Keeping abuse/molestation "hush hush" or report?

Ashley - posted on 01/19/2010 ( 36 moms have responded )

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I bring this up because of another post. A woman wanted advice about taking a job where she would be working with her ex step-dad who raped her some years ago. It doesn't seem that it was reported.

Personally, if my child told me that someone abused them, I would do everything I could to keep that scum from walking the streets or hurting my child or someone else. I am like a mama bear, don't f*ck with my baby boy and you're golden. ;)

Some excuses I see are that parents don't want their child to go through the stress of the court system or they just want to forget that whatever it was never happened. Or even they feel justice wouldn't be enough so why try...

I think that ignoring the situation would only cause issues with mental health later on with your child.

What do you think? To me it's a no-brainer, but I hear of so many molestation or abuse cases that go unreported that it both worries and irritates me.

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Sharon - posted on 02/21/2010

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Logically I agree with report it.

In my heart I agree with report it.

But have you actually tried to report molestation and PROVE IT? IF you can't prove it, a whole shit load of crap drops on you. Liar. Hysterical drama queen. And piece de resistance? Bad mother.

EVEN if you eventually prove it, you're a bad mother because you allowed it to happen. Made a bad choice in who to let your kids near.

Its not as simple as everyone seems to think.

Whether or not you can prove it, the child needs help. Counseling, support etc.

Laws that punish child abusers/molesters/pedaphiles should be TOUGHER. Frankly, I think death is to good. I HATE HATE HATE pedohphiles/molesters/abusers.

But this isn't just about legal ramifications or what happens to the adult who reports it... there is the child. Who will have to testify, be put on trial themselves (disgustingly/sadly) I think medical evidence should speak for itself, regardless of the act.

can YOU picture your sobbing, shaking, scared 5, 6 7 yr old on the witness stand? Or alone in the judges chambers (with a guardian I think)? Could you stand it if the state TOOK your child while the case was being decided?

What if you couldn't prove it and it was your husband... then what? In a divorce he GET THE CHILDREN ALONE. that alone scares the fuck out of me!

Right or wrong isn't always so simple.

Carolee - posted on 01/20/2010

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I was outright called a liar because I had flashbacks of when I was molested. The person who molested me was smart, though... he only did it until we started to think that what he was doing was wrong. I, personally, was in the first grade when he stopped. I was also told to NEVER mention it (by him and those who I tried to tell) because someone in my family would commit murder, and that would tear the family apart. The molester is also in my family. Now, there are many sexual things that my husband knows I will never do (and he really enjoys) because I can't even bring myself to think of it.

So, definately report it... and believe your kids if they tell you something's up (especially if the person they claim is doing it has a history of doing it).

[deleted account]

REPORT!

I remember talking to a girl who had left her partner for molesting her daughter. She said that she didn't report it because she thought her daughter had already been through enough. I can understand the way she felt, but her daughter might regret the fact that something wasn't done when she gets older. Plus this creep could do the same thing to another child.

Glenda - posted on 02/19/2010

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Parent reporters ? or victim reporting ?
I guess we sort of have 2 different discussions, some about the victims themselves reporting and others about a parent reporting. For me as a parent it is our job to protect our children from harm and the risk of harm. Perpetrators are very clever at grooming children and their family so there is a wall of secrecy around what they do, this can go on for short and long periods of time, even fostering trust with the victim and eroding that between the child and their family. This person puts themselves in a position of power over a child, they use their power and control to meet their own needs, with total disregard for the safety and needs of the child.
If children cannot protect themselves and we do not do it who will ? There is no doubt the process of reporting and the conviction rates are traumatising for the victim - in Australia less than 1.6% of sexual assault cases result in convictions and even less end up in jail !!!! We could easily google thousands of cases where children have been subjected to horrific cross-examinations and questioning resulting in the perpetrator walking free - so do we keep trying? do we keep reporting ? What will happen if we do not ?
Society has to start wising up to the myths, lies and stereotypes about sexual assault. Even those who have made remarks about false allegations - do you know the statistics of how many victims withdraw their allegations when they find out it has made their parents separate or divorce or it has caused family fueds or worse ? Children take on a lot of blame, guilt and shame, it is confusing, horrifying and so so traumatic. Reporting is just one step, then they need plenty of support and they NEED absolutely to believe them and to stand up and protect them from harm.

