"Cultural schema in any society that enable the majority of its citizens to feel psychologically comfortable are often maintained by a process of shared minimisation and denial. This is the means by which the long held “secret” of the sexual abuse of children by women has been ignored. Should this “secret” be explored and fully accepted then the seeming social security of having women as “sexually safe” primary carers and protectors of our children would be irretrievably damaged. Therefore, despite at least a century of knowledge pointing to a significant number of women engaging in sexually abusive behaviours towards children, it is still a phenomenon that has not been sufficiently accepted.
If sexual abuse by women is accepted at all it is most often in the context of the woman being coerced into those acts by a man for his sexual gratification. The woman in this situation therefore becomes another victim of the male. Consideration is rarely given to the possibility that these women acted as equal partners or even that they may have coerced a male into offending. Women who are convicted of sexual abuse against adolescent boys can also be seen as “victims” of those boys in a society where adolescent males are seen as more sexually dominant and powerful than adult women. Those women who have acknowledged acting as sole perpetrator of sexual abuse against younger children are often seen as “mentally unwell”. Whereas men committing the exact same offence would be prosecuted, women are most often referred to psychiatric services.
The failure to accept that women can be initiators of sexual abuse is perhaps a relic of a now archaic view of women as passive or weak, which has been rejected in many activities in society. If we accept that women can take responsibility to run corporations why is it that society finds it so difficult to accept negative traits in women?" [mijn nadruk] (ix)
[Prachtig. In een paar alinea's worden meteen allerlei taboes benoemd, zaken waarover mensen niet willen nadenken. En meteen wordt ook de vloer aangeveegd met dat vrouwen in allerlei situaties het slachtoffer zijn en 'er niet op uit waren', alsof alleen mannen willens en wetens misdaden plegen.]
"The 1990s saw a considerable increase in the number of books, academic papers and conference presentations relating to the issue of women as sexual offenders against children. Despite these efforts, there is still a general tenet of disbelief, even among professionals (see, for example, Denov, 2004a) and this disbelief reduces the likelihood that victims will disclose their experiences of sexual abuse by women. Thus the belief that this is a very rare phenomenon is perpetuated and society’s mistaken construction of women as highly unlikely to engage in such behaviour is maintained.(...)
Thus, the belief that this is a rare phenomenon is also internalised by victims."(x)
"With the social construction of women as carers, nurturers and asexual beings, particularly, as is often the case, if that female abuser is the mother or primary carer of the child, the link between care-getting, care-giving and sex is likely to be even more distorted, as is the confusion in areas of sexuality and sexual norms. With abuse by women being perceived as very rare, and women, particularly mothers, construed as generally “good”, both boys and girls may conclude that they bear even greater guilt in relation to the abuse, and a greater “shame and a greater sense of their own ‘badness’ ”. Victims of female perpetrators frequently describe very damaging reactions of shock, disbelief and minimalisation when they disclose sexual abuse by a woman perpetrator. Thus the victims will feel yet more “different” and “separate” from other human beings. Society’s construction of females as “trustworthy” and nonabusers means that sexual abuse by a woman is likely to be perceived, as a greater betrayal than that by a man."(xi)
Seksueel misbruik door vrouwen kwam pas in de 1990-er jaren op 'de agenda'. Het werd genoemd maar tegelijkertijd geminimaliseerd.
"In the last few years, however, reports from victims and recent media coverage of cases of sexual abuse by women have necessitated an acknowledgement that women do sexually abuse children and that they do so in numbers larger than previously believed."(1)
[Dat zou ook geen kwestie van 'geloven' moeten zijn. Helaas is dat maar al te vaak wel zo.]
"As our knowledge in this area accumulates, some of our previous suppositions, such as a belief that women do not sexually abuse children or that, if they do, they do not really cause any harm, are being broken down."(2)
De cijfers over hoe vaak misbruik van kinderen door vrouwen voorkomt worden sterk bepaald door hoe de samenleving vrouwen ziet. De houding is lang geweest: vrouwen doen zoiets niet. Er werd geen probleem gezien, dus er werd ook niets onderzocht.
