What Is Mother-Daughter Sexual Abuse & 3 Tips to Cope With It

Trigger warning: This article contains very sensitive topics discussing sexual abuse. Please read at your own discretion.

I have been working with trauma survivors in various capacities for over a decade but only recently have I been encountering more and more survivors of mother-daughter sexual abuse. Also known as MDSA, mother daughter sexual abuse is not as reported as other kinds of sexual abuse, so the statistics and research is limited. Unfortunately, with limited information many survivors can feel alone and confused. They question whether or not something happened to them. For non-survivors it can be hard to wrap your head around MDSA. This blog will help you if you’re wondering whether you’re a survivor of mother-daughter sexual abuse and also how to help yourself cope. 

One  my hopes when I write or talk about childhood sexual abuse is to help make the topic less stigmatizing for survivors. Survivors often carry shame. Shame for what happened to them. They feel shame that they couldn’t stop it and shame that it occurred in the first place. When people cringe or try to distance themselves from talking about it, it further makes survivors feel shame and like no one understands them. So not only do I talk about this to help them but I also want to bring this topic more to the forefront of people’s minds. I do so in hopes that parents, teacher, and other adults who work with children can spot the signs and intervene so kids don’t have to suffer alone.

Signs of Mother-Daughter Sexual Abuse 

There are numerous signs that indicate childhood sexual abuse, and these are no different for survivors of mother-daughter sexual abuse. These include:

  • Being made to touch another genitals, whether the other was another child, teen or an adult
  • Genital penetration with body parts or objects
  • Genital stimulation
  • Exposure to pornography
  • Coercing you to engage in sexual relations with a prostitute/sex worker by a parent 
  • Inappropriately watching a child undress or use the bathroom 

Now for survivors of mother-daughter sexual abuse they have the added element of confusion about whether something was abusive or just a response from a mother who was just “weird”. Survivors of MDSA report that their mothers:

  • Checked their bodies, giving their genitals a private exam that was forceful
  • Forcing them to “breastfeed”, meaning the mother described the act of breast feeding and named it breastfeeding but in fact their was either no milk or very milk being reproduced and the child did not want to do it
  • Making out/french kissing
  • Forcing her hands between your legs with or without clothes on

These are just some of the things that survivors report they experienced from their mothers. When you look at the different lists, one seems blatantly obvious, while the other doesn’t. This is why it’s so confusing for survivors of MDSA. In fact, many survivors, in order to cope, minimize their experiences because they cannot fathom what their mother did was abuse. But a major clue that indicates that you endured abuse is if your mother’s behavior made you feel dirty, used, gross, or taken advantage of. 

Why It’s So Confusing and Damaging for Survivors 

Mother’s are generally revered in all societies. The bond between mother and child start in utero and the mother serves as a safe place for their baby. Babies rely on their mothers for nourishment, comfort, and safety so when this bond is broken due to abuse it is incredibly distressing for the child. 

Much is made about mothers who are on drugs or alcohol and thus neglect their babies. We make excuses for them, blaming their addiction. Much is made about mothers who are physically abusive to their children. Again we blame stress and not enough help. So it’s no wonder that when the topic of sexual abuse from mother to daughter comes up that we look for excuses. These range from the mother had a severe mental health disorder, like psychosis, or a survivor will minimize their experiences, believing that the acts were not sexual. In fact, it’s very hard for people to see mothers as sexual beings, so to think about a mother sexually violating their child, goes completely against our psyche’s.

So it’s because of all these reasons that many survivors fear that they wont be believed. It’s that shocking. Even when they are brave enough to share their experiences, the shocked expression on the other persons face followed by a seemingly benign “are you sure?” is enough to make a survivor question something they’ve all ready been questioning.

But there are mothers who sexually abuse their daughters and also their sons. It is not necessarily due to some external circumstances like psychosis or drugs, but has everything to do with the mother’s own impulses. 

3 Tips To Help You Cope with Mother-Daughter Sexual Abuse

So one of the things many a survivor struggle with is questioning whether something happened to them or not. Again the major blaring sign for you to look at, as you slowly begin to allow yourself to explore these distressing thoughts, is if the behavior made you feel dirty, used, gross, or taken advantage of. If you answer in the affirmative then you experienced sexual abuse. 

Now how does one cope and move on from this type of abuse? 

Tip #1: Find a therapist. I very rarely jump out the gate with this one but mother-daughter sexual abuse is sadly not discussed enough and you will be suffering from complex trauma symptoms. Not only were you sexually violated, which has your stress response system all ready sensitized and easily triggered, but your also dealing with attachment wounds. How do learn to feel safe and to trust again if the main person who was supposed to do this for you was the one harming you? Many survivors not only have to combat these feelings but they also have feelings of fear and disgust being around other women and also their bodies. This can all be incredibly hard to deal with alone and you don’t have to suffer alone. So please reach out to a skilled trauma therapist, someone who has experience working with sexual abuse survivors and bonus if they’ve treated survivors of MDSA.

