“Ariel Castro’s words at his sentencing hearing on Thursday are almost jaw-dropping. Given a chance to speak before he was sentenced to life in prison, plus a thousand years for aggravated murder and for holding three young women captive for 11 years, he repeatedly blamed his victims.
“Most of the sex that went on in that house, probably all of it, was consensual,” Castro said. “These allegations about being forceful on them — that is totally wrong. Because there was times where they’d even ask me for sex –many times. And I learned that these girls were not virgins. From their testimony to me, they had multiple partners before me, all three of them.
The denial and rationalization comes as no shock to experts on rape and abuse. In fact, they say, it’s typical that men who rape or batter women will deny they did anything wrong, and even that the victim was “asking for it.”
“I think it’s actually very typical of an abuser,” says Barbara Paradiso, who directs the center on domestic violence at the University of Colorado-Denver.
“There is a widely held belief that women enjoy rape or that it is ‘just sex at the wrong time, in the wrong place’,” Rape Crisis of England and Wales says on its website. “Often when a woman is raped she is afraid that she will be killed – rapists often use the threat of killing a woman or her children to ensure her ‘submission’ and her silence after the attack. Women do not enjoy sexual violence. Victims of murder, robbery and other crimes are never portrayed as enjoying the experience.” ~NBC News
The reason you don’t hear of enjoyment when a victim experiences a robbery or a loved one is murdered, is because they are not crimes that involve human intimacy, hormones, orgasms, and sexual pleasure.
What Castro is describing is that after months or years, sometimes the victim goes to the captor for human closeness, or develops an intimate affection out of a natural desire when there is no one else to fulfill it (like in instances of incest where the mother is cold and impersonal -even resentful- of the child).
Castro is using his crime and excusing his deviancy by taking his victim’s reactions out of context, and he is nearly blaming them.
In cases of incest, the father, step-father, uncle, or brother does the same thing when the child feels she is the ‘girlfriend’ of her perpetrator and can even want to have sex with him.
Not only do I speak from person experience, but I have corresponded with many women who felt the same way. Even adult rape victims have reported sexual stimulation during a rape. The human body is designed to react to touch –even sometimes to violent touch.
Human beings, especially children, have a need for love, attention, and affection. They will often take it any way they can get it –even if that need is fulfilled by a sexual predator. This can cause a deeply embedded “guilt neurosis” in the victim.
Experts would do better by victims, if they openly discussed this and did not allow it to be just one more dirty little secret that victims have to deal with because no body wants to hear about “THAT!” Subsequently, the victim feels isolated, different, and left to try and heal this on their own, or in most cases, never heal at all because their therapist doesn’t dare approach the subject, and does not allow the client to explore their own subconscious mind.
The only reason I was able to discover what I wrote above, and to heal the many physical problems I had connected to this truth, was by entering my subconscious mind and allowing that truth to naturally come up in therapy, from me, from inside my own experience as a child –not from the concepts and societal ‘niceities’ that tell us, ‘don’t you dare say such things!’… ‘It’s not nice to say the victim sometimes wants it, or feels good during the abuse!’… ‘You are hurting victims by making such claims.’
Quite the contrary. It is truth which liberates the victim from their self-made prison, not lies.
Yes, the perpetrator is 100% at fault. The child rapist, or the child molester, is the one who manipulated and coerced the child. The predator is the one who holds sole responsibility for the the acts, for the child’s reaction to the abuser, and for the crime. But unless mental health experts, rape and incest counselors, and victims themselves, don’t get honest about the realities of the complicated dynamics of child sexual abuse, then victims will continue to deny those truths, make themselves sick, and never fully heal.
Due to this aspect of rape and child sexual abuse, abusers frequently portray themselves as victims. They justify the abuse because the child’s body responds (or in Castro’s case, the kidnap victim eventually submits to the acts and forms a trauma bond), and eventually the child (or adult in a kidnapping situation) might go for sex with their abuser.
But in order to heal this issue, truth is needed. If victims are not told that it’s okay to admit they might have enjoyed some of the abuse, or molestation, and if they are not allowed to grieve that guilt out of their mind and body, then they will always feel there is something wrong with them inside themselves.
