Children are told that if they tell anyone that someone they have trusted has touched them in a way that has made them feel uncomfortable or ‘dirty’ something bad will happen to them. This is because the abuser feels shame and knows that what they did was immoral, shameful, and illegal.The abuser breaches all trust with society, children, the children’s parents and the law.When a child is touched inappropriately or made to do things which they know are not normal, the abuser’s shame is imputed to that child. In other words, the shame is transferred to the child who has done nothing wrong. The abuser feels power, not just over the violated child, but over society in general because they have broken a trust that can never be mended, a trust that holds together our families and communities.Children who are violated in this way already feel that there must be something ‘wrong’ with them for the abuse to be happening in the first place. To be told that terrible things will happen if they tell anyone compounds this feeling, and the transference of shame takes place. They feel powerless and so the abuse is able to take place over long periods of time.Sometimes a child does have the courage to say something to a parent but they are not believed because that parent thinks they know the abuser well and cannot believe they would do such a thing. This is further shame for the child. They aren’t believed when they are telling the truth. Or that parent might know that abuse is going on, but because they cannot put their child first, they live in denial and pretend it is not happening. Often that parent is torn between their child and the abuser, but children must always be put first. A child is more important than any other relationship.If you are someone who experienced sexual or physical abuse in childhood, you are not to blame. You are innocent. You are free from shame. It is not your fault.