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Did My Grandmother Molest Me?

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From the U.S.: Hello. I was molested by a relative of our neighbor when I was 5, but I’m not sure if what my grandmother did also counts as molestation. She would joke around with me and touch me between my legs and I would always laugh because she convinced me that this was all in good fun. I was around the ages of 4 or 5. She never did this around my mother, though. Only when we were alone on the bed. Does this count as molestation? My therapist thinks it does, but I’m not sure. Maybe I am in denial? I’m 23 right now and thinking about all of this is making me a wreck and making me see my grandmother in a different light (I still live with her and my mother, by the way). Thank you for your help.

Did My Grandmother Molest Me?

Answered by on -


There is no reasonable healthy explanation for your grandmother touching you that way. The fact that she would wait until the two of you were alone suggests that she knew it was wrong. She crossed the line when she should have been one of the adults who was keeping you safe.

I’m not sure what you mean by asking if the incidents “count” as molestation. It happened. It shouldn’t have. But then things get complicated. People are rarely all good or all bad. Although it would be easier to just judge your grandmother, there are probably layers to this story that need to be explored — especially since you still live with her.

Rather than fret about whether something is or is not molestation, you and your therapist might find it more useful to talk about whether it would be helpful to you to talk to your grandmother about that time in your life and how she thinks and feels about it now. It might comfort you and help you get past it if she were to offer you some information and, especially, if she were to apologize in a way that shows that she really means it. If, on the other hand, she would deny it or blame or shame you, you don’t need to put yourself through that. Do talk it through with your therapist.

I wish you well,
Dr. Marie

Did My Grandmother Molest Me?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Did My Grandmother Molest Me?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 25, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 29 Apr 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.