"Rowan, Rowan and Langelier (1990) report that no data were available on female sexual abuse of children before 1986. Furthermore, many attempts to explain child sexual abuse have focused on theories of male power and the subordination of women and children. (...)
The paradox, however, as Elliott points out, is that we can accept that women physically abuse their children but not that they may sexually abuse them." [mijn nadruk] (7-8)
[Vrouwen blijken verantwoordelijk voor 50% van het fysiek geweld tegenover kinderen, zegt Ford.]
"Elliott goes on to suggest some reasons why sexual abuse by females is minimised. First, sexual abuse by women may be seen as more threatening. Women are expected to love children and care for them, not to hurt them. Accepting that women can sexually abuse children changes how we view women.(...)
Another possible reason for denying sexual abuse by women is the difficulty in understanding how women may sexually abuse children without possessing a penis. This may have contributed to beliefs that even if women do abuse they are unlikely to cause significant harm, which is discussed in Chapter 7." [mijn nadruk] (8)
[Die laatste reden is wel heel erg bekrompen en onwetend, zeg, zowel over hoe vrouwen kinderen kunnen misbruiken als over hoe mannen kinderen kunnen misbruiken. Weer eens een gevolg van het domme gelijkstellen van seks aan neuken.]
"Even if healthcare professionals recognise females as abusers, the fact that women, as the primary caregivers, are most likely to accompany their children on visits to the doctor means that a child abused by their mother, for example, will have difficulty in revealing what is happening and the abuse is likely to remain undetected (Elliott & Peterson, 1993)."(3)
Veel misbruik door vrouwen komt dus alleen al daardoor niet boven tafel. Of het wordt ideologisch niet als zodanig gezien:
"In addition to beliefs that abuse by women causes less harm, sexual relations between an older woman and younger male child or, particularly, an adolescent may be viewed as acceptable. A young male who has sex with an older woman may be viewed enviously by his peers who think he is “lucky” for having been “initiated” by an older woman."(9)
"A further barrier to accepting sexual abuse by women is that many studies have suggested such abuse to be rare."(9)
Namelijk 1-4%. Maar is het zeldzaam of wordt het niet gerapporteerd? Dat laatste blijkt het geval. Er zijn nogal wat methodologische kwesties die de onderzoeksresultaten beïnvloeden.
"It is important to note, however, that statistics such as these are likely to be influenced by beliefs about females as abusers in criminal justice system (CJS) agencies."(9-10)
"It is certainly significant, as Mendel (1995) notes, that self-report studies find higher rates of female abuse than those relying on officially reported cases."(10)
"Longdon (1993) reports that survivors have received disbelieving or negative statements from therapists when they disclosed their abuser was a woman."(13)
De definitie van wat seksueel misbruik is is hier nog belangrijker dan bij mannen:
"The definition of abuse is perhaps even more important in the case of female perpetrators as their abuse may be disguised as childcare. Banning (1989) agrees with this, suggesting that a woman’s behaviour is more likely to be seen as affectionate than as intentionally abusive. Mayer (1992) suggests that society is likely to tolerate more affectionate displays of behaviour by females, again leading to potential difficulties in determining whether boundaries have been breached.
The breadth and consistency of the definition used will influence the rates of sexual abuse obtained. Kasl (1990) illustrates this through work by Carlson (1990), who described four levels of sexual abuse by women:
* Chargeable offences such as oral sex, intercourse or masturbation.
* Offences such as voyeurism, exposure, seductive touching, sexualised hugging or kissing, extended nursing or flirting.
* Invasions of privacy including enemas, bathing together, washing the child beyond a reasonable age, excessive cleaning of the foreskin or asking intrusive questions about bodily functions.
