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The rape of the innocents -- child sex abuse

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In the movie 'The Color Purple' Oprah Winfrey says, "It's a dangerous world for a girl child." Statistics show it's a dangerous world for any child.

In the movie 'The Color Purple' Oprah Winfrey says, "It's a dangerous world for a girl child." Statistics show it's a dangerous world for any child.

Child sex abuse -- thirty years as a protection worker

The bleak statistics

Official statistics published by child protection agencies are far too low.

In 1999, The McCreary Adolescent Health Survey in Canada estimated sexual abuse of girls at 35% and boys, 16% of the national adolescent population. Similar studies in the United States (Gorey & Leslie 1997) reported an estimate of 22% of girls and 5-10% of males. In 2005, the overall published rate for child sexual abuse is estimated at between 15-20%.

In 2001, a conference of child protection workers collected data from all ten Canadian provinces and 23 American states and came up with the horrific statistics of 4 out of every 10 girls and 1 out of every 10 boys. But these numbers, disturbing as they are, reflect only the reported cases, and as any worker in the field knows, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

In 2003, a similar conference of international child protection workers estimated the worldwide ratio as 7 out of 10 girls and 4 out of 10 boys as having been sexually molested before the age of sixteen. Most professionals believe even these figures are conservative.

The wide disparity of published statistics suggests we have no reliable figures with which to measure this sickness in our society.

More bleak statistics

80% of abusers hold a position of trust with the child, the father figure (father, stepfather, mother’s partner, grandfather) and of this 60-80% were abused themselves.

The average incestual relationship lasts seven years.

75% of the mothers of these victims had no idea these abusive relationships existed.

80% of prostitutes (male and female) report childhood sexual abuse.

It is estimated that less than 25% of child sexual abuse is ever reported to law-enforcement or child protection authorities.

Child sexual abuse is found in all economic and ethnic strata of our society, from the very wealthy to the very poor, and equally distributed among all cultures and races.

We do not know if these figures represent a growing incidence of sexual abuse of children, because no studies had been published prior to the late 1970’s.

Do these statistics and facts surprise you?

They did me, and I have thirty years experience as an outreach worker in child protection. I worked with the victims.

If the statistics are to be believed, for every ten women who read this hub, seven of you will have personal experience as a victim, and for you men, four of you have stories of your own.

Being a woman, I chose to narrow my scope here to females; also because as an outreach worker, I specialized in working with girls. I do not doubt for a minute the pain and horror experienced by the boys is any less traumatizing, but I cannot speak to it with the same degree of experience.

At first, I had trouble believing that 70% of the women in the world had been victims of sexual abuse. I started my own private experiment, and discussed the subject with women I know. So far, out of fifty-six conversations on the subject, I’ve met two who have not been subjected to some form of childhood sexual interference. Whether it was inappropriate touching by some family friend, long-term fondling, a request for manual manipulation, oral sex, or full penetration -- violation of the worst kind – one incident or ongoing -- they had been abused. Some of them said it was the first time they’d spoken of it; some cried as they did so and some talked freely about the experience, apparently reconciled and healed. My little unscientific research project led me to believe one thing: the statistics are not inflated. If anything, they do not come close to the scope and reality of the issue.

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Statistics are cold. Statistics are dry. I’m going to attempt to put the human faces in place for you here, and if this subject is disturbing to you, if you have difficulty even thinking about this, read no further.

This kind of work, even as a volunteer – the idea of paid intervention is a new one – is done with the highest degree of confidentiality, so obviously names, locations, anything that can identify a victim has been changed.

Four of the hundreds of victims I have known

Jane was thirteen when I first met her.

The chain of events that led to the arrest of her abuser was set off by her aunt, to whom she’d finally confided her ordeal. The aunt, in turn told the mother, the mother called the police, and a police officer who’d worked with me in the past, called me in.

My job was twofold: help Jane articulate her experiences and then protect Jane, act as her advocate during the legal process and stand between her and law-enforcement and the prosecutors’ office, and in this case, like so many, sometimes between her and her mother.

Her abuser was her father. It had gone on for four years. Her mother had difficulty with the situation and vacillated between rage toward her husband, and anger, jealousy and guilt toward her daughter.

Jane’s arms and thighs were criss-crossed with scars; she was a cutter: one who hurt herself physically to lessen the emotional pain. She was overweight, unkempt and unclean, a common form of self-defense for abused girls. Having finally decided to talk and fight back, she was almost eager to speak to me.

“It started when I was nine. He said I had to obey him. He bent me over the back of the couch and forced his you-know-what into my bum.” Her face crumpled and an inward look stole into her eyes. “It hurt and I screamed. He put my face in a pillow and kept banging into me, and the whole time he said, ‘You belong to me,’ over and over.” She was quiet for a moment then, her expression grew hard. “That was the first time. He did that a lot. He showed me pictures of people doing stuff, said that’s what girls do for the men they love.”

She related four years of anal and oral penetration. His favorite theme was anal penetration while he pulled her hair. She said, “I’d try not to scream, but he wanted me to. He liked that, so if I didn’t cry and scream he’d hurt me in other ways ‘till I did. Sometimes my tongue would bleed from trying to be quiet.” She suddenly looked defiant. “I didn’t want to give him my tears. I didn’t want him to have that, but most of the time I couldn’t help it.”

Why didn’t she tell someone sooner? “He said if I told anyone he’d leave and our family would get broken up. I didn’t want my family gone. What about my brothers? They love my dad.” For the first time, tears streamed down her face. “So do I. Now my family is broken up and it’s all my fault.” The tears increased. “I just had to tell someone. I didn’t know my aunt would tell. I should have stayed quiet.”

When the father was arrested, he told the police officers, “It’s not like I took her virginity.”

Yes, her hymen was intact, and that means she’s still a virgin, so what’s the crime?

This SOB pleaded guilty to the charges – nine months later. Nine months, during which time he hounded his family, tried to reconcile with his wife, attempted to persuade his daughter to recant, and twice visited with his three sons, leaving them confused, distraught and hostile to their sister.

Jane’s mother divorced him as soon as he was imprisoned (nine-year sentence), immediately found a new partner – on the internet – and moved across the country with her children to live with this relative stranger. When I called eighteen months later, Jane no longer wanted to speak with me.