Tip #2: Journal. When memories or feelings come to mind jot them down. A) this will help you get them out of your head which will free your mind up so you’re not so overwhelmed. B) it will be great to share with your therapist as you work through everything that comes up as you process and begin to heal from your trauma.  

Tip #3 Come to terms with what happened and mourn the loss. It’s never easy to be a survivor of sexual abuse but there is so much support out there for survivors that people don’t feel so alone. But if you’re a female survivor of mother-daughter sexual abuse you absolutely feel alone. As you come to terms with what happened to you, you will be flooded with all kinds of thoughts and feelings. They will be intense. It will be sad, scary, disgusting, and frustrating. You might have blocked much of it out so you can continue to survive and live with your mother as a child, but now as an adult looking at things through a different lens, you have to come to terms with the fact that your mother didn’t protect you. She hurt you. So you will be mourning the loss of that mother-daughter relationship.


Mother-daughter sexual abuse is sadly not discussed enough in our culture. Survivors are left questioning what happened and feeling alone as resources are sparse. But MDSA occurs. It has long lasting affects but those effects don’t have to define you and continue to cause you pain. There is hope that you can feel whole, feel love, experience safety, and have trusting wonderful relationships with others. If you’re a survivor of mother-daughter sexual abuse and you’re looking to heal, schedule your intake today to set up and appointment. Healing is possible. 

These are just a few strategies, tips, and recommendations! I hope you found this post helpful! I’d love to hear from you in the comment section!

Thank you for taking the time to read. Remember sharing is caring, so share if you found this helpful!

Until we connect again,


Mother-Daughter sexual abuse (MDSA) is all too common but unfortunately not known. Many therapists have never even worked with clients who have had this experience and because it is not as known many people don’t believe it happens. Whether they say it out loud or say it with their face you will notice when you share this experience with someone that they don’t believe you. This can leave you feeling all alone and exposed. Violated even. But your experience was real and the impacts are real but you don’t have to continue living in this type of pain. Schedule your first session so we can talk about how to best support you on your healing journey.

Jessica Lang

Jessica Lang

Hi I'm Jessica and I am a licensed therapist specializing in treating sexual abuse and other traumas. Whether you are pregnant survivor, a parent of a survivor or an adult survivor of sexual abuse or complex trauma I am here to support you on your healing so you can love yourself, find your empowered voice, and have the relationships you desire.


  1. Deb Fry on May 28, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    Thank you for promoting a greater understanding of the existence of MDSA. I am a 65 year old MDSA survivor, and am grateful that this type of abuse is being recognized for what it is: abuse.
    I have been on the healing journey for 10 years, and making progress with an excellent therapist. Before I entered this journey, I spent my whole life wondering if it was abuse or not, in spite of obvious clues that it certainly was. My mother was doing things that exceeded boundaries that most normal mothers wouldn’t even consider. I won’t mention them here because I don’t want to trigger anyone, but her friends would react out of embarrassment, when she would openly tell them, often in front of me, what she did to me. Mother would use doctors as well, to carry out her sick obsessions.
    Again, I hope your article reaches those who need it the most: the girls and women who have suffered tremendously at the hands of their mothers, aunts, grandmothers, and female caretakers, and needs the validation of the abuse and the hope of recovery that has been offered here.

    • Jessica Lang on June 6, 2019 at 10:38 am

      I am so sorry you had to endure abuse by your mother but I’m happy you are on the path to healing. Mother daughter sexual abuse or really mother child abuse is not talked about at all and there is not a lot of research on women abuse. But it happens and I think that if it was discussed more then survivors wouldn’t feel like something was wrong with them or question their own sanity just because mother’s our held up in such high esteem people don’t want to believe that they can behave in this fashion. Thank you for your bravery in sharing.

    • G. on December 28, 2020 at 9:10 am

      Thank you. Your informations are helping me a lot. Here on Brazil, mother´s figure is most sacret that you can imagine. To prove to mental professional that my mother is a narcisitic person and she abuses me is fight against all what society believes who is a mother. It´s very hard to talk about it and to listen “mother is mother” or “you´re confuse and she never made anyhting to hurt you. It´s only your mother. Be patience”. Thanks a lot for clear my mind. Till now I passed a lot of time thinking I was wrost person in entire world.

  2. Lizzie on August 24, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    Thank you!!!
    I am 58 and memories of my female parent’s torture/abuse have begun returning with many body memories.
    Awful to endure, to remember, and to accept yet they are the framework of a puzzle that now makes sense.
    And I trust Jesus is bringing healing and wholeness.

