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#9488 - 02/09/05 03:43 PM How do you get a 13yo victim to talk to a T
Muldoon Offline

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 1428
Loc: St Paul MN
I was talking with a Therapes after the VOTF {Voices of the Faithful} meeting tonight. She was telling me about one of her clients who is a 13yo boy abused at 11 years old. He was involved in a court case and his PERP is in jail so he is getting help but he refuses to talk about the abuse.

His case became publicly know in the town he lived in and the kids at school verbally abused him for two years. The principal of the school did nothing to stop it.

He will not talk about any thing and says he has dealt with the abuse.

What can we say to him to help him really deal with this now at the young age of 13?
I will cut and paste your words to him and give them to his T.


Dear Friend, Brother

You must know YOU are NOT ALONE.

I was sexually abused when I was 11 years old. I told on my PERP but they said my story was unbelievable.
My anger grew and grew and grew. I needed HELP but no one would give it to me.

That was back in 1961.

41 years later in 2002 I started to Talk and REALY deal with what was done to me. I now have the help I need.

Please talk about the abuse now when there is help for you.

Teach the Children to Never Hide in the Silence

#9489 - 02/09/05 07:30 PM Re: How do you get a 13yo victim to talk to a T
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Dear Muldoon,

It seems to me that no one, especially a 13 year old is going to talk unless they want to.

Sounds like the kid has been through quite enough and could benefit from a break in all the activity surrounding his abuse.

We have all heard of how victims of abuse become victimized a second time around by the authorities. I would say, let's make sure this is not what is happening now.

Continue to give hime love, kindness and attention and someday he will be ready to talk more. But trying to force him or guilt him into in order to meet some court schedule or other expectation seems cruel and unfeeling.

Sometimes when we are trying to right a wrong, it is easty to forget the peron wronged--they are human beings, not just chess pieces to be moved about a board to pursue an aim.

Good luck with all of this. It sounds like a tough place to be.


"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

#9490 - 02/09/05 09:14 PM Re: How do you get a 13yo victim to talk to a T
Curtis St. John Offline
Past President
Registered: 01/20/04
Posts: 1798
Loc: Westchester, N.Y.
The abuse is like a splinter, the quicker you get it out, the easier it is to heal.

If you leave it in it will get infected and will infect every aspect of your life. I think every one of us wishes they could have taken care of things when we are younger... you have that chance.

Muldoon, click my quote and print my survivor stories.

How many of us wish we could go back in time and lead the little us to safty and make things better? I know I do.

#9491 - 02/09/05 09:54 PM Re: How do you get a 13yo victim to talk to a T
blacken Offline
Chat Moderator

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 1862
Loc: Northern Ohio
In my experience working with abused children, I seldom approached the abuse directly.

It appears, from what U have said, that in this kids' mind, he has gotten nothing but grief for talking about it. It looks to me like he may feel confidentiality has been broken. So, he can't trust anyone's promises.

One way to help this kid is thru Indirect Discussions. Meaning, u talk about the behaviors, thinking, actions, etc that you know can (or Is) be impacted by the abuse. You do this WithOut any direct discussion or the core issue.

This allows the child to have more control of information & how/when it is given.
It can help the kid feel he is not making himself more vulnerable, while still addressing issues, & processing.

Confidentiality & trust are keys for this kid who may feel betrayed on several fronts/people.

He needs time to FEEL & believe he is safe again.

Just a suggestion based on the limited info provided.


#9492 - 02/09/05 10:38 PM Re: How do you get a 13yo victim to talk to a T
Jake_t2398 Offline

Registered: 01/11/05
Posts: 131

#9493 - 02/09/05 11:00 PM Re: How do you get a 13yo victim to talk to a T
Aden Offline

Registered: 07/05/04
Posts: 499
Jake, in his passion, rises above the wise.

The kid owns his experience. No one else has any right to deprive him of it. No, not even in the name of help.

Allow the offer to stand and then stand back.

It may be time for you to open your soul, but it may not be his time.