* Inappropriate relationships created by the adult such as substituting the child for an absent partner, sleeping with the child, unloading emotional problems on the child or using them as a confidant for personal or sexual matters." [mijn nadruk] (14)
"... researchers may fail to uncover abuse because they ask the wrong kind of questions."(15)
[Andersom kan natuurlijk ook. De vragen zijn goed, maar de antwoorden gelogen of wenselijk of wat ook wat misleidt en de waarheid geweld aan doet.]
"It is important to recognise, then, that the language employed in research questions can influence the outcomes. It is also important to be clear about the consequences of including or not including particular components in any definition of abuse." [mijn nadruk] (15)
"This chapter discusses more fully how sexual abuse by women may be perceived by professionals, as well as the general population."(17)
[In veel landen werd er lang van uitgegaan dat de dader van seksueel misbruik altijd mannelijk was en het slachtoffer altijd vrouwelijk. De wetgeving op dat punt verandert de laatste jaren wel, maar natuurlijk zitten dat soort opvattingen ook in de hoofden van mensen die bij allerlei politionele en juridische instanties werken (en ver daarbuiten). Vrouwen worden dan ook minder vervolgd en veroordeeld.]
"Viki, Massey and Masser (2005) support this, citing a number of studies suggesting that females may be treated with comparative leniency, perhaps because of stereotypical expectations that female offenders present less danger.
Fehrenbach and Monastersky (1988) expand on these different perceptions in relation to sexual behaviour. They suggest that exhibitionism in a female teenager, for example, might be labelled as promiscuity rather than as indecent exposure as it might be in males. However, as we live in a society that tolerates and arguably encourages more nudity among females than males (Minasian & Lewis, 1999) this may also influence how female sexual behaviour is viewed. "(18)
"Stephen (1993) reports that women are more likely to be judged on their moral character, way of life and sexual behaviour than on their offence. The author also suggests that a woman’s sentence might be influenced by the extent to which her offence deviates from female norms."(19)
"The views expressed in Denov’s (2001) study were more extreme, however. At least as far as cases involving male victims were concerned, abuse by a female seemed not to be viewed seriously and was perhaps even risible. The author quotes one detective saying to her and laughing, “how are those dangerous, violent, scary female rapists who are on our streets sexually assaulting? . . . I only wish they would sexually assault me” (Denov, 2001, p. 319)."(22)
[Waaruit maar weer eens blijkt hoe ongevoelig en bevooroordeeld en slecht opgeleid veel mensen in dat soort beroepen zijn.]
"Given the lack of professional acknowledgement of abuse by females it should not be surprising to find such attitudes within the general population. Consideration of public attitudes are important for a number of reasons; Broussard, Wagner and Kazelskis (1991) suggest that public attitudes influence those serving as jurors in sexual abuse cases and the public willingness to continue financing offender treatment programmes from public money. Public perceptions of the severity of particular sexual acts with children and their definition of what constitutes abuse may also influence which acts are reported to child protection or legal agencies. Furthermore, public opinion is important in the formation of laws and in developing education and awareness-raising programmes (Calvert & Munsie-Benson, 1999)."(22)
"In a similar vein to the above studies, their results indicated that while participants were generally able to describe and acknowledge child sexual abuse, none of them mentioned the possibility of women abusing girls and they tended to express less concern about cases involving a female abuser and male victim, usually describing this as “seduction” rather than as abuse." [mijn nadruk] (23)
"Thus, she argues, the dominant societal narrative constructs sex offenders as male. This is not to say that society is unable to consider women as abusers, but that peoples’ first thoughts would be that a sex offender is male. This, Gavin notes, has implications for those in positions of authority, such as professionals or legislators, who are not separate from the dominant narrative of society and may hold some of the same beliefs."(24)
"Bearing in mind these possible biases, this chapter examines what we know about abuse by women considering both the extent to which female abusers differ from their male counterparts and also identifying areas of similarity. It is important to note, however, that much of the research in this area has used small samples, does not always include comparison groups and considers primarily Caucasian samples (Johansson-Love & Fremouw, 2006), all of which may limit the generalisability of the findings."(25)
[Allerlei voorbeelden. Het verschil met mannelijke misbruikers is eigenlijk verrassend klein. Penetratie gebeurt met voorwerpen, het verloop is socialer: ze misbruiken en exploiteren samen met anderen en ze stimuleren hun slachtoffers richting seksuele activiteiten met anderen.]