  3. Tonia Cook on January 18, 2020 at 6:36 am

    Thank you so much for bringing light to this dark subject. I finally have a label to attach to the mental gymnastics I have dealt with since childhood, the constant crossing of boundaries by the most important person in a child’s development. Your article was well written. When I was 12 or possibly 13 yrs old, my mom forced me to spread eagle on the floor so she could properly insert my first tampon. Now I view it as rape. That is just one of the many things that I remember, I have an ongoing list, have been jotting them down this past week, working through the repression and denial.

  4. Ana Babin on March 23, 2020 at 9:19 am

    Hi, my mother was like that too. She would obssess over my private parts being dirty and would ask to wash them . She wanted me to undress infront of my cousin. She would kiss my neck and hand. She would fondle my feet as if I was a baby (I think she might be a pedophile.) She would obsess over cutting my hair in a sexy way. She would tell me to touch myself until I fell asleep if I couldn’t sleep.

  5. Helen on March 23, 2020 at 3:09 pm

    Thanks . I met my therapist to talk about my complex ptsd trauma and confronted my mother for that. But over two years all I have got is denial and forceful intrusion of my private life again and again . She would raided my room and took my clothes to laundry, prepared food but it all seemed to me that first she denied anything that happened, and it’s the same thing as I had sexual relations with other people her actions was not ‘dirtier ‘but equally dirty and because I am not a clean person it made no difference … it’s all the same that’s what she told me. I was being watched every time I walked out of my room and she would act like a predator trying to follow my footsteps or be near at me I just feel sick . She just used all the gestures to groom me so she gained my trust and abused me again. She did things I did not want her to do that’s intrusion and abusive

    • Helen on March 23, 2020 at 3:16 pm

      I am in a sense of confusion all the time before going to university to have lectures of sexual abuse I did not know that was so grave I only knew that’s very strange but I secretly thought every mother did that to her child as an act of intimacy that’s what I have been told by my mother when she abused me she said she loved me and no one in this world loves me more than her but why I felt so shameful and confused because of the extreme violation of body the disrespect and fear and all that complex feelings apart from the love she gave me ? I saw her two weeks ago bathing my nephew and she touched his genitals and was having fun about that i felt nauseated . I knew she received the same treatment when she was kid my grandmother night take away her virginity because my grandmother had abused me before by touching my bosom . I felt shocked she did that so disgraceful

      • Maria on March 28, 2020 at 3:13 pm

        My God Helen this is exactly my case. I am in a sense of confusion. I try to get some responses, going on reddit in the narcissistic parents forum. I try to get help from my therapist but she clearly has no skills. Me too for me it was normal (she told me that) and the worst is that i enjoyed it because i felt empowered, pretty, she sexualized me since a young age (i’m also a victim of covert incest). My self confidence was based on that so that means i over sexualized myself but at the same i acted very masculine, dominant, agressive, very sensitive i was ashamed about my feminity i play the little capricious girl with others and try my best for not being seen as desirable or weak to others.
        I don’t know you but i love i’m so happy to find someone in my case you’re not alone.

        • Maire on May 8, 2020 at 12:19 am

          Thank you all for addressing this issue. I am still unsure if what happened qualifies as abuse but the memories have been with me, for years.

          My male parent and I were also physically and emotionally close. Although some of the things he did would definitely qualify as physical and emotional abuse (by today’s standards), these memories don’t bother me.

          I still have many questions. At least we can talk about the subject of mothers “unwanted touch”, now.

          Thank you for respecting my privacy. I am placing as lot of trust in this community, by posting here.


          • Jordie on June 3, 2021 at 7:03 pm

            My mother would wash out the inside of my vagina with soap when I was young–before kindergarten. I think I was around three. It burned and burned. It hurt so bad. She said she had to do it. I used to try to struggle away. One day a babysitter from next door saw her and told her she shouldn’t wash me out with bar soap. From that day, my mother turned against the babysitter. When that babysitter became a teen mom, my mother set me and my sister to torment her children, and we did. My mother kept hinting at me I was retarded, that there was something wrong with me. She did this through my adulthood, even after I graduated from a top university, and I believed her. A few years ago, I found I wasn’t learning disabled–I was actually well into the genius level. My mother used to wish me dead. She tried to kill me a few times as a child. Why does everyone think mothers are so wonderful? They’re usually the nearest to children, and so the ones able to do the most damage.

  6. Maria on March 28, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    Thank you so much Jessica

  7. Valerie on April 11, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    I have never opened up about/explored this part of my life with a therapist. I do know what disassociation is, although I am not sure if there are reoressed memories. I do know that for a long time I couldn’t understand why I felt like I needed to be so masculine. Just having my mother be emotionally dependent and needy when I was a child did not explain the intense disgust I felt when she touched me. Or when she would look me over and be very eager to see me naked (walking in or surprising me) or crane to see me breastfeed and ask if it felt good. Or leave doors open and allow me to see her being fondled by men or actually having sex. Or for her to make out with men on the couch behind me, or in the kitchen with her top uncovered, or in front of me period. I recoiled with intense shame, disgust and other involuntary arousal responses when she kissed my earlobe, neck or caressed my fingers. Or when she would hold up face cream for me to use, between the cracks of her breasts while tapping the cream with her pointer finger. 🙁 All of these things made me feel extremely uncomfortable and she would make me out to be the crazy one for having problems that developed from these actions as well as mind and control games, and using family members and other 3rd parties to support her tearing me down. I have an extremely difficult time connecting with my own feminity, as well as other females.

