Instead of remaining victims, they became the victimizers. I don't think it was an intentional, deliberate decision. It seems like a natural progression.
The injured boy grows up and practices what he knows as a form of sexual or emotional satisfaction. He copies what he observed and what was done to him.
He wouldn't think in those terms, but by reversing roles he becomes the person with power. He reaches for what he wants and he learns how to do it because he was once the prey.
Think again about ourselves as children. For a few minutes at a time we felt loved because we were needy boys who received physical intimacy. We had some awareness of what it felt like to be loved. It was false and transitory, but the experience was real. Those may have been the only tender expressions we experienced in childhood. At least for me, they're the only ones I remember.
I'm not trying to excuse exploiting children, but I am trying to understand those who do such heinous acts. It helps me to compare them with those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol. The honest ones speak of what it's like when they got high. They tell me they were free from worries, able to forget the misery of their lives, their lack of feeling loved, or the awareness of hating themselves.
I'm not excusing the behavior of perpetrators, but I've determined to understand. I want to open myself to forgiving those who hurt me. In doing so, I move further down my own healing path. I can't be responsible for their decision, but I can forgive them.
My perpetrators were victims of their own compulsions;
as I seek to understand their actions, I also seek to forgive them.