaving me for a toy boy the same age as our children.
          So it is not even as simple as some people cannot speak out – some people do not even recognise that they have been abused! I clearly remember Childlike being launched and feeling sorry for these poor abused children; as though they were a different species to me or something. I did not realise that I was the sort of child for whom Childline was intended. As a teacher, the one thing which I did not feel comfortable discussing with the children was abuse; but now I regret that and wish I had been more open with the children.
          Once I disclosed to some close friends why I was struggling with my separation and that it was not simply the separation, it was a confluence of life crises including having to suddenly deal with my husband disclosing my abuse to my family (and that causing grief and consternation within my family),that I discovered some of my closest friends had also suffered abuse – some more prolifically and more damaging than my own abuse, but they had never felt able to confide their abuse in anyone.
          The relief to find other people who had been through abuse as a child and to talk to other victims was immense. The revelation that other people I had known almost all of my life had also been through abuse and had also not confided in anyone was incredible and we had some very cathartic discussions.

          • Janet says:

            At the age of 57 I am still struggling with the effects of the trauma I experienced as a child I did NOT find your comments offensive; to the contrary I think you made interesting points. I agree the statistics are alarming but not really surprising. I also agree that most abusers were also victims at one point. Of course this does not diminish nor excuse their actions, however, it is often the case. By not recognising this fact or denying it (difficult as it is) we are apt to misunderstand the wider causes of abusive behaviour. Abusers are not of a different race, they are of us and among us. Their parents or relatives would probably vehemently deny ever having abused them. I was victim to severe, physical, mental and emotional abuse over a prolonged period stretching years but part of me has empathy for abusers as I know that not all victims are able to verbalise and/or recognise their own abuse and reach out for or receive help. I am not saying that we should all just forgive and forget, I know I can’t, but I do try to understand why this happened. I may never know for sure but in understanding my own struggles helps me to understand theirs.

        • tjbrysch73 says:

          Totally agree with you and obviously so does everyone else. Her compassion and her abusers abuse cuz they were abused theory has upset the victims reading it. No 1 has agreed with it. I think only an abuser would have compassion for an abuser. A victim could never relate to inflicting their long-term pain onto another person. Especially someone they love. This is from government mental health research series sites: Conclusions: The data support the notion of a victim-to-victimiser cycle in a minority of male perpetrators but not among the female victims studied and There is widespread belief in a ‘cycle’ of child abuse, but little empirical evidence for this belief. That old belief came from interviews with abusers that said their abuse led them to abuse in order to get sympathy but was no proof they were abused. It’s without merit and ignorant, as is any abuser deserving compassion. Said only the abuser that wants the compassion deserving only to his victim, for himself lol

      • Robin says:

        Very much agreed (the results). most of the abuse seems to happen in North America (where I am from (SoCal)) I am a survivor of child abuse. my father was mostly at fault, nowadays, it is my older sister and younger brother who are verbally/emotionally abusive… sibling abuse… 🙁 my parents both deny the abuse (even the physical abuse); my siblings blame me for it. said i belong in an insane asylum or mental hospital. i won’t give up hope, my faith was tested, and it is strong. my name means ‘Shining Fame’ or ‘Shining Glory’ my middle name means ‘who is like God’

        • Colette says:

          England has a disgusting amount of adults who were sexually abused by children. So many covered it up. There was an epidemic of it. I grew up there and it was quite disgusting how people seemed to just let it happen to children and do nothing about it. Not sure what the adults were doing.

        • Hi Robin, your comments resonated with me as I have a similar situation. The invalidation of the abuse makes it even more painful I think. In my case, when I confronted my mother (one of my abusers along with my father) she immediately became hostile and responded with attacks, telling anyone who will listen, including my sons, that I am confused, a victim of false memory syndrome in therapy, and must have early dementia! I have had to cut my parents and siblings off and step away from the situation to maintain my sanity and its been quite painful.
          I very much feel for you and your situation.

        • Ami says:

          I feel I need to point out that HAVOCA uses English only, so wouldn’t attract respondents from other language-speaking countries. Also, NA has a much larger population than, for example, UK – if you were taking these statistics as indicative of prevalence of abuse, proportionally abuse would be vastly more common in the UK than NA…. All these stats can tell you is where HAVOCA users are based. I would say that most of the other statistics can be generalised and may be a good representation of abuse experiences in the general public, although there are other countries where abuse is very different. For example, countries where children are abducted and/or sold into slavery, countries such as the Philippines where children are sexually abused on camera for paedophiles worldwide to pay to watch.

          The problem of child abuse is horrendously widespread, and I hope we in English-speaking countries don’t forget the victims and survivors from other parts of the world. No child should have to suffer the way any of us have.

          • Esther says:

            I agree with Ami. I spent 17 years lived in mainland until my mom and I moved to the U.S. since I was 18. I am a survivor of child abuse, I mean very horrible abuse, physical abuse, phycological abuse and emotional manipulation. I suffered child abuse from my father, his parents and his brother until I cut them out and move to the U.S. with my mom. I remembered I tried to call the police once after they beat my and called me shit, the police officer said it was my fault that I didn’t listen to them(the abuser). At that time, I was 8 years old. During the years I lived in China, I realized there was a disgusting tradition which the Chinese considered a very good one is that the old and the male have all the rights to beat, abuse, enslave and brainwash children and female. While the female and children must listen and to be a quiet slave to the old and men. There is no law to protect female and children victims in China. I am 28 years old now, and I am still suffering from the childhood abuse.

            I must make a declaration that China is no doubt a slavery society, and the heaven for old and male criminals.

          • Beth says:

            Esther, how awful you suffered the abuse that you did and how heinous that a country would have a ‘tradition’ that condones it!! I was sexually abused by my brother when I was 7. My father caught him and beat the shit out of him. My parents told him never to speak of it again and it was swept under the rug. Nothing was ever said to me like what he did was wrong or anything. I am now 63 and have spent a good deal of my adult life with depression, anxiety, and PTSD and in the past couple years have had a few hospitalizations. I was fortunate enough to at least get an apology from my brother a little over a year ago following a call from my therapist to him telling him how much hurt and pain I was in and that at the time what a high suicide risk I was. I did accept his apology and have for the most part moved on.
            I hope you are able to heal…..

          • Esther says:

            As a person who lived in mainland China for many years, I have to say that the situation of child abuse in mainland is much worse than any developed country. I find it is unforgivable that there is no law or government would protect the children and women victims. Even children are brainwashed by the government and teachers and the abusers that children and their mothers are properties of their fathers, which the perfect excuse the abusers create for themselves. The abusers definitely ruined the entire of victims and they are proud of it.

            The reason why the data above shows like this, I think because Chinese government forbid people use foreign websites. 95% victims may not even know this website, or they don’t speak English. I must say that most children are at least protected by the laws or ethical people in the U.S., but in China, people just walk away when they see a child got beaten or humiliated.

          • Jonathan Casillas says:

            This makes me wonder what the true stats are. Already they are so alarmingly high. Imagine if we did a deep dive of other esp non developed nations. Its like this world has 0 sympathy for children. Thia disgusts me about the US. I understand why some are so called pro life but if they cared about kids so damn much why is this abuse so high? Makes me think of people like kelly ann conway who is a so called pro choice christian conservative but is emotionally and physically abusive to her own 15 y.o daughter. And the authorities have done shit even with videos of obvious abuse going viral. I dont know about this country anymore 😔

        • Oxana Pavlov says:

          The same thing happened to me. I was the only one out of four to stand up to my father, which was the climax after 15 years of abuse. I was ostracized and blamed by my. entire. extended. family – that I put my poor hard-working father in jail. So I said F them. Stuck by myself and left. So far with four years in therapy, although the pain is hard, I feel so much happier that I am not living in denial, or continuing the abuse. I know that I can sleep at night, but I doubt any of them can. You are strong, we are strong.