    I do not like to be touched and be emotionally vulnerable.

  8. Littlewolf on June 3, 2020 at 7:54 pm

    I’m about to be 29. Sober for 3 months for the first time since I picked up bad habits at 15. Mosy alcohol but turned harder drugs (nothing intravenously) the past 5-7 years. The memories are now flooding back. I’ve also always had a hatred for other women deep inside but I never treat anyone this way if that makes sense.. I just have a general mistrust. Without being insensitive to anyone’s triggers.. a lot of things happened in the tub.. makes sense why I’m scared of water. I’ll swim or bath but even leaning back to rinse my hair in the tub or just having to close my eyes in the shower I often feel an eerie sense that I will be attacked. It makes sense now.. I also know it’s wrong to know at 8 what her genitalia looks like. She was always in the nude when we were home. I don’t want to get into much more as I don’t have clear full memories. She’s also dead. Cancer, when I was 12. 17 years later and I’m glad. I also remember pretending I was a wolf a lot of times.. even ate my food like a dog (on purpose) i did this up until she died. Maybe because it was my protective shield from feeling the shame. I think she felt bad about it.. maybe someone did it to her. Does anyone else feel disgusting or unloveable? I HOPE YOU DONT! But I mean more so is it natural, and how do I cope with it? I don’t have money or resources to get therapy And when I was put in therapy after she died by my family of course I didn’t take full advantage because I didn’t even understand what had happened. This caused me to resent her parents, my grandparents probably due to the fact that I couldn’t articulate my experience/trauma we have had a rocky relationship although they have never given up on me. I struggle with a lot of feelings of self loathing and discussed. Though I don’t show this on the outside. On the outside you would think I have it all I am beautiful and smart and caring and loving supportive funny generous… It’s funny I can say that in this setting but I have a hard time thinking those things about myself on a daily basis. When I think about what happened I still have physical memory in my vulva which in turn makes me wish I could just rip it off. I’ve also never had my own boundaries which has made personal relationships with friends family and lovers very difficult. They often feel rejected because I don’t really like to be touched even hugs. Unless I initiate it because then I know for sure that it’s sincere. This is so weird saying all these things because they are true but I rarely express them. I’ve only been able to tell my male friends who are strictly platonic and have never pushed my boundaries… Bless them because those type of men are far and few between in this world. I just want someone to talk to please. I also have been in a lot of situations that I have been sexually violated. Now when I say that I am not saying anyone thought they had raped me but I knew in my head that I was just going along with it because it’s what they wanted. So I don’t even want to call it rape but a cross of boundaries. Some of it was willing but not in a loving way it was willing because I wanted to abuse myself. I’ve also struggled in relationships with Fidelity much to my partners dismay I feel awful for what I’ve done but at least now I understand some contributing factors. I even felt pressured one time to have sex with a girl because she and I connected emotionally while she told me some of her traumas and I didn’t want to make her feel rejected so I went along with it even though I don’t identify as gay. Bless you if you do because you deserve love however it translates to you. There’s no shame being attracted to who you’re attracted to. I’ve often struggled with those feelings though I will say but after intercourse with a female as an adult I just didn’t get the same pleasure that I do from a man, I didn’t get any pleasure at all is what I mean. It also makes sense now why most of my friends are men. I just want to know if I can truly recover from this or if I’m going to feel broken for the rest of my life. Also please feel free to email me any resources that I can reach out. Remember I really don’t have money and right now I don’t even have income or any way to support myself. I’ve turn to prostitution in my recent past. And although I don’t think this is a direct connection to my trauma it did have to do with a sense of desperation and worthlessness. I hope me sharing this helps someone else to share their feelings. I do feel much better for the time being. Thank you for providing a safe place because I am just starting to talk about these things. Peace and blessings to all of my survivor sisters. One love

    • Scott on August 21, 2020 at 9:01 am

      Congratulations on your sobriety! That’s awesome.

      One suggestion with respect to counselling, I realize you don’t have money for a professional therapist. Have you considered peer counselling? A Google search of “peer counselling + your geographical location” might be a starting place. You might not find someone who has your exact experience but you *might*find someone you’re comfortable speaking with. Some universities that have social work or psychology courses have counselling centres where students train. I’m on the fence if this is worth it because…..well, they’re students. They don’t stay long term and they don’t have the skills – yet – to be effective counsellors in all cases. I believe it when is better than nothing but I am also wary of it. RAINN might have telephone/online resources you could use. Google will find them.