Her mother did. “Jane is nothing but problems these days. She’s a total slut, sleeping with anyone who wants her. My boyfriend says she should go to foster care.”

Personally, I thought that would be a good idea and said so. Perhaps then, this poor child would get the help she so desperately needs. Were she still in the same jurisdiction, I’d foster her myself.

Betty was twelve. She’d run away from an unhappy foster home, trying to get back to her birth family, had been missing for four months and finally surfaced in a youth protection center, twelve hundred miles from her home.

“I was too scared to put out my thumb for a ride by myself and met this man who looked okay and he said I could hitch-hike with him. We got a ride to another town and he bought me some supper. He wanted to go play pool for a bit with some guys he knew and said I should wait for him in the lobby.”

She shook her head, took several great gulps of air, and went on. “When he came out of the tavern, he said he’d met some friends who’d give us a ride the rest of the way and I could go sleep in their car until they were ready to go. When we went out back, two guys grabbed me, put something over my mouth.”

She was now trembling in every part of her body. “I saw them give the man I thought was helping me some money, and then I passed out. When I woke up, I was tied up in the back seat. I started to cry, but one guy reached over and hit me, and told me to shut up. We drove for hours and hours.”

When she arrived at some unknown destination, she was carried into a house, and thrown into a windowless basement room with a mattress on the floor, a bucket to pee in and no water. This would be her home for the next four months. A few hours later, she was taken from that room, stripped, thrown into a tub of water and then taken to another room. She described for me the bright lights, a bed, a camera and three men. She was raped by two of them, while the third recorded the event on film. Afterwards, she was returned, bloody and traumatized to the little room. She received no attention, not even a chance to wash herself.

Over the next ten weeks, she was rented out to anyone wanting to rape a twelve-year-old girl. She believes she was raped fifty to sixty times. When her captors decided her spirit was broken and she was passive and terrorized enough, they put her out on the street to work. One night, she was approached by an outreach worker and taken to a safe haven. That outreach worker called me.

Although with time, Betty was able to allocute her experiences well enough to lodge a sworn statement with local law-enforcement, her captors and rapists were never found or arrested.

Betty went to a group home, received counseling, and did reconcile with her birth family but never returned to live with them (alcohol abuse). She lived in the group home until she aged out at eighteen. Later, aged twenty-two, she is married with two children.

“I still have the nightmares. To anyone who has never known what it is like to be seen as a thing, a thing only fit for whatever someone wants to do to you, the fear and the horror will never make sense. Many of my abusers threatened to kill me. They took pleasure in hurting me, beating me to get turned on. It took me a long time to regain my sense of being a person. That first outreach worker saved my life. The second helped me put it back together, and then it was my husband who saved my soul.”

Molly was only five years old. Her mother knew me personally, and knew of my work. She called me late one Saturday night.

“I don’t know what to do. Oh God, help me, please help me. I left her with her with my brother-in-law and ….” I heard a strange choked-off scream. “He raped my baby!”

Her husband was on a business trip. She wanted to go to a friend’s bridal shower, and the youngest of her husband’s three brothers, aged sixteen, had agreed to babysit while she went out. She returned home to find her daughter alone in the house, listless, semi-conscious, lying in a puddle of blood in her bed. It didn’t take much of an examination to understand what had happened.

I told her to go to the emergency room of the hospital and I’d meet her there. I called the police.

I left the mother with the two police officers and volunteered to witness the physical examination – this is important in child sexual abuse cases -- not my favorite part of this work, but one I’ve done many times.

I always had that strange sense of being in a dream when performing this service. Even while my eyes see it, some part of me cannot comprehend the need for the existence of a speculum that small.

Little Molly had already been fitted with an IV line and was receiving fluids to combat the shock. Her eyes were open but unseeing. She made no sound of distress or objection as her little legs were firmly strapped to the miniature stirrups. It wasn’t until the speculum was inserted that she reacted – and then only with a tiny gasp of surprise and pain. Her eyes glazed over, but rotated to me when I took her hand in mine.

She needed dozens of stitches to repair the rips and tears to her undeveloped vaginal canal. Her cervix was damaged, requiring surgery at some future date, once the other wounds had healed.

The rapist was arrested, but because of his age was charged as a youthful offender. His record would not survive his eighteenth birthday.

Her mother never forgave herself for blindly trusting a family member. Her husband was angry with everyone involved, and was arrested for assault when he beat his youngest brother, putting him in the hospital. His record would follow him all his life.

Alice was a ten-year-old victim of her grandfather’s abuse. It started when she was six and ended when she passed out in school one day, with a sudden high fever. She suffered from severe pelvic inflammatory disease and Chlamydia, which had gone untreated for a year or two. When I first met her, she was in a hospital bed with two IV lines, one in each arm, pumping her full of antibiotics.

“Granddad lives with us,” she told me. “And he always liked to touch me. He used to have me sit on his knee and tickle me so I’d wiggle around. He’d get all red in the face when we did that. I thought we were just playing.” Her innocence was heart wrenching. “He liked to give me a bath. He’d put soap on his finger and wash my inside. He said girls were dirty in there.”

I wanted to cry, but somehow managed to keep my professional demeanor. It wasn’t the first time I’d heard such a story – more like the hundredth.

How old was she when penetration began? Eight.

And she was only ten when her reproductive organs were so scarred by the inflammation of infection; she was rendered sterile.

Her grandfather was arrested, but denied the allegations. This sweet little girl, who still didn’t understand what had been done to her, ended up giving testimony by closed circuit television to a jury. I was with her. Just before the case was concluded, the defendant changed his plea to guilty and received a six-year sentence.

Four cases out of many. Four faces, names and lives that represent a tiny fraction of the whole.

What is an outreach worker?

Until the late 1990’s an outreach worker was a volunteer, who used a combination of training, natural ability with children, and personal experience with the issue to act as a first contact with victims of crimes against children. Ideally, this person had no concrete connection to law-enforcement, or any social agencies, therefore had no agenda other than the welfare of the victim. Lately, this role has been ‘professionalized’ to a degree, and may often be a police officer or social worker with special training.

Law enforcement, including police and prosecutors are primarily concerned with ‘making a case’ against the perpetrators of these crimes, and are not always inclined to view the welfare of the child to be of first importance. Social agencies have a mandated policy of preserving the family unit, decisions to make as to whether or not to apprehend the child, and all the politics involved in these bureaucratic organizations, and as such, may not be able to consider the short-term best interest of the child.

