Linda, 28 years old:

A Case of Assault.

"I desperately wanted to escape or scream, but I couldn't make a sound."

I was just ten years old. I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt, playing in the road with friends of my own age. One of them told me that Kurt would like to talk to me.
    We all knew who Kurt was. He lived on our road. He was 22-23 years old.
    I was surprised by his request because I didn't know him personally. Anyway, I went to visit him and followed him up to his room.
    He talked to me for a long time and said I was a very nice girl and I surely would have lots of lovers when I grew up. I didn't understand what he wanted from me and why he told me all this.
    During this whole 'conversation' he was sitting on the side of his bed. I was sitting on a little stool in front of him. Then he started to let his hands slide over my thighs. Gradually, they worked their way up the lower edge of my panties and my crotch. I was paralysed with fear. I desperately wanted to escape or scream, but I couldn't make a sound. I can still remember the smell of his breath and that his hands trembled a bit and were moist with sweat.
    When he inserted one of his forefingers under the edge of my panties and made it slide to and fro over my thighs, it felt like the rest of the room was melting away. All that remained were Kurt's eyes, his voice, his hands and this all-pervading fear.
    He hooked his fingers gently under the edge of my panties and moved them down between my thighs and into my labial lips.
    He asked me to tell him whether he was hurting me, but I was still unable to utter a sound, even though I was bone dry there and his finger and finger-nails scratched me as he was searching for my vagina.
    It was only when his fingers slipped into the opening of my vagina and probably touched my hymen that the pain caused me to react, and I said: "It hurts!"
    He released his hold on me immediately. He began to talk and talk again - I don't remember what about - and showed me around his house, pointing out various games - darts, billiards, pool, etc. Several times he told me I was welcome to visit him and learn how to play the games if only I wouldn't tell my parents what had happened.
    I promised to keep silent about it, and asked, finally, if I could leave. And so he let me go.
    I ran home in great confusion. I didn't dare look my parents, in the face and refused to leave my room for several weeks. Nobody ever understood why. I was afraid to speak about what had happened. The whole thing seemed so terrible I was sure they would send me to some kind of an institution if I told. I was ashamed and convinced that it had been my fault; that I was guilty too. So I said nothing about it to anybody; I was 25 before I could talk to anybody about it.

Did this experience have any influence on your later sex life?

I have a problem being open making love and letting myself go completely. You could say that at present I'm ashamed of my sexual desires.

What are your feelings about your own sexuality now?

My parents gave me the impression that sex was dirty. When my body began to develop - I was about 12 at the time, - I was told things like, "Shut the door when you're going to the toilet," and, "Lock the door when you're taking a bath," or, "Put some clothes on when you're walking through the room." Trousers and bra were not enough. When I protested and said, "Okay, but only father is here," I got the reply, "That makes no difference; you mustn't run about naked swinging your breasts." It was about this time that it was suddenly forbidden to kiss father and mother goodnight on their cheeks, "Stop all this licking! I won't stand for that sort of filth! You're too big for such childishness."
    The result of this upbringing is that I am still afraid of taking the initiative in physical contacts. I've remained emotionally starved and frustrated.
    Under no circumstances do I want to see my own children exposed to this kind of thing. I let them touch their own bodies and mine; investigate, look at and ask questions about anything concerning our bodies. My husband does the same. We intentionally try to give them the bodily contact they want and often demand.

What would you say to your children if they came home and told you that they had been in contact with a child-lover?

If the child had taken the initiative for sexual contact - that is, had not been molested, forced or seduced - I don't see any reason to report it to the police.
    But if I suspected that the child had not wanted the contact, or if the child came home in tears and frightened, I would go to the police and report it immediately - also to show the child that I would unconditionally stand up for and help him or her. I think that taking revenge can, to a certain degree, lessen frustration after such an unpleasant experience.

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