      • "abigail" says:

        I also thought ” how can a mother or grandmother abuse me?” sexually.
        I thought ” theycannot- iknow I would not its impossible” so it led to 30 years of repressed /comparmentalized momories hidden sexual abuse by my mother which I kept hidden in my brain for 30 years. even when she tried to murder me and sexually abused me older as a 15 yr old I still couldn’t believe it. it led to waiting 10 yrs to report the horrible abuse. I was sold for sex. repeatedly and molested by her. obviously physically abused by her and a little by my grand mother . it wasn’t my father it was my mother mind you and dad was away overseas. I know its hard to imagine- I think the stigma that its the male who does it needs to be changed or others will suffer my fate.

        • Dee says:

          This is so true. My father was actually the one who was emotionally abusive. He tried to molest me once and my mother blamed me for it. Like her husband was cheating on her with me like i was her rival. But most of the emotional and mental and psychological and physical abuse was all her. She beat me down so much in every way even as a child i fel like i had no right to exist. To this day its very hard for me to show physical affection though i crave it constantly due to the lac of it as a child. On top of the abuse i was neglected as well. My parents were both alcoholics and drug addicts. They themselves had abusive and addicted parents as well. Both molested/raped before the age of 18. My aunts were the same way with my cousins and would beat my cousins in front of me. My family is so dysfunctional i dont even wanna be around for holidays. Its so hard too being pressured to be around my older cousin since to this day it isnt discussed how he molested me twice. Once as a little girl and again when we were teenagers. My boy cousins constantly hit on me and tried to flirt with me and make moves on me. The only one who knew everything was my cousins mom. And she was the only brave enough to confront my mom and her son and even my father about the things they did to me. But sadly she died of cancer when i was 16. Nobody really did anything to help me and now it affects my relationships with my husband and son. Its been hard to heal because even up until the past year both of my parents would gaslight me and my mom even put her hands physically on my infant son when he was little. It was horrible. I felt powerless to protect him. I still dont know how to deal. I quit drinking and taking pills but i still crave them esp when stressed or triggered. Ive been to over 5 therapists in 10 years and i still dont know how to deal. The abuse and trauma also caused me to become extremely promiscuous in college and i was raped at least twice. Once by my then best friends brothers friend. He and her brother set the whole thing up. The cops never believed me. Before that it was my ex. It wasnt even until recently that i admitted that he was abusive too. He cheated on me and took advantage me and lied to me. It was a very toxic relationship. If i had not met my husband i would have stayed with this man.

      • Hannah says:

        Your comment has seriously offended me to say abusers have probably been victims themselves is making it sound that all victims could become abusers when in fact if you have been a victim you become more aware of your surroundings and the signs of abuse and not that you go out and become a monster!!! as a victim of sexual, mental, emotional and physical abuse from the age of 9 I know this first hand, my abuser was not a victim of abuse himself he was just pure evil, he has served his full sentence for the abuse I suffered over a 4 year period not only did he sexually, mentally and physically abuse me and I told my mum after she found hidden cameras in my bedroom and bathroom we went straight to the police and he was charged the released on bail till court then the monster attempted to murder my mum stabbing her twice in the chest and suffocating her with a pillow which she some how managed to survive when he was charged his DNA came up in the system and he had brutally raped two teenage girls ten years prior this man had never been abused in his life!!!! Anyone can become an abuser weather they been a victim or not its abuse and I don’t care what has happened to you in your past it dosnt make it rite to become an abuser!!! My abuser will never get out of prison even tho he has served his sentence he is a danger to the public and has shown no remorse for what he has done I am one of the lucky ones I have got justice unlike most people who don’t get justice there abusers never going to court or no one believes them or who are faced with their abusers being released years later my heart goes out to you all you are stronger than I am I could t deal with what you have to xxx

        • Tammy says:

          Your comment is so hard to read because your pain is so well spelled out. I am beyond thankful that your abuser was prosecuted and imprisoned. I am AMAZED and PLEASED and IMPRESSED that he is still in prison beyond his sentence. Sometimes the justice system works better than others! Your description of him as “pure evil” seems right on the money for sure!
          I am a therapist and have worked with countless victims of child abuse. Many times it is a pattern that they were also abused as children, but it is absolutely NOT a given that someone who was abused as a child will become an abuser. In fact, some say the only things that are absolutely certain are death and taxes! It sounds as though your abuser was a complete sociopath.
          I also am a mother, and my EX husband molested my daughter. He was very emotionally abusive to us all, which had led to my resolve to finally give up on the marriage; but learning about the sexual abuse made it much clearer and swifter of a decision. We left the same day I learned of it.
          To my knowledge, he was not sexually abused as a child but I know he was emotionally and physically abused by his father, and the upbringing he had did not result in what I would call a solid set of morals and values (i.e. womanizer, jerk…I could go on and on about that!). His upbringing resulted in him having an outlook that he could do whatever he wanted to do, whenever he wanted to do it, to whomever he wanted to do it to, and his motto was ‘lye and deny until you die.’ (Your description of pure evil resembles this man for sure!)
          The case currently is still on the prosecutors desk, so I can’t say for sure what has or will happen to him through the judicial system. The most important thing to me is that she is safe from him and to help her to heal emotionally so she will be able to have healthy relationships, self esteem, etc.

          • D says:

            Its crazy that was one if my fathers’ favorite sayings. He molested and raped my cousin, almost molested me (but my mom caught him) and he emotionally abused me and my mom and brother and physically abused my mother (something tells me he might have even sexually assaulted her before too during their marriage). So the way my father was i guess i had sympathy for my mother even though she had mentally and emotionally and physically abused me for practically my whole life and neglected me as a child due to her and my fathers addictions. Lord just dont let me and my husband be anything like my parents or his grandmother or mother-the first of which was nearly abusive as my mother and the second which was an addict and abandoned her kids to her abusive and alcoholic mother, my husbands grandmother. To this day my husband struggles with alcoholism which is difficult for me not only because it changes how he acts (not abusive but cold and dismissive) and also because it affects my own sobriety. He doesnt believe in therapy and i dont blame him because it really hasnt helped me either. I just pray for our healing because our seven year old son needs healthy and loving parents who have a healthy relationship with each other. The last thing i want is for him to suffer the way me and his father have.

      • alison Suggitt says:

        These findings are alarming every parent needs better tools and resources to bring up children but instantly it’s not the responsibility of the victim to seek help or counselling it is only the responsibility of the government to find justice and making these abuser face their crime and give the victims compensation resulted not on when the abuse took place but how the person life is affected now. when I was 17 a went to the police my sisters went to the police but no one helped us we were socially looked down on this was damaging to us how can we ever come forward and trust again.

        • D says:

          Yes i feel you same. I onew as a child i couldnt trust cops (POC here). But i remember after i was assaulted in college a friend insistes i go to the hospital and the cops. And they made me feel horrible. They did absolutely nothing! When they did finally come around to “interviewing” the guy, at my friends house and not even the station! The cops every single one of them TOOK HIS SIDE AND EVEN MADE FUN OF ME WITH MY RAPIST! Because of this (adding to an already long list) i absolutely fucking HATE the fucking cops with a passion! They dont help you when you need it. And how horrible they wouldn’t be willing to help children. But im not surprised. Im sorry for your pain and i agree 100 that the govt needs to do something. At these rates based on the survey on this website child abuse, neglect, and rape/molestation is a pandemic. Looking at these numbers it seems like you are still more likely to have suffered a form of abuse as an adult or child than you are to get coronavirus. And that speaks volumes. Yet this issue isnt being taken seriously by authorities at all. Yet when a white woman falsely accuses a black or brown man of rape he gets swift prison sentences and not even a half assed apology when he is found innocent. Id like to say all the false claims of rape and abuse make it impossible to report yet facts are cops will more readily believe a white woman of rape/assault/abuse if her assailant/s is/are non white. Yet if a woman accuses a white man or if the woman is non white she is less likely to be believed by authorities. Because apparently its only rape if a non white person does it, but if hes white or the woman isnt white i guess its the fault of the woman. I think where we can start here is having white women hold their men accountable for rape and abuse and domestic violence. Because if they do it to their own women and get away with it what chance do we have to get justice?