#9494 - 02/09/05 11:11 PM Re: How do you get a 13yo victim to talk to a T
justensmom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 10
Loc: Texas
My son is the same way right now. Not that anyone directly broke his trust, but he felt and feels that anytime he speaks of what he has gone through it upsets and causes so much anxiety, he has put up a wall. Our therapist says that in time we will be able to break down the wall and start to heal, this is all I look forward to everyday. With children it can be so hard, and if one person says that they don't believe them, it destroys them. Keep being there, and listen, because sometimes they talk about things differently than an adult, you have to read between the lines.

"The truth will set us free"

#9495 - 02/09/05 11:58 PM Re: How do you get a 13yo victim to talk to a T
reality2k4 Offline

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6845
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
A lot of kids go the same way, maybe it is too embarrassing for him to tell anyone what was done.
The mental abuse of the bullies also tends to shut kids up.
Let him just tell when he wants, but never leave him to it, keep the offer open. As long as he knows he can contact a listener when he is ready, then I think, that is all that can be done.

I think we can all feel for the little guy right now, there are so many of them,


Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

#9496 - 02/10/05 04:58 AM Re: How do you get a 13yo victim to talk to a T
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
He needs time to FEEL & believe he is safe again.
Blacken, you make a lot of sense.
When he's ready, he'll talk.


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

#9497 - 02/10/05 05:31 AM Re: How do you get a 13yo victim to talk to a T
Bobby Offline

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 1287
Loc: Arizona
Dear Muldoon, I would hope that the therapists would know how to proceed. I can't help thinking though, that when I was his age, I was still hoping for that one kind man to come along and rescue me and love me. Maybe he doesn't need to talk right now. Maybe what he needs is to trust. I can't imagine being that age and having to talk about how someone abused me. The embarrassment would be unbelievably painful. I think kindness...but not overly kind...not sorry because you were hurt kindess...but genuine kindness and friendship and the quiet understanding of one who has been there, for as long as he needs it, and when he's ready, he'll talk about it. But it has to be on his terms and in his time frame.

I'm healing now, and I wasn't sure I would.

#9498 - 02/11/05 05:49 AM Re: How do you get a 13yo victim to talk to a T
RICK57 Offline

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
All I would say to him is:

"Maybe you think I don't understand. Maybe you think I don't care. Want I want you to know is that I don't want to force you to speak, I don't want any glory - I am here if you need me. If you need to talk I am here - tell me what you wish. Just sit and say nothing if that is what you want - I'm here anyway. You have control!"

I wish someone had truly been there for me when I was 12!

Best wishes ...Rik.

*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

#9499 - 02/11/05 06:36 AM Re: How do you get a 13yo victim to talk to a T
RICK57 Offline

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Just to add:

I understand that He has no need / reason to trust anyone.

That's what pisses my friends off - sometimes they try so hard and I throw it back in their faces. They are still my friends!

*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

#9500 - 02/11/05 12:44 PM Re: How do you get a 13yo victim to talk to a T
Dude Offline

Registered: 01/11/05
Posts: 126
Loc: Fort Smith, AR
I agree pretty much with everyone. When he's ready, he'll talk. Just let him know that your willing to listen. When I was ready to talk, noone was willing to listen so I just shut everyone out. I know your trying to help and I'm sure he'll apreciate it, just give it time. -Dude

#9501 - 02/12/05 01:41 AM Re: How do you get a 13yo victim to talk to a T
crisispoint Offline

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 2154
Loc: Massachusetts
My friend,

What would I tell him?

I don't really know, since I hid this stuff from myself for so long. Telling and talking about it really wasn't an option for me.

But, if I could, and I'd think a 13-year-old would listen to me:

I don't know your name, but I think I'll call you "New Man," since you're approaching manhood. In some cultures, you'd already be considered one, but I don't see the need to rush it in the USA. We rush things too much, and while you might think that's just "fossil-talk," you're going to find that there's truth in this.

