The women interviewed for this article felts a great deal of guilt and shame. That could account for their sometimes disorganized and confusing accounts. One woman, a child sexual abuse survivor herself who refused any professional help, appeared not to understand that she had done anything harmful to her children.
Women who sexually abuse children are mothers, sisters, stepmothers, aunts, grandmothers, baby sitters, teachers, coaches, religious leaders and women who have other roles in children’s lives.
It is important for professionals, parents, and policy makers to be familiar with the meanings of child sexual abuse to women and girl perpetrators. Survivors of abuse by women and girls often feel even more stigmatized because of wide spread-assumptions that only men abuse children. Girls sexually abused by women and other girls may feel especially strange about disclosing their abuse experiences.
Boys abused by other boys or men may have fears of being gay. They also may feel unmasculine because they were unable to stop the abuse. Boys abused by other girls or women may think they are supposed to feel as if have scored, but down deep they may feel stigmatized and shamed. Still others may believe that abuse by women is a form of love.
The following quotes give some idea of what child sexual abuse means to women and girl perpetrators.
Brenda, in her mid thirties, sexually abused a younger brother for three years when she was between the ages of twelve to fifteen. She viewed her abuse as gentle and nurturing. She said
He was five, six, seven when I sexually abused him--fondling, just touching, sleeping with, touching, sort of a nurturing thing.