Parents, particularly those dealing with incestual abuse, are often emotionally charged, in denial, enraged, and therefore ill equipped to assist the child. In most cases of familial abuse, the child has kept this terrible secret for so long a parent is the last person he/she will be comfortable confiding in.

An outreach worker comes into the situation as a stranger, but a stranger who understands, with many similar stories to share and most importantly, someone uninvolved in the situation. They do not carry the authority of the law that the child fears may break up the family, or put a loved one in jail. They are there only for that child.

An outreach worker is often the first person who hears the child’s story, and having gained her trust, must now stand between her and those who, however much they sympathize, do have their own professional needs of her.

Ideally, once the situation has normalized, inasmuch as it ever will, the outreach worker disappears.

I say ideally, but in the latter half of my thirty-year career, I fostered some of these children in my own home, some for a few weeks, and a few for several years.

This was very unprofessional, and a great weakness in an otherwise very professional career. My contacts with police officers, medical practitioners and social workers had been hard earned and carefully nurtured. I enjoyed an excellent reputation in the field, and many referrals from these professional. But I couldn’t maintain the required distance from some of the victims.

They became part of my family. I’m still in contact with some past clients. Some are friends, some are closer, some of their children call me Nana.

I no longer do this work. One day, not too many years ago, I woke up and started crying. I entered a profound depression that lasted for many months, during which I lived with a terrible fantasy in my head. I wanted to get my hands on some automatic weapon, line up all the child molesters and shoot them dead. It was time to stop.

Today, I use the knowledge I gained from these years in my writing. My first two novels are centered on these issues, in the hope that fiction may reach those that another dry sociology paper will not. I still attend conferences on child protection, engage in debates and discussions, write papers, give speeches but I no longer confront the victims.

I hope this article takes you beyond the statistics, to the heart of the human tragedies those sterile numbers represent. The chances are high that some of you reading this already know from you own histories, the terrible self-perpetuating problem that is child sex abuse. Thank you for reading, and bless you all.


NEW! A look at child sex-trafficking, a growing problem in America and around the world

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    Another FBI/local law enforcement agency initiative has recovered a number of child-victims of the sex trade. This time the media took notice. But some of the information given left me uneasy. Here's why.

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A link to a related news story is provided to the right. Why is the media not reporting on the child sex-slave trade in America? Did you know the FBI estimates 100,000 American children are trafficked each year? Have you any idea what happens to them?

Another link to a new hub on violent, dangerous sex offenders and society's attempts to control them. The sex offender registry -- does it hinder or help law enforcement? Why did California miss the chance to lock up a predicate dangerous sex offender before he killed again? What are our lawmakers doing to protect our children?

A new Article -- Oprah's presents dangerous sex offenders confined to an island

  • This Bird Flew Away
    This Bird Flew Away is scheduled for release in January, 2011. This is a tender, funny, heart-wrenching novel, describing one victims voyage from degradation and despair, to becoming a child protection worker, herself. Check it out.


lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on March 22, 2014:

Yes, it is sad. Thanks for commenting, kiddiecreations. Lynda

Nicole K on March 22, 2014:

It's so sad that so many perverted and evil people out there harm innocent children without a thought. Thank you for your work in helping the innocent children who are affected by these awful atrocities. God bless you.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on December 10, 2013:

I understand your point of view Samita, as problems not just for children but for all females in India are well documented. However, this is a world wide problem.

Christian Grover from Bennington, Vermont on October 10, 2013:

im srooy what had about you lyanad

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on May 20, 2012:

Thank you for sharing your views and that of your culture. Yes, child sex abuse is a universal problem and one as old as humanity. Will we ever stamp it out? No, I don't think so as it seems to be endemic to our species. My concern is for the care of the victims, letting them know they are not alone, not to blame and there are many who understand. Thanks again. Lynda

yssubramanyam from india, nellore. andhrapradesh on May 20, 2012:

the above problem is all over the planet. child abuse is very advantageous to those who are encouraged as family friends, relatives and old age. none is exceptional in appeasing craving desire. skin plays major role in this field. In Hinduism we do not permit opposite sex to sleep on one bed even if they are born to same mother. many cases go unnoticed since children are scared to explain to parents. some do not know what has gone wrong till they attain age. hence it is our duty to discourage all above said individuals in handling children. old age people are more involved in this activity since they are viewed as wise, the skin organ is receptive up to burial ground. i generally gave my view for sake of safety to children in future.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on February 06, 2012:

Hi Shearasjustice. I will visit your hub as soon as I can. Thanks for commenting here. Your story is not unique; you are not alone in dealing with this kind of pain. Lynda

shearasjustice on February 06, 2012:

I am feeling like i may have found a place for someone to listen to my story.

I am not surprised with these stats and i am not surprised by any of these stories or comments but I am sickened at some of the readers denials and arguments and it is my suspision that these are preditors themselves.

I am now 53 yrs old and i have been in pain since i was very young and Am funally dealing with it now .My story is about counsellors that sexually abused me while i was in a juvinile institute .I was sexually abused by 5 different workers and I was not the only kid that went through this .My problem now is getting justice from the law .they are making my life very difficult and I will not stip trying but i need all the help and support i can get so I too,have started what i call my life story on hub "shearasjustice '

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on January 25, 2012:

Hi tonks, If your gut tells you these girls are in trouble you need to explore that. Get close to them; work on trust and when conditions are right, ask. No one want to believe such things go on; if fact I've had quite a few comments telling me I'm making this up and they don't believe it. Truth is the prevalence of sex abuse in all its various forms is staggering -- and if you're one of the fortunate who made to adulthood without such ugly memories, it may very well seem unreal. If I've helped to clear the fog that surround the truth, I'm glad. Thanks for the comment. Lynda

tonks814 from United States on January 25, 2012:

This completely broke my heart. I volunteer at an after school program. Most of the kids hang out there because they have no where else to go. There are several girls that I have wondered about, but I have chosen to convince myself that it doesn't really happen, because it's too painful to think they might be being harmed. But this article made me think. You made this very real for me. Thank you.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on November 30, 2011:

Thank you mjfarns. Perhaps after some reflection you can write one of your beautiful prose poems about your feelings on this issue. Lynda

mjfarns from Bloomington, Illinois USA on November 30, 2011:

What a chilling piece of journalism this is. Thank you so much for laying it all out there. Really enjoyed it, although it was difficult to read in parts.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on November 08, 2011:

Hi Barry Does it help to know you're not alone? Nor is your sister. In fact, she is in the majority. As for you, around 40% of boys share your experience. Some people get mad when I point out they are one of millions, as though I don't realize how very special and personal their abuse was, they are. I do, but then I recognize we are all special. For me (also a survivor) knowing I am one of many is comforting. Nice to know I wasn't singled out for some strange reason.

