What irritated me in your earlier post, Mary, was that you seemed to be saying that only if I myself had been abused did I have the right to express an opinion on what should happen to abusers.
Must I also be a murder victim to voice my opinion that murderers ought to be locked away? Or lose all my money before I can condemn burglars?
The sexual abuse of a minor child is both immoral and criminal, and should be dealt with accordingly. The fact that the abused child still loves her abuser only makes the crime that much more heinous.
I agree with your last comment here in that a child's love and affection and trust in his or her abuser does indeed make the crime more heinous. Also makes it far more difficult to manage.
Also not all abuse is of the same magnitude in terms of actual sexual activity. Some of it may be in the nature of watching or fondling, rather than actual penetration or other more invasive acts.
So each different kind of action takes its own toll, differently. And depends heavily on the individual psyche victim and not some "standard" for outcomes of abuse.
In all cases there is prolonged and nagging fear for the victim.
Fear of being exposed...the secretive aspect.
Fear of being in some way complicit...if nothing but by silence.
Fear of having the abuser harmed in some way by exposure...which may be more terrifying than facing any personal harm.
Fear of hurting another loved one if the abuse is discovered.
Fear that it will never stop.
Fear that it will...and then there is nothing but the awful silence.
Very complicated and there is no one-size-fits-all response to the abuser that is good for the VICTIM!!
I find that exceptionally few people take any of this, and more than this even, into consideration when talking about abuse cases, much less the law enforcement and mental health establishments.