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I was molested by another child: My story

Many of us would be shocked to imagine a child being molested by another child. But it does happen. Child-on-child sexual abuse is frequently unreported. And if it is, its effects can be belittled by those who fail to understand its implications.

Text overlay: My story: I was molested by another child

This post was originally part of My Sweet Home Life’s Overcomers series – where we looked at women whose lives had’t turned out quite how they expected and how they had overcome their challenges and found purpose and meaning in their lives.

Although this website has taken a change of direction, I have kept this story of Esther here, and her experience of being sexually abused as a child by another child, as so many of you over the years have commented on it and found comfort in it.

This story is for you, so you know you are not alone.

Tell me about yourself

My name is Esther and I’m a psychology graduate from the UK.

I have a huge interest in spiritual practices stemming from ancient Buddhist and Hindu traditions. I started a website as a platform to share and promote what these practices had taught me, and how much they had helped me on my mental health journey, particularly in overcoming complex trauma.

Over time my focus has shifted: you can find out more about my current project here.

I feel as westerners we have a tendency to seek external sources to mask negative symptoms e.g. with medication, illicit drugs, food, and retail therapy, when the truth is all the answers lie within.

I believe that if everyone could just unlock this potential within themselves then true healing could occur and the world would be a much happier place!

I certainly haven’t always been this positive though…

Describe your life as a child

I grew up in a nice neighborhood with both my parents and two older sisters. We were well loved and we did a lot together as a family. I guess in this sense you could say I had a “perfect” upbringing. In all honesty I don’t really remember a lot about life at this time, but this is probably normal when you’re young.

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When did the sexual abuse begin?

I was around 5 years old and attending a local school when I first became the victim of sexual abuse.

And while the stereotypes of gym teacher or janitor may spring to mind, my abuser was actually another child of a similar age to myself.

He was your stereotypical ‘problem child’ from a rough family in a rough area – the type of child your parents tell you to stay away from. The one who always found himself in the head teacher’s office for misbehaving in class and bullying other children.

I was scared of this boy, and for good reason too. He wasn’t a nice child, and he certainly wasn’t my friend. Yet I always found myself in his company.

He had a great deal of control over me, so much so that I even took the blame when he flooded the school toilets. In fact, I often found myself in trouble for crimes I didn’t commit.

This is a classic example of the power dynamic between us: he did as he wanted, and I did as I was told.

So I did as I was told when he told me to lay on the ground and not move, though the weight of his body meant that I couldn’t have even if I had tried.

And I did as I was told when he wanted to touch my body in places that I had been taught were ‘private’.

And I went on doing as I was told for around two years, without breathing a word to anyone.

sad looking girl who was molested by another child

When did the sexual abuse stop?

This pattern of events only stopped when we moved onto a higher school.

I can’t tell you why it stopped. Maybe because we were in different classes. Maybe because the school were more observant and had tighter rules in place to prevent this sort of thing.

God forbid he moved onto somebody else.

This is something I can’t really answer – but ultimately it doesn’t matter, because by this point the damage was done.

What was the aftermath of you being molested by another child?

I was probably around 10 or 11 when my mental health difficulties began to emerge.

I was low in mood, temperamental and hated the world and myself. I ‘coped’ with this by shutting myself off and engaging in self-harm behaviors i.e. cutting, scratching and starving myself.

At this point I wasn’t necessarily aware of the reason I was feeling the way I was feeling, but it would crop up every now and then in the back of my mind and cause me to feel guilt, shame and confusion.

Shame and embarrassment was a HUGE part of my poor mental health. I was an extremely secretive person and I was under the impression that there was something seriously wrong with me, both physically and mentally.

This may be TMI but I think it’s relevant to mention to any ladies out there… I remember the first time I noticed discharge in my underwear.

At the time I didn’t know this was a thing, as many young girls don’t. But I was seriously convinced that I was diseased as a result of him touching me.

I had this belief for years because I was never able to pluck up the courage to ask questions to prove me otherwise.

My mental health began to decline further as I emerged from adolescence.

This was an age where my peers were beginning to discuss being sexually active. This terrified me. I didn’t want to ever be touched, and yet in the back of my mind I knew I already had been.