Nicole - posted on 02/16/2010

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I know this is an old thread but I had to comment...

I feel Carolee and Morgan's stories. My story is very similar Carolee's. When I started to go through puberty, I started having flashbacks to an older relative getting caught molesting me.

I thought I was crazy because I had a whole scenario going on in my head-This older family member was alone with me when my cousin, who could have only been about 9 or 10 years old (4-5 years older than myself), stumbled upon what he was doing. He snatched my arm and told him that he was telling and then asked me how long that had been going on. I told him pretty much everyday (on the way home from school). He then told more of my cousins what was going on and they all told me that I needed to tell my parents. I told them I would, but since I felt so ashamed, I did not. (I was already mortified that they knew about it. I felt gross.) Then when we were at a family function with the adults in the room, my cousins chimed in and asked if I had told my parents. My mother was horrified. I never seen that family member again.

When having these flashbacks, it felt so real. I didn't talk with anybody about it because what if this was only in my head? Wouldn't my family had said something since then? Especially since I have been hospitalized twice for self mutilation and depression. Wouldn't my mother say "does this have to do with you being molested?" or something, if this was real?

Well, it was real. Family finally owned up about it. They basically felt that if I never had to see that person again and if they acted like it never happened, maybe I would forget about it since I was so young and maybe that was the best thing.

Now, with good therapy, the only ill effects are in the bedroom. I don't like certain acts done to me (I find it quite irritating) and if I feel that I am being pressured to perform something in the bedroom, I actually become quite angry. I'm doing better, though.

So, report it! How many children will be violated by this person if no one calls them out on it?

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[deleted account]

Because of some of these horrible stories of child sexual abuse, various laws have been implimented in most States to protect our child victims of abuse. We have learned from all of the previous horror stories and mistakesso that now in 2010, if you do not report an incident regarding your child, it is called "failure to protect". Failure to report an incident of abuse CAN possibly result in the removal of the child from the home / substantiated adult only IF there is enough evidence to do so.

There are safeguards now put into place so that various incidents reported in this thread do not happen. Now, parents who do not follow through with sexual abuse therapy for their victim child will also be taken to family court, & will have to answer to a Judge regarding their lack of follow through.

So many changes have taken place since the early 1990's, such as the implementation of Children Assessment Centers where victims of child sexual abuse are treated by multidisciplinary teams of doctors, detectives, prosecutors & such. Please check out your local CAC, they all need your community support.

[deleted account]

I wish my parents had done something about it, I was just left to feel like they didnt believe me or just didnt care enough about me to do anything.

Brittney - posted on 02/21/2010

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If anyone put their hands on my daughter I'd be going to jail cause I would find them and cut their dick off. Everyone in our family would feel the same way. My daughter is the most important person in our family, being the only grandchild on both sides.

[deleted account]

Shelby i so agree with you prevention is easier than picking up the pieces after. Ive had so many mothers having a go at me because my 11 and 9 year old have cell phones But i feel they are safer with them and if i think its getting too dark for them to be out i can call them and tell them to come home or they can phone me if they are frightened by something or someone. I never allow sleepovers and my sons friends parents think im over protective. But i feel if they are in their own beds at night i can sleep easy knowing they are safe.

Shelby - posted on 02/19/2010

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I thank everyone for your well wishes, It is not as hard now to talk about under certain circumstances...Its hard to explain. Now in therapy, to relive it, its hard, but to go over it as in third person, not so hard. I do take steps so that my children are protected and have one up on the bad guys. One thing for sure that I learned is NEVER EVER teach your children pet names for their genitalia. I get a lot of static from a lot of people because my children freely discuss their penis or vagina with me if there is a problem. However, In a courtroom, If a child can not say on a stand at any age what was done to the "appropriate" part, then the abuser could very well get off. I'm well aware that if something God forbids happens to one of my children that there are several mandatory reporters and I absolutely harbor no ill will towards any of them, so I take the necessary steps to educate my children. A few steps I drill into my kids.



