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How To Cope With Child Molestation In The Family

Updated on June 3, 2011

The Perfect Family (my story)

The perfect family picture is not always the perfect family. My husband and I had been married for 2 years. I thought I knew everything there was to know about him. We had met not long afeter my daughter was born and married around her 5th birthday. She adored him and so did I. We talked about everything and had started a business together. we had a large 4 bedroom house and things were going great for us. We appeared to be the perfect family.

On our second wedding anniversary he dropped a bombshell on me. He explained that he needed help and asked if I would help him to get the help he needed. I still did not know what he was talking about. Then he explained that he had been molesting my daughter for the past 2 years. I was devestated and had no idea what to say or do. I asked her and she denied it. She was just 7 at the time.

I tried to hold my "perfect" family together but it was just not going to happen. He could not quit and I could not stand him any longer. My daughter appeared totally oblivious to everything and became aggitated when asked any questions. The final straw was the night I woke to find him standing over her bed staring at her. We divorced and he went to jail. I found out this had been going on in his family for several generations.

It Is My Fault because I Wanted It. (friend's story)

I was the oldest of 5 children and the only girl in my family. I helped my mom do all of the house work and cooking. I also worked hard in school. I was 9 when he first started. He made me feel so special. I thought that he liked me best. he would tell me how pretty I was and how much he loved me.

I thought this was how fathers were supposed to show their love. It did not occur to me that he was hurting me because it felt good . I actually looked forward to those times when he would come to me and even found myself longing for those "special" times with him.

When I did finally find out that this was not right I could not blame my father. It was my fault because I wanted him to do this. I never thought to tell because it was our secret and if I told then my father would quit loving me. I could not risk him not loving me any longer. This went on until I left home at 17.

These Stories Are Not Unique

These kind of stories and thousands more like them are echoed around the world every day. They are heartbreaking to say the least. What makes them even more devestating is the fact that the children do not realize that something is wrong.

Even with all of the attention that is in the media the children just do not know that what they are going through is not "normal". All they know is that they are getting attention that they so desperately want.

Many children try to tell but are ignored. Many more believe the threats of the molester and therefore do not tell. These children bottle up what tis going on and pray for the day they can escape.

Talk openly and honestly to your children concerning right from wrong touches. Listen when they speak. Do not block out what is going on. watch for signs if you suspect anything out of the ordinary.

Warning Signs of Abuse in Children

When warnings appear, it does not necessarily mean that a person is abusing a child. It is always important to err on the side of caution when protecting the rights of children. Some of the signs of abuse in children include:

  • Sudden behavioral and emotional changes
  • Changes in school performance
  • Signs of physical injuries
  • Withdrawal or mood swings
  • Unjustifiable fears and nightmares

Warning Signs of Abuse in Adults

You can also observe the warning signs of abuse in adult abusers. If you worry about the conduct or actions of an adult who has contact with a child, you should watch for these warning signs of abuse:

  • Lacks a close relationship or concern for his or her child
  • Blames the child for behavioral and school problems
  • Places unreasonable burdens on others for the care of a child
  • Views the child as worthless and bad

Act quickly if you suspect a person is abusing a child. The long-term effects of abuse on a child last a lifetime.

Finding Help

Sexual Abuse Victims Support Hotlines

U.S. National Child Abuse Hotline:

1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

Nationwide 24-hour telephone hotline that offers support and advice to:

  • Children who are being abused
  • Caregivers who feel they might abuse a child or who have abused a child
  • Survivors of child abuse
  • Others who suspect child abuse

SNAP: Survivors Network of those Abused By Priests:

1-877-SNAPHEALS (1-877-762-7432)

Online as well as phone support for sexual abuse from priests, even for abuse that is decades old.


I just wanted to tell you that there is HOPE. Victims can recover and live relatively normal lives.

My daughter and I attended 3 years of counseling together at the time. She is now 24 years old and working on a PHD in clinical psychology. She is in her first year of college but her GPA is 3.8 after year one.

