The Cycle of Abuse

One Survivor's Perspective

peacock butterfly on persons hand

One of the advantages of pursuing healing within the context of child sexual abuse is to our own children.

If we survivors can bring the experiences of our childhood back to our conscious mind from where they have been inadvertently stored, we can act to stop the cycle by protecting our own children. Without remembering what happened to us, without acknowledging the harm and putting blame where it is due, we risk becoming helpless witnesses for the cycle to repeat in our children’s lives.

While I may never know the truth, my mother’s probable abuse at the hands of her 10 year-senior brother tainted her views permanently towards life, towards the meaning of love, towards intimacy, and most of all, towards her own self.

Damaged by the abuse, she was unable to stop its encroachment into her own family. She was unable to stop her own husband from harming her daughters. Even walking into the abuse in progress, she accepted the distorted claim that this was something the doctor had ordered done for medical reasons. Even taking her daughter so frequently to the doctor for urinary tract infections, she was unable to make the logical deduction that perhaps abuse was to blame.

If my mother had remembered her own abuse, if she had opened up to the truth of what had been done to her, she could have also accepted that she was not to blame. That she was an innocent child irrevocably harmed by her brother (and possibly her father), and that the fault lay entirely outside herself.


With the harm acknowledged and taken out of the realm of a secret shame, she could have finished growing up inside, and found the love and support to heal, even decades later. She could have surrounded herself with an understanding community who loved her and supported her in her efforts to become whole again.

This whole person would have been much better able to protect her daughters without use of blame. Her clear vision could have stopped the cycle of abuse in its tracks.


At least this I can offer my own daughter.

The truth, my story, how I healed, and that she never has to suffer in silence as long as she continues to surround herself with loving good people.

That she is amazing, and that I will never countenance any harm to her.

I will never pretend that I don’t see, that I don’t understand, or that she was at fault.

The cycle is truly broken.

Wendy Jensen

Wendy Jensen

About the Author:

Wendy Jensen is a Survivor of Child Sexual Abuse.

"I want everyone to know that abuse is not just something that happens to you, and then you move on. Abuse, especially at a young age, gets inside of you and changes how you view yourself and your world. It gets in the way of your free expression as your own unique self. Now I speak out, because our stories need to be told. I am a survivor. Together with other survivors we can bring this silent suffering to light, take hands together, bring the abusers out into the open, and stop the harming. It can be done."
- Wendy