          • POC right here as well. I remember when I broke down with anxiety once, a police officer threatened to arrest me if I didn’t calm down, as if I was a part of the problem. The police don’t protect you if you are black. They see it as another part of your “race” and dismiss all of you as “animals” who don’t belong in this world.

      • Linda Cowden says:

        Not everyone becomes abusers.
        I have no data on this. I believe a lot of us have CO-Dependent and empath tendencies.
        I would never hurt someone intentionally.
        I don’t believe in name calling or fighting.

      • The biggest issues for most abuse survivors is finding AFFORDABLE therapy. When you are traumatized by abuse, you can’t work a normal job sometimes. I went to see a therapist, and she charged me $250, which has was a portion of my rent. I couldn’t afford to see her again. In my country, the USA, healthcare isn’t free. I can’t afford to pay $50.00 to see a therapist. How can I get the help I need? I’ve been searching and searching for jobs that don’t trigger my anxiety and PTSD, but there aren’t many, I can assure you. I live in a violent neighborhood to boot. Please, we all know that we have a responsibility to get well, but don’t blame the victim for not doing all they can to survive the trauma. Instead, why don’t you try to offer solutions that are helpful?

    • Mandy says:

      I was born the middle child of 5. Father was a bosun,home 3 months at sea for 2. They both abused my brother and I from very very small until roughly 9yrs and 10yrs. It ranged from beating,kicking,starvation,sleep deprivation and sexual abuse. She had numerous affairs and left us home in bed having been beaten under the control of our older sister. We weren’t fed so my brother stole slices of bread or dog biscuits for us in the middle of the night. She eventually left with a young man,leaving us kids behind,taking only the 2youngest. Our father had the pleasure of abusing all 3of us when she left,eldest sister included. Now,my mother lives in Manchester,having had two more sons who know nothing of her past. I dream of hurting her,yes,even murdering her. My father is in Thailand where he will remain hidden until he’s dead. Even in adulthood he used to drive past my home,to let me know he knew where I was. It wasn’t until I lost my son and my mind and tried to murder him that he stopped doing this and disappeared off to Thailand and remarried. I am almost 50 yrs of age,and every day of my life has been filled with fear and sadness and I’m tired. I want to close my eyes for good as I’ve had enough of my memories and anger I just want peace.

      • Anne-Marie says:

        Mandy what you have been through is unimaginably cruel. I completely understand your feelings of anger, fear, sadness and your need for revenge and peace. Please seek help – you deserve support. Sadly, I think that there is not enough effective therapy but there are good therapists out there if you keep looking. Have you tried to join a support group? There are self help support groups out there on Facebook and so on. I hope that the moderators will be able to point you in the direction of help. I am certainly happy for them to give you my contact details if they are able to.

      • katybug71 says:

        My heart breaks for you…I hope that you find peace. I wish only good for you.

    • Waveylines says:

      I was abused by my father from a very small child. His last attempt was when he was three weeks off dying with cancer I was 28! I ran out of the house and never saw him again. The truth is we ALL have choices as abusers and as victims to decide how we let what has happened to us influence our actions to others once we are adults. It most definately is a choice! My abuser was an adult and I was but a little child……I had No choice at that point in my life but my abuser most certainly did! He was highly manipulative and has broken our family wide apart….and NEVER was held to account due to deep denial systems in my family. The end result is now no contact with any of my siblings…..the mental effects continues.

      I find it deeply concerning that there is some idea of compassion to show our abusers as they are victims as if they cant help themselves! They may have been abused (but maybe not!) thats true but there is absolutely no excuse for carrying out abusive acts as an adult on others. None!

      Those of us who have chosen to go on to have children make choices and seek out information and good role models so we can be good enough parents as opposed to being abusive & repeating what was done to us. If the majority of victims can do this it begs the question why those who become abusers do not mend their ways. The vast majority of abusers don’t change- so its clearly because they see no need & have no true compulsion to change or deep feelings of remorse/shame for what they have done & are doing. And there in lies an essential core difference between victims or survivors as opposed to abusers.

      • Paige says:

        Hello Waveylines,
        I just wanted to empathise with about family denial. It is tough My family also wants me to be quiet and keep going to family parties with my abuser present. So I basically lost my family which is heart breaking and also I could really have done with their support.

        • D says:

          Sometimes its better to stay away. My family is the same. My cousin molested me twice while growing up and my family to this day acts like he can do no wrong! Then they act as if im wrong for not keeping in contact. Yet when i do try and reach out all they do is gaslight me. So ive said f it. I want nothing to do with them. The only one who was honest about it was my cousins mom and she passed when i was 16. After that everyone acted like I was the problem. This made all the other things I’ve suffered worse. Because my mom and brother pressure me to go see them. My husband used to til i explained to him why i didn’t want to he understood. I cant bring myself to tell my mom because i know shed be angry. Crazy part is before my aunt died she tried to tell my mom what her son did to me. But ofc my mom blamed me. But that was no surprise seeing how she was the main source of my current pts.

    • AL says:

      I agree, this was very eye opening. For me it helps me fell not alone

    • Kuietfire says:

      Sorry to hijack your comment but the survey didn’t let me post. I wet the bed till I was 5 and mom beat me for it and rubbed my face in the piss. One time, after I peed, I was drug by the hair into the bathroom and my head hit the corner of the counter and I bled everywhere. Once she figured out that I would be quiet she felt more comfortable beating me. When she found her next husband, they both beat me. Everyday. I was made to take cold showers for three years, even in winter, because I “took too long to shower.” When I cried, she would tell me to shut up or she would give me something to cry about. She would beat me until I stopped. One day when I was 9, my best friend asked me what all the screaming was coming from my house. He said he could hear me screaming a lot. Soon the police started showing up regularly. One day the officer threatened to take me away. She sent me to my dad. More abuse was waiting for me on the other side.

  2. Great survey and website. You’re doing a great job. It’s a shame how many abusers simply get away with ruining lives.

    • Nina Shukin says:

      Aren’t abusers just “us” in another body. Aren’t the people being called abusers the ones who need the love the most? As much as I hate the the effects of the abuse, suffered at the hands of my mother and my brother, they too were victims of abuse and did not intentionally set out to “ruin my life”. My mother died of leukemia and my brother lives a life of constant pain. I don’t think either of them “got away with it”.

      • HAVOCA says:

        The difference is they had a choice. An abuser always chooses to abuse, it isn’t forced upon them. A child has no choice or control.

        • Heather says:

          Thank you for saying that – my mom was abused (not sure about my dad) and I always tell myself that they were abused so they need my love too. It helped me cope as a child and as an adult woman I still tell myself that so that I can have a relationship with them. I am almost at the point where I say to myself you had a choice if you didn’t really mean it you wouldn’t still be behaving this way.

          • carmen says:

            I agree with these statements. I never knew my father was mentally ill and he had been abused as well. He never sought treatment for his mental illness, which lead to addiction. I suffer from mental illness, beyond what was inflicted upon me, and I have the anger issues my father did. I CHOSE to not have children. I vowed to myself the past would cease, here with me. I would rather give my life that ever have the chance to ruin a child. He had his choices (my step mother I am convinced was just crazy), I have mine. I chose right……sadly my father didn’t.

          • Anne-Marie says:

            Heather – I know exactly where you are coming from. I have always felt sure that the baby sitter and his brother who abused me were victims of abuse themselves (although I do not know that for sure!) and it has always helped me to cope. I do think that if abusers are themselves the victims of abuse then they deserve compassion – BUT – they have chosen to perpetuate that misery and to inflict it on someone else knowing the damage that it has caused them (even if to them that is ‘normal’); therefore I feel that they must accept responsibility and accountability for the abuse that they have inflicted on others.