Think about it. In the meantime: Stop saying you were "interfered with" and start saying I was sexually abused, molested, assaulted... Interference is one of those cushy words that means nothing and comes nowhere near telling the truth of what has happened. It sounds like he stopped you from going out.

Barry Rutherford from Queensland Australia on November 08, 2011:

I was interfered with by my so called step father who died in 1977. Unfortunately I found out my younger sister was raped by him. O only found this out two years ago. Needless to say it affected both of us . The news that my sister had been raped affected badly.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on September 22, 2011:

A normal reaction, Rajan. Thanks for commenting. Lynda

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 22, 2011:

The stories made me livid with rage.I can imagine the trauma of the victims and the mental lifelong scars left behind.

Yes, makes me too wanna get a gun and shoot down all the molesters in one go.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on September 14, 2011:

Would anyone who could do such things to his own child be considered healthy? Such people must be sociopaths (unable to empathize with others, seeing others as objects and only as they relate to themselves) to say the least. As far as I'm concerned, they are just evil. Thanks for commenting.

Mel on September 14, 2011:

For Jane case: i would like to ask if the father has a mental disorder or pshycological problem? or is there any illness or sick for a person whose doing like this?

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on September 01, 2011:

Thank you JherusiaLhean.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on July 29, 2011:

Hi Minnetonka Twin,

Thanks for commenting here. Often, those in the counseling field are not aware of the big picture beyond those with whom they have immediate contact. One of the most liberating of consequences of such understanding is the knowledge one is not alone, that one is a member of the majority -- because, unhappily and particularly for girls, those who've experience sexual abuse of some kind in childhood ARE THE MAJORITY. To know one has not been selected by some unkind fate to be abused, that it is a wide-spread practice, that most woman not only understand but share the experience is in itself a healing thought. This idea may sound perverse, but it is true. Thanks again.

Linda Rogers from Minnesota on July 28, 2011:

lmmartin-I want to thank you so much for sharing your professional experiences of abuse with all of us. It's staggering and depressing but it needs to be known how prevalent it is. I use to be in the counseling field and saw so much of this too. I actually remembered my own story about a neighbor who molested me once I was working with so many women and men who'd been abused and then worked on my own stuff. Many thanks for sharing your knowledge about this topic and I pray for all those women you worked with, who endured so much as young girls. God Bless :-)

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on June 22, 2011:

Hello Webbwoman, I began in my early twenties working with a group in Montreal dedicated to helping young prostitutes get off the street. It went on from there. I studied every course available from social service groups and other night courses and worked with seasoned professionals in the beginning. In Winnipeg I worked with a number of groups, the best being Children's Home, a group dedicated to getting sexually abused and exploited children into a safe environment. In both locales I studied with and then worked with law enforcement. I fostered a number of girls over the years in my own home. I wrote on the subject, gave public talks, became in involved with other protection workers in other jurisdictions and countries.... As to what got me started -- personal history. Lynda

webbwoman99 on June 22, 2011:

I'd be interested to know when and where you got your 30 years experience in child protection and what got you started in such work.

JacksBlogs on June 20, 2011:

But IM, it is your rant that is a rant. I only said I don't believe it and try to defend it. Of course I am a bad guy in your eyes but based on your figures there can't be more than a tiny handful of men who aren't bad - in your eyes.

Let me repeat what I said elsewhere:

Your welcome IM. And I suspect you are a very nice person who has taken on this mission with a good heart.

Of course I would believe victims. They step forward and admit to being the exceptions whom I want to protect as much as you. But your HUBs and other HUBs on this topic constantly extrapolate to every one, accuse every man, and scare people. Maybe it is just artistic license to do so, but it is deceptive.

I've had my own experience. But I find so called facts on several HUBs on this subject more and more difficult to believe. You hurt your own mission of helping children, which I do not oppose at all, by stating numbers progressively more extreme each year so it becomes easier and easier to just say "No, I can't believe that!" This latest HUB I see tells us that 96.4 of every 100 woman around us, on the street or in our schools, everywhere, have been abused. And apparently a similar number of men must have done that abusing.


If one person stands up and says this is unbelievable, you lose some credibility. When I say it here, I also give others license to do the same.

It wouldn't hurt at all to have a real movement in defense of men AND in defense of police who probably don't want new oppressive new laws regarding issues they probably think they have under control. Wasn't it your own HUB that said that police consider Megan's Law very costly and not effective? But it satisfied the public's desire to do something, didn't it? So, what's next?

I would hope you would agree it is time to tone down the extreme rhetoric. Women and men will look around them, examine their own communities and then turn to you and tell you you are wrong! Its just my prediction.

And I do wish you well. - - JACK

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on June 19, 2011:

And I don't care what you believe, Jacksblogs. I've checked out your site where you claim most prostitutes are happy in their work and think you're a bit twisted. I've seen the comments you leave elsewhere. Yes, I checked you out when you left the first comment here. You have an agenda of your own. I think you're more than a little out of touch with the world.

I spent thirty years working with children who were victims of this industry. I've attended international conferences and shared knowledge with protection workers from around the world. I KNOW of which I speak.

I will leave your comments here because your opinion means nothing to me. I've run into your type many times over. All you do is make the work that much more difficult -- but hey, suit yourself.

Now, off you go to the next hub on the subject of child abuse and trafficking, prostitution and slavery and leave more of your rant.

JacksBlogs on June 19, 2011:

I had to go away and think about this and come back.

