Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Media request -- child sexual abuse
Wednesday December 13, 2006

Greetings Dr. Miller,

I'm a freelance journalist (and fan of your work in my personal life). I'm writing an article about how child sexual offenders are treated in the US (incarceration and demonization versus treatment and prevention). I'm interested in the issue of the intergenerational repitition of sexual abuse. Estimates of the number of offenders who were victimzed as children run from 40-80% but my recollection from one of your books is that you believe the actual rate is closer to 100%, becase an adult would not do to a child what was not done to him. This makes a lot of sense to me, and it seems the statistics showing a bare majority reflect denial and repressed memories of abuse. Would you care to make a brief comment about this that I can quote in my article?

Thanks so much, E. E.

AM: I agree with what you have written and can confirm that your reference to my work is correct. The statistics you quote (40 - 80 %) may be based on reports of perpetrators who DENY that they have been victims. If they were aware of their histories, of the suffering they had to endure in their childhood, they would have been empathic with themselves and would also respect other children. They would be unable to molest them. It is exactly the denial of their suffering that drives them to take out the abuse on others. And the same denial drives the media to use the so-called scientific statistics in order to disguise the truth.

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