Reality Check: Most Mothers Do Not Protect Their Children From a Sexual Predator in the Family

In light of the recent comments made by “anonymous,” who feels that the vast majority of women protect their child from sexual perpetrators in the home, and that all women are victims, I want to share something with my readers:

When I first remembered being sexually abused by my father, and that my mother did nothing to help me, I began to reveal my history of incest to some female friends. Ten of those friends disclosed to me that they too had been victims of incest or child sexual abuse, and my speaking out enabled them to share their pain with me. I was surprised that I never knew about their childhoods, and happy that by speaking about mine, enabled my friends to talk about their experiences.

At least half of them of them had a mother, or another female authority figure, who willingly did not protect them. I cannot recall what the other half of the women said about being protected, or not being protected because these conversations took place fifteen years ago and I am no longer in touch with those friends (I have since moved away).

One of the women who was not protected was my neighbor, who revealed that a family friend had molested her for years in childhood. As a child, my neighbor told her best friend, who told her mother, but nothing was done. Instead, the only thing that happened, was the girl’s mother, no longer allowed her daughter to play with my friend —as if the child victim was the one doing bad things, and not the man molesting her.

The four other friends, whose mothers knew about the abuse at the time, had a step-father, or biological father, who had raped them repeatedly as children and their mothers did nothing about it because, like mine, the women had no other source of income and they were in love with the men who were raping their children.

These women aren’t victims, they are serving their child up in a sexual sacrifice in order to keep their home and their man. The woman who would not allow her little girl to play with my neighbor, is also no victim. She is the typical person who “doesn’t want to get involved with that kind of thing” and considers the child as the dirty one, and not to be played with.

One study looked at 435 biological mothers who had been told by their child that they were experiencing inter-familial sexual abuse. Less than half of the women believed their daughters and did something to stop the abuse or otherwise protect the child, and when I interviewed 12 incest survivors, less than one third of their mothers protected them during the abuse.

Women are not saints, and many of them are not innocent creatures who will stop at nothing to protect their off-spring. Some people need to stop placing women on fragile pedestals.

This is the only Mother of Perfection; the rest are all human, with human weaknesses and self-survival instincts.


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39 Responses to Reality Check: Most Mothers Do Not Protect Their Children From a Sexual Predator in the Family

  1. Thanks for this article. I was abused by my step-father at the age of nine. I remember telling my brothers while we were sitting at the dinner table when I was in middle school. My mother was in the kitchen at the time washing dishes. She heard me and made me apologize to them. Fast forward to 1999 (?) A few days before I got married, me and my mother was driving to the store and she asked me if this really happened and I told her that it did. When me and my now ex-wife was separated and I was living with her and my step-father, we tried to confront him but he intimidated me because he was bigger than I was and both me and her backed down. I moved up to Grand Rapids MI five years ago (2010) with my ex-girlfriend and I rarely talked to my mother because we just could not get along. She contacted me I think a year and a half later and wanted to talk to me about what happened. We had dinner and she told me that she didn’t do anything about me being molested because she was afraid that the church would be destroyed because of it being that at the time he was molesting me, he was a deacon at the church the his father was the pastor of. I don’t talk to her anymore or him and any of his family. I don’t even talk to my own family anymore. I look at the friends that I have made while being here in Grand Rapids as my family. What really sticks out to me in this article is the fact that mothers and women alike are not these super beings the we place on a pedi stall and that they can be just as cynical as men in any situation. Because of this, I decided to stay single and just live life on my own. I have two children from my marriage and i’m trying to get my life together so that I can be in their life again.

    • Alethea says:


      Your mother’s response in the kitchen is highly common.

      The reasons for your mother not protecting you are SO common. Protection of the church, the paychecks coming in, the man’s reputation, “what will the neighbors think?,” “I could lose my home.”…etc.

      I think that being more concerned with being in your children’s lives than with marrying again, is a beautiful thing. Keep trying. Keep trying to connect with them. Deep inside, they want to connect with you, and it would give them such a sense of self-worth to know you care so much now.

      Keep trying.

      ~All my best,

  2. SOS says:

    I felt like my mother tried to deliberately pass me of to my dad. I remember being made to wear see thru pj’s with no underwear, and being made to go show him. I told her I was uncomfortable, and she’d ignore it, and make me show my dad, who’s reaction was creepy. He then began to molest me.

    She seems like a poor mom who didn’t know what she was doing, but I think there was something going on with her. She allowed my brother to beat me. She would completely dehumanize me by calling me a whore to him. I felt she cared nothing for my wellbeing and I felt like her competitor who she was always trying to trip up.

  3. Wow, I’m so glad you wrote this. I never thought it was only me who’s suffered from this type of situation, but it helps so much to read this.

    Thank you..

    • Alethea says:

      You are so welcome.

