10 May 2010

Childhood Sexual Abuse & Mother's Day Weekend

Two mothers convicted and sentenced for selling their daughter for sex during Mother's Day weekend.

This weekend two mothers were convicted of selling their own daughter for sex to strangers. The first victim's abuse started in 2000 when she was 12-years old. Her mother and a man she was living with trained the girl to engage in sadomasochistic sex acts with him and others.

The man's name is Todd Barkau. When the girl was 14 Todd set up a website, called the girl “Mistress Alisha” and recieved payments for services, offering her for in-person and online sexual encounters. Todd also recieved DVD players or cappuccino machines and other items in exchange for her services. This all happened while the mother knew about the business, witnessed some of the sessions and benefited economically from her daughter’s sexual encounters. This happened for five years.

And another 12-year old in Australia was forced into the prostitution business by her mother and another man. That man is Gary John Devine. The story is as follows ... Gary and the mother rented a hotel room for two nights charging men $100 for half an hour and an extra $50 if the men didn't want to wear a condom. Making $2000, and spending three quarters of it on drugs for the mother.

For another month, Gary ran the prostitution business out of his house. Every weekend, from Thursday to Sunday, the girl would see more than 100 clients. The girl has been examined and diagnosed with genital warts and chlamydia.

How to cope?

I remembered the years of sexual abuse and brainwashing done to me by my father only after my five-year-old son disclosed that my father was molesting him on a regular basis. I was suicidal, grief stricken, enraged, ashamed, guilt ridden, and I lived through the abuse and grew into an adult. Being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse is not easy. Judith Herman has authored some very helpful books on the process of healing what we have been through. You and I, and nearly every woman, young and old alike, have been through a little or a lot of what has happened to us. We don't always have the courage to share our stories with others and thus often feel isolated from everyone else.
What was done to us was wrong. There is never going to be a way for you or anyone else to say that you are responsible for what happened. This is an innate truth because when an adult chooses to violate a child in anyway--it is and will always be, about the adult's needs and their distorted ideas around dealing with their own unresolved childhood.
You are not alone. Look for a therapist who has a background in relational-cultural therapy, complex post-traumatic stress syndrome (not disorder), and an educational focus in the field of traumatology. It also can help to utilize the certain theraputic tools like EMDR, Rapid Eye, or neuro linguistic programming (touch assoicated with emotion re conditioning). All of these methods have helped people in our state of readiness to heal to better take charge of our lives. Relearn things like loving ourselves, dealing with stress, with being loved, with trusting that our feelings are real, allowed, and extremely important to our ability to be loving and healthy inside and with those that we love. Incest survivors often are told that everything that you once belived to be true and real about every aspect of life MUST be re-examined, and often chucked to the curb. Which means that you have an opportunity, arrived at through very painful means and not of your choosing, to become exactly who you want to be. A person whose sense of self is determined solely by what you choose. It takes incredible strength to live through being abused through our early stages of development, so know that you have every ounce of strength needed to heal from the inside out.
Grieve, love, find hope in times of pain, love, and love you some more, rage and vent at the ones who hurt you (sometimes best if done to a picture of them), know that until you acknowledge that it was never about you--you will look to blame yourself. Know that until you reclaim your inner power/strength--you will look to re-enact the events where your losses occurred. Freedom is in loving yourself, taking care of yourself, being intimate, caring, understanding, and forgiving of you. In steps all things are possible.
love you

the stream is in constant motion
always changing
yet, always the same
life is change
life will always be a process
of one foot in front of another

[Above is a quote from a forum about being sexually abused as a child.]

Kansas City
Todd Barkau
Gary John Devine