Not being able to be touched was such a significant thing for me. It sounds silly now, but at the time when all my friends were beginning to experiment sexually, I felt so abnormal. So much so that I vowed to commit suicide on my 16th birthday if I hadn’t “done anything” with a boy. Crazy, right? But this is typical of the pressure teenagers feel!

Fast forward a few years and I was in an even worse mental state.

By this point I was emotionally unstable, self-harm was an almost everyday occurrence, and I had gone from being sexually inactive to sexually promiscuous. I was putting myself in dangerous situations and was drawn towards boys/men who took advantage of me.

This irony is something I now know is common in individuals with histories of sexual abuse.

The age of 17 was my breaking point and I took a serious overdose attempt and spent the night in hospital.

sad looking woman reflecting on how she was molested as a child

Luckily I suffered no long lasting effects and was given a chance to turn my life around. I felt so grateful for this chance and the support my family were giving me to get through this.

So I made a giant leap and enrolled in a psychology degree at university the following year, with the aim of helping people who were suffering like myself.

University was the fresh start and distraction I needed at first. However in my final year we began studying counselling theory and psychodynamic theory.

The content I learned in these modules was eye opening and made it clearer to me that I might actually be suffering from a form of personality disorder (borderline personality disorder) and/or complex post-traumatic stress disorder as the result of childhood trauma.

From this point onwards more and more memories began to come up.

Each time this happened I would feel overwhelmed with emotion and I was experiencing panic attacks.

I felt so confused and ashamed and I was still not ready to accept what was going on in my mind. I had been pushing down these thoughts and feelings for years and now they were all coming up with full force.

I couldn’t make sense of it.

Did I want it?

Had I instigated it?

Worse, had I imagined it?

I questioned the validity of my feelings a lot because it wasn’t an adult that abused me. Can a child be sexually abused by another child? Maybe it’s just something children do? Maybe if I told somebody they’d laugh and tell me that it was just normal childhood behavior?

I had conducted Google searches on several occasions before and found nothing about child on child sexual abuse, so I was convinced it didn’t exist.

But one day my Google search results were different – I came across an anonymous blog entry from somebody who had experienced sexual abuse from another child, and it changed my life forever.

What helped you cope with the sexual abuse both in the short and the long term?

That blog post was a huge part of what helped me turn my life around.

It showed me that I wasn’t alone in being a child molested by another child and that there were other people out there who were feeling what I was feeling.

Most importantly, it showed me that my feelings were valid, so for the first time I actually started allowing myself to feel them. I am honestly convinced that I’d be in the same mental state as I was before if it wasn’t for finding that post (sadly it no longer exists).

Because of this mental shift, I was able to make choices that would help me cope and heal the damage caused by my trauma.

I discovered a strong interest in spirituality and started practicing yoga. I instantly fell in love with this practice; it helped me to ground myself and feel calm, which is something I honestly can’t say I’d experienced before then. It gave me time to myself and something to focus on that was positive.

I had never been able to maintain a hobby or habit before and yet I found myself pouring my heart and soul into yoga and practicing most days.

woman practicing yoga

Over a year down the line and I am still practicing and am due to start a yoga teacher training course to share this practice with others!

I would love to specialize in working with people who have experienced trauma, because I truly believe this practice is a magical healing tool.

I also started meditating. Meditation taught me how to slow down and calm my thoughts and to live in the moment. This was essential for me as I was constantly stuck thinking about the past, or lacking hope for the future.

What I learned from meditation was that the more I practiced, the more resilient I felt. If I was feeling particularly bad, I would try to force myself to go off and meditate and this would usually lift my mood significantly.

One of the biggest choices I made for myself was to undergo EMDR. This is a specific therapy designed for trauma and PTSD.

I had exhausted talking therapies in the past, which had all failed due to my inability to talk. But EMDR was different – it gave me the opportunity to work through my trauma without actually talking about it.

EMDR changed the way I viewed my traumatic memories; it allowed me to think about them in a more logical way rather than being overcome with emotion and panic every time I thought of something.

This helped me to cope massively because for the first time I was able to accept what happened to me, instead of running away from it.

