Safiye Tozdan in conversation with Nicole Dittmer

In many cases, boys have been shown to be abused by women as substitute partners, explains psychologist Safiye Tozdan. (picture alliance / Chromorange / Christian Ohde)

The Münster abuse complex draws attention to a rarely mentioned phenomenon: women as perpetrators of sexual violence. Psychologist Safiye Tozdan says that in most cases, they are confidants of the child’s environment.

The indictment against the mother of a victim in the Münster abuse complex was read behind closed doors. A 31-year-old woman is on trial. She allegedly left her son with her partner for sexual abuse and even encouraged the man to engage in sexual acts.

“In such constellations, there can certainly be various reasons why something like this happens and why a mother behaves like this,” says Safiye Tozdan, a psychologist at the Sex Research Institute of the Hamburg University Medical Center. Eppendorf. His main research interests are pedophilia and child sexual abuse. “In many cases, the woman is in a certain dependency relationship with her partner. That is, the woman is dependent on her partner in some way, whether emotional or financial or both, and tolerates the abuse of the child with him that the partner does not leave her. “

But it may also be that there is a personal interest in a woman for this abuse to occur. Therefore, the mere act of “leaving” the child to be abused is an act of violence. But she may also be worried and become a victim of violence herself if she prevents child abuse.

Safiye Tozdan contradicts the social ideal of the mother, which exists and is propagated time and time again: Perhaps the so-cited “protective instinct” does not exist in all cases. It is important to break away from the stereotype of a special eternal bond between mothers and their children. As a society, we must understand and recognize that women can not only be victims of sexual violence, but also be the perpetrators themselves.

According to police statistics, the perpetrators are female in only about one percent of all child sexual abuse cases. But if you were to talk to those affected in what are known as “undeclared fields,” “you would find numbers up to 20%. And the numbers are sometimes even higher if you only look at affected males. In other words, boys are more often affected by “Abuse of women as girls.” “

Under the guise of care

Safiye Tozdan says there is no such thing as a “classic case”, as there is with male authors. In the vast majority of cases, the woman comes from the social background close to the child and is a trusted person very close to the child: child, that is to say her son, and sees him as a kind surrogate partner and initiates sexual acts under the guise of love and concern. “

Safiye Tozdan demands that the society as a whole, but also the justice system and the health system, begin to deal with the problem. The fact that abuse by women often goes unrecognized, she said, is because “people often don’t think such a thing exists, even if it is happening right under their noses.”

(to create)