New Man, I was just 11 when someone decided to rob me of the rest of my childhood. Not that my childhood was all THAT great, but it was mine, and he didn't have the right to show me those things before I was ready for it. The same, I think, happened to you. Maybe not in the same way. Certainly the results were the same. Perhaps you feel less of a male for "allowing" it to happen. Maybe you feel too ashamed to talk about it. Perhaps your perpitrator told you things would happen to you if you told, or you'd "go to Hell" if you told, or nobody would believe you if you told, or a hundred other things.

None of this is true, New Man. There are people who believe you and who'll love you no matter WHAT happened. And your therapist is there to help you. (S)He wants to listen, and, sadly, there's nothing that's going to shock her in your story. This happens far too much today.

The weight of this thing is too strong for you to bear alone. I know you don't think that. You're a guy. You're strong. You can get through this without anyone's help. Maybe you can for a while, little brother, but these kinds of secrets are not only heavy, they're acidic. The eat through your defenses over time. If you don't deal with it properly now, you'll deal with it later, and most likely in a way that's destructive for you.

How do I know this? Well, you see, when this happened to me, I had absolutely NOWHERE to go, and NOBODY to tell. I thought I "deserved" it, and that noone would ever love me if they knew what happened. So, without a safety valve and noone to talk to, my mind suffed it down and hid it from my memories. I won't say now that I didn't remember everything, but it was a blur. It helped for a while. Yet I still felt worthless and powerless in the face of what everyone else told me about myself and what HE told (and did) to me.

This had effects far beyond when it happened. My life hasn't been what one would call successful. I'm officially poor, I'm scared of even TRYING to improve my life, and I still feel as worthless as I did when I was 11. Now, I'm dealing with the abuse. I'm no longer hiding it away or keeping HIS secrets. I'm opening up. And the world's opening up right along side it.

What a relief it was to know that those who were important to my life still love me, still care about me, even when they know what I was made to do. The power that has come back into my life for simply not keeping any more of HIS secrets. The realization that I was a good boy then, and I'm a good, though somewhat imperfect, man.

You'll find that the pain will lessen in time. You'll feel that you're in charge and you were better than that animal EVER was. You are going to be empowered again, New Man, and you'll get back some of what he took from you.

It's worth it, despite the hard times to come. And they don't last forever.

At least think about it, little brother. No matter what, Muldoon, your family, the guys here at MS, and yours truly will ALWAYS be in your corner.

Peace and love,


There are reasons I'm taking medication. They're called "other people." - Me, displaying my anti-social tendancies

#9502 - 02/14/05 02:35 AM Re: How do you get a 13yo victim to talk to a T
Muldoon Offline

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 1428
Loc: St Paul MN
Thank you all for you words and thoughts. I am still in KY for another week but will share your ideas when I get back to MN. Tom

Teach the Children to Never Hide in the Silence

#9503 - 03/03/05 12:43 AM Re: How do you get a 13yo victim to talk to a T
Charlie Offline

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 148

#9504 - 03/03/05 04:37 AM Re: How do you get a 13yo victim to talk to a T
Bill_1965 Offline
Chat Mod Emeritus

Registered: 06/29/03
Posts: 1984
Loc: Flint, Michigan

It all comes down to whether or not he wants to talk to the T. He'll talk to who and when he wants to talk.

This kid that was me didn't want to talk until he was 37. The kid that me was sent to T when he was 11 right after the first. The kid that was me was sent back to T when he was 15 right after the second abuse went from being a daily thing to a couple of times a month. Both of the times, this kid that was me, never once said a word to either of the T's. That kid that was me didn't want to.

The adult that was me decided at age 37 that it was time. Time to talk. I found a pyschiatrist and I talked. I found a T and I talked. I found a new family doctor and I talked. I found an on-line support group and I talked (a lot). I found certain friends amd I talked. I talk, if they will listen to me I will talk. Poor guy sitting next to me on the bus today.

When he is ready to talk, he will talk. Keep the door open, so when he is ready to talk there is someone there to listen.