For one All of my children have cell phones from age 10 up.

NEVER leave with anyone you don't know, even if it is a friend's parent

Kick, scream, bite, fight...At all cost, NEVER let someone take you to another location

Glenda - posted on 02/19/2010

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Shelby you never ever deserved to be treated, assaulted, abused and suffer what you have, never !!! Even if we have been through our own experiences or been part of this process, we will never know what it was like for you, your situation and your experience and how painful this was for you. It takes a great deal of courage to go through the process of reporting, even documenting the statement, with Police which is very clinical and the very part of having to re-live all those events time and time again, every single time, then thru the Court process, you are absolutely right, no-one can understand how that impacts on the victim. Well meaning people will say what they think is the right thing, what you should do and only you can decide what is right for you, so you survive, what will work for you now. As a child, children do not know, they do not have the power, the knowledge, or skill to protect themselves from harm and we as adults it is our duty to do that for them. I am also a mandatory reporter, however I would do so anyway, I would need to way up situation, yet protecting a child from further harm and the risk of other children from harm is my priority. The Police have the knowledge and skills to investigate and proceed. We can only hope that society starts wising up about what happens in rape trials and why so many offenders get off because of out-dated steretyping and out rate lying. No-one who has not experienced that will ever know how you will live each day - no-one.

Nicole - posted on 02/19/2010

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Oh, I am actaully terrified that if it ever happens to my child, the result would be this: I would have a victimized child in therapy, his offender dead, and my children wondering why daddy can't come home from prison because he killed the bad man/cut off the bad man's bits. Hubby has expressed many times that he would not handle it well!

Shelby - posted on 02/19/2010

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@ Sarah, Personally, Something has happened to one of my children, by another child he was 4, the cousin was 8, and in my family there is NO support for these kinds of things, There in NO understanding. The best that I felt I could do for my son, was remove him from the sickness and provide him with all the love and support that could only come from another survivor. I have given him what NO courtroom ever would. I have never left them in the care of anyone other than myself. I know what I have done, Many people feel may be wrong. But you know, We all handle things our own way. And there are several child molesters walking the streets that can get at our children at any time. If your child goes to a roller skating rink, or to the mall, wherever...Its up to us, to make sure our children do what they can to protect themselves and be safe. I guess I haven't made all the right choices. And the poor choices I made due to the lifestyle I was leading after my attacker was let out was what led to my rape years later. Now I'm paying for that. These things effect everyone around us. My husband's family lives in the same county my rape happened, and I won't go anywhere near there. I miss out on Christmas, and get togethers, so I pay for it every day. Yeah I probably would feel safer if I had reported it, but the justice system is not set up for the victim. Its all about legal strategy, and circumstance.

@Susanne...Absolutely!!! I was 12 years old with a knife to my throat...I was not quite 5 ft. tall and weighed under 90 lbs. This man was over 6 ft. and over 200 lbs...He should be castrated. No questions asked... With a guilty plea, and plenty of physical evidence (We won't even discuss a rape kit, and how that makes you feel)This man was let out on good behavior???... How does that even happen??? That whole scenario in itself is an oxymoron.

I have tried to do things that I thought would help me work through it, like become a Sexual Abuse hotline counselor, and such, but wouldn't concede to pushing the victim to report it. I feel that is a very personal choice. When it comes to MY children, I really do wish that I could say yeah I'd report it so the scum could rot, but knowing what they would do to my children, and what the defense is allowed to put a victim through even with all the evidence against the guy is a nightmare. So, I still have to say that I can not 100% say that I would report it instead of finding them and beating them only half to death with a baseball bat.

[deleted account]

Shelby do you ever feel like we should just be able to chop their bits off i reckon it would make us feel so much better? I reckon the law should change so we should be allowed then perhaps they would know how it feels just a little bit.

