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Infinity wrote (edited )

"There are many different reasons for this - many young people don't even realise the abusive nature of what is happening. Some may even feel in some way complicit in the abuse because there has been some kind of 'reward' or receipt of something."

That can be gifts, alcohol, drugs, or affection. In some cases victims are so traumatised they use drink or drugs to cope. But they then need the means to get the drink or drugs. It's a vicious circle.

Ms Gladman says this is one area in which "nothing has changed".

"The grooming is so good, so targeted and tailored that the girls - and boys - involved don't understand they are being exploited. They don't listen to warnings. They're desperate for love and attention and it's up to the experts to recognise that, to spot who is vulnerable, and almost follow the grooming process themselves.

"We have to engage with the young people and make them feel worthwhile, give them life skills."

------------When I was 13 years old I ran away from home. I was found a few hours later with a bunch of men in the back of a truck. The police took me home to my parents and didn't do anything to the men. I was punished badly, and I carried guilt, shame, and resentment. This was one of many instances like this and often worse. Now I'm learning that the system failed me? It's liberating, but also traumatizing at the same time. But now I realize that there's nothing wrong with me, I'm just traumatized like many other women. What do we do about it though? Where do we go from here?

Women are bred to and conditioned to accept exploitation like it is our own fault and worse, normalize it. We are constantly abused, and then we wonder why we have the feelings that make us need to do drugs to cope with life. We are then whores, criminals, and left for dead. Sometimes I resent my partner just for being a man. In many ways, I feel like abusers are almost as innocent. Instead of being taught right from wrong, they are encouraged to do wrong, and not only that, they never actually get punished. Just look at R. Kelly who still gets to make albums. It's not even that these rich and famous people should be held to higher standards than anyone else... No one should be in such a position of power that could potentially put anyone in the position of being exploited in order to possibly make their lives better which normalizes those kinds of behaviors.

I hear on NPR where do we go from here? What are we going to do about the abuse of women in this world? They speak of education in schools, but it seems like these forms of exploitation run deeper than that, and they are within the system itself. Power corrupts regardless of who you are. No one has immunity to the drug of power.


Catsforfun OP wrote

Thank you for sharing. I think what you have described is a nearly universal experience. I don't have anything to add... Just that I see these patterns over and over in my life and so many other people's lives as well. It's a cycle and we can'tbreak out of it by ourselves; it needs to be a collective effort.