You make the very strong statement that the vast majority of prostitutes were abused as a child. But you also quote statistics from a study that 70% of all women have been abused and your own study where 96.4% percent of women were abused. If this is true than it seems to me that we can say women in every job - doctors, teachers, business leaders, store clerks, etc - were abused. Doesn't that make insignificant your note that the vast majority of prostitutes were abused. So what? Every women everywhere has been abused except for the rare 3 1/2 women out of a hundred.

What are you saying here about men? Everyone who believes this sensational baloney should have his head examined. Women who have not been abused should speak up and just say this is wrong.

This HUB is so extreme I can't believe that any but the most gullible believes it - but there are plenty.

I doubt you "approve" these kind of replies but I want you to know I just don't believe you. Americans and men are not this sick and depraved as you make us out to be. And if you really believe these things, I am very worried about you.

I write extreme reports on the other side of this issue but I certainly do my best to tell the truth. And I wonder if you are just manipulating these so called "facts" to play the game of HUB writing. - - JACK

JacksBlogs on June 19, 2011:

You said, "I had trouble believing that 70% of the women in the world had been victims of sexual abuse." I do too! Your statistics show that 96.4% (54 divided by 56) of people in your sample have been "have been subjected to some form of childhood sexual interference." I'm sorry but again I do not believe it. As much as I feel for your interest in this issue, I can't believe these numbers. Maybe you need to interview someone other than your clients and co-workers. Something is wrong with this. Maybe you have defined your understanding of abuse to liberally to prove your point. But if this is true than America is a shit can and, apparently, in your mind the whole world is. It just isn't true! More people need to say it. - - JACK

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on April 23, 2011:

Hi RealHousewife -- I often wonder about the size of that proverbial rug that so much can be swept under it. It must be such a stinking, rotten mess under there, we don't dare look.

Thanks for commenting here. Lynda

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on April 22, 2011:

Lynda - I am so glad to see another writer who brings this issue right out front. It is a cause I am concerned about. I think much of the problem is it gets swept under the rug because people don't want to be made uncomfortable. It needs to be addressed loudly and I'm glad you have done it here!

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on March 27, 2011:

Hi Scott -- Yes it is chilling and I don't mean to say all molesters are men. Most men are decent and are appalled at such stories. But how would we execute those so inclined before they commit the crime? Thanks for your comment. Lynda

scott on March 27, 2011:

Makes me sad to be a man reading this... Men do the most horrible things. Couldn't the world start murdering these people before they begin with such depravities.


LaRoussou on March 17, 2011:

Lol...that is awesome. The Color Purple was one of my favorite books, absolutely brilliant. Yeah, anytime I hear "child abuse" I forget how to blink, and I forget how to think. And I am more frightened of getting filthy sex-offender blood on my good shoes than I am of going to the maximum security penitentiary in which I belong. That's the level of crazy I'm working with. Good for the people trying to understand and forgive child abusers. I don't have that gene. And if I'd done your job for even a year, I'd be filing my nails while entering a plea of "no contest" to multiple counts of first-degree murder; I'm not a well woman. I can't say enough about how much I respect all the hard work you've done.

I'm a woman of my word and I purchased your book earlier this afternoon, looking forward to it. As you know this is a topic that has been done more than once, but as always it's the writing (and the marketing) that gives any book its fighting chance. If your hub is any reflection of the book itself, I think you've got a shot, and I'm rooting for you. And "The Color Purple" for white girls...sigh, how perfect. Thanks also for the mail!

Ugh...I'm still shuddering at the thought of their blood on my good shoes--the horror ;-).

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on March 17, 2011:

Anytime you want to kick ass, call me to join you. And thanks for the supreme compliments. I'm sure you'll enjoy This Bird Flew Away. You could call it The Color Purple for white girls. Thanks. Lynda

LaRoussou on March 17, 2011:

You're good. You're beyond good, Martie was right. I'm SJ, I was referred to your work by Martie Coaster, and this hub is stand-out excellent in a barage of literary mediocrity. I have now, and have always had, a violent aversion to child abuse, and I'm trying to find a way to dial down my ass-kicking Jane instincts in order to begin writing a work for someone else's experiences in child abuse and recovery. I am a nurse, and unfortunately, just when I think I've seen the worst of what humanity has to offer I read another pre-natal record. I deeply appreciate the level of heart and talent in your work. I have not been abused, I'm just an angry ethnic woman--the scariest of the bunch ;-). Today I'm ordering your book off Amazon. Thanks again for your research, your story, and your recovery.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on March 10, 2011:

Thank you crystolite. Lynda

Emma from Houston TX on March 10, 2011:

Really a heart felt story,interesting hub that is well organized for a better understanding while reading.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on January 21, 2011:

The truth is Bianca, you would go on had it happened to you. You will go on if it happens to your child. That's what we do, we go on. There is nothing unbelievable about the strength of these women. We survive, and so would you. Lynda

bianca on January 21, 2011:

this made me cry, i didn't know the statistics were so high. if i ever had this happen to me i would not be able to cope. these women have unbelievable strength to go on after this. i sometimes think i would rather die then ever have this happen to me or my child. they take your life when they do what they do.. its disgusting. men that do this should have their lives taken from them forever. or painfully killed.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on January 03, 2011:

Hi yankeeintexas Thank you for commenting. Yes, I'm sure you have heard these stories before. They are far too common. Of course children believe themselves at fault for what happen to them. The alternative is to see the world and the adults they are dependent upon as dangerous and out of control. Much easier and safer to believe it is all their fault. Keep up the good work! A Canadian in Florida, aka Lynda

yankeeintexas from Lubbock, Texas on January 02, 2011:

I work in an emergency shelter the is of a a children's home. The stories that you have told I have heard many times over! The process is slow, and the children involve are lead to believe that they are at falt for everything that has happened to them!

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on December 29, 2010:

You may contact me through hubpages. See the contact lmmartin beneath my avatar at the top of the page.

Gulbul on December 29, 2010:

Please can you let me know your email so I can know how can I get such help?