    • Angel says:

      There is, unfortunately, an “all too common theme”… if you are a child and have the means to speak up or OUT on an abuser, Do not hesitate as I did! There is alot of help out there!! You do NOT have to rely on family members (unless you have other members of your family you know would help). My abuse happened over 35 years ago and I am only now seeking professsional help! I have confronted my now 70 year old Mother on her inability or refusal to believe to help, when I told her at 10 years old. This is all anger that has come to the forefront of my mind due to my help that I am getting. Stop the abuse NOW as their may be others in your family or outside your family that may also be subjected to the abuse. Believe it or not BUT that is the demon I am trying to deal with in my mind today after all these years. It’s not the abuse that happened to me that’s my concern, but the abuse that I may have been able to have prevented had I exposed my abuser many, many years ago.
      BTW this is my first post on any website and am exhausted!!! I hope this helps in some way! Thanks for listening!!

      • Alethea says:

        Congratulations Angel on speaking to your mother about the abuse. Some people think age 70 is “too old” to do this, but if the person is in relatively good health, and of sound mind, then their soul needs to hear the truth –even if they are in their 90’s.

      • Julie says:

        Thanks for sharing this I’m going through exactly the same thing now after 40 years. Better late than never in facing our fears x

  4. Roxy says:

    They are not always victims, they are more often enablers. I would kill for my daughter or die trying to protect her so these mothers make me sick, mine, I never told, I dint think she wld believe,me and i’ll never know either way because she died before I cld tell her. My father did believe me. This goes on in all types of abuse situations, I just found found my niece after 5 years of no contact because her father wanted my sister & their 5 kids isolated from her family, WHY??? Not coz we were evil but so he cld better abuse them, IT WASNT SEXUAL though was still bad, he went from hitting my sister, and verbally abusing the kids to hitting them also then escalated to breaking their bones, My nephew who has dyslexia was for years, kept in a drugged state, a prisoner in his Spartan style room, given a bucket to defacate or urinate into & fed only 1 slice of bread a day, they had him diagnosed as Autistic, he isn’t but he had all the symptoms until he got away from them, he left at 15 because his father would tell him how he cld kill him and cover it up, he wld go in depth into his “plan” and my sister (I call her c@nt) would go along with it and the other kids wld back them up (out of fear) basically what happens is, they train all the kids to abuse each other or alienate any who try to leave. My niece left also 5 months ago, when she tried to help her mum gettn bashed and her father turned to hr and said “why are u protecting her? she wont help you” then turned to C#nt & said “go on smash the little bitch” which she did, she ran that night after trying to get her 13 y.o sister to leave with her, unsuccessfully. The 19 y.o daughter (eldest) is still at home, works fulltime as 2nd year apprentice chef, gives all her pay to her daddy, is not allowed to have a fone, or facebook or anything else, now if there was sexual abuse it wld behappening to her as she is not his biological daughter and the other kids see her as a “replacement for c%nt”,shld anything ever happen to her. Sick, this man belongs on the receiving end of a rifle (gut shots only, as does my enabling weak sister) but I bet my sister wld play the victim to full measure if and when this comes out, only 1 good thing to come out of it, I get my neice back. thank you xoxoxo

    • Alethea says:

      Thank you Roxy for sharing all of this. Your family dynamics are typical of incest and child abuse.

      These women almost always play victim. Rarely do I hear any of them take responsibility or speak truthfully. It is the self…self-protection….Satan’s ally.

    • Julie says:

      Report him now

  5. Holly says:

    The writer of this article is so right! Amen to that! Mothers who allow their children to be repeatedly abused or mistreated are accomplices of the abuse, too! These mothers love themselves and their “husbands” more than they live their child. And if any mother can knowingly sit back and not help another persons child who is being abused, then she is guilty as well! Silence is choosing the side of the oppressor. It’s time for women to WOMAN UP. The writer is also correct when she says that women are not fragile. D*mn right, we are stronger than others may realize.

  6. sunny says:

    My mother also protected the abuser. My stepfather was emotionally abusive and physically abusive. He treated my mother very poorly. He often physically abused her with no remorse. I was 11 years old when he beat her and she eventually had a nervous breakdown. She had to be hospitalized for mental illness. I found out later that he chased her with a gun and she jumped out of a window. After that incidence, he tried to find her. And he brought a gun and tried to intimidate me with his gun. But I was a very strong little girl. After, she was release from the hospital. She lived with a man that sexually abused me at the age of 12. I really tried to be strong but I really needed protection. Yet, I had none. Other family members just didn’t involved themselves. Fortunately, my mother began to get better and stronger. Unfortunately, she did the strangest thing. She went back to the ABUSER. And the same thing began to happen. He would beat her senseless and mistreat her on a regular basis. But, she has remained at his side and protected him instead of me. As the years pass. My mother has suffered and I have suffered. She stills insist that this a GOOD man. Though, he has CHEATED on her, physically and emotionally abused her and me. She considers him to be a GOOD man. This is a mastery to me. Woman who do not protect their children.