          • Anne-Marie says:

            Carmen – I completely agree with you. Your father should have sought help and not inflicted his wounds on you, but that does not mean that you should not have children yourself if you want them. In the same way that he chose to perpetuate the cycle and to inflict further abuse on you, you can recognise that he was wrong and chose NOT to inflict further abuse on anyone else, including your own children if you decide that you want to have them. Just because you were abused, that does not mean that you will necessarily perpetuate the cycle – you can chose not to. Don’t let his weakness affect your choices if you want to have children of your own; just ensure that you are strong enough not to perpetuate the cycle and seek help if you feel you need it.

            Steve – likewise – don’t let your mum’s excuses prevent you from having children of your own if you want them – just ensure that you do not make the same excuses and abuse your own children or anyone else (child or adult – vulnerable adults can also be victims of abuse).

            Mystee – I also agree with you. How your father treated you was not excused by the abuse inflicted on him by his father. You cannot make him take responsibility but, if you chose to, you can make him face the consequences and you can ensure that you are stronger and never use the same excuse to inflict the pain of abuse on others. All the very best of luck if you choose to make him face the consequences of his abuse.

        • Leslie McAlavey says:

          That’s right. My mom says that she was abused and used it as an excuse for her emotional and psychological abuse of my dad, my sister and I.
          She has said that we weren’t raped like she was so nothing she did to us was that bad.
          She is mentally ill but refuses to get help or take responsibility. That’s what I’m angry about.

          • Mystee says:

            This is exactly it with my dad. Any time I try to talk with him about it, he won’t take responsibility for what he did to me and just always brings it back to how his dad abused him. It’s no excuse. It doesn’t make how he treated me ok.

          • Steve says:

            Thank you I totally agree my mom was abused as child but she let I continue through her kid ! I don’t have kids also

          • Anne-Marie says:

            Leslie – I think your mum deserves some compassion for the abuse that she suffered, but she had no right to go on to abuse you, your sister or your dad. She should accept responsibility and accountability for the abuse she has inflicted on you – it is not acceptable for her to use her own abuse as an excuse for abusing others. You have not gone on to abuse others and nor have thousands of other victims of abuse.

          • Julie says:

            My “mother” has been psychologically, emotionally and physically abusive my whole life, I’m 55 now. She says the same as your mum, that she was abused worse then you so I truly, truly feel not only your pain but your anger. She’s 83 now and as vile as ever, she had 4 kids and none of us speak to her as we can’t deal with her poison. Abusers don’t change, ever, but abused can and do survive to become decent, loving parents and break the cycle/legacy of the abuser. Wish I could help with your anger.

        • Dana says:

          abusers don’t always choose abuse. They are victims of the abuse that was perpetrated upon them, too. We do what was done to us, in most respects. Yes, adults bear the burden of responsibility to seek help for their abuses against others’; however, to say that abuse is a choice is not a thorough understanding of the nature of this dynamic and persistent disease that is destroying us. In the USA there is little to no help for adults who have found themselves suffering from the effects of their childhood abuse in ways that perpetrate the violence and harm to others’, such as their partners or children. If there was an abundance of help for adults to handle the effects of childhood abuse then perhaps we wouldn’t see so many children having the same fate. Now, it is never a child’s burden or responsibility to love their abuser despite the abuse; however, you victimize the victim when you say an adult who abuses “chooses abuse” because that is NOT correct.

          • HAVOCA says:

            Abusers choosing to abuse is entirely CORRECT. To suggest otherwise shifts the blame. We are not a blameless society, and we shouldn’t be. You can always mitigate a perpetrator’s reason for abusing but it will always be their fault. They choose to continue the cycle of abuse…..no one forces them. Your opinion reflects a sad misconception; abuse is a disease but unlike physical diseases, the infected person CHOOSES to act on the disease and continue to abuse. To suggest otherwise is short-sighted and insulting to victims.

          • Rose says:

            I’m with Dana here. I don’t believe I’m being short sighted or insulting by saying I don’t think abusers consciously choose to abuse in all circumstances. That doesn’t mean to say they are blameless.

            My mother emotionally/psychologically abused us because she suffered from a severe mental illness. She had very limited awareness of our emotional needs. She didn’t make a conscious choice to emotionally abuse us. Her narcissism was/is part of her illness.

            As for my father, his father was a strict disciplinarian. My father once told me that he didn’t want children because he was scared of raising them how his father raised him and his sisters. My mother (in her more sane days) wanted children so they had three. One therapist described my father’s behaviour as violent and abusive. I just saw him as being strict, although he made our lives hell and it felt like we were walking on eggshells around him most times. I don’t think he knew how to be any other way.

            We need to educate children at school about what healthy relationships and boundaries look like as children don’t know any different if they dont have a point of reference. If a child’s physical needs are being met, it’s very difficult for teachers and other adults to notice if a child is being abused, especially as children can create complex coping strategies from a young age. To the outside world, nobody would be able to guess what goes on behind closed doors.

          • Mona says:

            Dana is correct in the U.S. if you sexual abuse your sister and you are age 11 and your sister is 6 you will most likely go to some type of juvenile detention center and be required to register for life as a sex offender ….may or may not get help for the point that you have been abused by your cousin for 4 years….then God forbid if your sister never says anything and as a 25 year old man with anger issues from the guilt of what you have done goes to seek help because the moment you seek help about what happen with your sister you are now put in the legal system by your shrink because you committed a crime against a child….so how does this man get help and honestly deal with the issues if he can not get honest help?

        • Anne-Marie says:

          HAVOCA – I completely agree that the abuser has chosen to abuse, it isn’t forced upon them whereas the abused child has no choice. But I do think that when the abuser has themselves been abused, we should show them some compassion. If they were so badly damaged by their abuse that they thought that was ‘normal’, then I feel that they deserve as much compassion as any other abuse victim – although I do feel that they should also accept responsibility and accountability for the damage that they have inflicted on the victims of their abuse.

        • Lisa Jenkins says:

          HAVOCA – Yes! The abusers made the decision to abuse others even if they themselves were abused. That’s on them. I was abused but I never abused anyone and my chi,drew were given much love and support. They knew they were wanted, loved, supported, needed, cherished and the joy of my life. It was my decision to seek counseling so my kids would not be harmed by the abuse that I suffered.

          • lola says:

            I also agree entirely with Havoca, the abusers do choose to abuse. I know this because I almost fell into that cycle with my own children and seeing those patterns start to repeat absolutely terrified me and it has finally allowed me to face up to the fact that my sister and I were physically and mentally abused and neglected by my Mother for years. I am just at the beginning of my journey, for years I have felt that there is something wrong with me that I don’t feel anything for my own mother but now I have come to realise that she is the one there is something wrong with. She tortured us for years thinking of her own needs and a recent episode of this by her finally woke me up and I am now in the process of cutting her out of my life for good. When I came to this realisation I felt like a giant weight had been lifted from me, even my husband said I seem happier. It has taken me over twenty years to come to this point and I’m sure it will be a long time yet before I am finally rid of her toxic influence on my life. I just thank god every day for my wonderful husband and children who I cherish and love with all my heart. I’m sure there are circumstances were an abuser will be totally unable to understand that what they are doing is wrong, but I think such severe mental illness can’t be the norm in these cases. Abusers in my opinion and experience are master manipulators and most know exactly what they do is wrong. My mother is a prime example of this she wouldn’t dream of hurting us or verbally abusing us in the way she did in front of other people, it was always behind closed doors and still is! If they didn’t know it was wrong they would be happy to do it out in the open. The guilt trips are part of the power they have over you, be aware of this and you are less likely to be hurt by them again.

      • Vic says:

        When a person can relate to and/or justify the behavior, they themselves become a perpetrator. I was a victim, and it does not give me the right or a free pass to abuse another, EVER. A very slippery slope.