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on December 29, 2010:

Hello Gulbul, All I can say is if you are now 40 and still feel so much a victim as to contemplate such a terrible end, it is definitely time to seek help. Please do so.

gulbul on December 28, 2010:

All I can say if it is not about power I might have find it bearable and not as much taunting as i feel now. I am 40 man and such a rape happened to me by an adult man in my neighbour. He is still taunting me as like this was my fault and sometime I think to pour oil on myself. The life for me is to live on fire.:(

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on December 22, 2010:

Glad to hear it. It's wonderful to know your work is useful. But why haven't you linked your hub here? You should, and please feel free to do so. Lynda

sligobay from east of the equator on December 22, 2010:

Your Hub was a valuable resource for my new Hub. Thank you and Happy Holidays.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on December 06, 2010:

Thank you electricsky. Nice to meet you here.

electricsky from North Georgia on December 06, 2010:

Thanks for your hub. And your work with Outreach. It is a sad problem for some and I hope those that need help see your article and get help dealing with their lives.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on November 28, 2010:

Thank you for this comment iskra. I wrote a hub about the McNeil Facility for predators. You might want to check it out. Good luck and best wishes in your continue endeavours to help the innocent victims. Lynda

iskra1916 from Belfast, Ireland. on November 28, 2010:

Hi Immartin,

high impact, very moving hub and very well articulated.

I worked as a support-worker with very troubled people in Belfast and a high percentage of clients would have had histories of being abused in the past. Indeed, some of the females continued in abusive relationships right into adulthood with partners who were violent.

While working in a hostel for the homeless, management accepted a husband and wife as temporary residents who were under investigation for running a paedophile ring. The female partner had used her solvent abuse to lure young people who were also on the street into the male partner's influence.She was much younger than him and I know from their files that she had been a previous victim of his but became his accomplice.

As a worker I refused to have any contact with them and I found out from the male partner's file that he had a cardiac condition. Unfortunately for him, when he did have a heart attack, the shelter's phone was mysteriously disconnected. Unfortunately for humanity, he survived although I did hand over my concerns to the hospital staff. (I have since heard that they left down but have continued offending.)

I have wondered what a longterm solution is to these vile people. At present in Belfast & Ireland, the IRA have taken to shooting paedophiles & rapists in the kneecaps but it is a very temporary measure.

It is my understanding that they do not suffer from a 'disease' like eg, substance addiction, so therefore, the likes of the 12 steps would simply not work.

Chemical castration does not work, as i understand that these people are motivated by their 'power' over their victims, more than sexdrive.

AFAIK there is no 'cure' or at least not that I have heard. Is there a solution?

I watched a documentary about a state in the USA where paedophiles & sexual predators are committed to a secure psycho-sexual facility once they served their prison sentences. Once there, they were not considered for discharge/release until they were judged to be no longer a threat. I dont know enough about that system to make a qualified judgement on it but it seemed promising. The other variable is that these people are extremely good actors & longterm planners.

Anyway, keep up the good work & raising awareness of this insidious problem. It certainly got me thinking.

Good luck!

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on November 05, 2010:

Hi shazi -- yes it is. As we speak, sex abuse goes on in 1 out of 3 homes -- everywhere in the world. Thanks for reading. Lynda

shazi on November 05, 2010:

This is a big scale problem. Words of awareness are needed to spread all over the world.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on September 24, 2010:

Thanks Sweetsusie. It is highly probably the rate for both girls and boys is higher -- it is a best estimate made by a convention of international child protection workers. Even then, many said this was too conservative. There are times I doubt anyone made it to adulthood without some kind of 'kinky stuff' going on in their childhood. But you prove another point -- 90% of sex offenses take place within the family circle.

Thank you for your comment, but please, I await no wings. There are a number of wonderful outreach workers out there -- it is a profession, a calling, a career, nothing like sainthood. But thanks anyway. Lynda

Sweetsusieg from Michigan on September 24, 2010:

As sad as it is I think the rate for boys may be a bit higher. Boys have a tendency to 'hold it in', after 25 years of marriage and many discussions, my husband confided to me of his brother in laws (his sister was much older) molestation of him and the events that happened afterward to mold him into the individual he is. He is 55 now (my husband) and is just now beginning to deal with this.

A dear friend - her daughter was molested by her husbands teenage brother (no charges were ever filed, it is also known amongst that family not to be alone with 'step grandpa'. I have tried to help in anyway I could, to no avail.

I was one of the lucky ones; Mr. Rose (father of 6) sat in his chair with his pants down around his ankles playing with himself. He called to me to come in, I ran away. This was in 1967, I told my mother, she told me to stay from him.

Your Hub moved me to tears because I know everything you say is true. The childhoods of these people have been stolen. As far as you wanting to line them up, I'm right behind ya sister! To be able to hold it together as long as you have is truly saying something.

Bless you and one day, may you be given those wings you truly deserve.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on September 24, 2010:

Thank you Events, but trust me, I am not a saint. Thanks for commenting here. Lynda

eventsyoudesign from Nashville, Tennessee on September 24, 2010:

This is so horrific and it makes me sick to think that an adult could do such terrible things to a child. I would love to do more by volunteering my time to help abused children. You are a saint to do what you do. God bless you. Thanks for sharing. Teresa

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on September 14, 2010:

Yes, Papernotes, they are human beings. As a species, we are not very admirable ... Things like this happen to many daughters and loved ones, but in truth, 90% or more of the abusers are family members. Something to keep in mind. Thanks for coming by. Lynda

PaperNotes on September 14, 2010:

OMG. Are those abusers human beings? I personally think they are not. I don't know what I would do should anything like this happen to my daughter or any of my loved ones.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on September 14, 2010:

I think almost all of us come into contact with adult survivors of childhood abuse -- it is so widespread. Thanks for for your comment. Lynda

Annette Thomas from United States on September 14, 2010:

This is heartwrenching. I, myelf come into contact with many adult victims of childhood sexual abuse. It makes me angry to no end. I'm glad you are able to express this in order to reach others for the cause. Keep writing!

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on September 06, 2010:

Thank you ojessica.

ojessica19 from Spring, TX on September 06, 2010:

It's so sad that people can do such horrible things to children. It's even sadder that the children have to endure such things. Bless you for being there to help them.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on August 27, 2010:

Thank you Deborah. Shame and embarrassment, and the idea we are to blame for own abuse -- the hallmark of early child abuse. I don't need to ask, because I can tell from your writings, you have found your way to peace. Thank you for stopping by. Lynda

Deborah Demander from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on August 27, 2010:

Lynda, as an incest survivor, I thank you for your hard work and dedication to these young victims. I was so ashamed and embarrassed that I told no one. Actually, in my thirties, I told my mom, who thought I was lying. It made me glad not to have spoken sooner.

