Some people still have great difficulty placing any responsibility on the mother when incest is being perpetrated on her children. But it is not about blaming the mother. This is about a woman’s personal accountability to her children.
With the exception of infrequent sexual abuse, or sexual abuse that lasts a short period of time, most women are given clues, or their instinct alerts them, that something is going on with their child.
We see with the mind, not with the eye.
There are numerous indications that a child is being sexually abused. Many times, these signs are completely ignored by the mother.
- Masturbating excessively.
- Unusually aggressive behavior or rage.
- Unexplained health problems, like pain while urinating or during a bowel movement, or having genital infections.
- Symptoms of physical trauma to the genital or anal area.
- Bed wetting.
- Problems with food, including unexplained gagging.
- Excessive sexual play.
- Panic or anxiety attacks.
- Retrograde behavior.
- Initiating advanced sexual behavior.
- Depression, loss of interest in things previously enjoyed.
- Strangely soiled underwear.
- Too many baths with adult or teenage family members
- A child who is receiving special treatment from a family member.
- An adult frequently offers to babysit the child.
- Child displays unusual knowledge of sex acts, anatomy, or sexual terminology.
Ultimately, when a mother becomes fully aware that sexual abuse is taking place and she still makes the conscious choice to ignore her instincts, or her child’s pleas, she becomes a co-abuser.
It is a fact that children, and eventually the adult survivor, commonly have more anger towards the mother than the perpetrator.
I want to state unequivocally, that this anger is perfectly natural and understandable —especially if the child was experiencing enjoyment from the sexual pleasure and attention, and when love was not being provided from the mother.
Adding fuel to the victim’s anger, is the fact that, after discovering he is molesting or raping the child, many mothers even continue having a sexual relationship with the perpetrator.
It is dangerous to remove liability from a mother who is aware of the sexual abuse, because it gives her permission to say, “Well, I don’t have any responsibility here. It’s not my fault he’s doing this.”
Personally, I think many cases of incest could be stopped immediately if police and prosecutors charged mothers with felony child abuse, reckless endangerment, and the abandonment of a child for not taking action against a perpetrator in the home.
Women who turn a blind eye to child sexual abuse, have a tremendous psychological protective system. Although no excuse, many of these mothers have been sexually abused themselves, and facing their daughter’s pain means facing their own. Other women have no financial resources or job skills, so provider security becomes a major factor in the choice not to disclose abuse to authorities. These women often feel their silence is necessary to “keep the family together,” or to keep the paychecks coming in.
These women just don’t get the fact that once a man sexually violates his children, the family is already destroyed.