It was not easy to get to this normal life for us and we went down a lot of wrong turns. I would say to those who are suffering through this, Listen to the counsleor, get in a support group, take courage. You are not alone, many have gone before and there are others there now. Reach out.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I was 5 the firs time a neighbor told me he wanted to show me something and took me to his and his wife's bedroom and pulled my dress up and panties down... lucky for me on of his kids slammed the front door and shuffled to get me out of the house before he was spotted. However, it was in my own home I wasn't safe. My brother woke me with his hand over mouth and told me he would kill me if I made a sound.. I was eight years old. A sibling to 7 other brothers and sisters and this went on until I was 14, I avoided people in school. thinking they could see the shame by looking at me. I'm now 45 and my entire family has turned their backs on me. I blamed god for not loving me enough to keep me safe and now my anxiety, depression and isolation has hurt my own kids.

      Thanks for giving me a venting outage.

    • profile image

      Dawn Ungersma 

      5 years ago

      I knew something was wrong but I had no adult I could trust to tell.

      I wanted it to stop and willed it to stop but I lay submissive every time hoping it would stop. I had no adults who really took and interest in me. I was so traumatized by the whole ordeal I could not tell what was happening anyway. The guilty party was so scary and angry all the time. My brother and I where afraid of him. He is still married to my Mom people say I should not allow him in my Home. But he has the character to take my Mom away from me for Life and I love my Mom. I always feel like the victim when people suggest what I should do. I love my Mom He has always domineered her she needs me.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      My bff remained with her husband after he admitted to molesting her two daughters when they were young. So being a wife is more important then being a mom. This girl actually is smiling and laughing as if she did the right thing. Lord she is going to live in her own hell pretty soon when he starts to molest their baby daugther in a few more years or cheats or her again. Lord have mercy

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Don't know where to start or what to say or how to feel I can't stop crying it just realy hurts ... My 2 yr old daughter was molested two days ago the authorities believe its my x that did this and it looks like this is the case I noticed while changing her that her hymen was broke and there was a lot of redness around that area I'm so lost and confused my daughters mother how why wtf I feel like I fails my daughter and I'm just lost and why just why some one please tell me what my 2 yr old did to deserve this I'm so lost top it off when I was 16 I was raped repeatedly and for this to happen to my baby I'm just I don't know

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      6 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Thank you for sharing this. I hope your daughter has healed from this egregious act. I am glad that she is working towards a doctorate in clinical psychology. God bless.

    • profile image

      Carol B. 

      7 years ago

      I just found out that my two nieces were sexually molested in their early teen years by my sisters ex boyfriend. Does anyone have any advise on what i can do to comfort my sister and her two girls?

    • william.fischer29 profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your story and for the warnings. I'm so happy you were able to recover from that nightmare. We must not lose hope.

    • profile image

      still afraid 

      7 years ago

      I just woke up from a bad dream , I have been having them for a very long time , I was just 5 and my brother molested me up in till I was 11 and I never told anyone till this day the only one who knows is my husband he has been trying to get me to get help but I am scared . I am thinking its to late for me until I read this story , I am going to get help now thank you for your stories .