    • Alethea says:

      “This is a mystery to me. Women who do not protect their children.”

      Not so much of a mystery Sunny. Mothers are human beings, not Gods. They are full of selfishness, weaknesses, and have just as much of a self-survival mechanism as anyone else. Having a child does not magically transform someone into a perfect person, or even a decent person. It does not rid a woman of her selfishness or of her insecurities. Having a child does not remove a person’s bad character, or heal their emotional and psychological problems. Many cultures have put women on pedestals and this is detrimental to children.

      • sunny says:

        Yes, this is very true. In retrospect, I feel that I was cheated out of a childhood. But, I understand that it was not my fault. Unfortunately, I haven’t accepted this intellectually. I am still fighting this reality. ” Deep down inside, I know that parents are just human”.

        • Alethea says:

          In reality Sunny, most children have been cheated. There are millions upon millions of children who have/are experiencing abuse, neglect, lack of love, starvation, torture, and death at the hands of their parents. Consider yourself fortunate. Count your Blessings and find a way to heal your idealistic picture of what your parents “should” have been.

          There are very few truly loved and nurtured and totally happy children in this world.

          We suffer from our expectations of what “should” have been.

      • Tia says:

        You bring great comfort through your words. Thank you, from my heart 🙂

  7. Anon says:

    I found out my niece had been molested 20 years ago by my father. My sister never turned him in. Rather she confronted my father and her husband threatened to kill him if he ever touched my niece again. However my sister continued to allow my niece around my father and never warned anyone else. On learning this I asked my own daughter who denied it at first. Later she she finally confessed she’d been moleste by him for 4 years as was another niece. I prosecuted and my father is in prison. my daughter and I are currently seeing a psychiatrist. my sister who originally knew carries his mug shot around in her purse because she feels sorry for him. Unreal . the harm a parent does when they knowingly fail to protect their child is just as diabolical as the abuser. Had I not prosecuted would have sacrificed my child for evil and evry other child he came in contact with. The damage would have been absolute with me as an accomplice. Protect your kids! You’re not even displaying basic animal instinct if you don’t.

    • Alethea says:


      I am so sorry it took me a while to respond.

      Your story is so common, but your strength and courage are rare. Do you think your sister was sexually abused by your father and was unable to deal with it so she was unable to deal with what he did to her daughter? Your sister carrying his mug shot around in her purse sounds more like a dysfunctional father/daughter incestuous “love affair” than pity for him. Incest can end in childhood but continue emotionally throughout adulthood.

      “the harm a parent does when they knowingly fail to protect their child is just as diabolical as the abuser.”

      Amen to that!

  8. Anonymous says:

    The problem that is very hard to live with, no matter how old you get and how many people you inform the past keeps coming back to twist your mind, and make you question how your mother really feels about you as a person, when they did nothing to help and have continued to not believe you, since you were 16 and now you are 50

    • Alethea says:

      It affects your entire self-worth, doesn’t it annonymous? It has taken me decades to understand that my self-worth is not based on the person who gave birth to me, and who has very serious problems, and who was worn down by life by the time she gave birth to me.

      Know this…your heavenly parents, the mother/father God loves you more than you will ever know. You are worthy of God’s love, and you are a vital human being, who is a very important part of the universe. You matter and you are LOVED.

  9. SurvivorSunshine says:

    Thank you very much, Alethea. He had such a painful life but I take solace in knowing our children and I gave him brief moments of happiness.

    I love your blog because you are committed to exposing the most twisted, sordid truths about families that most people are in deep denial about. I am just beginning to peel back the layers and layers of sad and perverted truths that I myself was refusing (or unable) to admit about my maternal and paternal families. I’m so excited that you are writing a book! I also want to write a book because I know it can be transforming, healing and liberating while also exposing secrets that need to be shared to help others in similar situations.

    • Alethea says:

      “I’m so excited that you are writing a book! I also want to write a book because I know it can be transforming, healing and liberating while also exposing secrets that need to be shared to help others in similar situations.”

      Sunshine, I hope you write your book, and thank you for saying this because sometimes I just want to walk away from my manuscripts and not ever publish them. I keep forgetting that I wrote them to help others.

  10. SurvivorSunshine says:

    This is so true. I’ve had roughly 90% of my female friends (and also several males) throughout my life tell me they were sexually abused and their mothers DID NOT believe or help them. One particularly heartbreaking story involved a former friend who built up the courage to expose her stepfather, who was abusing her for years. He was tried and her mother stood on his side with him in court, and she also refused to remove him from her home (though he was ordered to stay away) when he was released from jail so the daughter (still in high school) had to move in with her boyfriend’s family. There are many variations of that story, even in my own family. Most victims of sexual abuse are scapegoated by the family, whether they tell or not, and either run away, get married or pregnant early to “escape” from the abuse because they are not believed or protected.

