Why do people hurt younger people including their younger relatives?

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Often it's a way for someone who feels helpless or powerless in other aspects of his or her life to gain back a sense of control and power. They can't strike out at a person in a position of authority like their boss or a police officer, nor would a weak person like this attempt to lash out at another adult. So they hurt weaker, more defenseless people like children, adults who ''appear'' to be weaker than themselves - women, senior citizens, handicapped people - and often even pets.
So it is most often an matter of control. A lot of people mistakenly assume that rape and molestation are about sex, but ''a lot'', if not the majority, of these incidents are actually about control. It's not the sexual aspect of the abuse/crime that they're drawn to. Rather it's the heady feeling of having power over another human being that excites them - it's like a drug to these people
Other reasons for people hurting others, not necessarily just younger or weaker people, may include anger and rage issues or having been the victim of abuse or molestation themselves at some point.
Therapy can successfully help many of these people deal with their feelings of inadequacy and powerlessness, anger, or feelings of guilt and rage over having been victimized themselves. Unfortunately, many of these victimizers don't realize or won't admit, even to themselves, that they have a problem. Like an alcoholic or addict, they have to hit rock bottom before it finally becomes apparent that professional help is needed.
Rapists and child molesters are another matter and sometimes simple therapy is not enough and incarceration or institutionalization is the safest way to handle them.
If you are being abused physically, mentally, sexually, seek help immediately from someone you can trust - a minister or priest; a teacher, counselor, coach, principal; police, child protective services or social worker; even a close friend and/or their parents or your family doctor. Wow! This is a really good answer; this is very true. Thank you for your support. Both the questioner and the answerer.
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