I spent years with an unknown feeling inside, an instinctual feeling that there was “something deeply wrong with me.” I had no idea what was wrong with me. It was merely a deep knowing –a strange feeling that something was not okay inside me.
I was not able to expel that wretched feeling until I began to remember, and feel the truths of going to my father for sex, having orgasms with him, and that I enjoyed the attention and felt competitive with my mother.
I needed to feel these realities, release the emotions, and to validate that there was nothing wrong with those feelings. I also needed to fully grasp that, in spite of those feelings, none of the incest was my fault. But this healing work had to be done at the subconscious level. We can walk around all day and consciously tell ourselves we did nothing wrong, that ‘the abuse was not my fault,’ and repeat these mantras over and over. Friends, therapists, ministers, priests, spouses, and incest counselors can tell us for a lifetime that it wasn’t our fault. But if we do not heal this belief at the subconscious level –at the level where the emotional bond to our abuser originally occurred, then we can never fully heal.
It is also very important to speak openly about this subject, because if we do not, victims will develop a guilt neurosis that can cause them a lifetime of physical and psychological problems that will never be addressed.
If victims of rape, kidnapping, and child sexual abuse, who felt pleasure or went to their abusers for more, are not given the truth, or not allowed to remember the truth, they will suffer the rest of their lives with repressed guilt.
I suffered for two decades with repressed guilt. It took me that long to allow myself to fully remember, accept, and to heal the ugly truths.
In order for the soul to heal itself, it needs truth.
The conscious mind hears what it wants to hear, but the soul -the psyche- the SUBCONSCIOUS MIND needs to release its personal truth in order to heal –no matter how uncomfortable that truth might be for the conscious mind, and society, to deal with.
If victims are continually told they must have always hated the abuse, that they never wanted sexual contact, and that they never felt pleasure or a need to be with their abuser, then victims are left with guilt-induced psychological dysfunction and guilt-created psychosomatic symptoms that are life-altering.
Below is a list of the ways in which my guilt over having felt pleasure and orgasms, and intimate contact, with my father had affected my life.
Please note that this is NOT a symptom check-list. This is not a list of symptoms that one should, or can, use to determine if they have repressed guilt like I did. This list is MY experience, my personal list of symptoms and has nothing to do with anyone else.
- Stomach aches
- Serious problems with food (which would have been defined as several different “eating disorders.”)
- Migraine headaches
- Back pain
- Chronic fatigue syndrome pain
- Severe gas pains
- Self-sabotaging behavior
- “Accidentally” cutting myself with kitchen utensils and kitchen knives on a regular basis.
- “Accidentally” banging my head on objects all the time.
- Fear of having fun.
- Not allowing myself any pleasure or enjoyment.
- Sexual dysfunction.
- Extreme need for attention from men in order to establish my self-worth.
- Repressed anger over having been cheated into thinking the sexual abuse with my father was “love.”
In my case, my guilt neurosis was magnified with the fact that my mother punished me, not my father, for the incest. There were also incidents of being punished immediately after having felt sexual pleasure with him. This really screwed with my psyche for a long time. As soon as something good or enjoyable ended in my adult life –even something as simple as a good movie coming to an end– I would immediately experience a negative physical reaction. Right after the enjoyment ended, it is as if I was saying, “okay, I’ve had a good time, so now I have to pay for it,” and thus, my unhealed subconscious made me pay with physical suffering.
I also suffered with psychosomatic symptoms because when I became older, and the abuse ended, I was disturbed by that. People need to recognize that many children tell about child sexual abuse because it has ended, not to end the abuse.
Some children tell, only because their abuser has started to molest a younger sibling, and the previous child victim tells someone about the abuse out of jealousy.
I believe that one of the worst violations of child sexual abuse and incest is not the rape of innocence, or the physical violence. It is not the emotional pain of betrayal by a trusted care-giver, or even the death threats and secrecy. For me, the worst part of child sexual abuse is the psychological violation of having confused the child into thinking that the sexual abuse was “love.”