Friday, June 7, 2013

Child Sex Abuse Expert's Answer to Someone Trying to Discredit Me

In answer to you letter to me via the blog, I can understand that as someone who has grown up with the family, you may think that you have a good understanding of what the real story is.
However, unless one lives with that family, they have no way of knowing. Families are great at keeping secrets from outsiders, and sometimes even from each other. There are many cases of sexual abuse where even therapists believe that the mother always knows, but research has proven that that just isnt so. When the abuse is happening in the home, family members often do not know that it is happening. Therefore, it is even more difficult to know when abuse is taking place in someone else's home. There are rarely clear signs.
While I am glad that it appears that that these particular family members that you mentioned are doing well, again, you have no way of knowing how people are really doing. And of course there are many who have been traumatized, and who are able to put their lives together, and do very well.
Regarding why the blog writer's story changed: Children who are coping with trauma use any method to survive, just as adults do. That can include changing the story and even lying. Though, usually the lie is that it didn't happen when it did. I ask you, why on earth would someone tell a story that would have her cut off from her family, and be ridiculed by her community? How could she have benefitted from these accusations. At minimum, something is not right in this family that looks so functional on the outside. However, the chances are quite strong that she is telling the truth. This same woman, in a more supportive environment is thriving and helping a lot of other people in need.
And finally, her chosen  method of  speaking the truth took her many many years of hard work to finally arrive at the conclusion that her silence was not helping anyone. She rightfully believes that if she can be brave and stand up and tell the truth, others will follow, knowing that they do not have to go through this alone. Here in Israel, religious and charedi communities are getting more and more educated in this area, and it is changing the way sexual abuse is being addressed and handled. It is a very difficult issue to deal with, but the alternative is that the cycle of abuse will continue to hurt more and more innocent children.
All the best,
Helise Pollack


  1. helise, why not reach out to one of genendy's siblings and speak with them? you may get a better picture. they are all listed and reachable. from speaking with them, i understand that they won't speak with genendy because she wants them to agree with her as a premise to anything. they had alot to do with her for years after her allegations, and one of them did go to therapy with her. her mother did as well. you also may want to speak with rabbi porter in baltimore. he had alot to do with genendy the first few years of her developing story. and yes, i posted the orignal point, and i do know genendy and the family well.

    1. If you know me so well, and are interested in the truth, stop being a coward and say who you are...You can e-mail me privately if you want to.

  2. I don't require that my siblings agree with me. Only that they agree that they can not fairly state that they know for certain whatdidn't happen to me. They can only know what they remember and don't remember, just as I can only fairly state my own memories. If they say they don't remember me being sexually abused that is valid. To say that they KNOW THAT NOTHING HAPPENED TO ME, THAT MY FATHER NEVER DID ANYTHING TO ME is not valid. They were not with me every second as a child. The normal response to this type of trauma is to repress and deny. They too were young children when I was being molested. None of us wanted, or want, to know or believe this. I would be happy to talk to any of them about it but they get stuck on, "We KNOW nothing happened." The best that they can know is that they don't remember anything like this. But I do. And that they won't, or can't, deal with.

  3. As far as therapy is concerned: Neither my mother, nor even one of my siblings has gone to therapy with me in the last fifteen years, that I recall. Earlier on I was too confused by my families denial of my reality for any therapy to count. Back then, I desperately needed their support and validation to survive. I didn't get any. Back then I desperately wanted to believe that they were right, and I was wrong, and nothing really happened. I was very willing to go along with any other theory rather than face the truth. Just as they still are looking for other reasons, I was too. Their theories went nowhere for me. It is only through trusting myself and my memories that I have healed and continue to heal.