In the 50's, 60's and 70's no one ever talked about child sexual abuse. Most people didn't know how to process the idea of a child, male or female, being violated. For some parents, it may be the factor of guilt in not being there to protect their child now that the damage has been done. For survivors, it is about not knowing how to process what has occurred. For all, it may be as simple as not knowing what to do about it.
What complicates the issue further is that depending on the victim, finding out what really took place may be next to impossible because of the range of emotions involved. Some will want to protect the molester because they have been groomed to do so. They may feel a sense of allegiance to them because at the end of the day, the molester made them feel good. Or, they may feel that they need to protect their family because the perpetrator may be in the family and it will cause chaos in the family unit if the abuse were ever to come to light. The victim may feel embarrassed because this has happened to them or even worse, they may feel powerless to stop it.
Abusers are smart. They know how to select a victim and once targeted, the child will be groomed until the act occurs.
In my particular circumstance, my abuser targeted homes where there was no visible father figure. He preyed on young boys that needed the guidance of a father and willingly offered to fill the void that the absentee father left behind...or at least that's what he did with me.
I missed my father tremendously while growing up...or rather, I missed the idea of him which is why it was so easy for this man to manipulate me into doing things that a 13 year old boy shouldn't be thinking, much less doing.
The molestation went on for only a few months before he moved on to someone else. I didn't find this out until years later, long after I graduated from high school...long after the trajectory of who I would have been or matured into had been permanently altered.
So just how often does this occur? I think that it occurs more often than we realize. On the website "1in6" it is estimated that one in every six boys experience sex inflicted by a molester before the age of 18. Personally, I think that these statistics are higher because boys don't talk about things like this. We suffer in silence and carry the after effects with us into our latter years.
We abuse drugs, alcohol, sex our partners and each other...and yet we don't know why. We think that our defects of character are ours and ours alone without making the correlation that something happened to us in our early years that may be the cause of our actions today.
So...what do we do?