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Systems In Society: Sexual Abuse Vs Social Abuse, Which Is Worse?

Updated on February 23, 2014

Child Molestation: Social Systems Abuse Victims

This a true and honest account of child molestation performed over a period of six weeks on numerous occasions.

It analyses the methods and the affects of how social systems were set up in such a way to inadvertantly abuse victims.

The question here asks how these social systems, that are supposed to protect victims, could have handled the child molestation differently; thereby, minimising the effects, not only from the child molestation, but the social system that was in place at the time.

I may add, here, that the child molestation took place in 1979.

So, the decision is yours - sexual abuse vs social abuse - which is worse?


Alice was an 8-year-old girl. Brought up by her parents, she was essentially an only child as her half brother was 10 years older and was living independently. Alice always seemed to be a bit of a loner and she found it difficult to maintain friendships.

Her teachers often reported dreamy behaviour, her lack of concentration and a slow response to learning. Alice was unable to read, write and numerate effectively. This situation was in the process of being addressed, as a placement was made available within a small group of six to help accelerate learning.

The family home was some two miles from the school and Alice used to make the track to school and home most days. She liked to walk alone as she enjoyed the objects, people and things she saw on the way. Everyday was like an adventure to her, whatever the weather brought. She would sometimes play on the swings or down the dell whilst returning home.

A sense of outcast
A sense of outcast

“Why does nobody like me? What can I do to make people like me?”

Alice always had a sense of outcast. She wanted to make friends and found it easy to initiate this but was not good at this over a period of time. She would be teased much of the time – she was overweight and smelly. Her father would say that she needed to stop being irritating and aggravating.

If she did this, she may have been more amenable to others. Alice never really used toilet tissue to clean herself and only had a bath once a week. It was no wonder that this may have got in the way of her relationships. She would often talk and attempt to reason with herself, “Why does nobody like me? What can I do to make people like me?” She found people fascinating and would observe in her dream-like state.

He bought her ice cream, gave her piggybacks and seemed a nice man

Her family was not religious in any way. Alice, however, was always very enquiring and felt she had a relationship with some higher entity. She attended church on her own initiative. Alice would often tell others of their problems in their lives. She could never have possibly have known. She didn’t know what she was saying and didn’t realise that it might actually have a bearing on things. She was one of those people that used to ‘put her foot in it’, without realising it. This made her feel isolated.

He seemed a nice man. Some of the other children went to his flat. Alice came along. They all giggled...

One day a nice pre-retirement aged man started to talk to her. It was a lovely day and she liked the attention. He lived on a council estate situated on the route home from school. It was nice to chat, she thought. The next day, he turned up again and they chatted some more. This happened over a period of a week. He was very nice to her. He bought her ice cream and pointed out some lovely flowers in the bushes.

He seemed a nice man. Some of the other children went to his flat. Alice came along. They all giggled. It was strange as none of the other children returned to the flat, but the man approached Alice and she went back on her own on proceeding days. She did some washing up for him and he gave her piggybacks. One day his finger slipped in her knickers during this activity. Alice thought it was an accident and took no notice but it happened again and again. She thought it was a small price to pay for a friend and took no notice.

One day he showed her some pornographic magazines – she laughed it off. He threw her on the bed and satisfied himself on her. He walked her home. He tried to have sex with her, over the period of time but she rolled away.

“Are you sure you aren’t making up stories, Alice?”

He used to walk her home sometimes. Her Aunt, who was staying at the family home, asked her who the man way. Alice just said he was a friend and nothing more was said.

Alice was acting very strangely at school. She stripped off under some trees and acted age inappropriately – an 8 year old acting like 18. She was behaving badly and rudely to the teachers and started touching the boys. At parents evening the teacher told her parents that there was something not quite right with their daughter but he couldn’t say what.

It was during a one to one session at reading that the teaching assistant asked what Alice was doing at the man’s flat – she lived opposite. She replied ,"By playing", but the teacher would not let the issue go. She pressurised Alice into telling her everything and said if she told her that I would not need to worry. She told her everything and cried. Alice was scared.

