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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » Someone I know being abused

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Author Topic: Someone I know being abused
Moviegeek
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I frequent a Christian site (youth-oriented)that has a prayer thread. Someone I know decently well from that site asked for prayer for a porn addiction-but while he was at it, revealed that when his mother caught him masturbating to it, she stopped him from pulling his pants up and finished it.

I'm very sure that this is sexual abuse. The problem is that he doesn't see it that way- he said that his mother was being open-minded, and was helping him get rid of the sexual thoughts in his head- like a mother breast-feeds her child. How can I get him to see that what happened is very wrong, and that he needs to get some sort of help for it, either through counciling with his religious leader or a psychiatrist? I feel that someone should know what's going on and stop it!

Additional information: He's 24 and lives at home, and is from California. He also mentioned that this is apparently normal/accepted in his family.

Any advice would be welcome!

[ 01-19-2011, 04:36 PM: Message edited by: Moviegeek ]

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breath
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Thanks for writing here moviegeek. It is often unsettling to find this out about others near to us and you have taken an courageous proactive step to find out how to help best.

While we can't comment much on his personal living sitaution with his family, it is not entirely clear by the way you have worded it " stopped him from putting his pants and (stopped) him from ejaculating?"

Unfortunately, there is little anyone can do unless the person himself recognizes and would like to address this this. Unfortunatley while the matter gets tricky when there are religious beliefs involved, you can tell him that sexual thoughts are common to many people in across wide spectrum of age / beliefs and perhaps you can send him educated neutrally worded links about treatment plans for sexual addiction.

Also, as a FYI-Often times (but not always) when someone has a sexual addiction it is because they are using sex (and it associated feelings that come from orgasm etc) to substite, replace or subdue other feelings of inadequecy, or insecurity or unhappiness in some other areas of their life.

[ 01-19-2011, 05:44 PM: Message edited by: breath ]

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September
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Moviegeek, the situation you say this poster described does indeed sound like the mother overstepped her bounds. However, unless the person who posted it is open to seeking out help, there is very little you or we can do. If you'd like, you can let him know that the behavior of his mother he mentioned is not healthy and that you recommend seeking outside help for it, but that's all you can do unless/until he asks for help.

Too, as he is already 24 and thus far beyond the age of majority, there also is no reason or way to get anyone else involved. If he wanted to leave, he could do so. So, as unhealthy as those dynamics sound, it's ultimately up to him to do something about them.


As far as his addiction to pornography goes, I'd like to point out that, in the world of sex education and reproductive health, we don't actually talk about addiction (to sex, pornography, etc). Rather, we talk about someone experiencing compulsive behaviour. The difference is that there are no actual physical symptoms that drive one to engage in these activities. Rather, it's a form of compulsion.

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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Heather
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Just a quickie on this: the fact that this person is not a minor does not mean there is nothing they can do outside of leaving to stop sexual abuse happening in their home. While they can't use services intended for minors, they COULD use other domestic violence services. What's being described here is also both sexual assault and incest, which are crimes. This person could report these crimes and file charges with their local police. As well, it sounds very much like this personal probably grew up with sexual abuse: there is not a statute of limitations in the US for incest, so this person could also press charges for any abuse like this when they were a minor.

It sounds, however, like this abuse has been so constant and ongoing that this individual does not understand this is not normal and is abuse, which happens often with abuse in families. Per telling a religious leader, I really think that would only be sound advice if they or you knew that leader to be very educated about abuse: many are not, and/or will put the responsibility for abuse on the victim.

I would suggest the police or a domestic violence advocate are their first best step.

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Moviegeek
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@ Breath- I meant that she had stopped him from pulling his pants up, put her hands on his genitals and finished his masturbation herself.

@ September- thank you for correcting me about 'addiction' vs. 'compulsion'.

Thanks to all of you- I'll definitely continue to encourage him to talk to the police or a domestic violence advocate. Probably the latter for now since he doesn't feel that it's abuse, and that way he can start taking steps to realize that it isn't normal or good for that to be happening in his family.

I had believed that religious leaders had been trained to be educated about abuse- I'm sad to hear that isn't the case.

Is there a domestic abuse hotline number that I could or should give him?

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Heather
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Moviegeek: some are, some aren't. But one of the hardest truths to know is that in some religions, a lot of sexual abuse takes PLACE by religious leaders, so that alone can make some very unsafe to talk to about this. Others, by virtue of their belief, may support the idea that abuse is the fault of the victim. Without knowing what chruch this person goes to, I'd be wary of telling them to start there, especially if they are fundamentalist in any way.

I think the latter is the best first step for this kind of person anyway, especially as a male victim.

I would maybe have him start with the RAINN hotline, which is 1-800-656-HOPE.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Moviegeek
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Well, I sent him the number, along with a message saying that perhaps he could talk to the people there to figure out whether he was being abused.

His answer was that it wasn't abuse if he liked it.

I'm not sure if he meant emotionally, physically, or both. Even so, I know that this isn't right, and that victims of abuse can feel pleasure even if they don't want the touch, and that sometimes children who grow up in an environment where abuse is considered okay, will feel that it's okay.

So where do I go from here?

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Heather
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I think you reaching out to this person this way, with so much concern, was really lovely and very kind.

However, it sounds like they're not being responsive to you and aren't recognizing this as abuse. But if this person isn't asking for your counsel on this further, my best advice is to respect that -- and I know how much that can suck, I've had it happen a lot myself in the work we do here -- and let it go.

I would, however, at least alert whoever runs the forum so that they know and can keep an eye.

Or, am I misunderstanding" does he still want to talk about this with you?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Moviegeek
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I don't know. He asked me whether my parents had ever done anything like that. I answered very honestly and said no- and explained what had happened the one time I was caught masturbating.

I haven't heard back from him.

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Heather
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Are you sure that this person isn't fabricating this?

I ask that because one thing that's unfortunately very typical on the 'net are people who get off on incest fantasies telling them as truths. That's not to say there are not real people in those real situations asking about it, too, there are. But a person in their twenties asking others if their parents had been sexual with them could potentially be someone trying to make you play into their fantasy.

So, if you don't feel pretty sure this person is legit (maybe by looking at the rest of their post history on the site there?), and/or if they're not engaging with you otherwise or asking for more help, I'd suggest just putting it into a site admin's hands from here.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Moviegeek
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I had wondered that myself. I checked his history to see if there were any warning signs that could be the case, but after thinking it through and what he was saying, I didn't think so.

He also just sent me a message said that he was breaking down from crying and was going to call the hotline in a few minutes.

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Heather
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Okay, I just wanted to check in about that. I don't mean to be cynical, it just happens a lot, and I didn't want you to get too invested with someone who wasn't for real.

It's great he's going to call the hotline. Again, it's really lovely you reached out to help someone like this.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Moviegeek
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Thanks. I may have to retract my former statement, though. He says he called the hotline and the person said it wasn't that bad.

So either he didn't actually call or he is leading on about it. I would really be surprised about the latter, since he's a long-standing member and the Mods have been made aware of what he's posted.

So now I'm not sure what to think.

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Heather
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No one at the RAINN hotline said incest "wasn't that bad." I say that with 100% confidence.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Moviegeek
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I thought so. This really gets my goat. I'm sorry for wasting your time.
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Heather
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You don't owe me any apologies. Whether or not this was bonafide, I think you reacted in exactly the way you should have. If nothing else, someone else may read that information who needs it.

Same goes for our conversation here.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Moviegeek
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Thank you. And I will keep the information on mind and at hand. I only hope that I'll never have to use it.
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