"It may be difficult to disentangle the motives of the female abuser and victims may not realise that they have been abused, resulting in less reporting of such activities."(26)
[Ik vind dat een groot probleem. Als mensen 'seksueel misbruik' niet als zodanig ervaren mag je dan wel spreken van seksueel misbruik, slachtoffers, en zo verder? Dat is alleen al een analyse waard. Hetzelfde geldt voor wat verderop genoemd wordt: mensen rechtvaardigen wat ze doen via 'cognitive distortions', maar dat gaat dus uit van wat normaal gedrag is en is dus een bijzonder normatief begrip, heel gevaarlijk.]
"This chapter has suggested that female abusers are committing many of the same abusive acts as male offenders and in similar ways. However, in order to avoid the gender-blind thinking described at the start of this chapter it is important to give further consideration to the motivations and dynamics underlying sexual abuse by women and whether these differ from male offenders. The next section of the book explores some of these issues."(32)
"While such factors may be pertinent to sexual offending, it is important not to prematurely assign a more causal role to them, as some may reflect societal assumptions and biases more than actually contributing to sexual abuse by women. Additionally, as there is overlap with risk factors for other types of child maltreatment, the presence of these factors does not explain why women perpetrate specifically sexual abuse."(37)
Lage sociaaleconomische status, weinig opleiding, werkeloos, traditioneel over vrouwen en zelf huisvrouw. Maar hier spelen dus al gauw de vooroordelen.
"In discussing child maltreatment generally, Cawson et al. (2000) suggest that one of its most underreported aspects is the abuse of children in the upper or middle classes and, if the findings above are accepted at face value, this also seems true of female sexual abuse."(38)
Hebben vrouwen die kinderen misbruiken meer psychiatrische afwijkingen? Ook dat is nog maar de vraag.
"It is perhaps more comfortable to think of women who abuse children as having psychiatric difficulties. If their offending can be explained in this way it prevents us having to acknowledge that women may abuse children through choice or even sexual desire." [mijn nadruk] (39)
"Thus, although there are exceptions, studies appear fairly consistent in documenting high levels of abuse in the childhoods of female sexual offenders and if some women are misusing substances as described previously this may be a means of coping with their own victimisation experiences."(42)
"However, caution is necessary as such statements may be redolent of the mother-blaming attitudes discussed in Chapter 10. Glasser et al. (2001) state that although there is widely believed to be a link between sexual abuse as a child and later sexual offending in males there is limited empirical evidence for this relationship."(43)
"Kaufman and Zigler (1993, p. 218) indicate why we should not accept the intergenerational hypothesis as inevitable. They describe a case known to them in which
'a woman nearly lost custody of her children in a routine child custody case when it came up in her divorce trial that she had been badly abused as a child. Even though her own parenting practices were reportedly exemplar, the judge feared that at some point she would resort to abusing her children because she had been abused.'
Propagation of this theory may also lead to fear among victims. Ogilvie and Daniluk (1995) describe the fears of daughters abused by their mothers that they would become like their mothers and abuse any children they had or experience other difficulties in mothering."(43)
[Waaruit blijkt hoe snel bepaalde nauwelijks onderbouwde theorietjes deel gaan uitmaken van de verzameling aan vooroordelen die mensen er op nahouden. Er is vaak sprake van chaotische gezinsachtergronden: gebroken gezinnen, pleeggezinnen, slechte relaties met (pleeg)ouders. Waardoor lage zelfwaardering, weinig vrienden en zo.]
