Robert Brown wrote an article about how sex offenders manipulate their victims into silence:
The perpetrator will tune-into or identify the limitation of options for the child he or she targets and begin the abuse. The perpetrator typically knows the required elements of life for the child whom just wants to keep things peaceful, predictable and safe for more people than himself.
In so many cases, the child cannot call the police, teacher, principal, or coach for help. He or she cannot end the income of the family by turning in Dad. If Dad is removed from the scene the child knows his or her family will end up in impossible monetary straights, like the neighbor kids who had to move into a shelter when their dad died.
Some of what he wrote reminds me of my father’s behavior. Many of the survivors I have spoken with talked about their abusers playing on their family dynamics or community situation to keep them silent. That is something I remind people of when I speak about child abuse. You never know what might keep your child from telling, and few people know what their children’s worries are. Abusers often do know that and they have no problem playing on it.