Brace yourselves - this is going to be a long, miserable post. Don't feel obliged to read to the end.
As an adult, I found out that a man who used to live two doors away from me (when I was a child) was a child molester. We lived in a street with many
young families and an infants' school just down the road.
The man's son was in his early to mid teens and used to bully the little kids, including me, very badly. We were all scared of him and one day, when
I stood up to him, I got my face slapped - very hard. This boy was entrusted by my mother to babysit us once a week. He used to shout at us and hit
us until one day the abuse was so bad I went crying to a neighbour and it got stopped.
I understand now what his father must have put him through and that does help to explain some of his behaviour.
The reason I know about the older man is that I was informed by someone, who had been a little boy back then, that the man had paid him for favours.
I stopped to think of all the little boys who lived in our street, including my best friend at the time, and it makes me want to weep. I can't imagine
that the man only stopped with the one who told me about him. That particular victim had been abused by the teenaged son as well.
My point? Where is the evidence? How could anyone who suffered at the hands of these two ever have mounted a successful prosecution years later?
Even if half a dozen of them had got together and tried to sue, where would it have got them? Just their word against that of the perpetrators. The
victim I spoke to blames himself - largely because he accepted money and sweets in return.
Those of us who grew up together probably wouldn't try to get back in touch to try and bring the younger of the two perverts to justice - the older
one is dead now. I only know any of this via the one person, who I trust to have told me the truth, knowing what I do about the abuse I suffered from
one of them.
How many other kids did those two abuse because because our little gang had it impressed on us that you never, ever told tales? We would all have been
too embarrassed or scared of being thought of as naughty to have told any grown-up about any of this, let alone each other - I'm pretty certain of
that due to my own attitude. None of us would have wanted to be branded a tell-tale either.
A few years ago I had to tell an employer about some skulduggery at work - I was shaking like a leaf and could hardly get my words out. I'm still not
a tell-tale unless it's practically life or death.
One of my best friends comes from an unfortunate family. The parents abandoned practically every one of them. My friend spent his first 2 or 3 years
in a children's home. When he eventually got fostered he was moved into a home where there was already an older, adopted, son. My friend has had
extensive therapy to help cope with the abuse he suffered at the hands of the older boy who not only beat him up and humiliated him regularly, but
sexually abused him as well. This older boy had a reputation as a bit of a nutcase locally but it's unlikely that anyone knew the extent of the abuse
my friend suffered because he would never have told.
The question that came to my mind was how did a young boy become so depraved as to subject my friend to the horrible abuse that occurred? Who must
have twisted him?
What now, if my friend wants to accuse him in court? Where's the evidence? Yet another case of the victim's word against that of the perpetrator.
Further, my friend's older sister was put into foster care where she was sexually abused by the foster father.
His brother was put into a care home where he was regularly sexually abused. He grew up to be a rent boy - obviously so inured to that sort of
treatment that it just became a way of life. And so easy to earn money when he was short of funds.
The thing is, it's hard for little kids to confess that this sort of thing 'happened' to them. They see it that they 'participated' in it - and,
knowing that they are not supposed to behave in that way, they feel guilty. They don't want to risk embarrassment or being laughed at, or getting
into trouble by telling.
Fast forward a few years and those children are grown-up and find themselves in a more enlightened society, maybe some of them feel it's ok to speak
out. Perhaps it's getting through to them that they're not at fault.
But, by then the abusers have had years in which to molest other little kids - adding to the burden of guilt of their original victims.
I've just thought of someone else I used to know who told me about the abuse he'd been inflicted with (by a stranger) when he was a little boy. He
was distraught and blaming himself. I suggested that next time he was out and saw any little boys he should have a good look at them. If he did, he
would see their innocence - exactly the innocence he had when he was small. He could see, then, that those children were not capable of colluding
with a grown man who was intent on abusing them. That being so small and not understanding fully what was happening, they would have little defense
Three of the people I've mentioned above have had problems with drink and drugs throughout their lives - at least one of them starting by the age of
nine or ten.
I'm not talking about people in the higher echelons of society - just ordinary people. Why, if I know about this sort of thing happening at my level
of the social scale would I have any trouble accepting that it happens higher up where people have more opportunity and the resources to procure
whatever it is they want?
If my local child molester could persuade his neighbours' kids to allow him to do what he did for a handful of small change why is it such a stretch
to believe that the rich and powerful could do the same?
This problem is widespread and I don't know how it can be stopped. I've no idea how the guilty can be proved to be guilty BUT I do hope that children
are being raised with different attitudes now. That parents can find ways to persuade them that they must speak out if anyone does anything to them
that they don't like. And speak out after it happens once, don't wait until it happens again.
And perhaps we can have less heated debates on here - if we all agree that the sexual abuse of children is wrong then perhaps we can confine our
efforts into thinking of ways to stop it and bring the offenders to justice rather than keep shouting each other down and forcing these types of
thread to descend into farce.
edit on 12-2-2015 by berenike because: (no reason given)