After the confession, Alice was made to repeat the story to the headmaster - then to her parents. “Are you sure you aren’t making up stories, Alice?” Her father asked her. She was very distressed. She shook her head. It was then to the Police station. “Has he been up to his old tricks, again?” was the response. Apparently, that was why the other children had stopped going to the flat – everyone else knew about this man, but Alice.

Many children said that she must have deserved it and led the man on.

Alice was beside herself with distress when the police Doctor gave her an internal examination and it was difficult giving a statement. The man was arrested.

All the school seemed to know of what happened to Alice. She got bullied and teased. Many children said that she must have deserved it and led the man on. This is because the man was reported in the local newspapers – somehow everyone seemed to know who the abused child was.

After six months, the man was tried at court. He admitted his guilt. As a result he got 1 years probation and community service.

Alice suffered much from this experience. All she really wanted was for someone to say that what the man did was wrong and not to go near him and she would have stayed away. Instead the system abused her far more than the incident itself. She knew there was something not quite right with what the man was doing but thought that that was what happened, as a girl got older.

Education and counselling would have been more appropriate to her needs, rather than suffer the indignation of explaining, reliving the experience, examination and bullying, It is therefore that Alice felt that the system abused her more than the abuse itself.

This work is covered under Creative Commons License


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    • shazwellyn profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Great Britain

      She didnt end up having psychological problems surrounding the abuse, IT WAS WHAT THE SYSTEM PUT HER THROUGH that she had real issues over - *doh*! The abuse was NOTHING COMPARED to the way the system ABUSED her!!!!! Let me remind you of the question, Empennage: Sexual Abuse Vs Social Abuse, Which Is Worse?

      Oh, and what makes you assume she had intercourse?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You write: "Alice didn't have a problem with the abuse"

      You're kidding, right? An innocent eight year old girl being forced to have intercourse with an elderly man doesn't have a problem with that?

    • shazwellyn profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Great Britain

      dawnM - I think for this little girl, it was the system that was abusive and being forced to tell the truth. She was then punished by it - sad but true. The positive thing is to learn is to handle the effects of abuse in a much more tender way because this can be more abusive than the effects of the abuser.

      Thank you for reading :)

    • dawnM profile image

      Dawn Michael 

      8 years ago from THOUSAND OAKS

      shazwelly, I am cryig after I read your article, how very sad, this is for that little girl, my heat aches for the pain that she went through. Abuse is absolute with no doubt, she wanted love and attetion, from her parents, but instead got abused from a very sick man. the blame is on her parents, who negelected her, and did not take the time to teach her and love her.

      I have counseled many adults who have been abused and the scars are so deep, that I always leave with a lump in my throat and have to walk off the pain that I feel from them. Thank-you for an excellent hub!

    • shazwellyn profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Great Britain

      Cheaptrick - well, I should know Alice's story more than anyone else. Thanks for reading :)

    • cheaptrick profile image


      8 years ago from the bridge of sighs

      Wow!What a kick in the Heart this hub gave Me!You have much courage to be able to see these things happening and be proactive in stopping them.Thanks for getting involved.


    • shazwellyn profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Great Britain

      Thank you for reading. Alice didn't have a problem with the abuse - through councilling at the time, it may not have had such a marked affect on her in the future. She just wanted to be told what the guy was doing wasnt normal and why. The system, in effect, abused her. She never reported any abuse after this experience which led to a series of abuses later on...

      Thanks for reading, my friend! x

    • Bovine Currency profile image

      Bovine Currency 

      9 years ago

      Thanks for that excellent hub. I can relate to that in a very personal way but mine is a story that I cannot bring to the public domain, it is personal but not me being the victim. Something similar happened when I was younger, to someone very close to me. Not exactly the same outcome, I took the law into my own hands and suffered remorse for many years. Sometimes I wondered if I suffered more than I should. I couldn't talk to anyone and definetly not the person I tried to protect, I felt it would have been inappropriate and hurt the victim more. The perpetrator was never formally accused and I played a part in it not going to the courts, though I was only a teenager myself I felt that it wouldn't have been right. Thanks again. Very brave.


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