Why do victims wait to come forward about their sexual abuse?

The reason many victims wait to come forward and talk about their sexual abuse is very complicated. What we have to understand is that 90% of all kids who are molested are molested by somebody they know. Somebody they trust, somebody who’s in their lives and somebody their family probably trusts. And so what’s usually happened in that situation is that the child has probably been groomed. Grooming is a process by which a child is given special attention, made to feel comfortable, and it’s a process where they slowly gain the trust of the predator. So by the time the sex starts the child is often what we call compliant. Now, they’re not consenting, they can’t consent, they’re kids. But they’re complaint means they’re physically participating in the sex. And so for the child victim they feel like now they’ve done something wrong. They feel guilty, they feel ashamed. And kids don’t come home and tell their parents when they have typical sex that they have sex. So when it’s an adult in their life and they’re ashamed of it, they’re certainly not going to talk about it and they may not even realize they’ve been victimized because they’re compliant. And it sometimes takes years and decades for the victim to realize that they’ve been victimized and they have damages from that. Often times it takes a victim going through some of the problems that you see from being victimized in life, you know, having dysfunctional relationships, maybe having drug and alcohol problems, sleep disturbances, acting out, having sexual dysfunctional issues, all sorts of things that isolated they may not realize it, but when they sit back as an adult and look back on their life and reflect they realize “Aha, maybe this is why I’m having these problems.