        • Anne-Marie says:

          I am completely in agreement with Dana, Rose and Vic and I think I agree with Mona, although I struggle to follow some of the train of thought.

          HAVOCA, I appreciate your argument that all abusers should accept the consequences of the abuse they have inflicted on others, but I do think that if they themselves have been damaged by abuse that they deserve some compassion and understanding that their idea of normality has been warped by their abnormal experience of normal. I find it hard to accept that most ‘normal’ people with a ‘normal’ experience would knowingly ‘chose’ to abuse others. I do think that there should be some mitigation where abusers have abused others due to mental illness or where their idea of ‘normal’ has been warped by their experience. That does not mean that I believe that they should not have to face up to the consequences of their abuse and I would advocate that, wherever possible, they should be encouraged to take responsibility for their ‘choices’ and demonstrate acceptance and repentance. I completely agree with your comment about somehow de-stigmatising abuse to enable abusers to come forward to seek treatment to prevent them further abusing.

          Bill – I cannot believe that abused victimised who go on to perpetuate their abuse by abusing others do not deserve as much compassion as any other victim for what was inflicted on them. That does not mean that I believe that they should not have to face the consequences of what they have inflicted on others.

          Ajaydove – I completely understand why you feel insulted by the abused-abuser theory because you have managed to rise above the cycle of abuse, but I do think that some people are so damaged by the abuse they have suffered that they think it is normal.

          Emma Carr – I completely agree that it is despicable that so many abusers are ‘getting away with abuse’ while the effects of that abuse lasts a lifetime for their victims.

          Andrew Middlemiss Nicola and Laurel – I completely understand that you feel catharsis seeing the results of the survey. You can seek support. I found it most cathartic to actually talk to other ‘survivors’.

          Jerry and Steve – you are inspirational!

          As are you Beth, Rob and Amy. Beth you do always have recourse to legal redress. It is sad that neither you nor your doctor could get through to your brother; but you could bring charges upon him. I hope that you feel as empowered as Amy by at least confronting him with your feelings and Rob I hope that you find peace at last.

          • Beth says:

            Hi Everyone! I wanted to let you know that I have finally found peace. Right after my last hospitalization my therapist called my brother and told him how much hurt and pain I was in and that I was a high suicide risk. That call triggered something in him. He had been bothered by what he did to me as a child and actually called me to apologize. I listened to his apology on my answering machine. It was sincere and heartfelt and I ended up calling him back and told him I appreciated and accepted his apology. It was the first decent conversation we had in years! For a while I considered both brothers and their wives dead to me , the other brother and wives for lack of emotional support during my severe depressions.
            There was a time this past year I did want to report my brother and have him convicted but the statute of limitations for sexual abuse in Pennsylvania had long since run out.
            I am happy to say my family is back in my life and it feels really good. After decades of being on antidepressants I am now med free and my last therapy session was January 8th. At 62 years of age I have finally found peace and hope in my life. I only wish that on everyone!

      • Bill says:

        STFU, abusers deserve to die. Who the heck comes onto a place like this and talks about sorrow, pity, and help for the ABUSERS. What the F@#k is wrong with you?

        • HAVOCA says:

          Whilst I share your anger, I can also see that there might be a case for de-stigmatising abuse (somehow) to allow abusers to come forward to seek treatment. I wonder if my abuser had received treatment whether he would have then gone on to abuse me. That must apply to thousands of victims the world over.

      • ajaydove says:

        NO NO NO NO NO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        I was abused as a child. That abused abuser theory is totally groundless. I consider it the ultimate insult that people like you and me could possible respond by doing the same thing to somebody else..

      • Anne-Marie says:

        I totally agree you with you Nina. I hope that you have had support.

      • katybug71 says:

        How very wise and forgiving you are! Gives me hope!

    • Anne-Marie says:

      I totally agree with you Victoria.

  3. Isabelle Jones says:

    Thank you for helping people realize that this is a real thing and is very severe.

  4. I didn’t realise when doing the survey that aid see the ongoing results . In itself that’s a great help, just to know that there were others, it stops me feeling alone . Great help! Many thanks.

  5. Emma Carr says:

    After seeing the results of so many people, it has shed new light on the fact that there is so many people (women ) suffered abuse and it is awful to think so many abusers have just got away with it while us the victims are still suffering x

  6. Gill says:

    If the survey is over why is it still on your site – I have just spent time filling it in and it won’t send! This is really frustrating!

    • HAVOCA says:

      I’m sorry you are having difficulty. The survey is still running and does appear to be working at this end. Please could you take the time to contact us with your method of entry (ie computer, tablet, phone, etc.) operating system (ie windows, apple, andriod etc) and type of error you are experiencing. Thanks for your patience.

  7. Nicola says:

    OMG. I had absolutely NO IDEA that there were people out there trying to cope – years later – EXACTLY the same as me, who had experienced EXACTLY the same as me….I don’t feel so alone any more. Looking at the results, I just keep nodding in sheer amazement. And horror, of course.

    • Mystee says:

      My dad told me just today “it’s been 25 years, just get over it!” As if time alone makes abuse suddenly not hurt anymore. I too needed to see that there are others still struggling years into adulthood.

      • Beth B says:

        I am getting ready to confront my brother via letter how what he did to me over 50 years ago is affecting me now and I can only imagine that would be his reply, also. He is a Dr and doesn’t even know what clinical depression is! Had a family mtg with my Dr and him during one of my recent hospitalizations(before the issue re-arose) just to try to get him to understand what it felt like to be severely depressed; brought up the fact that before that admission I had written a suicide note, and HE JUST SAT THERE,NO CHANGE OF EXPRESSION, said NOTHING! Not even I’m sorry you’re going through this and are going through so much pain. Even my Dr, who spoke with him one on one Dr to Dr after I left the room said, “there’s just no getting through to him!”.

        • Amy says:

          Beth, I can relate to the pain of confronting your abuser only to have them deny everything, and continue to treat you as if your feelings mean nothing to them. Refusing to even admit to what we already know is true, and withholding from us the ability to heal and move on. For me this was the final act of cruelty that caused me to choose myself, expose his actions to my mother and sister, and make the decision never to talk to my father again. Although the end result was not what I hoped for, it helped me to feel empowered, which created a shift for me. I am no longer his victim, I’m a survivor and continue to work toward healing.

    • Steve says:

      I can relate to the posts also

  8. Catherine Beck says:

    Yes … looking at the results is both comforting and horrifying. What a world we live in. So many lives shattered. Thank you for all you are doing.

  9. Yvonne says:

    It’ good to know that the power of so many positive people can reach out and connect .That they recognise some of the problems that happen to them , That the courage people so many people can show to heal and be able to take part in the world with more possitive results in their daily interactions.

  10. Laurel says:

    Thank you. It just means to much to know that someone cares. You really have no idea how much this means to me.

  11. jerry says:

    In my life one of my goals was for my kids to have life better than i had it.I did that and I hope now I can have enuff time to take care of myself.the hardest thing for me to read in this was the age of the children abused.At that age of 5 you dont remember what it feels like to be ok with yourself when you are an adult. I am just now learning what it feels like to love your friends as friends and trust them with my thoughts and emotions.my abuser was a male,I was at the time it started a 5 year old male.My best friends now are females,and i feel very secure with being open with my thoughts and emotions with them .The best thing i did for myself was to open up with a friend that i have known for most of my adult life,after i told her she than told me she was abused by her brother when she was eleven.We now help each other

  12. Dagmara says:

    It’s comforting to see that I’m not the only one who used different therapy help throughout my life with little effect. I won’t blame myself for it anymore. It’s shocking so many of us are single or in abusive relationships when we need love, safety and warmth so much. All I hear is to forgive my abusers and move on. It’s not that simple. It’s not merely about forgiveness. It’s the fear you feel around them, the places from your childhood you can’t cope with. My abusers want me to believe I had a wonderful childhood. Now I have a decision to make whether I want any slightest contact with them. I tried to limit it as much as I could, but the truth is – the less contact I have with them the better I feel. I don’t want to blame myself for feeling that way. I want to heal myself and be strong, and happy. I want a choice of a life filled with joy and love. I deserve it!