Thanks for putting faces and stories to the statistics.

Namaste friend.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on August 21, 2010:

Hello thatgirl, and thank you for your comment. So nice to hear from another survivor. Bless you, and may you put the past in perspective and move forward with healing and purpose. Lynda

thatgirl on August 20, 2010:

this was a hard read for me, being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I'm so glad you shared this and brought more awareness to this huge epidemic.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on August 15, 2010:

When I suggest finding someone to talk to, I meant someone skilled and experienced in dealing with abuse issues. I'm sure your boyfriend is caring, but he is lacking in these areas.

Once again, I invite you to email me directly. A public place, such as this comment section is hardly the best environment for sharing. Please do email me. Lynda

angel on August 15, 2010:

i try talking to my boyfriend but its so hard i break down an cry i cant even tell my mom cause i no she wont believe me cause last time i tell her that my uncle use to touch me an she start calling me a liar ......i even feel like i trust no one not even my boyfriend...... i have been true so much i am tired of it....sometimes i feel like just running away

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on August 15, 2010:

Hello Angel,

You must find someone you can talk to of these memories, to sort things out and begin healing. It is not uncommon for young children to blot out specific memory of such an experience; in fact they often leave their bodies during the abuse (so to speak) and take themselves far away -- which explains the lack of remembrance.

If you have no access to counsel and help where you are, you may email me by clicking on 'contact lmmartin' under my avatar. I can tell you more about how children escape mentally, leaving no memory and much confusion, and perhaps help you understand and come to terms with it.

Do try and keep in mind that 7 out of every ten girls are abused, and this means you are not alone. Many others are dealing with the same confusion and pain, so there are many who understand and can help. Lynda

angel on August 15, 2010:

i am 17 years i have been sexual abuse by my grandfather i remember that night i woke up with him being over me touching me i was naked i was only 9 the next morning i woke up with pain i could never remember what had happen if he had sex wit me or what i cry myself to sleep nearly every night trying to remember

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on June 13, 2010:

Of course you may link, and if you wish me to write an article for your site I would be happy to do so. Please check out for a similar story about child sex slave trafficking. Thanks for your comment.

SlaughtercideCT on June 13, 2010:

Hello Immartin, I run and operate a website about crimes of all types called Slaughtercide Chalk Talk. I have just started it and have a small following as of now.

I wanted to get your permission to post a link on my site to this hub of yours because after reading this I am in shock and feel the need to get the word out some more.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on June 12, 2010:

thank you Irishobserver. We all need to be aware of the prevalence of child sex abuse. Lynda

theirishobserver. from Ireland on June 12, 2010:

This is an excellent article very informative....very educational.....well done

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on June 03, 2010:

Certainly, I agree with you. And from my years of work with the victims of sex abusers of the worst kind, I know the poor innocents are left feeling shamed, dirty and responsible.

I will be over to read your hubs on child sexuality very soon and thank you for contacting me and sharing your views on this necessary issue.

Slainia from Goderich Ontario on June 03, 2010:

Thats actually my point. For me, sexuality started at the age of 6; I hate to think how vulnerable I was, if someone had been around to take advantage of it. There was no interference from anyone, and those dark ages weren't so very long ago. about 20 years roughly. If we teach a child that it's ok to explore their body, on their own, and still say no to that man or woman or whatever, thats giving them another wall. It opens the world to them asking questions, AND communicating if someone does something they're uncomfortable with. Part of an abusers weaponry l think is the ability to say things to prevent the child from reporting it, right? Making them feel like they deserve it, or whatever. Give a little one the weapons back - the self knowledge. Of course, it'd need to be tailored to their age level and understanding, and each WOULD have to be individual, but it starts with the parents... If theres no shame in moms tone of voice when she finds her baby exploring her body alone, that leaves room for a stronger relationship, right?

IF it helps, I posted two hubs about this from a different point of view. Might make more sense why I feel this way. Our kids are innocent... we don't honor that enough. We need to.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on June 03, 2010:

Thank you for your comment Slainia, and yes -- there is indeed the sense of blame and shame for the victims. I'd be concerned were we to attempt to teach children about sexuality -- as you say, what's right, what's normal and healthy -- when these standards would be different for everyone. I think teaching children they have a right to say no to an adult would be more to the point -- as children are programmed to try and please adults -- a survival mechanism and this often leads them to "obey" to the point of placing themselves in harm's way.

Childhood sexuality is a normal part of life and growth, but how it may be a side issue to exploitation of children by adults escapes me. Often, adults will excuse their actions by saying "She was acting seductively" and I've heard that applied to children as young as three or four. Ridiculous, and an adult's perspective of a child's behavior.

Of course children have sexuality and it is innocent -- so very innocent. In my day (the dark ages) children were punished for expressing it -- touching themselves, or each other. Today, when we should understand more, are we to use it to excuse the basest exploitation of the most helpless and innocent among us?

Slainia from Goderich Ontario on June 02, 2010:

This is horrible. The concept of sexual abuse is so dangerous, and yet in a way it's integrated into our society, because we blame them instead. Not on purpose, I don't think, but the end result is the same,and those scars won't ever go away... I wish children were educated more on sexuality, especially theirs - the rights, what's normal and healthy and what to watch out for.

Anyway, you really brought this to the forefront for me. I think there may be a side issue to it - childhood sexuality in itself, but that's a different topic.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on May 24, 2010:

Thanks for your comment RG Nestle. Yes, we must keep working together to keep children safe.

RGNestle from Seattle on May 24, 2010:

These are some sites I've used while trying to educate friends and family.

Abuse is so easy to hide now and days since the Internet is working as a shield for abusers.

I even wrote a book of poems and hard facts to try and raise parents' awareness of the dangers. I had also hoped to raise some money for the previously mentioned organizations, but the book has only sold four copies since 2004. Sigh.

Keep fighting the good fight.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on March 23, 2010:

Precisely, Storytellersrus. Why do we walk around carrying all this baggage, our deep secrets, our private shame -- when it is the majority of us who've been there, done that. Time to come together for healing and to help those who're still trying to find a way out. Thank you for your comment.