All of these factors helped me to get to a point where I am now able to talk about it without completely shutting down. This blog post is actually the first time I’ve spoken about this part of me openly.

What advice would you give to someone who was molested by another child?

What I have learned from my experience is that children CAN be sexual abusers. A huge part of my pain revolved around the feeling that people would laugh at me and not take me seriously because I was molested by another child and not an adult.

I honestly thought that nobody would believe me.

It took me a long time to accept that I was sexually abused because I didn’t even know if this was possible. But I now know that anybody can be an abuser, including children.

I’ve spent a lot of time wondering why my abuser did what he did – was he born evil? Was this learnt behavior… was he a victim himself?

These are yet more unimportant questions. The person’s motives aren’t what matters – it’s how you feel that matters.

Some people will find certain events traumatic, while others may be more resilient to them. This doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to feel the way you do. Your pain is valid.

I’ve also learned that I’m definitely not the only person to be sexually abused as a child by a child.

This is of course both a blessing and a curse; while I would never wish this pain on anybody, knowing that I am not alone is something that has definitely helped me to heal.

The sad thing is that there are probably many more people like myself who are scared to come forward and speak about what they have experienced. More people that are running away from it like I was.

That’s exactly the reason I’m writing about this today.

I know how it feels to feel abnormal and alone and I also know how life changing it can be to realize this is not the case. If you’ve stumbled upon this post and you can relate to these themes, I’m writing this for you.

I want you to know that your pain is valid, whether your abuser was a child or an adult. I want you to know that you are in no way responsible for what happened to you, whether you went along with it or not.

And I want you to know that it 100% can get better and that if you stick at it, it will.

Concluding my story

I was sexually abused by another child – there, I said it.

It’s taken me 17 years and tons of hard work to speak those words, but I am so much stronger for doing so.

I can now accept my past, but it in no way defines me. If anything, it empowers me.

Yes, I was molested by another child, but I am not a victim. I am a strong woman who has overcome things I didn’t even know were possible. I am happy, successful and hopeful for the future. I am not just coping; I am thriving.

And if I can do it, then you can too.

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Friday 23rd of July 2021

Thank you for sharing. I was always a shy kid and I had no idea what transgender meant at 6. All I knew is I hated playing with girls. My parents pushed me to make friends and I started hanging put with 3 kids down the street 2 female 1 male. I didn't like the games the girls played so it was great when the 7 year old boy let me play with Him. But the next day if I wanted to play I had to "go in the closet first" He told me to touch his genitals and made me "sit on his hand" get naked touch me ECT. There was no penetration and I never remember him getting an erection ( if that's even possible at 7). I told my parents I didn't want to go over there anymore but was told "sometimes you have to do something your friends want for her to play what you want. I had Bern taught about sexual abuse, to tell someone if an adult touched me or did something that made me uncomfortable and I knew if an adult did this it was wrong. After a few months I told a teacher and he said it's normal for kids to be interested in what the others biological sex looks like undressed. But this wasn't innocent or playing doctor. I started having trouble controlling my bowels when my parents made me go over there. I came home a few times with soiled underwear and clothing on backwards. My parents asked directly if the kids father was abusing me and I was honost. No ADULT ever touched me or undressed me. But they let me stop going over there. Then in 3rd grade I was seated next to a student who made me perform manual stimulation durring class. He had a history of violence and had attacked both teachers and students. I never said anything because it seemed safer to just get it over with and not see if the threats of what would happen if I didn't were true. (Early 90's overcrowded poor inner city school) As I grew up the idea of saying no to any physical contact never occored to me. That's just what friendship was It was like that was the only way I knew to relate to anyone. Sex became currency I give you what you want and you agree to be around me. I never realized you were supposed to want sex or be attracted to someone. I'm asexual so while no one is "sexy" or attractive no one is not sexy or non attractive either. If no one turns you on no one can turn you off. I have been to therapy phyciatric thought my life and was never sure how to answer the questions about sexual abuse. I never physically resisted I wasn't overpowered or forced, I never screamed or cried or anything. At least with the first time I could have walked away unharmed and the second person while there was threats of violence if I had said no and something did happen then the whole problem would have been known and I could have gotten help. I know most likely both my abusers were victims themself or witnesses to adults molesting children and emulating those actions but Seeing so many other people with similar experiences makes my sure even if some therapists say "playing doctor" is age approprate behavior child on child abuse does exist and can be just as if not more traumatic than adult on child abuse because of people not considering it "real" abuse. It is real and I survived

