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#61323 - 08/07/04 06:52 AM Is this common??? (possibly triggering)
blue Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/26/03
Posts: 11
Is it common for a child who has been molested to then molest other children while still a child himself?

It seems that an adult female family member began molesting a survivor when he was younger than 5 years old. The survivor's memories concerning what she did are unclear. He does remember what he did later and has tremendous guilt and shame over it.

On several occasions he participated in sexual activity with girls as young as 2 years old. This activity was always at the urging of an older (but still a minor) male relative. The survivor's age range when these activities occurred was from 9 years old to 14 years old. The older male relative lived in another state, so the incidents were few and infrequent, but the fact that it happened at all shocked me.

Is this unusual?

I am not sure how to deal with this. Does this make the survivor a perp too? Or were these incidents of sexual abuse against both the survivor and the little girls? I am very confused. Can any of you shed some light on this for me?

The opposite of fear is faith. Faith is necessary to love. Move away from the fear toward the love.

#61324 - 08/07/04 07:28 PM Re: Is this common??? (possibly triggering)
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
hi blue,

I'm not sure about common or uncommon, and I'm not a professional by any means.

But I would think that it's surely not unheard of for a child who has already been exposed to sex in unhealthy ways to participate in further inappropriate sexual activity as an older child. And I don't think that a nine-year old acting under the direction of an older relative could be considered anything but a victim in that situation.

If someone is getting the help they need as an adult, and facing up to their past and trying to change, I don't think I'd have an incredibly hard time seeing beyond something they did before they even reached puberty.

#61325 - 08/08/04 12:02 AM Re: Is this common??? (possibly triggering)
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Who really knows the true facts and figures of cases like this? I certainly have no idea.

One thing I am sure of though is that sexual abuse by someone older or more poweful instills sexual knowledge and ideas into the victim in an unatural way, we get sexualized way too early. We also miss the part of 'sex education' that teaches us that sex is something consenting people do, as adults as well! There is NO element of responsibilty in sexual abuse, so we miss that lesson completely.

So I'm not surprised if young victims then go on to act out sexually, often in the misguided belief that what is happening to them is normal, so it's not wrong to do the same thing with others.
Also, as victims they are under the power of someone else, which nobody likes. So with little understanding of the dynamics of power they can go on to victimise other ( younger / weaker ) children because that gives them some power.

One other point, it's also difficult to seperate the generally accepted phase of playing 'doctors and nurses'.
Especially if one of the kids concerned is also an abuse victim. Just maybe the non victim instigated a game of 'doctors and nurses' with the abuse victim? And then it could have got out of hand because of that childs extra sexual knowledge?

Are any of the kids perps?
If the history of sexual activity can be traced back to someone old enough to know better then I think the blame lies there.
Once kids are poisoned by abuse I can't see that their continued sexual behaviour is anything to be surprised about - sadly. Although I also think that it's not automatic as many of didn't continue the cycle for whatever reasons we might have.


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#61326 - 08/08/04 01:55 AM Re: Is this common??? (possibly triggering)
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5781
Loc: Lyons, CO USA
When a child acts out sexually and is under a certain age (no specifics here but usually applies to pre-pubescent childhood) it is generally seen as "victim reactive" in professional jargon.

When the abuse is directed or controlled by an older child, it might be coerced or the younger one may be seen as further victimized.

This can be a difficult area to sort out for a child. If the person you are referring to is dealing with his victimization issues in therapy, it probably should be dealt with there.

I'll be happy to answer further questions if you have them.


Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse

#61327 - 08/08/04 04:42 AM Re: Is this common??? (possibly triggering)
blue Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/26/03
Posts: 11
Thank you all for replying.
Your feedback has helped me a great deal to understand more of what may have happened. I needed to understand, at least a little.
Thanks for your help.
Any further comments are welcomed too.


The opposite of fear is faith. Faith is necessary to love. Move away from the fear toward the love.


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