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#186729 - 10/12/07 07:05 PM Revictimized by divorce... Help!
Revictimized Offline
New Here

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 3
Loc: CA
My wife of ten years and I are in the process of obtaining a divorce. We both love our young children (ages 3 and 1) very much. We have squabbled over the division of property, but the real fight is about a custody and parenting plan for our children. I am not your stereotypical uninvolved father. I cook, clean, change diapers, etc. My soon to be ex is a working mother, and we have always divided responsibilities including bathing the children, putting the kids to bed, getting up with them during the night, etc.

During our first year of marriage I told my ex that I had been sexually abused as a child on several occasions by a male babysitter. She persuaded me to confide in my pastor and see a counselor for a couple visits. Nothing more had ever come of it. I was, and am, lucky to not to suffer any acute problems stemming from my childhood misfortune.

Now, in divorce, my ex is suddenly trying to keep me from sharing equal custody of our daughters because she says I am "high risk" for becoming an offender myself. She bases this diagnosis solely on the fact that I was molested in childhood and (like most red-blooded males) have a healthy fascination with sex. I feel that I am being re-victimized since at this point I am not even able to have my children stay overnight with me in my new home. However, we go to court ordered mediation in a few weeks, and I need to be able to defend myself by presenting the mediator (not to mention my ex) with credible scholarly opinions demonstrating that in fact the vampire myth is just that, a myth.

I am already conducting internet research, but any help directing me to specific articles or resources would be very greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any help and support you can provide.


#186733 - 10/12/07 07:11 PM Re: Revictimized by divorce... Help! [Re: Revictimized]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Hi Seth,

I'll just say "Ugh!" to your wife's ignorance about childhood sexual abuse. Whether she really believes that stupidity or not is another matter, I guess.

Check out Myth #6 on the Education page ( ) here at MS:


Myth #6 - The "Vampire Syndrome", that is, boys who are sexually abused, like the victims of Count Dracula, go on to "bite" or sexually abuse others.

This myth is especially dangerous because it can create a terrible stigma for the child, that he is destined to become an offender. Boys might be treated as potential perpetrators rather than victims who need help. While it is true that most perpetrators have histories of sexual abuse, it is NOT true that most victims go on to become perpetrators. Research by Jane Gilgun, Judith Becker and John Hunter found a primary difference between perpetrators who were sexually abused and sexually abused males who never perpetrated: non-perpetrators told about the abuse, and were believed and supported by significant people in their lives. Again, the majority of victims do not go on to become adolescent or adult perpetrators; and those who do perpetrate in adolescence usually don't perpetrate as adults if they get help when they are young.

This is adapted from a presentation at the 5th International Conference on Incest and Related Problems, Biel, Switzerland, August 14, 1991.

Welcome to MS. Sorry you are going through a divorce now, since I've been there before as well.

Best of luck,


#187285 - 10/15/07 06:01 PM Re: Revictimized by divorce... Help! [Re: EGL]
Revictimized Offline
New Here

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 3
Loc: CA

Thank you for that information. Does anyone know where I can access the information presented at that conference? Any other resources?

I thought these wounds had healed, and only the fading scars were left to remind me of what happened in my childhood. But the way my ex is taking advantage of the situation is devastating. I feel the old wounds being torn back open. Old sorrows have been being revisited and old grief renewed. This whole process is really frustrating.

#187319 - 10/15/07 09:07 PM Re: Revictimized by divorce... Help! [Re: Revictimized]
FLRich Offline

Registered: 06/21/04
Posts: 1404

Send a PM to Ken Singer.

#187459 - 10/16/07 06:01 PM Re: Revictimized by divorce... Help! [Re: FLRich]
Revictimized Offline
New Here

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 3
Loc: CA
Thanks to Rich and also to those who contacted me via inbox rather than here on this discussion board. I have obtained some valuable leads, and Ken was extremely helpful.

In the hope that my efforts might be of future use to someone, I will summarize my findings here.

Ken pointed me to Richard Gartner's book, Betrayed as Boys (Chapter 4) which states:
"The preponderance of sexually abused men are actually more
empathic and less constrained about gender role and emotion
than nonabused men, and so are not likely to become abusers
themselves (Lisak et al., 1996; see also Briggs and
Hawkins, 1996). Apparently, boys who have been able in some
measure to symbolize their victimhood have a comparatively
enhanced potential for compassion and flexibility. Thus,
contrary to popular opinion, most do not become

He also directed me to an inconclusive GOA report at which reported:

1. There was no consensus among the 23 retrospective and 2
prospective studies reviewed that childhood sexual abuse
led directly to the victim becoming an adult sexual abuser.
2. The retrospective studies, which sought to determine
whether a sample of known sex offenders had been sexually
abused as children, differed considerably in the types of
offenders studied, use of control or comparison groups, and
definition and reporting of childhood sexual abuse.
3. Although some of the retrospective studies concluded that
childhood sexual abuse may increase the risk that victims
will commit sexual abuse later, most of the studies noted
that the majority of sex offenders had not been sexually
abused as children.
4. The prospective studies, which tracked sexually abused
children into adulthood to determine how many became sex
offenders, studied sample populations that may not be
representative of the entire population of childhood sexual
abuse victims.
5. The prospective studies found that victims of childhood
sexual abuse were not more likely than non-victims to be
arrested for sex offenses.

Thanks Ken (and colleagues). My research continues...

#187465 - 10/16/07 06:47 PM Re: Revictimized by divorce... Help! [Re: Revictimized]
pain4ever Offline

Registered: 04/05/01
Posts: 1032

I dont know the laws in CA, but in Michigan it is really hard to get shared custody if the mother doesn't agree. I spent over 14K in court and legal fees fighting for my baby and yet i only see her every other weekend and once a week. It breaks my heart.

My ex-wife pulled out the Mental issues...abuse and the fact I was gay in was least I fought.


Peace and Tranquility all depends on your frame of reference.


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