"It may be easier to accept that women sexually abuse children if we concep- tualise these women as having been coerced into the behaviour by males. Amongst other things, sexual abuse has been explained by male power and aggression and, according to this theory, women do not abuse unless powerful, aggressive males have forced or persuaded them into it."(47)
Het is onduidelijk in hoeverre dit waar is. Het lijkt weer eerder een gevolg van onderrapportage en slechte definities ('gedwongen door' of 'samen met'?). De afhankelijkheid van vrouwen van die mannen speelt wel een rol.
"Saradjian (1996) reported that in her group of male-coerced women there was a tendency for the women to see the relationship with their male partner as more important than the relationship with their children. McCarty (1986) also reported that women who offended with men were more concerned not to lose their partner than to protect their child. However, this may reflect concern not just about losing the male partner himself but some of the other aspects of the relationship, such as financial security."(48)
Verder komt ook voor dat vrouwen volwassenen mannen dwingen tot seksueel misbruik.
"At this point it may be useful to examine briefly the literature related to adult female sexual coercion of adult males. While not directly related to the sexual abuse of children, this work has clearly demonstrated that women can be sexual initiators, sexually powerful and sexually demanding. By examining this work it is hoped to further dispel beliefs that females are incapable of sexually coercive or aggressive behaviour." [mijn nadruk] (52)
"The authors suggest this indicates that sexual violations by women are “seen as romantic and motivated by intimacy, whereas the identical behaviours by men are viewed as threatening, aggressive, and motivated by power and control”."(53)
"the findings have made clear that there is no one overall motivation for why women sexually abuse others."(57)
Toch zijn er typologieën gemaakt die moeten helpen bij de bepaling van een therapeutische aanpak. Die worden hier besproken.
[Hoe kan het een met het ander samen gaan? We kennen de motivaties niet en toch gaan we indelen wat we niet weten? Vreemd.]
"... there seems little reason to suggest that women have less potential to inflict severe and longlasting harm."(69)
"The difficulty in carrying out and interpreting studies such as these is in operationalising the term “harm”. Should the focus be on observable, measurable harm such as physical damage or the presence of psychiatric disorders, or should researchers try to record harm such as relationship problems or low self-esteem? Furthermore, if harmful effects are found, can we be sure they result from the earlier sexual abuse? This chapter considers a broad range of types of harm, but the difficulties in defining and measuring this should be remembered throughout." [mijn nadruk] (70)
[Dat zijn de fundamentele vragen, ja. De resultaten van de diverse onderzoeken die Ford bespreekt laten een tegenstrijdig beeld zien. Zie de samenvattende conclusies op p.88-89.]
"Nelson and Oliver (1998) report interesting findings, suggesting that whether or not victims interpret their abuse experiences as coercive depends partly on the “style” adopted by the perpetrator and whether the adult had “asked” or persuaded the child into sexual activity or “taken”, which was done without any pretence of gaining the child’s cooperation. In their sample, male perpetrators were more likely than females to “take” (76 % of cases with male perpetrators involved “taking”). Female perpetrators were more likely to “ask”, however, persuading or manipulating the child into the sexual activity (women “asked” in 75 % of cases)."(76)
[Volgens mij is dat een essentieel iets. Duidelijke dwang en geweld en machtswellust vergeet je niet zo gemakkelijk. Ik vind dit precies het onderwerp dat vergaand onderzocht moet worden.]