      If it is of any help, there are anecdotal stories all over the internet and I think in some books such as Julie Brand’s “surviving a mother’s touch” which discuss how the bathroom and bathing play such a large role in maternal (or female) initiated sexual abuse. This is because females usually trusted with child care responsibilities and they can manipulate the situations during caregiving activities to disguise abusive behaviours as a routine caregiving activity. Suppose your female carer is in the habit of washing you all over with a soapy washcloth, is it really that hard to drop the cloth and use a hand to wash your genitals? If they were to be caught, “oh, I dropped the cloth.” Same for diapering the child. They can use baby wipes to “carefully” clean the genitals. Usually the only evidence in this situation is how you, the victim/survivor, feels during the situation and how many of us have the vocabulary to explain what happened? If the behaviour has been normalized since infancy…….speaking up is so much more difficult and disturbing.


    • Scott on August 21, 2020 at 9:05 am
  9. Rachael on June 7, 2020 at 9:15 am

    Wow, I knew I wasn’t alone but in the past when I have searched for support regarding MDSA I always found that most of the articles were referring to mothers and their sons, which is awful, but I am a female and I have been sexual abuse by my mother so none of those articles were particularly helpful.
    I am a 29 year old, I was abused by my mother and the people she would sell me and my older sister to so she could get money for her Drug issue, my father was a good man and never hurt his children.
    This female that is my mother is now in prison for murder where she belongs. But before that she had 3 children, she never abused her oldest child who was a boy, she only Tortured the girls. This went on for years from 1-6 years old, someone that was watching us, someone that was kind, noticed something was wrong with my sisters vagina (she was 7) and took us to the hospital, they ran rape kits on us both and the kits were positive for sexual abuse. The stupid hospital called our mother and she blamed my grandfather, her father in law (my grandfather was an honest, kind, wonderful man) and she came and got us and ran to an abused women and children center where she abused us in the shower. The shelter wouldn’t let us leave with our father (the safe parent), my Dad eventually got us away from her. Then he passed away when I was 16 and I was put in foster care where I was then rapped by a “foster parent”.
    This world is a really harsh place but I just want anyone that found this article to know that my heart is with you. My strength is with you and know you are NOT alone.

  10. Maria on June 19, 2020 at 6:46 am

    I’m 18 years old I live only with my mother (my father passed away when I was 10). My mother for the past half year had been coming to my sleep at night and grab my breasts sexually (like my boyfriend does) calling me inappropriate names. Sometimes she even comes at me while beign awake and studying, patting my shoulders and quickly squeezin my breast. One time I had a dream that I was a baby, crying amd my mother was sexually abusing me with her finger. When I asked her if she came at night touching my breasts she denied it. After havingna fight with her, she accepted it. I also told what happened to my uncle. My mother generally implies sexual tjkngs about me and when i was youmger,before my father died she would ask me to strike sexy poses so she could take a photograph(which of course i didnt know meant and did nothig).After all these, I feel vey insecure and depressed. I would like you ms Lang to help me clear out the situation and if all the above can be deemed as mdsa. (I live in Greece so seeing you in person isnt viable)
    Thank you

    • Jessica Lang on June 23, 2020 at 9:46 am

      Hi Maria thank you for sharing. I am so sorry your mother was sexually violating you. I hope you are away from her. One of the biggest things I always try to encourage survivors to do is to deny their abusers access to them if possible. If you are interested at all in therapy feel free to go to my website and schedule something. https://jessicalangtherapy.com/contact-me-to-start-healing/

    • Scott on August 20, 2020 at 12:43 pm

      I’m not sure if this comment is allowed, so delete it if it breaks any rules.

      Does Greece not have therapists? I get not all of them have experience on this topic, but surely child abuse is a universal crime and it happens everywhere in the world. This would lead me to believe that there should be resources in your regions. I don’t speak/read Greek so I’m not a great resource in terms of researching this issue but…..?

    • Scott on August 24, 2020 at 9:21 am

      Here’s some info for Greece. I have a few contacts via internet forums that are in Greece and they were able to point me in the direction of these agencies:



      I hope they are of some help. I did have fun searching for these resources. It was like being a detective! I just hope they are actual, real organizations that can help you out – or point you in the right direction.



      • Jessica Lang on August 24, 2020 at 2:37 pm

        Yes Scott is spot on!! Thank you for helping Maria

  11. Delia on June 23, 2020 at 8:02 am

    Thank you for this article, Jessica. Your words hit home easily and for me at this journey of acceptance of my childhood trauma, painlessly. Thank you for your words of empathy and the tips as well. For so long I felt so alone with my childhood experience and it was only two years ago (after 3 decades of deceiving myself) that I have come to accept that I am a survivor of MDSA. I am glad I found this blog post and the comments section from this circle of wonderful, brave and strong women who share my experience… Words cannot describe how less alone I feel now. I have been seeking alternative holistic therapy and have even gained certification as a healer of an ancient Mayan tradition in my journey to understand what happened to me. It continues now to coming across this wonderful resource blog. I cannot read all the stories in the comments area all at once as I do feel overwhelmed by the deeply personal stories nonetheless I shall. Thank you!

