(Trigger Warning: This post may contain information about the topic of sexual abuse that may be sensitive in nature to some readers )
I have thought about this article allot before writing it. This is very difficult.
I am not writing it to gain anything, but in hopes that someone reading it does. ..
I don’t want anyone to go through this, but I know many will…
So maybe this will make a difference somewhere to someone…
There’s a sad truth called sexual abuse that we really don’t want to talk about, but we must.
There are perpetrators of sexual abuse that we don’t ever want to know, but we do.
There are mistakes that are made and reality becomes something we don’t want to face, but we have no choice.
The truth is, children are sexually abused. There’s no sense ignoring it. It does not make it go away.
Sometimes the wrong person is blamed, and the abuser gets away with it….this does not necessarily happen because of an error in judgment, or a lack of concern, but something far more sinister…
It happens on purpose.
Yes, on purpose. By design; following a perpetrators methodical plan..with an end goal being to abuse more and to get away with it.
This article will show you how they do it, so you and i can possibly stop one of them.
Protect your child with open eyes.
The following two stories are true cases where this horrific type of situation occurred. I know this topic is a difficult one. It is disgusting, vile, immoral, and sad. It is still vitally important to talk about, even if we don’t want to. Why? Because cases like these that are not isolated. They happen all the time, and if the abuser has his way, it will happen again, on purpose.
Pedophiles and child molesters are everywhere. They look like anyone you meet. They prey on children, and, most of the time, the children know them.
The predator must rely on others to trust him, need him or fear him. without at least one of those elements, the predator cannot gain the compliance he needs to abuse. Sometimes the child even loves their abuser.
Sexual abuse destroys that innocent trust (and the ABILITY to trust) by exploiting the fears and needs of the victim. They intertwine themselves into their victims lives, devastate families, and change their victim into someone new.
They do all of this harm for their own sexual gratification, and their need to fulfill it, without getting caught.
They plot, plan, and seek out their victims. They must groom them -a process by which they slowly work with the victim until the predator feels confident they have gained the trust and silence of their victim before introducing the actual sexual abuse.
First they must find their victim, prepare their victim and then, finally, they abuse their victim. It’s a process.
Pedophiles are sick …and the sickness doesn’t go away..
They are notoriously incurable, and will usually re-offend, having more than one victims. Sex offenders who molest children have many traits in common, and when they are caught, you can bet they don’t get caught with their first victim, or on their first abuse. Usually they have had many victims prior to getting caught, or they have abused many times.
They do not rehabilitate very easily or very often, and did I mention, that most of the time, they will re-offend?
Abusers comes in all shapes, sizes, genders, race and with different preferences. Victims can and are both male and female alike. No one is immune. Do not be misconstrued about the appearance of a predator, they don’t always look like three monster they are.
The abuser is a predator and predators hunt. The predator is opportunistic. Like any predator on the hunt, if he sees the opportunities laid out before him, he will jump on it. Sometimes he must make his own opportunities. He must be-friend a child, or the parent of a child, in order to gain access to the child.
The predator loves to see an opportunity to have a ‘patsy’… another innocent person to take the blame for their abuse they are committing against a child. I have two such stories to tell you.
The end result of sexual abuse is tragic, and as you’ll read, the truth is sometimes not revealed until far too late.
Here is the story of a little girl ill call “Child A “-
Child A was 4 years old when the abuse began. Her abuser was her mother’s 2nd husband. Child A was born to parents who were teenagers. The couple had split up when she was 2 years of age, and found themselves caught in a bitter divorce and custody battle before they could even legally purchase alcohol. However the contention was not between the two of them, but the maternal grandmother had intervened and filed suit and she wanted custody.
The mother was only 16 when she got pregnant with child A, and out of selfless love for her daughter, she admitted she wasn’t ready to be a full time single mother. A bitter pill to swallow. The mother also knew that fighting in a custody battle would just add to the already volatile conflict.
The mother made the difficult decision to back up from the court battle. She settled for sporadic visitations on the 5th weekends of the months. She would have the ability to stay in contact with her daughter and be involved in school functions, advised of any pertinent health matters, etc etc. Since most months only had 4 weekends, this meant she only had possession of her daughter every few months for one weekend.. but she talked on the phone, had lunch at school with her, and stayed active in her child’s life.
The mother had a boyfriend who ultimately became her 2nd husband, the stepfather. They lived together when child A was 4 years old, so most of the time, he was there when her daughter would visit. The mother rarely, if ever, left her daughter alone with her boyfriend, not because she mistrustd him, but mainly because she cherished every minute she had with her.
At the time, the custody battle between her father and the maternal grandmother had reached a boiling point. It became brutal. The two adversaries were in and out of court on a regular basis. They fought over everything, seemingly petty issues. The temporary orders they were going by were ridiculously detailed. They fought over everything from child support, visitation, to cutting the child’s hair, piercing her ears, the clothes she wore between the two houses, even hair barrettes. You name it, they fought over it- and they were going back and forth to Court all the time to “clarify” the orders on any issue. Honestly, it was bad.
So when the maternal grandmother accused the father of sexual abuse, many people who knew the situation werent surprised. The child’s mother, always felt like the allegations were outlandish against her ex. She just believed it, at first, to be one more ridiculous ploy the grandmother came up with, designed to try to deprive the child’s father of custody.
A social worker was brought in to investigate, and the child made an outcry…
“My daddy hurt me with my white panties”….