Nicole - posted on 02/19/2010

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Shelby, I am SO sorry that has happened to you! The justice system has failed you in such a big way! But, I want you to know that you did NOT fail yourself! Your SICKO walking the streets only 5 years into his 30 years sentence and stories like yours is why I, as a mother and a victim of child molestation, feel that the judicial system is failing our children! You should take back your life from these scums of the earth and stand up and speak out about how it has failed you and others like you, by telling your story (as you have done here). What has happened to you WAS NOT YOUR FAULT! No matter how much they tried to make you feel like it was.

I still stand by my feelings that it should be reported. What you did was powerful and I really feel that your mental suffering caused by these monsters and the judicial system is why you feel this way. You should know that even though your monster is out of prison long before he should have been (I think predatorial pedophiles should get life!), people like me are SO grateful to you!!! You don't know HOW grateful we are!!! Because now, we can see his sick "smiling" face on the sex offender registry and, hopefully, use that to protect our 12 year old darling children. I am sure your parents wish they would have had the opportunity to do that for their darling daughter.

What has happened to you is deplorable! I am so sorry it is interfering with your life! Although, I can try to understand.

I HATE that we allow the judicial system to accuse the victims of rape! I hate it even more when I hear of false rape claims because it just gives credence to accusing victims! So sad!

I hope you understand that you are one strong woman and by reporting what happened and going through what you did for reporting it makes you one powerful woman!!!

Sarah - posted on 02/19/2010

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Shelby, please don't take this as a personal attack, because it isn't. I also don't want to cause you pain or cheapen what you went through because I know that it sucks. And that's putting it lightly.

But you did help someone by telling. For the time he was in jail he wasn't molesting or raping anyone else. And since he's been on the sex offender registry he's not going to be working in a school or a daycare and he's probably not going to be hanging out with many kids.

And what if someone, god forbid, hurts one of your kids and you find out later that it wasn't the first time and that it could have been prevented if someone had spoken up? Would you be okay with that?

Shelby - posted on 02/19/2010

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From personal experience. I have to say I'm hung up here, I have been through this more than once, and definitely did NOT report it the second time. I was 12 the first time. Did everything the right way. Do any of you have any idea how they treat victims in court? Have you ever had to see your child called a liar? For what??? I watched the man that took my innocence away from me finally plead guilty and give every sick detail of what he did to me in front of my entire family in that courtroom. He received 30 years. And you know what, 5... count them 1-2-3-4-5... years later he walks into my job. Is that fair.... So I went through all of that, for.... What??? So the night I was raped, there was no way I reported it. And yeah I deal with it on a daily basis. My sex life with my husband is sometimes non-existent, depending on the weather...I suffer from severe RR PTSD, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Bi-Polar type 1, I take 15-18 pills a day, am scared to go out of my house, have no friends, can't work...my life is a mess. And you know what. The scumbag that I DID report is smiling a big HUGE smile on his Sex Offender Registry photo... I never smile. The Gang Rape I suffered at 18, was not even worth me going through what I went through at 12 years old, being told how to walk, talk, dress, look, so I didn't look too old...so I didn't appear to entice my 45 year old attacker. So, If these guys rape again...Am I to feel guilty because I didn't submit myself to be raped again and again in a courtroom by a public defender, and have to plead my case, like I"M the guilty one... No, ALL I have to do is survive. And I'm barely doing that. Yeah I feel sorry for the next victim I truly do, But reliving it over and over and over for nothing doesn't help in the least bit...It doesn't help anyone. And until you've been there, You don't know.

[deleted account]

It's always best to report it to make sure the person doesn't do the same to another. I've never been molested/raped but know someone who has and he never reported the incident, he has no problems with sexual issues or anxiety so he's one of the lucky few not to have repercussions with mental health later on. But when I asked him why didn't you tell your parents he said because it's not mean to happen to boys. There is a general view that usually rape only happens to girls but it doesn't. I personally think it would be far less stressful going throught he courts than the molestation/rape itself.