"As the previous chapters have demonstrated, researchers are now turning their attention to the issue of sexual abuse by women. However, our under- standing of this behaviour in women lags behind the knowledge that we possess for male offenders and a number of issues remain underresearched. Some of these form the subject of this chapter."(93)
"Although a number of motivations have been suggested in previous chapters, consideration of sexual arousal or gratification as a motivating factor in female sexual abuse has frequently been missing from the research literature."(93)
"Byers and O’Sullivan (1998) suggest that, according to this script, men are highly motivated to engage in sexual activity whilst women are expected to be sexually reluctant and exchange sex for attention or commitment rather than engaging in sex for its own sake. Thus women are not seen as inherently sexual beings." [mijn nadruk] (93)
[En zoals steeds spelen de bekende vooroordelen een rol. Het maakt het moeilijk om dit soort zaken goed te onderzoeken. Zie weer de samenvattende conclusies, deze keer op p.108-109.]
"Finkelhor and Russell (1984) suggest that women are socialised to prefer male partners who are older, larger and more powerful than themselves. However, this does not preclude the possibility that some women may be genuinely attracted to children. Indeed, Nathan and Ward (2002) state that a diagnosis of “paedophilia” may be appropriate for some female offenders."(95)
"However, it is difficult to evaluate these findings without understanding the content and frequency of sexual fantasies in nonoffending women. The limited work in this area may be related to stereotypical views of women as sexually passive and uninterested, who have to be “encouraged” into sexual activity by males. Limited consideration has been given to the possibility of deviant sexual interests in females. Denov (2001) quotes from the DSM- IV, which states that “except for sexual masochism . . . paraphilias are almost never diagnosed in females”." [mijn nadruk] (96-97)
Het bestaande onderzoek is ook eenzijdig op het volgende punt:
"Vandiver and Kercher (2002) state that, in research to date, female sexual offenders have typically been Caucasian. Therefore, further study of female sexual abuse in non-Caucasian samples is needed. Researchers have hypothesised different findings for other ethnic groups, although it is not always clear on what these hypotheses are based." [mijn nadruk] (101)
"Further study of this issue would have to take into account cultural differences in child rearing. Some practices in other cultures might be considered as abusive in our society but are fully accepted within that particular culture. Lawson (1993), for example, cites work by Olson (1981) reporting that Turkish mothers kiss their children’s genitals while changing nappies as an expression of their love and admiration for the children. Demause (1991) reports that some Japanese mothers masturbate their children in public in order to help them sleep and that many Japanese children sleep with their parents until they are 10 to 15 years old although the parents may still have intercourse while the child is in their bed. Thus, when examining sexual abuse in other cultures researchers must take account of cultural variation. In addition to variation in child rearing, different cultures have different views about the ages at which sexual activity is appropriate for children. Even within Europe, there is no overall consensus about the age at which young people are able to consent to sexual intercourse; the age of consent varies from 17 in Northern Ireland, to 14 in Austria and Italy and 13 in Spain (Ages Of Consent In Different Countries, 2005)." [mijn nadruk] (101-102)
[Niet interessant vanuit mijn perspectief. Bovendien is ontzettend veel onduidelijk op dat punt.]
"The lack of data about abusing women’s psychometric profiles, how they differ from male offenders, other female offenders and nonoffending women, what factors link to reoffending, treatment outcome and reconviction data creates obvious difficulties for planning programmes."(116)
"There are difficulties in determining the effectiveness of interventions with female offenders, particularly given the very small numbers of women completing such programmes. It is also important to consider what is meant by a programme being “effective”. While the previous discussion indicated that women undertaking the Lucy Faithfull Foundation programme demonstrated improvement in key target areas, these do not necessarily translate into reduced rates of recidivism / reconviction. However, the study of reconviction rates is also plagued by methodological difficulties."(123)
"The term “collusive mother” has been widely used in relation to a number of different ideas about the mother in cases of father–child incest, particularly sexual abuse by a father against his daughter. This mother-blaming attitude rests on an assumption that although the mother may not actually touch her child sexually, she allows the child to be abused by others, either by ignoring signs of abuse, by proactively assisting the abuse to take place (Green, 1996), or by failing to act when the child discloses. (...) The image of the “collusive mother” is perhaps congruent to some degree with our schema of women; the women do not actually abuse their children but they are also passive and do not attempt to stand up to their male partners."(129)
"In considering the “collusive mother”, however, it is important to be clear about what is meant by collusion. For the purposes of this chapter, it is suggested that in order to be truly collusive both the abuser and the “collusive” mother must know that the abuse is occurring and, secondly, that both parties are willing for it to occur – that is, the mother is in agreement and is happy for her child to be abused. A mother cannot collude with the sexual activity if she is unaware of its occurrence."(129)
[Dat laatste is logisch, als dat in de praktijk al mogelijk is, maar wat betreft het tweede genoemde punt? Als een moeder niet wil dat haar kind misbruikt wordt en het toch laat gebeuren zonder in te grijpen, is ze dan ook niet medeplichtig?]