    • Jessica Lang on June 23, 2020 at 9:49 am

      Hi Delia,I’m so happy you found my blog and it was helpful. Feeling alone is such a common feeling especially because people all ready have a hard time understanding sexual abuse but when you throw mom in there they don’t believe survivors. It’s so frustrating but there are so many people who have experienced this specific type of abuse that there are others who will completely understand how you are feeling.

      • Delia on June 24, 2020 at 9:04 pm

        Thank you for the feedback Jessica. What you said is very true.

      • Maire on June 29, 2020 at 2:15 pm

        There are many people (some of them are therapists) who become angry and offended when a person (female or male) mentions unwanted touch by a female caregiver.

        It is a complex issue.


  12. Maire on June 29, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    It is inevitable that a child will object to touch by a caregiver.

    It is not inevitable that mom should keep touching a daughter’s genitalia once that child has demonstrated the ability to stay safe and clean.

    This is where my problem lies.

    Many of Y’all have experienced other things, including severe abuse.

    In many cultures, mom cannot safeguard the female child’s safety, or cleanliness.

    In the process of attempting to do so, some of the moms humiliate a child.


  13. Audd on July 11, 2020 at 8:52 am

    Thank You Jessica for your article and others for bravely sharing your experiences. It just give me a hope that I’m not weird because it’s actually happened for some of us. I was ‘forced’ to sleep in my mom’s room, because my mom and my dad d’ont want to sleep together. The background is in our culture divorce is not really acceptable in the community, so eventhough its a very disfunctional family and relationship between them, they dont do the divorce and still live together eventhough i guess both of them have a ‘secret partner’. And that time there’s no more room available at my house. So I sleep with my mom until I was 15/16 (I’m 24 now). I remember she watched a porn video and did a masturbation when I was still a kid when I was sleeping. But then I woke up because of the sound they make on the video and pretend to be asleep. I feel from that time I was attached to pornography sometimes until now.. and just feel cant get out from that addiction. And recently when I was about 20 I was sleeping again with my mom when we are overseas and she touched my breast when I was sleeping, but i woke up because of the touched and still pretend to be asleep again, because I was too scared of the reaction and the awkwardness if I decided to wake up. I feel so confused and think if its not a big deal and I kind of feel not safe being around her anymore. Can anyone or Jessica please tell me if that is included in MDSA?

    • Jessica Lang on July 13, 2020 at 1:18 pm

      I’m so sorry you experienced this! yes its sexual abuse.

  14. Gram on July 12, 2020 at 9:39 am

    Thank You Jessica for the article!

  15. Jess on July 20, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    Unfortunately I would like to mention that one major, major issue for many of us is retraumatization by therapists. I know I am not the only one with stories of abuse that had them minimized or denied by therapists, even therapists who claimed to be trained in trauma and sexual abuse. Some of us are even tagged with other disorders because a professional saw our trauma reactions but denied the trauma behind them. Unfortunately this can lead to a compounding problem as well, as the resulting stigmatized diagnoses on our records color the view of future therapists.

    People always say “you need to go to therapy”, but – how much wounding from therapists are we expected to endure before we say enough is enough? Seeking out a therapist is often not safe for people with problems like this, and frequently society views our inability to find a therapist who will take us seriously as proof that we are lying or delusional. I know I could only start to heal when I got away from the disbelief and incredulity that was showered upon me by the mental health system.

    • Jessica Lang on July 27, 2020 at 10:29 am

      Unfortunately you are so right. Not every therapist is good with trauma and mother daughter sexual abuse is not talked about. I just hope that when people do decide to work with a therapist they find someone who really knows how to help survivors and does not te traumatize them. I’m so sorry to anyone who has had that experience.

    • Deborah L.S. on August 10, 2020 at 11:06 am

      That last paragraph could have been written by me. I’m 47 now but I have been seeking therapy since I was in my early 20s. I can’t begin to tell you half of the nonsense I’ve heard from these “professionals”, like you need to date! Um… no.

      • Kathryn on August 12, 2020 at 10:59 pm

        Thank you for this article as it helps validate women who have been subjected to sexual abuse by their mother be validated.
        I was sexually and emotionally abused by my mother under the guise of “I love you” usually when she was drunk. I’ve gone through counselling and still struggle with women who push boundaries. I find it uncomfortable standing up to women who are oblivious to other people’s boundaries…a lifelong struggle, especially with lesbian and bisexual women.