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on March 23, 2010:

immartin, thanks for shedding light on this. I don't find it shocking, I find it reassuring. If women can share this experience they can perhaps help our sex figure this thing out. If we have all been abused on one level or another, we needn't keep it so hush hush.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on March 16, 2010:

Hello Trademelove. I'm not sure what you mean by this comment. If you get a minute, please come back and explain. Just what you needed -- in what respect?

Wade Hartley on March 16, 2010:

Thanks, this is just what I needed

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on February 03, 2010:

Yes, GmaGoldie, the lucky ones (the minority) don't realize the extent of the problem, and yes, we must protect the children or we have no right to consider ourselves civilized human beings. Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment.

Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on February 03, 2010:

This is the skeleton that has be talked about. I took a program at the Catholic Church - protect the children - amazing the things I learned. I was blessed as a child - When I was little my Grandfather purposefully kept me away from certain people - I never understood why until I took that program called Protect the Children! I am so happy you tackled this subject. You certainly took us beyond the statistics - thank you!

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on February 02, 2010:

Many children accept what is done to them as normal -- they need to believe it is so. It's not unusual to carry this distorted belief well into adulthood and many never do face the reality. Those who think you are paranoid are not your friends, and we can't be too careful when it comes to our children's welfare. Bless you, and know you're part of the majority, not alone.

kj8 from Australia on February 02, 2010:

Tears are streaming down my face. My adult mind is only starting to realise certain events in my life were sexually abusive. I was filled with doubt about whether I was abused or not. I heard on the radio one day that my perpetrator had been found not guilty of crimes against another victim. Then it hit me that I was actually a victim. I have friends who think I am paranoid, I have a mother in law who won't speak to me because I do not trust her husband around my children. He tries to isolate them from me and get them alone etc. Thank you for your article more people need to be aware of the facts.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on January 18, 2010:

Hello damaged, Reading your story was my pleasure, and bravo to you for putting it out there. As you know after reading these sad statistics, you are far from alone. The more victims speak up and share, the easier it is for others to heal.

One of the results of this article has been the number of people who've contacted me with similar stories -- enough for me to confirm these statistics are certainly not inflated. If anything, like the professionals I spoke to, I believe the problem is even more prevalent than previously known.

Thanks for your interest.

damaged on January 18, 2010:

Thankyou for putting this information out there, and thankyou for reading my story.

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on January 12, 2010:

Hi ralwus, Yes it is shocking and very few people know how prevalent child sex abuse is, one of society's best kept shameful secrets. Thanks for your comment.

Cindyvine -- I'd be honored to assist you in any way and don't require acknowledgment. I hope you read the excerpts from the novel I'm working on now. I'll look forward to your comments there.

Cindy Vine from Cape Town on January 11, 2010:

Wow, that's all i can say. i want to ask a favor, in my next book I'll be writing a little about similar types of incidents as part of the story. Would I be able to run some parts past you for you to see if they sound authentic? I will acknowledge you as an expert in my book.

ralwus on January 11, 2010:

I do not know what to say other than, this is so shocking. I had no idea it was this prevalent. It is no wonder you went through such a miserable state of depression. I commend you for you work and for this hub. I don't know if I can read a novel of such sorrow and shame. Shame on men and mankind!

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on January 10, 2010:

Thank you, Peg, for sharing your own experiences, and your bruises. For one, I believe that any abuse (even fear of the razor strap) has a detrimental effect on our emotional growth, that is not dependent on the degree of abuse. It is no wonder that as a young adult you placed yourself in high risk situations, and for whatever it's worth, this is a pattern of behaviour quite normal. Beatings damage our self-esteem, and lack of this sense of self leads us to confirm our low opinions of ourselves through placing ourselves in situations where we will be badly treated.

I've often heard that term "we had it so much better than..." from many, including my own sister, who still insists that it was all okay because others were worse off.

Not so. So if the memories of childhood bring forth rage -- good. That is healthy. Pretending it was all fine and acceptable is not.

God bless you too, Peg.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on January 09, 2010:

Looking back on my youth I'm grateful for so many things. I've come to accept that punishment was seriously disproportionate, yet understanding that we had it so much better than Dad had experienced as an abused child. We suffered no broken bones or concussions, just bruises and fear of the razor strap that hung nearby as a reminder.

Apparently in the minority I didn't suffer the kind of abuse you so eloquently capture in this frightening and enlightening article. At least not until I was an adult and set myself up in compromising situations that turned nasty. I consider myself lucky even so.

Your intense experiences wore down the wall of separation we put up to protect our inner selves. It's no wonder you succumbed to the depression and anger. No doubt why some of us haven't the courage to step up and get involved as you did and still do.

May God bless you for the work you have done to guide these innocent victims back to a place where they can face their realities and try to recover. peg

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on January 05, 2010:

No joke, itakins -- the world is indeed a very screwed up place. This is a world-wide problem and one with us from the beginning of history. I have read some of the reports of child abuse in the church run orphanages of Ireland (a situation equally found in the church schools for native children in Canada) and know that Ireland rates up there in incidences. Personally, I think it may be related to the also high rate of alcohol abuse in Irish society. The two seem to go hand in hand. Thanks for reading this article.

itakins from Irl on January 04, 2010:


Finally ,in Ireland,we have been forced to acknowledge the level of child sexual abuse -historically and currently.

I praise your work enormously ,and I can fully understand your depression.

I am one of the lucky ones ,but I know some who were not.

I can't help feeling that we live in a very screwed up world!

angela on January 01, 2010:

how did these angels are brought to this?

lmmartin (author) from Alberta and Florida on December 21, 2009:

Hi mulberry, There is much need for volunteers, and there are many areas where one can make a difference. I grabbed every opportunity for training in the work I did -- ongoing. I took every course I could find offered by social service organizations, adoption preparation, law enforcement, psychology -- most offered as night classes. Child protection isn't something one just decides to do and jumps into and there are lots of other areas where one can make a difference. If you want some ideas, you are welcome to use the link above and email me directly.

Thanks for your comment.

Christine Mulberry on December 21, 2009:

I can imagine having the same reaction you had after doing this work for years. In the past several months however, I have been toying with the idea of doing some volunteer work that would allow me to actively do something for children who are abused, at risk, etc. Kids that fall through the cracks because the services that supposedly exist for them are insufficient. I want to do something, but I haven't yet determined what that is...

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