Sarah G

Friday 16th of July 2021

I was also molested and sexually abused from 9-13 by my female cousin she is two years older than me, when I was 9 until 13. i was child Who doesn’t knew anything about sex and consent I was fool. my cousin she knew sexual things i don’t know how she was know things like that. she was plays with me game (mother and father).now I am in a panic, fear and anxiety. I couldn’t tell my mother💔 All I remember that happened to me in my childhood I cry My childhood was destroyed and she didn’t apologize to me


Wednesday 17th of March 2021

This post made me know that I'm not alone I was sexually abused by a child as a child... Even tho my family believe what I said.. They don't care about my feelings They tell me to get over it cuz it's been years But I don't know how... Anyway Thank you so much for sharing your story and all these comments under this blog reminding me just one thing that we're not alone I feel accepted and believed Thank you


Thursday 11th of February 2021

Thank you. Thank you so sooooo much. I have gone years thinking I was crazy and all of this was made up or not a big deal and nobody would believe me even if I said anything. I am 27 and this is the very first time I’ve discovered anything about child on child abuse especially girl on girl.. I hate that so many people have gone through similar things but I feel validated in a way that this is real and it’s ok to feel the way I do. I don’t think stumbling upon this post was a coincidence. Thank you for having the courage to share your story so others can start healing from it, myself included.


Thursday 28th of January 2021

Hello! I'm a young woman in my early 20s, and I’m currently a college student. My childhood was very unique, especially to many Americans, as I was born and raised in a different part of the world and my childhood experience filled with memories of war, terror, and instability. Nonetheless, I was lucky to have access to some opportunities which I am grateful for, and that I worked hard (as a student) and aspired higher despite the unpleasant and difficult atmosphere that many people in my mother-country experienced.

I do have one instance in particular, that in no doubt was a form of sexual abuse. When I was 8 years old, my family (I had an extended family-including my grandmother, aunts, and my parents and my younger siblings) was moving to live in a different town, then my grandmother hired a young man (I think he was in his teen years) to help them move some of our furniture from the apartment and help them load the truck. I remember I was carrying my baby brother and sitting at the 3-step stairs at the building entrance, then I got called by him asking me to come and help him immediately. Meanwhile, my younger sister who was 6 yrs. old kept telling me to not listen to him and ignore him (I did not realize it at the time, but now I think he must have done something to her). Ignoring my sister’s warning, I went thinking he needed help carrying something. As I approached him at the stairs he hugged me and kissed my face in a disgusting manner, and was touching my body in a random (disgusting) way. I remember I was extremely terrified and surprised, and I felt disgusted and just wanted to run away to the extreme end of the earth. I managed to escape and I literally ran away in the street as fast as I could as though I was escaping from a monster or a killer. I came back into the apartment hoping that he had already left, but he was still there working. As I entered one of the rooms, he tried to grab me and stop me again, and to repeat his malicious action, but I was able to escape before he could lay his hand on me. Rushing down the second floor stairs and arriving to the first floor stairs, I was followed and stopped and he managed to touch my body (he groped my butt!) and was saying that I was beautiful, with a malicious smile on his face. Yet again, he sure did not want to let go, and I found myself trapped and speechless and terrified, but I wanted to end the disgusting moment and run away. I again managed to escape. I never told any of my family members about what happened, and so I buried this story for so long. The other day (by the end of 2020), I spoke about this (w/out details) to my high-schooler sister as we were discussing briefly the topic of sexual abuse.

Now reflecting on this story, yes I thought sometimes maybe my family could have been more cautious and could have protected me from encountering such a terrible incident. I felt scared, I felt in danger, I felt shame, I felt I was violated and worthless. Yet, on the flip side of this, now I hold no blame against my family as they were unaware and it did not happen on their watch. Maybe if I spoke as soon as it happened, they could have held him accountable and stopped him in his tracks so he does not wander around and assault other children in the future.