"Green (1996) reports that the family systems approach involves substantial blaming of the mother, viewing the abuse as occurring within specific family dynamics in which the mother plays a central role. The mother has been blamed for being too submissive or dependent on her male partner, too domineering in the relationship or for “reversing” roles with her daughter, including her sexual role. Thus as Birns and Meyer (1993, p. 129) state, “within this framework, incest is almost always viewed as a three person crime: the victim, the perpetrator and the mother”.
Mother-blaming may also stem from theories of incest suggesting that fathers engage in sexual relations with their daughters because their wives sexually desert them (Bolen, 2003) or withdraw from their husbands (Gelinas, 1983). The mother “colludes” with the abuse so that she does not have to have sex with her partner. (...)
Mother-blaming theories ascribe a particular set of personality characteristics to the mothers in incestuous families. They typically suggest these women to be passive, immature and overly dependent on their male partners (Green, 1996) or weak, irresponsible and subtly hostile to their victimised daughters (Smith & Saunders, 1995)."(130)
Ford meent die theorieën van het beschuldigen van moeders verder door. Wisten ze echt van het misbruik?
"Examination of the literature indicates that some have found it impossible to accept that most mothers do not know about the abuse."(131)
"Interestingly, this readiness to accept mothers as having some responsibility for the abuse stands in contrast to the more general reluctance to recognise women as abusers."(131)
"Even if sexual abuse was not actually taking place, some mothers have been described as indirectly collusive for placing their child in the care of known sexual offenders. That is, they knowingly placed their child into a situation in which sexual abuse was a possibility." [mijn nadruk] (132)
"In addition to the possible professional and societal belief that the mother must know of the abuse, some research suggests that a proportion of victims too may believe their mothers were aware of the abuse and failed to prevent it from reoccurring."(132)
[Hoe zo 'believe'? Het lijkt er op dat Ford vindt dat moeders helemaal niet hoeven weten van het misbruik. Ik vind dat onbegrijpelijk. Het barst hier van mensen die ontkennen, sociaal wenselijke antwoorden geven, etc. O nee, mama wist dat vast niet, o nee, ik heb niks gemerkt. Hierna gaat Ford vervolgens uitleggen waarom we verwachten dat moeders wisten van het misbruik.]
"This is likely to be related to idealistic beliefs that, as mothers are the primary carers and protectors of their children, they should therefore be omniscient in all matters concerning their children. As Bell (2002) states, it is felt that a “good” mother would have recognised the abuse. However, sexual abuse is a secretive activity and many factors are working against the mother being aware. Foremost of these is probably the perpetrator himself who will groom the environment and perhaps also the mother to ensure the greatest likelihood of remaining undetected. Victims may have been groomed to keep the abuse secret and may wish to protect the mother from learning the truth, or may be acting on ingrained beliefs of the need to “keep up appearances” (Bell, 2002), or may have had their belief in their mother’s ability to help them undermined by the perpetrator (Lovett, 1995).
Calder and Peake (2001b) present a comprehensive list of reasons as to why mothers are not likely to know that abuse is occurring. These include a general lack of knowledge about sexual abuse, inaccurate media portrayals of sexual offenders, grooming by the perpetrator and possible attempts to separate the mother and child, or the perpetrator offering a reasonable explanation for changes in the child’s behaviour. Furthermore, these authors state, the “warning signs” of sexual abuse are often not very specific and could be explained by other things or may not elicit any particular concerns.