  13. Steve B says:

    A very eye opening set of results. I am now 45 and was abused physically etc as far back as I can remember until I was big enough to stand up for myself. My abuser was an alcoholic mother you has now died from the same. My one regret is never getting the answer to the question ‘Why?’. I still suffer the aftermath now but take pride in the 2 fantastic children I have from my 1st wife. They will never know the pain I did and if I had the power to do so no child ever would.

  14. Carrie says:

    Thank you. It’s only through organisations like this, reaching out to people like me, that light is shed on the seriousness of abuse.

  15. HayleyG1988 says:

    I to think it was a great survey , its a real shock to how so many people were also abused by both parents and a lot of them got away with it even when reported. thanks for posting this survey .

  16. Alison says:

    A very informative survey but so sickening to see how many people have been abused.

  17. Rob MacDonald says:

    I have only just spoken to my psychiatrist about the physical and emotional abuse I suffered as a child. I’m 54 years old,male and wasted my life. I wish I’d confided in my doctors sooner,but I guess it’s a case of better late than never. I’m about to start psychotherapy after being referred by my psychiatrist. Long term depression and anxiety, hoping some of this can be eased.Fingers crossed.

  18. Kathie Hertz says:

    Rob, I can TOTALY relate! I am a 54 year female who has suffered for so many years with this. I can see how not dealing with this sooner created SO many of the bad decisions I have made and still making in my life! Looking for relief from anxiety, depression, inability to concentrate, have self control,etc. Wishing you much success.

  19. Mosa Moremi says:

    Great survey indeed. The only problem is that very few people from Africa participated. One would be interested in knowing what the attitude in Africa is regarding dealing with abuse either by others as well as the abused.I notice that whatever intervention that happened was not effective in about a third of cases who scored the impact less than three. Is it because the intervention was not effective or is it because scars don’t heal easily? I believe in the second reason. Psychological scars resurface in most cases, therefore the support must be continuous.

  20. Mickie says:

    I never acknowledged that I was abused until very recently. I knew, but I didn’t want to think about it. It was too painful. The worst part of not coming to terms with abuse, is that you are more likely to be abusive. I took out my rage on my wonderful daughter. Yes, I did have a choice. However, I never knew when my rage would flare. I didn’t understand why I was acting like that and tried to justify my behavior. I didn’t beat my daughter. She wasn’t sexually abused. But I caused her emotional and psychological pain that she is dealing with now. I am a nice person. I love my daughter. I just wish that I could have understood why I was so angry and depressed and had gotten help when I was younger. I have talked to my daughter about it. I told her that I was abused and said that I abused her too. I want her to get the help that she needs to heal. I wish that I could have been a better mother, but I can’t change the past.

  21. Tricia says:

    I’m just getting familiar with the site, but it seems like it is likely a very good source of support. I know I need to be in contact with and understood/accepted by a supportive group. It’s intuitive to me that that is the foundation for surviving/healing/thriving, at least for me. Support options seem extremely limited where I live, and even on the Internet good ones have been difficult to find or evaluate without money. I’ve basically been stuck in trauma for at least two years, and derailed by triggers/anxiety/Panic attacks (PTSD), depression, and continued manipulation/harassment, most of life.
    The survey results are very sad that the 20th century was so full of abuse, yet kind of consoling to know there are many who can relate.

  22. S says:

    I was abused as a child by a neighbour & left my hometown to live on my own at 16. Now I feel guilty! Not because of what he did to me, but because I wish that I had reported him all that time ago & maybe saved other victims.
    I just hope he got his cummuppence!

  23. Catherine Beaumont says:

    Very interesting to see so many adult survivors and the lack of belief from police and the disgusting lack of justice for victims. Very sad to think not much has changed and yet we are at the the end of 2016.

  24. Jen says:

    Thank you for the chance to participate and share my experience. I am 50 now and only just beginning to try to come to terms with being abused. I had no idea there are so many out there and many near to my age. I and have always felt as though nobody understands me and that I am different. I am so frustrated that my life has been wasted because of a few sick individuals.

  25. Serpentine Dove says:

    I am 61 years old and earlier this week a situation triggered everything all over again. Thank you for the website, the opportunity to fill out this survey, and for posting the results which show that, sadly, I am not alone. I have not felt this vulnerable sine 1995 when I was hospitalized for depression. I HATE feeling fragile. I want to heal.

  26. Della says:

    I’m aware of how many women and men are abused. I don’t think I knew how common we felt about it. I thought I was a freak for not being sure how to separate what was common to living life or a result of 5 years of being molested. I still don’t, but at least that is normal, to not know. I wish you all hope and supportive love. I don’t pity the abusers. My soul fills with venom. Struggle children, but live, please, I need your hope. 49 Female as I write this, and 5-9 years as I read you all.

  27. joy says:

    Im saddened to see the conviction percent and compensation … im saddened to see how many put not applicable as answer for court… because no one believed them. ..I’m really sad. Im sorry the system has made it so EASY for this to happen to kids… I can only inagine the sick twisted smiles on these predators knowing these stats… please don’t let them get into the wrong hands.

    The entire stats just made me feel sad.. I’m really angry that media has painted a picture if sexual predators being previous victims of it.. sending a message that we will do the same it adds further to the stigma to sexual abuse. Its like they want to shut us up.. mute our cries.. I loveee kids I can’t wait to be a mother but now I feel judged when I play and gush with kids. I feel like people are wary as they know I have been abused. .. For the record I will NEVER put any child through that torment.

    Im tired of people saying if I was x y z I would never have sex or even think about. Unfortunately its a bit more complicated than that. Its the need for stimulation but complete disgust and shame after. I think people need to be educated…not just victims. Educate people. .

    Thank u for the survey. .. please put What Kind of Abuse check box beside Description of abuser. … it wil help you learn more and help me as a survivor see the stats too…

  28. kara ford says:

    I am a dealing with trying to gain my life back being sexually abused & raped as a very young child was not believed until last year when as a single mum with 3 daughter’s caught 1 of them acting sexually I contacted nspcc & mentioned my childhood stuff & suddenly the police brought the uncle how raped me to justice he got 18 years thought at last I suffer with personality disorder of emotional state to which social services now will not return my children back to me unless I get therapy 1 year on still fighting which makes me a victim again

  29. Baiana1 says:

    Very easy to continue the abuse cycle indeed. But once I realized what I was doing to my young child, I told my psychologist , who in turn got me into a group therapy. That was the end of it, he was only four. My daughter has never been abused. I ended the cycle. But I’m still trying to work on the molestation I suffered as a child. I’ve been through many programs and therapy throughout my life, but I’ve never worked on the molestation issue. I’ve worked on physical abuse, domestic violence, and codependency. I’m 56 years old, and I have never had a healthy romantic relationship.

  30. melissa wild says:

    I just recently entered into therapy again (for the 5th time total, 2nd time as an adult) and I’m trying to fully comprehend my diagnosis of being depressed and extremely anxious as a result of childhood abuse/neglect. Taking this survey ended up being somewhat therapeutic for me, allowing me to identify (rightfully so) as an abused child, and thoughtfully consider my responses to the questions, even though I’ve never seen myself as a victim of abuse.

  31. I’m curious as to if other fellow survivors of abuse would like programs implemented through a public entity like the library (in conjunction with a social service geared towards abuse like domestic violence shelters) such as reading groups, a public forum to discuss the different types of abuse (mostly the more misunderstood ones like psychological or narcissistic abuse), or even just simply displays of reading material that alludes to child abuse. Growing up, reading was often my escape (that and dissociation, though I CHOSE the reading), and I felt empowered as I got older through knowledge of what was happening to me. I previously had tried to change my dysfunctional, abusive family through trying to get help and was unfortunately attacked quite literally and mobbed. But I’ve seen a complete disdain in society toward victims of abuse, either because they can’t handle the ugliness of what we’ve been through or because they automatically see us as wanting attention. I believe certain less obvious abuses should be discussed publicly and have the stigma taken from them, that our experiences should be validated. I’m currently getting my masters in library science and honestly want to use my position as a librarian to open up that conversation in public and be an advocate to other survivors of abuse.

