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 (May 2017).  On this date 3657 questionnaires had been completed. The answers are broken down below:

survey results

Please note these results were last updated on May 2017.  At the time of publishing these results, 3657 questionnaires had 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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56 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.

      • 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.,

    • 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.

  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”.

      • HAVOCAHAVOCA 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.

        • 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

        • 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.

          • HAVOCAHAVOCA 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?

      • 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.

      • 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?

        • HAVOCAHAVOCA 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..

  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!

    • HAVOCAHAVOCA 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.

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