Things got very real at that point. For everyone. Ploy or not, things went from ridiculously annoying to damn serious.
The little girl was subjected to sexual abuse exams and the mother and father was subjected to interrogations. The father was adamant in proclaiming his innocence, and he was terrified. He had remarried and begun a new family and these false allegations against him could possibly cost him his new family. He already lost jobs, spent untold amounts of money on attorneys, and endured strikes against his reputation. He suffered from the stress, and the unimaginable trauma of being falsely accused of the heinous crimes.
The allegations were severe but after investigations were complete, the allegations of sexual abuse was never substantiated against him.
The custody battle continued on for an unbelievable total of 14 years before it finally ended when the child was a teenager.
Ten years later… At age 14, child A had, four the first time, talked about her abuse. She told a friend from school about the sexual abuse committed against her a decade before by her stepfather, that began when she was four years old. Abuse that her father had been accused of… abuse that turned so many lives upside down..
How did this happen?
When the predator was abusing he saw an opportunity. He knew, due to the raging court battle between the father and the grandmother, that any sexual abuse allegations would easily come against the father and easily believed by others that the father had perpetrated the abuse. There was the perfect person or ‘patsy’ opportunity right before him. He knew the grandmother would jump to that conclusion and use it in court. He also knew, given the child’s young age, she was easily manipulated and not necessarily credible.
Child molesters are meticulous in their abusing routine. From the choosing of a victim to how they go about carrying out their abuse, they are methodical and deliberate, in all they do.
The abuser in this case called himself “daddy” to the little girl as he abused her. In doing so …he perfectly set up the situation so that when the outcry was initially made, it was made against her “daddy”… shifting all focus and blame to the child’s father.
By the time the child grew older, age 14, when she told her friend the true identity of her abuser, that friend went to the school counselor with the information. However the authorities and CPS did not see much reasoning in pursuing charges, insofar as much time had passed, and Child A was no longer at risk of being abused by that perpetrator, as he and her mother had long since split up. Both had moved on, with new spouses and other children, and were living new lives. Of course, for him, that meant new victims.
As I said earlier, by the time they are caught, it’s usually the first time they abuse a child. There’s usually several previous occasions or victims that they got away with. In this case, the perpetrator had moved on, remarried a woman with a little girl, and abused her for several years without incident. That is, until Child A told her friend who told the school. That launched a snowball effect which ultimately led to the investigation of this man and his relationship to his new stepdaughter. Eventually, that girl confided in a friend at her school in a note she wrote detailing the years of abuse. A note that was found by her mother, who took it to authorities.
He was finally caught.
That monster is serving several concurrent sentences of 40 years each, and a couple 20 year sentences, for his abuse against his stepdaughter that spanned almost 6 years. It is unlikely he will ever be released.
Child A’s father was finally vindicated.
The next story I’ll call Child B.
Child B was, once again, the subject of a bitter custody battle where allegations were made against the mother’s second husband. Although the investigations were unable to determine if the abuse occurred or by whom, the mother eventually signed over custody to her ex, to end the allegations against her new husband who she believed was innocent.
Years passed that the mother did not even get to see Child B. It was tragic.
Then one day news broke that the couple’s old next door neighbor is being looked at for sexual Abuse of another child. Thats when the mother realised it could have conceivably been their ex neighbor who abused Child B. That neighbor never liked Child B’s new husband, and was always interested in the status of the custody battle. He always seemed extra interested in Child B, spending time with her, but until the confusion of the custody battle passed and the new realizations came out several years later, the mother had not seen the signs.
Child B is a case still unresolved. The trauma the like girl endured was severe. It’s taken many Year’s for her to regain a sense of normalcy and to begin thriving again.
Almost ten years old now, Child B has reached a good point in her life where she is healthy again. The mother has gotten back some visitations with her daughter, and both mother and father have decided not to discuss the abuse with her. Hopefully when Child B is ready, she will talk about it. They will continue to monitor the situation with their old neighbor from afar, and they were hopeful that the truth will be found without reopening any traumatic investigations in Child B’s now thriving life. They simply feel it would prove too much for the girl.
Her stepfather, however, has finally been vindicated.
So as you can see, these predators will take the opportunities they see to abuse.
This can be prevented by staying vigilant, eyes wide open, to everyone whose in your life. Use discretion when sharing information about situations you may be going thru, like custody battles or marital problems. Keep those things to yourself. Pay attention to anyone showing unusually high interest in your child, making readings to be alone with your child, offering rides, or to babysit. Takes notice of anyone who seems interested only in the Child, and not in adult company. Who seems to want to become closely knit in the Child’s life. Don’t discount anyone it can be a neighbor, coach, family friend, or even a family member. Keep your eyes open and communicate with your child about whose around them. Teach them what’s appropriate and not inappropriate and let them know you are the for them. Make them feel safe to talk to you should anything happen.
Hopefully this will never be a reality for your family, but if it does come to your door, remember to always keep aware of your child’s surroundings. Don’t let the moments focus you in the wrong direction. If the wrong person gets accused, the real predator gets away with it, and continues to abuse.
Thank you for this post. It’s educative and informative. It’s reinforces the point, that the children suffer the most in any family crisis. Apparently, this leaves the door open for predatory characters, to steal/wreck the childhood of the future of such families.
You are right, the children are the ones who need vigilant parents to keep an eye over anyone who raises red flag no matter how much you know therm … never forget that anything is possible… and cherish the moments. Always. Thank you for your comment.