Kelly (1996) further states that mothers may be blamed for having chosen to form a relationship with an abuser. As she points out, however, women are usually unlikely to know that their partner has abused or will abuse children. If any choice is operating at all, she suggests, it is likely to be by the male who has selected the woman because she is vulnerable in some way and therefore more manipulable." [mijn nadruk] (134)
[Ja, hoor, vrouwen hebben geen ogen en hersens in hun kop en zijn niet verantwoordelijk. Ik lees niets over de houding die veel vrouwen hebben waarin ze problemen verdringen en hun kop in het zand steken of waarin ze risico's en conflicten vermijden. Alles voor de lieve vrede ... ]
"Many researchers have reported mothers facing enormous emotional turmoil when the sexual abuse is disclosed."(137)
[Om hun kind of omdat hun lieve vrede toch verstoord werd?]
"While believing the child’s report is clearly an important first step in responding supportively, some studies suggest that a protective response does not automatically follow, however. Calder and Peake (2001) describe work by Lyon and Kouloumpos-Lenares (1987) which reported that although 70 % of the mothers believed the child, only 50 % responded with protective action, emotional support and cooperation with relevant agencies."(137-138)
"It seems we place a heavy load on mothers. As Green (1996, p. 340) states, mothers are: “expected to take action swiftly, rationally, and decisively in areas that may bring about wrenching, long-term upheaval not only in her own life but the life of her family, [and] her culpability is confirmed if she does not”." [mijn nadruk] (139)
[Die zielige moeders toch. We verwachten dat soort dingen ook van vaders, waarom dan niet van moeders? Ford is de hele tijd naar verontschuldigingen aan het zoeken voor die moeders.]
"The number of mothers who choose to stay with their partners rather than their children is not known. Crawford et al. (1996) reported that in their study, over 90% of spouses never leave the offender, although further reading of their paper indicates that the majority left upon disclosure, but that 81% were eventually reunited."(143)
"As sexual abuse by women has until recently been minimised or ignored, it is not surprising that little consideration has been given to the possibility of a reversal in the situation should the mother be the abuser." [mijn nadruk] (144)
"At this point, it is important to reiterate that there will be some mothers who are aware of the sexual abuse of their children, have colluded with it or have even been active participants. However, it seems unhelpful to level this belief at all mothers in abusive families. By blaming the mother, we absolve the perpetrator of responsibility for the offence and appear not to have moved all that far on from the early treatment models described at the start of this chapter."(144-145)
[Wat een onzinnige bewering. Waarom zouden we de mannelijke dader ontheffen van verantwoordelijkheid voor zijn misdaad als we de moeders als medeverantwoordelijk zien? De dader is altijd en het allermeest verantwoordelijk voor zijn misdaad, ook al stel je ook de moeder verantwoordelijk voor het wegkijken. Het omgekeerde gebeurt hier juist: door de verantwoordelijkheid van de dader overmatig te benadrukken wordt de moeder ontheven van haar medeverantwoordelijkheid. Slechte benadering, waarin vrouwen weer eens klein gehouden worden en als slachtoffer gezien worden van mannen. Misschien is het wel heel terecht dat die moeders zich schuldig voelen.]
"The main focus of this book has been to examine our current knowledge in relation to sexual abuse by women. However, a level of denial similar to that initially surrounding women abusers exists around the notion that female adolescents or children can be sexually abusive. Indeed, Minasian and Lewis (1999) state that information about this group of offenders is even more limited than that concerning adult women abusers."(149)
"As discussed earlier, sexually abusive behaviour by adult and adolescent females has been minimised by society and professionals for perhaps quite similar reasons. A brief review of the literature reveals other areas of similarity between female offenders in these two age groups."(154)