  11. little nel says:

    My father seduced my step-sister, Nancy. He started “grooming” her at age 11. She thought that all little girls had sex with “daddy” and that it was normal so she never mentioned it to her mother.

    She wanted her breasts to grow and fill out but at age 14 she was “smaller than normal” she thought. So “daddy” promised to help them grow by “massaging” them for her, and she said that it felt good too.

    When she became sexually stimulate by the “massaging” they went to the bedroom and locked the door.

    Nancy’s brothers complained to the mother. The mother denied it.

    When Nancy’s mother caught them in the act of having sex one day, the mother had an emotional breakdown and had to be taken to a mental hospital. Her sons found her unresponsive and babbling on a couch, so they called for medical help.

    I told my aunt, who was my dad’s sister, about the abuse and her response was, “Well it’s OK because she wasn’t his “real” daughter.” I wanted to throw up when she said that!
    Then I told her about my father’s desire to have sex with me and Nancy at the same time and she quickly ended the conversation.

    What a f**ked up family! Why such denial? The mother is not the only one who denies it.

    • Alethea says:

      You’re right Little Nel, it’s often all different members of the family –male and female who deny, excuse, shove under the rug.

      I have always had a little trouble with the idea that some victims ‘don’t say anything about rape and molestation because they think all little girls have sex with daddy.’ It’s not the first time I have heard that. How is it that they don’t say anything merely because they think it’s normal? We talk openly about things that are normal. Why wouldn’t these children just discuss it once in a while around the dinner table, or while out with mom on a shopping trip, “When daddy and I were doing it…” or “How come it hurts when daddy puts his thing inside me?” etc.

      I don’t deny that some victims think all children have sex with an adult, but I think they know deep inside that it is NOT okay, and NOT normal, and this is why they instinctually keep quiet –and not because they believe all the other kids are doing it too.

      • little nel says:

        Nancy’s mother worked a night job. She was the main breadwinner. She was exhausted when she got home so Nancy took care of the washing, babysitting, cleaning and meal fixing for her siblings. Her younger siblings called her “mommy.”

        She rarely saw her mother. “Daddy” was home most of the time and lavished Nancy with affection, validation, and compliments.

        • Alethea says:

          I have read a few cases where daddy began to molest and then rape the daughter that was made to be the mother of the family because the real mother died, or worked a lot, or became really sick or paralyzed.

          • little nel says:

            I know of a case where the mother died and the father started using the oldest daughter who was 14 as his new “wife”.

            When she became an adult, she went to a doctor and had her vagina sewn shut. She never married. She never talked about the abuse after she left home, except to her priest, who helped her find the doctor.

            She told her aunt about the abuse when it first started at 14 and was not believed.

      • SurvivorSunshine says:

        My ex-husband also told me the same thing about his sexual abuse from his adopted father. He thought it was “normal” so he kept it to himself. I think the abuse is normalized in those families in a way that kids may know it’s not necessarily accepted in society but it’s okay in their own family- kind of like a cultural or ethnic norm that is definitely different than how mainstream society operates. He also said he and the other boys his father abused discussed it and competed over who got the most attention. So that sick, disgusting man made these boys basically fight for him to abuse them. He made sure to choose boys who had no fathers or other significant male involvement. And he was constantly pitting them against each other, which I observed even in their adulthood. My ex was the most physically attractive, intelligent out of all of them but very pensive and elusive, so it infuriated his father that he couldn’t easily control him. My ex was constantly mentally battling this man but also wanting and needing his approval. I still blame him for all of my ex’s problems, including alcoholism and DID/MPD, that eventually killed him.

        • Alethea says:

          Hi Sunshine,

          “I think the abuse is normalized in those families in a way that kids may know it’s not necessarily accepted in society but it’s okay in their own family..”

          This is TRUE.

          I am so sorry about your ex Sunshine. So sorry.

      • Roxy says:

        or “How come it hurts when daddy puts his thing inside me?” etc. My cousin told her mum something similar to this & she shoved under the rug for 30yrs her and my cousin both covered it up didn’t warn anyone either, she even let her own kids around him, until her mother had an affair & left my uncle, then she conveniently, spilled her guts about her terrible 30yr secret, my cousin begged her not to tell, but she did anyway, just abit of fodder and now they wonder why her eldest son (who was never abused and had no idea about it) is super pissed off and wants nothing to do with any of them, especially when he found out, that his father had started grooming his little chloe and that nanny knew all about it. She’s such a dumb bitch, in her play for sympathy (for the devil bitch) she told my father about her secret and asked if he cld make sure nothing had happened to his 2 daughters, he replied with “bit fkn late and u had better pray that it didn’t”

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