historical child sexual abuse

Tara - posted on 07/31/2010 ( 18 moms have responded )

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Okay here goes,
When I was between the ages of 6 and 9, my step-dad at the time sexually abused me. It was never violent, never painful, never fearful. It was sick and twisted in that he actually made me believe he loved me and we were lovers. I never told anyone cause I liked it. This didn't sit well with me throughout my life, I had a lot of depression, problems with self-esteem and other issues. When my girls hit the age I was when the abuse started I couldn't handle the anxiety, I talked to my doctor about all of it, and since than life has changed a lot.
I had this man charged over a year ago. He goes to court in September. I have been told by the arresting officer that it is unlikely he will get any jail time as this case is considered "historical" and unless the courts feel like he is still a threat to children, he will be given a conditional sentence, and probation.
He is not a public figure such as a coach or priest, he is just a guy who did awful things to me. If he had been my skating coach it would be all over the papers and news, if he had been my clergyman it would be media worthy as well. The fact is he is just an older man now with a family.
Some people say he should be given as much time as a current offender, some say he shouldn't do any time, some say he should have to pay for his crimes.
What are your honest thoughts? I personally am torn. Although what he did to me was horrible and has made life very different for me, I am reluctant to see him taking a cell up in an already over crowded jail. There is a part of me that says it's enough that he knows I didn't stay quiet, it took 30 years but he didn't get away with it.
But then there is the little girl in me, who was used, she says put him away so that he can't possibly do this to anyone else ever. I just don't know if I was his only victim, if I were the isolated incident etc.
Honest thoughts on this? Don't worry about possibly offending me, it can't happen in this case, I've heard it all. My ex husband told me to let the past lie, not to charge him, not to go to therapy, not to take the anti-depressants, not to dream about it!!! LOL so...... anyone?

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Sarah - posted on 08/01/2010

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Hi Tara.
Personally, I think he SHOULD go to jail. What he did deserves to be punished.
In saying that, I think the most important thing is that you spoke up and pressed charges. You've proved you have no fear of him, that YOU are now the one in control of the situation.

No matter what happens, you are the strong one now, and that's something to be proud of :)

Iris - posted on 08/01/2010

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I don't want to read any other answers before I answer.

So I don't get caught up in anything if there is something to get caught up in..



That man did a very wrong thing and I don't think you will get any peace unless you go ahead with the charges. He did something wrong and I don't think you would have pressed charges last year unless you felt you needed to go forward with the case. It might not take away your anti depressants, but it might help you to get there.

I have some issues as well, from a rape that I charged and went to court, but on technicality it got thrown out. But I gave it my all. And that is where I stand tall.

No matter if it felt good, if it didn't sit well with you, you knew it wasn't right for him to do this.

Honestly, I just get angry for you, no matter who he is Tara, he did something against the law and violated you and it has shaped you.

Sharon - posted on 07/31/2010

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He owes you.

He should get the same as a current offender.

He owes you $500,000 for pain & suffering and psychiatric treatment.

Actually he owes you his life but in my "justice triumphs" rules world thats what you would get.

Your husband is an asshole. He wants to play ostrich. lets just stick our head in the sand and pretend it didn't happen and it will go away.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

18 Comments

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Lyndsay - posted on 08/02/2010

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You were right to come forward, especially if the guy has small children in his care. There is a very high possibility (probability) that he will or has re-offend, and whether or not he actually goes to jail, he will be registered as a sex offender.

Ez - posted on 08/02/2010

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The punishment should fit the crime, no matter how long ago it occurred. He should go to jail, but if he doesn't, at least he's been exposed and everyone will now know to be wary of him.

I think you're incredibly brave Tara, both for pressing charges and discussing it here. Too many victims feel shamed or responsible in some way, and by taking action and speaking up you may make it easier for someone else to do the same. I wish you the best of luck :)

Isobel - posted on 08/01/2010

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I know somebody who has been in almost your exact situation, and I know how it has affected her entire life...I also know the outcome of her experience with Canadian police. While I agree with all the ladies here that he should go to jail, the sad truth is that he likely won't. It's a failing in our justice system that breaks my heart.

I wish you all the best, and I am happy that you sound like you are dealing with it in the best possible way. The very act of going to the police and seeing him stand trial (if he does) and giving your victim impact statement may give you some peace...and I hope it does.

Shelley - posted on 08/01/2010

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Hi Tara,
Thanks for getting back to us please let us know how you get on in september just by comming forward and posting on a site like this you make us as mothers more aware and in turn more careful with our own children Thanks
best wishes Michelle

Tara - posted on 08/01/2010

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Thanks to everyone.
Just to clarify it was my EX husband who was the ass and wanted me to stay quiet. EX for many reasons that being one of them.

And this man was charged. In Canada, as soon as you report it to the police, it is in their hands. They arrested him and charged him. I have to appear in court. Even if I wanted to have it thrown out (which I DON'T) the courts will still proceed.