Take care,

Pain is Temporary; Quitting lasts Forever. - Lance Armstrong

#9505 - 03/03/05 06:16 AM Re: How do you get a 13yo victim to talk to a T
Logan Offline

Registered: 04/05/03
Posts: 1368
Loc: NY
holy sh!t, this is a hot topic (and for good reason no doubt)

Look, just my opinion, but the way i see it is as follows:

It doesn't really do some one that much good retelling the story over and over again. its almost like retraumatizing and reliving the event. (Funny enough, I just, maybe 2 hours ago, had this conversation with my T. who is the best T i have ever seen. And, he agrees with me and doesn't see much benefit in retelling the story)
Its better to focus on and talk about how he thinks the abuse effected him and he, being 13, won't know for some time.

the best thing someone can do is make sure he knows some is there if he wants talk about it and make him someone to make sure that he feels safe in his life and the theraputic environment.

Basically the main thing, i'm only now starting to relize, the abuse effects generaly (at lest for me) is that 1. It is a major boundry violation. 2. It make one feel a total loss of control, like they are completey helpless and don't even have control over their own body. 3 and a loss of a sense of their maculinity. There are many other things it effects also. selfworth, and other stuff but these were only questioned later in my life, not imediatly after the abuse(i don't kno, maybe, i'm remebering this wrong or out of sequence).But i remmeber all i wanted to do was deny that it ever happened to me.

So this kid is not going to open up untill he feels safe enough and has built up enough resorces to make himself feel like he is in control over his life!!!

The best thing His T can do is focus on making the kid feel stronger about him self!!!, built up those resources to make him feel safe!, and just give him a sense of contol over his own life!!!!!!

I know from expirience, my parents thought something was wrong with me when i was 14 and so they sent me to a T, and i did not tell him a figging thing or open up about it at all!!

hope this helps


"Terrible thing to live in Fear"-Shawshank Redemption
WOR Alumnus Hope Springs 2009
"Quite a thing to live in fear, this is what is means to be a slave"
-Blade Runner

#9506 - 03/03/05 07:14 AM Re: How do you get a 13yo victim to talk to a T
markgreyblue Offline

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
the wisest words that ever helped me were

'you have to value yourself enough to get help'

these words made all the difference -

you cannot make the 13 year old talk because look at all the pain he has suffered at the hands of his perp - and god those nasty peers of his -

poor guy -

so he will get help when he is ready to get help -
hopefully he will grow strong enough to see that
when the time comes -

thanks muldoon for this post -


" not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous

#9507 - 03/03/05 10:54 PM Re: How do you get a 13yo victim to talk to a T
MollyHatchetrules Offline

Registered: 11/13/04
Posts: 31
Loc: Hoover, AL USA
I didn't say anything about it to anyone until I was eighteen. I'm twentyone now. I am surprised at how well I'm able to deal with it after only a year and a half. At first I was dissapointed that it took me seven years to say something, but since I've been here I've met people who kept it to themselves much longer than I've been alive. So it's really a wonder that I was able to say anything about it less than a decade after it happened. I haven't said anything about the abuse to a therapist yet. But at least I am seeing one right now, so it's not as bad as it could be.

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will live as one
-John Lennon

#9508 - 03/04/05 01:21 AM Re: How do you get a 13yo victim to talk to a T
Brayton Offline

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
I like the statement you've made.

I would've suggested sharing with him some of your own story.

I think the biggest obstacle in dealing with what happened is the feeling of isolation.

As he learns how many boys and men have been abused, he may feel more comfortable being frank with a therapist.

Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

#9509 - 03/06/05 04:41 PM Re: How do you get a 13yo victim to talk to a T
Leosha Offline

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
That is a difficult one. Because no one can 'get' another person to do anything, without breaching boundaries. And those boundaries are just as importent and deserve just as much respect for a 13 year old as they do for a 30 year old.

Has he 'dealt with' the abuse? No, probably not. But most likely, he is not yet ready to. He is currently physically safe. His perp is in jail. And he knows that there is counseling and other help available to him if he chooses it. I think that is all that really anyone can do right now without forcing something on the kid.

I wish him luck.


Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

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