  32. Debra Carr says:

    I am ready to heal, I finally accept that my past severely affects my loved ones.

  33. Dancinqueen76 says:

    You need to take this survey with a pinch of salt because there were a few questions that i had to put no to and there could have been a N/A answer. If i found this then i’m sure others would have found this.

  34. Michael says:

    Thanks. I was over 40 when I realized the my abuse was part of my problems in relationships and in general.

  35. Liz says:

    I find it’s incredibly emotional just reading some of these comments. Obviously everyone deals with these issues in different ways, however I do struggle with the sympathy for the abuser idea. I have found out very late in life through therapy that for me being abused did not turn me into an abuser, but instead created a victim. This then meant that I continued to be abused until I was approximately 40 years old, by various people in my life. But as this was the only behaviour I had ever known I never really questioned that it was wrong even though I knew that it hurt me.
    I was sexually abused in the 1970’s which unfortunately was a time where although my abuser eventually got sent to prison, there was absolutely no support for the victims – I was simply told never to speak about it again. But as mentioned earlier these things do not just “go away” and I entered into some horrifically abusive relationships as an adult. Interestingly my family then decided that this was also “my fault” and that I was somehow failing everyone. It wasn’t until I finally entered into therapy at a point in my life where I could afford it, that I finally strayed to grasp the idea that maybe it was ME that was the victim & that I was perhaps not a useless annoyance to all around me – although even after nearly 10 years of therapy I’m not sure that I will ever truly believe in myself.
    These issues need to be addressed at the time & so much support needs to be there for the victims – I can still vividly remember the Policeman (and it was a MAN!) sitting in our dining room lecturing me on how much trouble I would be in if I was found to be lying & trying to get a respected member of the community in trouble. I was 9 years old & didn’t actually know what had happened to me other than it was horrifying – how could I have lied about being raped when I didn’t even know what that was!!!! This must have been obvious from my statement??
    I just pray that things have changed for any child who has to go through anything like this nowadays😥

  36. Grainne McGinty says:

    My name is Grainne McGinty and at the moment I am conducting similar research for my Undergraduate Thesis in Psychology,

    The project is about early childhood life-experiences and later-life emotional and psychological outcomes.
    To collect data for my project I have designed a entirely confidential and ANONYMOUS survey, for the findings to have meaning I am aiming to collect a significant sample of participants who have experienced childhood adversities. As an aspiring researcher I hope to study this field in order to provide communities like this with adequate services and interventions to promote positive mental well-being,

    If anyone would like to participate in my survey the link is below.


    Many thanks.

  37. I haven’t visited the site for a long while. I’m a 63 year old Survivor wondering about Thriving. Thriving seems an alien concept; unbridgeable and yet I have made the journey from the burnt out remains of a former self, to this person now writing. I feel better already; reminded on these pages that I am not alone.

  38. not surprised by the survey results at all… we live in a sick society.

  39. Maizey says:

    For all those that are outraged or upset about the comment about Some victims also becoming abusers, this unfortunately is an alarming statistic. Three generations in my family have suffered abuse at the hands of parental figure or spouse. I don’t know if abuse happened in earlier generations or not. Those of us that have posted that have endured abuse in our lives but have ensured that the next generation has not are strong willed survivors. We know how we felt when we were the victims and have fought back to protect others. Sadly others that grow up with abuse continue it because that has been their “norm”. They don’t know anything else or have never seen any other type of family interactions. They may marry a person just like their abusers and the cycle may continue. I was lucky enough to find a therapist that was extremely helpful the first time I sought help. I was mocked by siblings for going to a therapist, but I am the only one that has not been in an abusive relationship. I have chosen me and my well being over their BS and have told them I will not put up with any negative comments from them. I don’t need them as I have great supportive friends. The sad part is that the majority of my siblings that mocked me for going to therapy also have one other thing in common – they do not have any friendships outside of family.
    Everyone stay strong.

  40. Terry L. Paulson says:

    I wish I had a computer while I was growing up

  41. Dawn Bayless says:

    Its amazing to me how many abusers will completely deny their actions!! I confronted my step mom & father about the mistreatment on different occasions & they denied the severity!!! My step mom was physically, emotionally & psychologically abusive. Several people knew…my cousins, my aunt ( her sister), school authorities, my father. She attacked my sister one morning punching her in the face & sent her off to school with her eye swollen shut! All over a lie about a missing glove!! CPS was called & even came out to our house! She cried & said she had lost control & it was an accident & that it didn’t happen on a regular basis. We were never visited again, i assume they didn’t think that there was an issue since our house was spotless & there were pictures of Jesus & we were a Christian family!! My sis & i were in middle school when that happened. I was in 6th grade, my sis in 7th. My cousin saw bruises on my legs when i was around 9 or 10, it was summer & i had on shorts. I remember telling him that i had gotten a spanking..which was actually a beating with the belt….she would have me pull my pants down around my ankles for these “spankings”.. If i moved or screamed she’d beat me harder….i would piss myself it would hurt so bad. I begged him not to tell anyone. Him & his brother witnessed an attack on my sister one day…we were all around the same age & spent time together frequently. One day they were over our house…my step mom called my sister into her room…which was always a bad sign…i don’t know why my sis was in trouble but pretty soon we heard her screaming…we all went to the bedroom door, my step mom had my sis on the floor was sitting on top of her and had her by the hair and was slamming her head into the floor over & over again. This was one of her preferred methods since it didn’t leave bruises that were visible! She saw my cousins in the doorway & told them they needed to leave then continued the attack. This happened ALL the time, among other types of abuse. I have PTSD & have been to therapists. All of my therapist never want to explore these memories. I stopped seeing the last therapist when he started making sexually inappropriate comments to me. My step mom has died…i confronted my dad after her death about the abuse. He said he didn’t know!!! My step mom would rarely abuse us in front of him, but we did tell him about it when we were around 10! He says he doesn’t remember that!!! I harbor more anger towards him than my step mom i think. He fought to get custody of us from our bio mom when we were 4 & 5 cause my bio mom was mentally ill, but wouldn’t protect us from our step mom!!! He was very hands off & our step mom raised us. I do have to say that what i experienced as a child has definitely impacted my parenting. I have hit my child but infrequently & would use my hand & explain to him why before spanking. I do NOT believe in beating another person let alone a child! This is a CONSCIOUS decision on my part. I am certainly not the best parent but I really try! I would really like to try regression therapy but cannot afford the expense.

  42. Heather says:

    I am 56 and both my offender brother and my other victim brother passed away last year, leaving me alone with my memories and it has been really hard. I do NOT accept that survivors should be given a pass when they offend since it is not an automatic response. I suspect that sociopathy is inherited to some degree and that might explain the family transmission of this horrible conduct. Some of us are so damaged we became hyper sensitive and are easy victims. Others learned to dominate and possess and became offenders later. Be grateful if you landed on the empath side and save your compassion for the victims who stayed human despite their traumas.