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      It is so sad to hear how often we surviors of childhood sexual abuse go to people we trust and try to tell them what is happening to us and turned away and end up with feelings of shame and quilt. I myself went through years of abuse from the age of 5 through 12. I suffer from Post-tramatic stress disorder and anxiety. I am 54 years old now and have been getting help for a long time. I know it was not my fault, and I will never forget the act of the abuse. And as long as there are people who refuse to listen to children when they need your help this cycle of abuse will continue for ages to come.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I have been molested by my grandFather when I was seven unlike the other stories I knew something was verry wrong as I told my mom that he was hurting me. She then told my dad about it and I was standing there I was seven but I remember what he said to her look she's laughing she's lieng the police mad her clever she thinks kissing is molesting. But I never said that he was molesting me I told her that he was hurting me I only rememeber the one time he molested me the rest I can't remember I'd like to know why I can't remember I know it happened on more than on ocassion cause I can remember when whe used to visit there I would wear up to 7 undies over eachother thinking he wouldn't be able to touch me. When I was 15 years old my dad started doing the same only he made it look like a game he would tickle me and the if I pulled his hair he would put his hands in my pants and pull my pubic hair. He would ask me if he can see my stretch marks on my boobs and when I would refuse he would put his hands in my top and feel them anyway. I told my mom when I was sixteen years old she denied it and told everybody I was just looking for attention. When I was 18 I started working for my parents me and my dad where alone in the office my mom was nextdoor in their house as we where running the business from another house nextdoor he made me watch porn with me and the started with his touching stuff again and then told me not to be a tital tale and not to go and tell my mom. I went and told my mom any way and this time I thought she believed me as she called him and told him that she wanted to see him it's divorce this time she said. He came back I asked my Grandmother to sit with me in the office he came back and wanted to talk to me he was as white as a ghost he said to me what did you go and tell your mother? I said nothing cause I was scared of him. Aparently he had told my mom that he was preparing me for life I need to know what sex is about so that I can protect myself. She believed him once again and I was ignored for 3 Months this would happen routinely every year he got caught he would have an excuse as to why he did it I can't handle this any more I'm 23 now still working for my dade and guess what it happened again and this time I'm the guilty one once again now he said he was just playing and that he will never talk to me or touch me again. Every time they make me feel like it's my fault like I'm going crazy like this is what dad's are supposed to do!!!!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I never thought something like this would ever happen in my family. My husband walked around like he was the perfect person and everybody adores him. I found out 4 months ago that he has been molesting my oldest daughter since she was 7 years old. He was arrested and awaiting trial. His family recently bailed him out of jail and he is walking around like he is a perfect person. He has really messed are family up. My youngest daughter came to me and told me that he was touching her to. I just pray that my girls will be able to heal from this pain

    • profile image

      wallace ritter 

      8 years ago

      until some thing like this hits your life you dont know what to do as a step dad im turn in to to sides that i cant choose from im sorry to all the people that this has happen to i think that cassteration should be mandertory at the least and life in prison in geareal pop this has got to be stopped for the safty of our children somebody has to do some thing soon in louisiana you will gett more time for a dwi than child rape this has to end this is the wrong measage we send to our youth

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      God I need help I just found out my stepson 16 has been molesting my 10 yo daughter and I am having dealing with all this and total confusion , counceler CPS is making us see are not helping they wont even address the issues I need a friend who can help and talk to I am in the military and a lot look to me for answers now I need someone and feel so alone even the cops wont help I am not even allowed to talk to my daughter or read the reports I just get jerked around by the courts law enforcement and CPS in CA Johnie my e mail is

    • profile image

      Cathy is gods child 

      9 years ago

      Tracy, My heart goes out to you and all of the emoyions you are feeling at this time. I know what you are going through. The first thing that I need to tell you is that it is not your fault. Y ou did nothing wronfg and there really was no way for you to have changed things. Remember that he is the one who was in the wrong. He is the perpetrater and that you and your child are both victims and should both seek counceling to help ease the pain of betrayal for both of you. I will say that a good councelor will prpovide sessions for both of you ( yourself and your child) individually and together. Many times the court system will pay for these sessions as you are preparing for trial and prossecusion. I also sugest that you seek out help from the local church. God did not do this to you nor does He approve of this behavior. He is there to help you and your child through this horrible ordeal and He wants to give you two love and comfort. He will strengthewn you to carry on from here. Keep me posted.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I just found out that my 13 year old daughter, my only daughter was abused by my ex-husband for 7 years and I didn't know it. He had two girls from a previous marriage, I thought he was an okay parent. I am devasted and feel so guilty that I didn't know so that I could have stopped it sooner. If there is any advise that you can give me to help her heal and me as well, please share as I feel dead inside right now. Thanks for sharing and for any help you have to offer.

    • Gloria Cowdery profile image

      Gloria Cowdery 

      9 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for your honesty. As a survivor myself, I commend you for your very blunt and refreshing story. I am glad at how God is using you.


