Dispelling the Myth that the Abused Will Become the Abuser


One of the most common myths that you hear when talking about child sexual exploitation is that young people who are abused go on to become abusers themselves. As abusers come from all walks of life this will occasionally happen, but it is not true that everyone who is abused will go on to exploit other young people when they grow up.

In order to make sure that victims of CSE don’t go on to become abusers themselves, parents, teachers, friends and organisations need to ensure that they get the help and support they need to overcome the trauma of CSE and rebuild their lives.

Why do some victims go on to become abusers?

There are lots of reasons why some people affected by sexual abuse and exploitation go on to become abusers themselves. In many cases, an abusive relationship is the only kind of relationship the victims knows. They may be unable to form normal bonds with other people and may feel more in control when they are in an abusive relationship.

In general, female victims of CSE are very unlikely to become abusers. However, male victims of CSE are slightly more likely to go on to become abusers than young men who have not experienced child sexual exploitation.

How can you break the cycle?

If you’ve been affected by CSE the important thing to remember is that this doesn’t mean you can’t go on to live a life free from exploitation and lead a healthy, happy life.

By seeking the support of organisations like the Rose Project, you can ensure that you get the help you need to deal with the trauma of abuse, cope with adult life and build loving, trusting and healthy relationships.Jigsaw 4

Breaking the cycle of abuse may simply involve talking to someone about your past and learning to understand that the CSE wasn’t your fault. By addressing the abuse and the trauma it left behind, you can learn to cope with your emotions and address your worries that abuse in your past may lead to abuse in your future.

Help and support

The Rose Project works to help and support the victims of CSE. From helping you to access healthcare to giving you advice about counselling and therapy, we can point you in the right direction of all of the services you need.

To find out more about the help and support that’s available to victims of CSE, or to talk to someone about child sexual exploitation and how it’s affected you, chat to us via our live chat function you’ll find at the bottom of your screen.