Jail time will all depend on whether the crown asks for it and whether or not the jury feels he deserves it.

I spoke up on here, because one of the things that has helped me through this is telling people and because I wanted honest opinions on whether or not he should be in jail. Thanks for your honest opinions and your concern and empathy. It does help even if you are all strangers, lol
I plan on attending court in September, look forward to it actually. I want my turn on the stand. I want to give my victim impact statement and I want to see the look on his face when I go through each detail. (I remember everything), never forgot it and never will.
Thanks again ladies, I will keep you posted on the progression of his case.
:)TAra

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Crime is a crime.Does not matter how long it took you to understand what he did was wrong this man still needs to pay..nothing you did was wrong..this man was to blame.

Shelley - posted on 08/01/2010

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This man broke the law. He should do the time appropriate. There is no such thing as a historical crime if you rob a bank and they catch you 30 years later you go to jail. If you murder someone and you get caught 30 years later you go to jail. I am so sorry this happened to you it was wrong and your ex husbands responce was wrong it takes so much courage to speak out. I hope that he didn't do this to anyone else but chances are he did.

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 08/01/2010

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I understand how you feel…and im speaking from personal experience (age 12-13) for me only one other person knows…..any way, I wont elaborate because this is about you, and I give you kudos for sharing something so personal, I think it’s brave of you, and I do hope that it all works out for you. Because I went through something similar like you…..i think something should be done……your mind was warped and affected your whole life, he changed your life for ever and his life needs to be changed as well….how I don’t know, but sumthing for sure….I think it should be up to you on what he deserves since its’ considered a “Historical” offence……..

Stifler's - posted on 08/01/2010

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by focus on feeling better i don't mean what your husband suggested lol I mean getting help like counseling or therapy or whatever.

Stifler's - posted on 08/01/2010

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There are probably other victims and I think he should do the time for the crime but is it really going to bring justice for all the years of unhappiness? I say let the court decide and focus on feeling better. You're very brave for saying something. x

Lindsay - posted on 07/31/2010

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Tara, I don't really know what to say except that I'm sorry you've had to deal with this. I hope he does have to pay for everything he put you through. You seem to be doing a good job dealing with this all. I just wish I could give you a hug! I hope everything works out for you.

Tara - posted on 07/31/2010

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Hi Sara,
I am making peace with that part of my life, have been doing so for a while now. It's a long road but a worthy one to travel. I am proud of who I am and how I turned out despite my childhood.
He never raped me, he didn't ever have intercourse with me. But what he did was enough to fuck with my psyche for a long long time.
I'm writing a book, it is helping tremendously, much more than therapy did/is. It's a compilation of stories similar to my own.
Anyhow, I would like to see him in prison, but if he doesn't go he will have the same restrictions he has now, while he is awaiting trial. No contact with anyone under 14 etc. etc. etc.
He is not a threat to me, not anymore. I agree that it doesn't matter when he did it, he broke the law.
If he doesn't go I likely won't be any kind of vocal advocate etc. I will simply continue to live my life and know that at the least he knows I know, his wife knows and will always wonder about her own children, his family and friends and co-workers know and will always wonder about him. He will live the rest of his life with this over him. Jail would be better but shame and guilt and the stigma of being a child sexual offender is punishment as well.
This all hinges on him being convicted of the crime!!! Chances are the crown will win, it's his word against mine though so I expect a whole barrage of grueling cross examination from the defense, but I'm strong and lucid and articulate, I will present my side in the best way possible to ensure the jury knows how this affected me.
Thanks for your input.
Tara

Tracey - posted on 07/31/2010

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I can see both sides of your thoughts. I believe your main concern is to protect your children and you did the right thing in reporting him to the police as it will make him more aware that his actions were unacceptable (I have worked with abused children and their abuser felt that because he "loved" them that it was not wrong)
As to not wanting him to take up a crowded jail - if we let peadophiles walk free because of lack of cell space who are we going to jail? This is one of the worst crimes in our society. You don't know if you were his only victim, you don't know if he is still doing it to other kids and if you don't press charges you are always going to worry about if he is still doing it.
I think you are doing the right thing and you should accept wehatever counselling / therapy / anti-depressents you need to get you through the court case

Sara - posted on 07/31/2010

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I think anyone who EVER sexually abuses a child is always a threat to them. If you ask me, men like that should have "child rapist" tattooed across their chests and made to share a prison cell with a man named "Big Pee-wee" that makes them his bitch. It just makes me sick that we have a system that allows people to continue to be victimized and keeps people that are threats to children in society. It shouldn't matter WHEN he did it, he did it and you were a child. Absolutely unacceptable to me. I guess if he does get convicted, he'll have to register as a sex offender whether he goes to jail or not, right? I say distribute fliers in his neighborhood with his picture that says "Keep you child away from this man". Better yet, tell me where he lives and I'll do it for you. Sorry, but this just makes me really angry.



I'm so sorry this happened to you. I hope that whatever happens you are able to make peace with that part of your life.

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