Ashley - posted on 02/18/2010

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Susanne, I am sorry to hear of your situation...I couldn't imagine. I am sure it was too much for her to believe that her family would hurt her child.
When my mom was about seven, she was molested by her mom's boyfriend. It went on for YEARS because her mom didn't believe her. Even on her death bed she never apologized for how she treated my mom. My mom's mother will forever be remembered to me as scum. I refuse to call her my grandma, for she didn't deserve it. My mom told me that when she was a child, kids were pretty much ignored. No one did anything, even if they knew abuse was happening. Take for example, "A Child Called It", the abuse was WELL KNOWN, and no one did anything for years!
I would never ignore my babies if something like that came up. It's not something to be swept under the rug!
I agree Amber, reported or not there will be issues later. But if a family does nothing to protect their child, then the feeling of not important will be another one.

[deleted account]

My uncle tried to rape me when i was 16 the first thing i did was run to my mother and tell her what he tried to do to me and to my amazement she never believed me. She took her brothers side over mine. It was never reported it was never even mentioned in the family six weeks after it happened he was sat in my parents living room drinking tea. I think i was more messed up by what my parents did than what he did, i felt betrayed by the people who are supposed to care the most about me. I honestly dont know why she didnt believe me maybe it was too much for her to get her head round and she just didnt want to believe it or maybe she was afraid of what everyone in the family would say. Shes passed on now so i'll never know.

Amber - posted on 02/16/2010

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It will cause mental health issues regardless of whether or not it was reported. I was molested at a young age (11) by a man I was very close to. It was reported, yet I still suffer from sexual issues years later.

I do think they should always be reported. Always. No matter how minor the offense. If it can prevent those scum from repeating the offense and ruining another young life, then I'm all for it.

Tonya - posted on 01/29/2010

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I say report it, but I do see the other side as a foster parent when the parents have more rights than the abused/molested children--I have had to take kids to visit the abusive parents even when begged not to and the worst was taking small children to sit in a jail cell to visit their abuser because it is his right to see his children even though that is why he was in jail--then accused of molesting by one and because the child would not talk to the stranger police officer no charges filed and forced to continue visits!!--the laws need to change badly--in some states(TN I know) also if you know it is happening and you do not report it you can also be charged with abuse neglect--reporting can be done confidiently so it should happen--also I personally could not live with myself without reporting it

[deleted account]

It should always be reported! My great uncle was a sick freak who molested my mother, aunt, and many of my cousins. NONE of the parents who knew (or heard things) reported it. So he continued to go around and molest god knows how many kids. It may not come out until much later but they will have mental issues later in their lives. My mother was EXTREMELY over protective. She would not let me go over to other kids houses, I never went on a sleep over until I was 13 years old, and didn't get to do the kinds of "normal" things that other kids did. I rebelled hardcore later in my teen years and it took many years to become friends with my own mother. I understand now as a mother why she was the way she was but only after she told me much later after I had moved out. My aunt was younger when it happened to her but later when she had her own children she saw he son wrestling with her daughter and had something like a flashback. She totally freaked out and started screaming at her son to never touch a girl like that. She finally decided to press charges but due to the length of time it had been, and the fact she could not remember enough details the charges didn't stick. Sadly the creep has 3 kids of his own (who all have children of their own now) and he has never set eyes on any of his grand children. If I though anybody touched my kids I would most definitely report and charge them to the fullest extent (right after I broke their legs)

Bek - posted on 01/29/2010

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There should be tougher laws concerning child abuse. About 80% of child abused children never report their abuse. I was abused. You would not believe the line of questioning and formalities it takes to report child abuse. The child has to give details about everything. Some people lie about being abused, but most people do not.



If a child has enough courage to tell an adult of his or her abuse, that adult should take immediate action. Most children shake or wisper while telling an adult what happened to them. No person should get away with a crime because someone refused to report it.

Kelsey - posted on 01/25/2010

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No brainer for me as well, listen to your kids, stick up for whats right, teach them to be strong. You cant let stuff like rape go, especially if it was your child!!! Everyone should report rape, nomatter who did it!

