TV program: Misbruikt by NPO

I heard about the NPO TV program "Misbruikt" (translated from Dutch: Sexually abused) in the news and I wanted to watch the four episodes on TV, but I was abroad, when they were broadcasting it. Luckily, I was still able to find them on the NPO gemist YouTube channel. Although the program has its flaws, I thought it really gave people, who didn't experience it firsthand or who didn't have victims in their circle of friends, an insight to how sexual abuse harms someone and how alone and scared someone can be. It can also give survivors hope for finding someone who will love them, regardless of what happened to them, and even have kids. That it is possible to create a functioning family on their own, even though they didn't learn what a warm family was like as a child. That you don't have to be ashamed of being a victim, that you can even be on television and talk about it freely, and that you don't have to stay anonymous if you don't want to.

Episode 1:

Right at the beginning, they start with a memory of one of the victims, told with her own voice. As a 13-year old girl, she is told to clean up the kitchen by her step-father and no matter what, he always find something wrong about her cleaning. As a form of punishment, she is forced to oral sex, while her mom was close-by, in the living room.

This is a perfect example of how predators work:
First, they make it seem like the sexual abuse was the victim's own fault. That way, you cannot tell anyone, as "you asked for it" and you cannot blame the predator. Then, he humiliates and traumatizes her by the forceful oral sex, so that she cannot answer the question "What did he do to you?" without having the whole thing happening in front of her own eyes again in the form of flashbacks and feeling ashamed of what happened to her (the reason why it is so destructive to raise girls with terms as deflowering and losing your virginity, and that you become filthy/broken/less valuable after a rape or even after having sex with someone). He also did it, while her mom was practically in the next room, so that the victim will think that no matter where she is, she is unsafe, and that he is super powerful/strong/fearless. She could even think that her mom might know about it, but refused to help her. To a child, the father and the mother are basically like the parachute of a skydiver. Without it, you die. If the one person on this planet who is most likely to even give up their own life to save you, doesn't, that would really destroy you. It can give you attachment problems, which can follow you your whole life. The victims might even start to think that it is normal. Because if it is wrong, why isn't he stopped or punished? 

After the abuse ended, she had feelings of not caring about her life and thinking that she was never going recover from this and get better. She stayed home and was thinking about giving up on herself. Luckily, she had a best friend, who pulled her out of this.    

She also felt confused about having an orgasm during the sexual abuse. But it is only a bodily reaction. Just like when you are sad, someone can tickle you, and you will laugh, but it isn't what you want yourself. She also courageously shared that even during consensual sex, the bad experiences in her past, can still trigger bad memories.

I don't know if it is just me, but I feel like the short, shaven hair, and the piercings, are unconscious ways to make herself less attractive for rapists. By cutting her hair, she wants to be less feminine, and the piercings make her look more tough and not to mess with. I was surprised to see that the female therapist had also shaven her head at the end of the episode. Did she also experience similar things in the past or did she do it to get a stronger connection with the victim by looking similar?

Episode 2-4

I will also write my thoughts about the other three episodes. The emotional impact is a bit too much, so I will carefully dose it, so that it won't negatively influence my mood and life. Updates will be added to this blog article soon.


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