When a mother does not protect her child, it violates everything the child experienced in the womb. This is where the mother was the sole security for the child , and where she provided the shell of protection and comfort. The child would certainly expect the same kind of protection outside the womb.
If the mother is not willing to provide that safety, then the child questions their self-worth and their entire existence, and the child’s trust can be broken for life. The child may grow to trust no one, and in adulthood, they sometimes don’t even trust themselves.
Out of forty interview subjects, who were sexually abused by their father or stepfather, Judith Herman M.D. found that the participants were universally disappointed in the mothers who were told of the abuse while the abuse was still happening. Every participant in the study had mothers who reacted in a way that was heart-wrenching to the victim and most did not protect their daughters.
Herman found that, even if the mothers believed their daughters (which was not always the case), they did nothing to stop the sexual assaults. The Herman study found that the mothers were clear about who came first. Each of the mothers, directly or indirectly, told their daughter that she would have to be sacrificed if that became necessary. 1
When a Mother’s Indifference Causes Even Greater Suffering
One of the most heinous forms of child abuse is mother/daughter incest. The word, “unimaginable” is often used about a woman who would sexually abuse her child, especially her daughter, but it happens, and this must be acknowledged by ‘apple pie’ Americans.
Contrary to what the public wants to believe, the majority of female sexual offenders are not mentally ill. They might have depression or personality disorders, but most female sexual offenders are employed in professional jobs, look perfectly normal, go to church, and show no outward signs of sexual deviation. Their victims can be both boys and girls, but they abuse female children more often than male children.
Female sex offenders are often women being coerced by a male authority in the family, or by a boyfriend. These women are usually dependent on the man, fear losing him, and have a history of having been abused as a child. In addition, just like men who abuse the daughter of their girlfriend or wife, sometimes a mother’s lesbian lover victimizes her partner’s child.
In cases where a woman acts alone in sexually abusing a child, she was usually the victim of incestuous abuse herself, and deviant sexual fantasies are common among these women. They usually abuse their own children or other young children within their own family.
Mothers sometimes force oral sex on their daughter or force the daughter to perform oral sex on her mother. To the victim, this can be the same as being raped by a man.
Some women begin their descent into deviancy by not protecting their child from their husband or boyfriend, and then escalate into helping the abuser rape their daughter. Eventually, the mother can be be forced into, or stimulated by, the thought of joining in on the molestation.
In some cases, a mother might become arroused by the thought of sex with a child because of her own experience with having been sexually abused. Through repetition, the human mind can be trained into what is stimulating. The mother may be acting out what she was taught felt good when she was a victim. She might eventually feel that incest itself is arousing because this was her first experience with sex.
“I want to have sex with your daughter.”
Barbara Hazel represents one of the most extreme cases of a woman who will do whatever it takes in order to keep a man. Barbara married Bobby Hazel immediately after he was released from prison. Barabara said that Bobby represented someone who would take care of her and protect her.
When Barbara’s daughter Crystal was seven years old, Barbara Hazel asked her husband what he wanted for his birthday. He replied, “I want to have sex with your daughter.” Barbara agreed, and she and her husband both began sexually abusing her daughter.
At first the sexual acts took place when it was the three of them. There was touching, oral sex, kissing, and photos were taken of Barbara having sex with her daughter. Barbara even admitted to liking sex with a little girl. She said it turned her on.
Well, at least she’s honest. I’ll give her that.
Eventually Barbara began to feel disgusted about the incest, but it continued for several years and grew worse.
Crystal was ultimately left alone with her stepfather. He then raped and sodomized her.
In 1987, Barbara and Bobby Hazel were apprehended and Crystal became the main witness for the prosecution. Bobby Hazel was given forty-four years in prison and Barbara Hazel was sentenced to thirty-three years.
During a prison interview, Barbara Hazel said she was sexually abused as a child and that she probably complied with her perpetrator in order to show him that she loved him, thus gaining attention and affection from him.
Barbara explained that what she did to her daughter would be a way for her husband to know how much she loved him. She also admitted that she needed a man who would protect her. This falls in line with her experience as a victim in childhood.
However, once a previous victim of child sexual abuse victimizes a child, they, by the very fact, become a child sexual abuser and can no longer count themselves as a victim. Children are the only victims. Adults make choices.
In order to break from the past, Crystal changed her name and says of the abuse, “It tore my whole world apart, because no matter what she would ever do, I loved her, she was my mom.” 2
Further reading on women who sexually abuse female children: Click here
1. Father Daughter Incest Judith Lewis Herman with Lisa Hirschman Harvard University Press Cambridge Massachusetts 1981 Page 89
2. The Ultimate Betrayal MSNBC Investigates 2001