  43. Tilda says:

    Hey everyone I’m female and aged 22
    I was sexually abused by my older male cousin who was 7 years older. The abuse started during my time of being aged 3 going on 4. This continued until I was 10-11 ish as my mum fell pregnant with my brother and my abuser got a girlfriend. I went through life as a child not realising I was being abused. Even in school I found myself being asked to do things and I would just do it ( I checked the Nspcc website to seek help and found the acceptable sexual stages and development of a child ) and Kids in school where going through this stage. I participated as I seen it as normal behaviour. But I punish myself ever so greatly as I was tarnished by an older person and often think what if my behaviour was harmful towards others. It’s silly because I don’t have any recollection of actually being this person as a child but I just blame myself anyway because I was the bruised apple so surely it’s my fault.
    I am not proud and I hate myself everyday for everything that happened. There was a boy aged 5 he was big for his age who would often beat the kids up in the street he would try pull down our pants and punch and kick anyone he could and his mum would make excuses saying it was wrestling he doesn’t know his strength and he’s just playing. He even ripped my jacket took a bite of my hand and laughed. His mum did tell him to say sorry and again put his age and weight as the excuse.
    This was hard for me looking back as my abuser would hurt me and that was sign ‘ work had to be done’ looking back he aggressively hurt me and said he was just playing. But he wouldn’t stop unless I went out the room and he followed.

    One time this boy told me to pull down my pants and I did. I have to live with this everyday for the rest of my life I hate myself so much. I don’t know why I let someone so young tell me what to doi was 11. I was such a cheeky child but when it came to doing these things I just felt obliged and I remember he laughed at me and I said well will you leave me alone now and he said yes and he did.

    I can’t live with the memories and I am so ill with it all. I just wanted to end my life and put an end to it all. My abuser told me I was doing good and I would be loved and he often rewarded me with sweets and cookies. I’m not sure if he was abused as a child too but I realised in primary 7 while learning about sex Ed and relationships that it was wrong , inappropriate and disgusting. Now I llive with shame and hatred everyday I can’t sleep , don’t want to eat and feel like I deserve nothing in life. Not even help to talk to someone as I’m not worthy. He was 16-17 when he finally stopped surely he did know by then it was wrong.

    I just feel like I should be punished and I can’t deal with all the painful memories. I’m ashamed as a child as a young adult . I often hoped things could be changed and if i could go back I would and change it all.
    My abuser lives with his family , two kids and a girlfriend – while I’m broken. And ashamed. I just wish there was a way out and I’m holding on in hope that if I can fix my life and get help then hopefully maybe one day with the same issues as I can confined in me and I can help them. There must be a way out this misery. And I truly hope I’m not the only one. I guess that’s what I’m most scared of.

    The hard part for me is that I play games in my head like ” I should have known” I should have realised way before I did so it’s all my fault ” or I should have said something or told someone.And I didn’t. He was hurting me to get my attention when we all played and I didn’t see this was wrong either. And just accepted it . I then found out this happened to my big sister and my two older cousins. Watching them suffer through life has made me want to change my life so I don’t have to go through what they have.

    Before I realised the reaility of everything I had a wonderful childhood to an extent but when I realised I was abused someone took the colour out of my pictured memories and I long to find the paints to bring those colourful memories back.

  44. Elephant says:

    I completed the survey and then checked the results that had been compiled a few months earlier. I realised that all the difficulties I have suffered throughout my life were very common for the majority of victims.
    I am a male and 58 years of age now and disclosed my abuse to a stranger initially. This turned out to be a big mistake as he then picked up on my emotional distress and ended up using me for his own sexual gratification under the guise of offering me a job.
    My mood dipped so badly that my wife demanded I talk to her about what was going on, she had seen how depressed I was looking.
    I showed her some of the posts I had.been putting on Havoca and together we contacted the police.
    Since that time I have shared details about the sexual abuse I suffered at aged 6 from a local priest and then from aged 7 to 17 from my own father. I struggle to accept that I just seemed to let the abuse happen when I could so easily have said ‘no’. I do struggle with my sanity at times and have terrible dips in mood which I have always dealt with on my own. I had never been able to talk about the abuse to anyone for more than 40 years and worked hard at functioning normally.
    I use this site to share my thoughts and feelings and get comments and advice from other survivors. I have even been responding to other survivors with my own words of support when I have felt able to do so.

  45. Theo says:

    I am a victim of a father with Munchausen by proxy syndrome and an apathetic mother who let it all happen. I can’t even understand why I realized that I have been a victim just four years ago. It’s been a couple of months I also realized my father,who was a doctor by the time the abuse started, is a psychopath according to my therapist. The abuse started at a young age,when I was 7 or 8 according to the abusive monster who had the nerve to laugh at my face. It peaked at the age of 21 when i fell severely ill with encephalitis. Fell? or was it induced? I will never know.That was when he started giving me psychiatric medication that was never prescribed by a psychiatrist,I was never diagnosed with a mental illness at that time,yet he was providing me heavy medication which zombiefied me and then he told everyone i knew,my fiancee and my friends,that I am schizophrenic and I had to remain isolated. So I was locked in the house for 8 years,until i was 30 y.o. I never received a treatment for the encephalitis. The damage is quite severe and permanent. In 2015 I fell sick again with the same symptoms. He insisted(although at an advanced age now) that I should be put again on psychiatric medication. But this time I was 45.. I knew I have no mental illness. I had already sought psychiatric evaluation
    Only what he caused me.I started researching online. I went back to my therapist and asked her if my father was trying to kill me. She said yes. She said he’s a psychopath with perversive tendencies and Munchausen by proxy Syndrome. That I was a victim. But I fail to see myself as a victim. I am nothing to my eyes. I doubt reality. I can’t believe that reality is real.I guess it has to do with my parents trying to persuade me that I am insane. That nothing is real . That things are not as I see them.The untreated encephalitis progressed to a wrecked endocrine system,broken adrenals and a myriad of neurological issues that now do exist for real and will probably send me to grave. I suffer from phobias,i cant control my weight,I can hardly control my mood swings,I am always depressed but on auto-smiling ,I have no purpose in life,no joy,nothing at all. I am a failure in relationships and I can’t keep a job. Why is he,a retired surgeon now,in his 80s,with a respectable name while I am still tagged as the insane. And how could I ask for help if i couldn’t understand that he was abusing me.. My mother played the role of the protector for my father,she always emphasized on how “much he loves us”.. and that’s how he got away with it.And I beat myself for not realizing earlier what was going on.

  46. getting it out of my system says:

    My answers and the statistics line up nearly perfect. It doesn’t stop as an adult. Abusers are psychotic, and continue the pattern. They don’t treat people in the public the same because of real repercussions. Also, they’re smart and know what they’re doing is so rare that should someone speak up about it no one will believe the child. Especially if they are socially intelligent and abusive people. I am 30 and to this day my father will say “no one would believe you and everyone would side with me.” That’s because he knows I won’t go out and tell random strangers, “hey my father is 75 I am 30 and each morning he says things like “I hope you get raped in the ass”.” He’s not wrong, what stranger wouldn’t look at me strange? Child abuse is the perfect crime. It creates lifelong victims well into adulthood.

  47. Angela Ray says:

    Here is another survey to do. Have mental health professionals fill out an effectiveness/awareness survey. Ask them specific questions about knowledge of trauma and the effects, recognizing trauma, ask them about how much they know about the subject, how they stay updated, history, intake, treatment, symptoms, training, a self assessment of effectiveness.

    One specific question is addressing the highly controversial Dissociative Identity Disorder diagnosis which leaves many of us lost in the system for years with incorrect diagnosis, treatment, and medication. Help end the controversy/stigma through targeted survey questions on DID specifically.

  48. Adult survivor says:

    I do agree with David’s statement that what we consider normal as children we believe it’s normal as adults. I’m impressed by this comment based on the continued use of corporal punishment against children. A large majority speak of its continuation as normal discipline based on their childhood experiences. I’ve long since abandoned that belief, to the dismay and disapproval of my contemporaries. It’s believed that hitting a child is appropriate discipline, but it’s very ineffective, and is actually punishment resulting in fear. Children behave from fear rather than learning appropriate behavior. My contention comes from many years of therapy and the fact that I didn’t resort to spanking as a method of behavior consequences and teaching life lessons. The survey was eye-opening to me, especially that a very small number of people had more than one abuser. I experienced abuse by various people during my childhood.

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