Gelaine - posted on 01/22/2010

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I have to agree with Ashley on this.. There is no excuse to let a child be abused.. Charges should be filed, because no person should ever get away with this.. As a person in the field of education, it is my obligation to report, but I feel that if you know of a person being abused, that you have an obligation to hold as having that knowledge, you may be the child's only out!!!

Ashley - posted on 01/22/2010

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Well, I think the mother needs to get the hell out of there, call the police on him, and take her kids. All she is doing is teaching the kids that abusing women is fine. If they have a boy, he might learn to do the same later in life. If they have a girl, she may accept that as normal and be in an abusive relationship herself. Who's to say the father won't begin to beat the kids as well as verbally abuse them? I think someone needs to talk to this woman and offer emotional support to leave him. If you call the authorities, they can't do anything unless she says to, which may not happen without strength from others. Does she have family around?

Yolande - posted on 01/22/2010

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How do you guys feel about verbal abuse towards kids due to alcoholism and the father physically abusing the mother in front of the children? I know someone who is going through this and she is not reporting it. I dont know what to do because these kids see it and think its ok?! They are going through a lot of emotional things personally and have done stuff that i would never expect from someone their age. I dont know what to do about it because the longer it gets left the worse. I would like to take the kids in myself but i know from a financial point of view the authorities would never allow that as our finances are really bad. Then the kids are stuck in the terrible system in South Africa where there a millions of AIDS oprhans and such so their chances of finding a good foster home between all the other kids looking for homes are slim, should the authorities decide to take them away... Any advice?

Jackie - posted on 01/22/2010

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If we're talking about my lil girl...Personally, I'd KILL the SOB. Then I guess someone would have to report ME.

Cassie - posted on 01/20/2010

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I would always encourage an adult to seek help or call the authorities but ultimately, an adult has to deal with it on their own terms.

If it were a child in question, as a teacher in the US (I'm not sure if this is the case in other countries), I am a mandated reporter which means that I MUST report any case of suspected abuse or I can be held legally responsible. There are many professionals such as teachers, doctors, counselors, etc who are mandated reporters and must by law report any case of abuse involving a minor. So for me, there is no question when it comes to abuse and a child.

Charlie - posted on 01/20/2010

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No brainer .....REPORT IT .
It would be a hard and devastating thing to live with if it happened to me or my family but i would never be able to live with myself if i let it continue or let the perpetrator do it to another child .

Ashley - posted on 01/20/2010

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Carolee, I am sorry to hear about what happened to you. Thank you for sharing your horrible experience as it helps to prove doing little is not good. And Meghan, I couldn't imagine what your sister in law went through. I am glad she is getting help and hopefully one day she will be able to cope with it better.

My mom was molested for years from her mother's boyfriend. She told her mom and was told she was a liar. What seven year-old would make that lie?! She is doing ok now, but for a long time she would hardly talk to her mom. My dad and I have pretty strong feelings of disgust with her mother. My mom forgave her right before her mom died. I have not. To me she was a sorry excuse for a mom. What pissed me off is she never apologized even while on her death bed. I will NEVER understand why parents won't believe their babies.

Lindsay - posted on 01/20/2010

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Luckily i've never had to deal with anything like this before but to me it's a no brainer. Why would you not report and let this person pay for their crime however that may be? And get the victim help to heal their wounds....

Sara - posted on 01/20/2010

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I think not reporting it is just burying your head in the sand, because you're leaving that person out there to hurt someone else. I think that part of the healing process from going through trauma like that is talking about it and having closure with it...that's certainly not accomplished by just never speaking about it again.

[deleted account]

I agree my husbands sister was molested by their father when she was 16 (now 22) and she still has many many issues she needs to deal with...she actually ran into her father at a Wal-Mart a few months after he was released from jail and had a major breakdown...she is right now in a rehab facility for drug and alcohol use and they are FINALLY getting down to the root...and it is all because of that day...she never got professional help when she was younger and is now paying the price...I pray that she will be rehabilitated and go on to make a full recovery but the odds are against her...

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