(Closed) Do you believe past sexual abusers can change?

posted 8 years ago in Emotional
Post # 17
Member
13561 posts
Honey Beekeeper

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@fishbone:  That’s a really great post and really sound advice!

Post # 18
Member
1765 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I’m so sorry that happened to you. To answer your question, honestly I don’t really think they can change. I think in your situation, it would depend on how old your brother was when he abused you. It would concern me the most that he has brought it up again. And personally, I could never let him be around my children.

Post # 19
Member
3373 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

OP I’m sorry you’re going through this.

I think something you can do is to talk to your nieces. I know that there are age appropriate books that you can share with your nieces about their bodies. It says who to allow to touch them (doctors) and what’s good/bad touch. etc. I don’t think it would be a weird birthday/Christmas gift to go with other gifts. (My aunt gave me a book on menstruation, so it can’t be that much different. I thought that book was really interesting!)

Post # 20
Member
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

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@fishbone:  I think you should give your brother the benefit of the doubt to some extent, as a constant barrage of people who do not trust him and expect him to fail in his recovery can make it more likely for him to recover. But I think you should also ask him some very difficult questions, such as if he is in therapy or has been in the past,  what made him choose you as his victim, how his knowing what he put you through has affected him, and what he intends to do if he does get inappropriate urges towards his girls.

I agree with most of this, but it sounds like the OP may have been the only one who ever knew about his behaviors.

I think the girls’ mother needs to know.

Post # 21
Member
365 posts
Helper bee

It depends – are we talking about their desires changing, or their actions?

There are examples of pedophiles who have never acted on their desires, because they know it’s wrong and deeply damages children.. but they can’t be hard-wired to like anything other than what they like. But they can learn to refrain from hurting others, with enough help and therapy.

Especially if your brother was young-ish when this happened, maybe he had inappropriate curiosity. I’m not justifying what he did, but maybe as an adult he has perspective that he didn’t when he was younger, and now knows how harmful that stuff is. Particularly if he’s seeked therapy or something, I think he can change… it’s just a matter of if he has.

Post # 22
Member
570 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

The fact that he’s STILL calling you to apologize means it’s something that still torments him- perhaps he is having urges again and the only way to get rid of the guilt is to vocalize it to you via apologies for past behavior. I don’t think people change- I think they can adjust their actions as needed, but they don’t change who they are and what they’re attracted to. A person can go their whole lives pretending to be heterosexual when in fact they’re not, they’re living lies with people that they pretend to be content with, when really there is something that they truly want. In this case, he is living with his family that he undoubtedly loves, but he still has these urges lurking. I don’t think it’s safe for him to be around young children, as terrible as that is to say. I think he needs to be in counseling immediately, and his wife needs to know what she got herself into.

Post # 23
Member
2959 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I think if the person was very young, it is exploration, like kids playing doctor. But after the “age of innocence” has passed, then I would say no.

Post # 25
Member
6737 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

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@Roe:  Most sexual abuse comes from people the victim knows.  Aside from my Fiance and my dad and Future Father-In-Law, I would never leave my kids with a man alone. 

Post # 26
Member
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

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@private1:  In this case, you need to approach someone else about this, perhaps your SIL. Or make him go to therapy as a first resort. His violent tendencies and paranoia combined with his other behaviors make for a very dangerous combination.

@mrskopp2be: Yep, I know that. The “any” threw me though as most people should be able to feel like their children are safe around their fathers, grandfathers, or other close family members (this situation being an exception.)

Post # 27
Member
1561 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I am really sorry you went through this.  I hope you are OK.  Sometimes these things can affect us more than we realize – even if you have blocked it out.  I think you would benefit from talking to someone.

As for your question.. what do I think? I think no, their desires probably don’t change.  But I really don’t know.  Honestly I would be really concerned for his daughters.

Post # 28
Member
504 posts
Busy bee

Can I ask how old your brother was at the time?

Post # 30
Member
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

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@Jer72:  She said it happened for about 2 years, somewhere in the range of 16-19

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