        • Hllycssdy on January 11, 2021 at 11:59 am

          Thank you for this info and thank you all for sharing. I am in my late 20’s, and like many here, am just coming to terms with the abuse I experienced from my own mother. My mother tended to do more “safe” things to me. – none that were ok, but they added to the confusion I experienced. She didn’t have drug or alcohol problems, and we lived a fairly average, middle-class, suburban style life otherwise. I would often times wake up to feeling my feet being touched or kissed, and I learned to just pretend to be asleep, as it would make the experience end more quickly. I know she would masturbate while doing this. As a teenager, I was mortified by this, and never dared bring it up. Not having a father around definitely made this a pretty regular thing, and my mother was always rubbing and caressing me, making comments about how my feet were “so soft” and “young.” At the time, the thought of abuse never entered my mind. I just thought it was mom being weird, but again, now I’m just beginning to face this head on. Support is very limited, and I have major trust issues as far as therapists go. Thankfully, people are much more aware of this type of abuse, so I’m working through it. I truly empathize with any women who have ever dealt with this. It creates an unimaginable amount of confusion and lack of self- confidence. Be strong, and know this is not the end of the road!

    • Joanne on August 26, 2020 at 12:10 am

      Jessica, what you wrote is spot on and I never could articulate that as clearly as you have. I was sexually abused by both parents, as well as relatives. Not to mention, I was beaten, stalked, locked outside to be raped by other men, verbally abused etc etc. I had many near death experiences at the hands of family members that I was denied medical help and is grace of God I survived. I went to the police for help when 13 and again at 14 years old. My parents told them I was lying and the police took me somewhere where I forced spread eagle, tied down and forced a medical exam that tore me inside and I cried in pain the whole hour. It was entirely illegal and I had never been a prostitute or with anyone. Still the therapists took my side. I was beaten and tortured later if I ever told the truth. The therapist Social services sent us to took my parents side and placed me back in their care. They thought I was the one with the lying problem. As an adult, I cannot even get my dr to take me serious as he reads what they wrote so he doesn’t believe me either. I’m too scared to trust another therapist as they just seem so unknowledgable. Plus it’s impossible to scratch the surface in an hour and one hour is very expensive. It’s a really sad world. My mother still sexually harasses me because she has always gotten away with it; they enabled her perverted sick behaviour.

  16. Quentin on August 14, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    Thank you for writing this. Thank you for all the work you do. You make me feel seen.

  17. Scott on August 17, 2020 at 2:01 am

    I’m a male social worker who has never worked in sexual abuse/assault counselling. I am wondering two things:

    1. Where does one develop skills in this area? My studies were in the late 90s and I do remember reading a FEW brief stories about mother on daughter sexual abuse but I don’t ever remember reading more than “see a therapist” and I know none of my classes discussed this.

    2. I guess this depends on the victim/survivor (I never know which term to use, so I use both) but is there an advantage when the offender is a female to having a male counsellor? Like, if I was trained up and providing sexual abuse/assault counselling, would people be comfortable talking to me? Or is this an area better served with a female counsellor?

    • Donna on September 24, 2020 at 1:19 am

      As a victim/survivor, I only felt comfortable enough to even share what happened to me when I finally connected with a male therapist. I had been going to females for depression. Never opened up about any abuse, really. I only made it maybe 6 sessions tops with most female therapists. I felt comfortable enough to share after over a year of working on goal setting, boundary setting, and CBT. Then one day last year I was having a bit of a breakdown and told him. Everything changed and I really think I’m on a path to healing. RAIN meditations with Tara Brach, Soften Soothe and Allow with Kristen Neff, and grounding help me the most. I don’t know how much experience my therapist has in MDSA, but he got me to read Melodie Beattie’s “Codependent No More,” and that changed my life (my mom is also an alcoholic). I’m in a tricky situation because I live with my mom, and have had to stop my life many times to be the good daughter and take care of her. I’m working towards independence, but healing is slowly but surely getting me there.

      Just thought I’d share my anecdote. Hope this helps & thanks for you time and attention!

  18. Charlene on August 30, 2020 at 6:09 am

    Thank God I’m not alone, me too I’ve been facing the same problems with my own mother, to cut a long story short, when I was a child she used to touch my breast inappropriately and does the same to other children she comes in contact with even if she doesn’t know them, finds it funny and denies it, she spat in my mouth, always insults me, curses me and uses bad words to bring me down all the time , threatens me over money and told me she will have a another child to replace and forget about me (because I’m her only child)