More to my story, when I was 7 years old I temporarily stayed at my married aunt’s house. She had a son that was the same age as I, who I enjoyed being in the company of since we were very young. One day, I think we were playing some kind of hide-and-seek game, as he was walking from the back of me, he (intentionally) touched my private area. I remember that I felt a mixture of shame, curiosity, excitement, and I felt trapped, tied, and subjugated (meaning I felt that I needed to comply even though there was no force or threatening involved, but emotionally I did not feel I had the strength to say no, although in my little child mind I knew that such act is “morally” wrong because I thought that it would be a disaster if any of our parents saw what he was doing to me. i did not think of it as harassment, i did not know what to think of it. I felt I was his partner in crime, and that I am equally at fault because I complied and did not say NO to his sexual advancements. I had no idea what marriage, sex, romance, or anything like that meant or was (I knew what wedding was, though), I think he equally was oblivious to such things. I think it was a total of 3-4 incidents in which I enabled him to touch my private area, and one time I enabled him to see me naked for a few seconds. As I moved out of my aunt’s house, and I became 8 years old, I had officially decided to actively and consistently attempt to end that secret activity that was going on. And I had repeatedly avoided him and ran away from his few attempts of putting me back to that position of being emotionally subjugated allowing him to touch or see my body. Until this day, I do not communicate or intend to communicate with this cousin. These incidents made me feel extremely ashamed and guilty throughout my entire life. I think part of my low self-esteem came from this experience and from keeping and hiding away this unpleasant memory. I always had the fear that one day I would be exposed or that he would change the story and accuse me of being in the wrong and tell everyone. I struggled to understand if this was a mere child behavior of exploration, or was it harassment and exploitation. All I knew is that we were very young children, we lived under the same roof, he was the type of rebellious kid (still ‘till this day), when I moved to my aunt’s, I lived away from both of my parents (because I was enrolled in a school near my aunt’s house), and I was allowed to be around this kid all day long. I also remember that I did not have any friends to play with at the time, but him. I also felt I was close and attached to him because I knew him since I was born. That innocent childhood friendship was never the same at the age of 7 when all of that had happened. Until this day, as far as I know, nobody knows about this except the two of us.

Another story regarding this topic which I think I was in the wrong this time. At the age of 10, I played with my younger sister who was 8 at the time, a game in which we were a husband and a wife. Okay, I feel a great deal of shame and embarrassment right now. I think the first time we played this we only hugged, nothing more. However, the second time it developed to me touching her body, and it happened once that I saw her naked. I don’t know if that would be considered me abusing my sister, considering she was 2 years younger than me. I think it was also my idea to play this acting and imagining game. Did I plan that it would develop into a sexual act? I am not sure. But I know I involved my sister in it with or without intention. Although no threatening or force was used, I think I had a similar effect on her as my cousin’s effect that he had on me two years ago, which was what I called “emotional subjugation”. I do not know what she felt or what she went through, but I think I must have corrupted her innocence and dragged her to something that we both thought was mere acting and imagining but maybe I was hurting both of our mental health. Because until this day, I feel a great deal of shame and guilt. My sister and I never spoke about this situation ever since it had happened, nor does anybody knows about it. But at all times, I believe that I owe my sister an apology, but I am not sure if I should have a discussion with her about it, as it is an extremely embarrassing topic and we are now extremely different individuals than what were at 8 and 10 years old, I am not sure what she think of it. I would absolutely protect her and be there for her when ever she needs my back.

When I became 11 or 12 years old, I began to have some kind of stability in my life with less moving or changing place of residency due to domestic instability and insecurity in the country. I had learned and became more aware of things in life, and had some friends. I refrained from any inappropriate act and by the age of 13, I had already been extremely modest and protective of my own self and extremely respectful and protective of others.

I hope that by sharing these stories, that I had almost never mentioned in almost in full detail like this to anyone before, I can encourage people to remember that despite experiencing such horrific and unpleasant situations, you are not alone and that we grow and we can choose to forgive, inspire, and extend our hand to lift others.

Thanks so much for everyone on this page for inspiring me to come forward and share my experience/s.

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