      Gloria Cowdery

    • profile image

      greatly sadden 

      9 years ago

      I have been married for 9 years and have 5 beautiful children and just found out that my husband has been molesting all of my children.... I am totally distraut and spinning in circles because once was a normal family is no longer what once was.....How do I stay strong for my children and not lose it at the same time.....HELP

    • glassvisage profile image


      10 years ago from Northern California

      This is a great resource because it's personal and real-life. I don't know what I would do if someone came to me with such news. Thanks for including this information

    • writergirl86 profile image


      10 years ago from Sheffield

      Thank you! For writing this hub! I have been thourgh molestation by my step dad from the age of 13 to 18. It's hard for me everyday to forgive him and to forget. I have severe mental problems and emotional problems too. It's been five years since he has been dead but I still have nightmares and cry for no reason. It hurt's to know that someone you loved could do this to you and because of it for years I was scared to love someone and let them close to me till I met my sweetie a year ago. Today is getting better and i know in the future I might be able to forgive but I will never forget. Thanks and keep on writing about the real issues in life.

    • LouiseKnittel profile image


      10 years ago from Ohio

      Very good hub! Thanks for saring it with us!

    • Candace Morgan profile image

      Candace Morgan 

      10 years ago from New York

      Thank you very much. I am sure that wasn't easy to write. Good job.

    • BDazzler profile image


      10 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      Yes, welcome to Hub Pages. I applaud your courage, and your approach to dealing with this evil.

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Kate Swanson 

      10 years ago from Sydney

      Well done, this is a difficult subject and you've dealt with it very well. Welcome to HubPages.!

    • Gods Child profile imageAUTHOR

      Gods Child 

      10 years ago from New Orleans, La

      Thank all of you for your encouragement. I would like to say that this is an incident form 17 years ago with me. However just last night after publishing this Hub my daughter learned that one of her friends had discovered that there was evidence of her own daughter being sexually abused by the father. (age 2) We need awareness but these families also need our prayers even when we don't know who they are just prayers in general.

    • mhei profile image


      10 years ago from Philippines

      im really impressed!! not everyone like you will have the guts to share experiences like these. this hub is well-crafted, looking forward to reading more of your hubs. God bless you.

    • longdrv4u profile image


      10 years ago from North Carolina

      I just want to say thank you for sharing

      Once things are out in the open people can deal with issues but when things are left hidden you will cary it foreever

    • KT pdx profile image

      KT pdx 

      10 years ago from Vancouver, WA, USA

      Thank you for sharing your experience. Good links, too. People need to know this information, for themselves and for others.

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 

      10 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Hello Gods Child, I too welcome you to HubPages. This is a very supportive community for people who are brave enough (like you) to share their stories. What you have written is so powerful and very helpful to other mothers and families. I do hope your daughter got past her denial and got therapy to know she was not at fault in any way. Thank God your husband came to you or it might still be going on *shiver*. Keep writing. Keep healing! MM

    • Misha profile image


      10 years ago from DC Area

      Thank you for your honest account - and welcome to Hubpages :)

    • Marian Swift profile image

      Marian Swift 

      10 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

      Thank you for your bravery. You not only shared intense personal experiences, you listed warning signs and suggested places to find help.

      A remarkable debut. Welcome to Hub Pages!

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Gods Child! This is a very sensitive subject and it was very brave for you to share. Step one of healing.

      kindest regards Zsuzsy

    • Pam Roberson profile image

      Pam Roberson 

      10 years ago from Virginia

      You were very brave to write this hub. What I appreciate about what you've done is that you shared your experience (very brave), you've outlined warning signs of abuse, and you've provided resources for people to get help.

    • AEvans profile image


      10 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      You did it!! Thank you for sharing it, as there are so many that go through it and out of fear, never say anything about it. You did the right thing with your husband and being able to speak about it, is a beginning. You are moving down the right path and healing yourself as well. I am sure there are many hiding behind their doors right now and I hope that one by one, they will be caught and brought to justice for their crime on children, wonderful article. :)

    • Gods Child profile imageAUTHOR

      Gods Child 

      10 years ago from New Orleans, La

      Thank you for reading.

    • jimmythejock profile image

      James Paterson 

      10 years ago from Scotland

      Thankyou for sharing this .....jimmy


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