  19. Clau on September 8, 2020 at 6:44 am

    Super cool that you are interested in MDSA survivors. I never saw nobody ever who it is because motherhood is super romanticized in this planet Earth unfortunately. I would like to add a few topics to your article that for sure also is included in the abuse. Some mothers (mine is an example) used to take pictures of me naked when I was a baby, she kept the practice during my infancy and teenager years, she took me naked to her driver when I was five just “to sing a song” before I should have been taken to my bath. During my teenager years I took theater classes and she said all the time that I would have to become a prostitute to keep studying theater, once she forced me to talk on the phone to a man who said to be a theater director and tell him that yes I would do a play naked. I was around 14 when this happened. In the following years she developed the habit of saying to every man that her daughter was a virgin – really offering me – till one day, years later when I was already an adult, the husband of my friend told her that since my mother was offering me to him, he would like to “do some party”. My father was an amazing father but never paid attention to her attitudes and after he passed the things got even worse to a point that I had preferred to be illegal in the USA just to run away from her than stay in Brazil by her side. Because of her, I decided never to have kids. Now that she is dead at least I can live a little in peace in my country. I wish I had money to be treated by you.

  20. Rebecca on September 16, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    On vacations when I was a kid, my parents would force my brother and me to lie with our eyes closed and our faces turned to the wall so they could have sex in the next bed. I think being “naughty” made sex more exciting for them. My mother used to tell me about all her sexual fantasies and have faux (or maybe even real) orgasms on the couch in front of me while she told me about them. I know for a fact she was not sexually abused herself as her mother was a devout Catholic who would not do such a thing. As a matter of fact, my grandfather worked two jobs to send his four children to the best schools he could afford. I was in need of a gynecologist as a teen but was denied because she wasn’t wasting money on a gynecologist for me unless I agreed to go on birth control and started having sex. I was 12. She was obsessed with forcing me to have sex and even groped one of my male friends in front of me to show me how it was done (“what a big boy you’re getting to be. What a big, big boy.”). I had to step in physically before she got to his groin. He was 12 or 13. When I was in the eighth grade, I dated an abusive boy who hit me and forced his hand into my underwear, overpowering me while I tried to keep him out. I don’t know what possessed me to tell her, but her response was to come running into my room while I was trying to sleep, throw herself across my legs, pinning me down, and start groping my breasts herself while telling me how ugly I am and how no one was ever going to love me. She enjoyed it so much, she had to stop to gasp in pleasure. My father worshipped her and told me she was doing the best she could. No one ever would have believed it. I remember trying to tell someone because I just needed to get some of it out only to be told my mother had my best interests at heart. At one point, I wanted to die a virgin I was so disgusted by sex. No one believes mothers can be like this. Even my own husband yelled at me in disgust when I tried to talk about it. There’s such a stigma…for the wrong person.

  21. Donna on September 24, 2020 at 1:36 am

    Thank you for this post. I am having a hard time living with my mother that abused me. Since I was very young, she would touch me in the shower and grind on me in bed. I didn’t get it was wrong until I heard my aunt sexually abused my cousin years later. My mom was constantly watching horror movies and shows with nudity and would pleasure herself with me around. I was always scared and had (still have) trouble sleeping. My dad was a yeller, so constant buzzing and fear are too familiar to me. She continues to be abusive (mostly emotionally), but after 30+ years on this earth, I’m starting to realize none of it was my fault. The abuse led me down dark, dangerous paths with more abuse. It turned me away from God. No one really believes me except a pedophile who exploited me and my therapist. I don’t care anymore and am learning boundaries so even if I’m stuck taking care of my alcoholic abuser, she can’t ruin me anymore. I’m still here. She can discredit me, trash me, and turn everyone against me to protect her reputation, but I’m still here. One moment at a time I’m learning to love myself as I deserved to be loved as a little girl with bouncy curls and a big smile.

    Just wanted to share my story since I really felt not alone for the first time reading all of the comments.

  22. Claudia McCree on September 29, 2020 at 6:46 am

    The many patterns I recognize and resonate with in the comment section has assisted me with accepting the depths that I must swim in order to heal.

  23. Chloe on November 10, 2020 at 7:55 am

    Hi everyone. Can someone recommend a forrum where I can connect with more survivors. I would like this kind of support.

    • Maire on November 23, 2020 at 5:43 pm


      Unfortunately, there are many voyeurs on these forums.

      Such individuals do not have much empathy for women who have experienced MDSA.

      It would be good to find a place where we could talk freely without the intrusion.

      I wish you all the best.


      • Audra on December 10, 2020 at 8:07 am

        Thank you so much for this article. I was a victim of maternal sexual abuse. After some therapy I realized how wrong she was and that I was not “petty” for remembering and reacting to the sexual abuse f rom her. After saying this outloud in therapy it helped me to realize how the abuse affected me .

  24. AK on March 22, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    Thank you for posting this. I was meditating 2 months ago, and that’s when every single memory of what my mother did to me flooded back.
    Last night I finally told someone in my life what had happened. I just want to heal because her intrusions of me as a child were more than narcissistic and I should not have suffered so greatly.

    Reading these comments makes me feel so much less alone, and one day this will be more talked about.

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