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#61944 - 09/06/04 12:52 PM Need advice---Accessing danger &Protecting my sons
Concerned Mom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/06/04
Posts: 4
Loc: Virginia
Where to start? I have just found out that a relative sexually abused at least one of his step-sons as a young child many years ago. \:\(
The story as told by him varies a bit from the story told by other family members. He claims to have undergone counseling years ago, and that he no longer has a problem.
However, it seems from conversation with another family member last night, that the abuse took place over a time period of 6 or 7 years, while the child was 6yr--13 yr old. If this is true, even with conseling, should this man be allowed to touch (inocently appearing), like hold on his knee, tickling, playing with, etc. young boys? My inclination is to say, NO! Maybe he is harmless now, but hey, it would seem that he should know not to even put himself OR a child in a situation that can be misunderstood, to say the least.
I only found out about this because other family members saw his current behavior differently than my husband and myself saw it. They started freaking out and the "xxxx" hit the fan. There are a six and seven year old boy in the family, as well as a two year old girl....the grandchild of the abuser. These grandparents regularly babysit. I have concern not only for my boys, but also for the two year old. Also, I will be seeing one of the Mom's of the two year old in a couple of weeks. I hate the thought of ruining her vacation visit here...but feel that I will have to ask her if she is aware of the situation. Ouch! But I will certainly remember that this is not MY fault.
I do NOT know much about pedophile behavior, so have a LOT to learn to help me figure out guidelines for contact now. Fortunately, this relative lives in another country, and we don't have opportunity to see him often. I know, why would I want too?!
There is, of course, much more to this....and I have already called my former therapist this morning and left a message that I need to see her.....!!!
I am really anxious to hear your thoughts.


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#61945 - 09/06/04 02:40 PM Re: Need advice---Accessing danger &Protecting my sons
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Concerned mom,

I don't think I in the position of giving too much help on this, but I will try, my number one concern is, has the kid involved had the necessary counselling? If not, then I think this should be of some priority.

I can really understand your well founded concern over this man, is he "cured", I think only a professional is qualified to go anywhere near that question. I too, would be horrified at seeing him with close contact with kids, but that is only a gut reaction, the same as yourselves.

Another thing to bear in mind, is that they don't normally have just one victim, there may be others who, maybe haven't come forward, and males are not always ready to do so, because of the "man" thing.
Abusers are generally very good at conditioning their victims' into not telling, this causes immense problems in later life, especially if not addressed at an early stage.

Hope this is helpful, but it is the only thing I can say given the sparse information above, bear in mind though, I am not a counsellor, just a victim.

Think you need a serious chat with this counsellor you phoned, before confronting the mother of the 2yr old.

take care

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#61946 - 09/06/04 03:22 PM Re: Need advice---Accessing danger &Protecting my sons
Concerned Mom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/06/04
Posts: 4
Loc: Virginia
Thanks for your response! The child involved is an adult, is addicted to heroin, has a very troubled life to say the least. He was already a struggling adult when I met him. I don't know what counseling he received at the time it all came out or later. The counseling of the abuser was done by a religous counselor....not fair of me maybe, but I wonder what training this person had? Apparently, an attempt was made on another brother, but that one told. I can't begin to understand how this could have continued....but I know it did, at the time. All of the children in this family have a good relationship with their "father"....it is difficult because I can't ask all of the questions I would like, and personally doubt that much of this has been dealt with. I will definately talk to the counselor before talking to the Mom of the 2 yr old! I do have a LOT of concern for any children vulnerable to being abused, and do NOT appreciate any excuses offered to me for not have told me of this before! As the widdowed mother of an eight year old when I married into this family, and now the mother of a six year olod also, I should have had knowledge about potential danger to my children! I feel it is inexcusable to have not shared that with me, and that is why I am thinking about bringing up the subject with the two year old's Mom. If she knows, that is fine. If she doesn't, she should!


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#61947 - 09/06/04 03:45 PM Re: Need advice---Accessing danger &Protecting my sons
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
It does seem that the kid, now an adult, does need help, can somebody guide him to it?

I am glad the other brother told of it, he may have became another victim.

On loving their "father", I have only read up on this one, maybe others can give better info, but when these things happen, they see the guardian, as, the one who looks after them, often they won't tell, because they may be put in a home, or thrown out of the house. The victim knows instintively, it is wrong, but quite often the perpetrator, tells the victim it is the way things happen in families, this can really screw up the mind of a young child.

The above is only what I read, I can't understand why police were never involved, and yes, I think you should have been told of the danger, so that you could indeed protect your own children.

Was the counselling done, through an order of a court?

I certainly would not let him anywhere your own kids, but he is too far away to do that, which should put you're mind at ease.

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#61948 - 09/06/04 06:20 PM Re: Need advice---Accessing danger &Protecting my sons
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
I don't know much about this either, but I do wonder why, if someone has been treated for their offending behavior, he would not tell the same story about his offense as someone else. It seems from what I've read that honesty and responsibility are pretty key parts of rehabilitation.

If some other family members have "freaked out" already, maybe it won't seem bad at all for you to calmly address this topic with the other mom. \:\)

I would think that the best way to keep your kids safe would be to educate them, not just about this particular relative, but about sexual abuse in general, in an age appropriate way of course, and also to make sure that your kids always know they can come to you and be believed, never judged, for what they say.

Thank you for being a concerned mom,
SAR


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#61949 - 09/06/04 06:38 PM Re: Need advice---Accessing danger &Protecting my sons
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
What a dreadful dilemma?

If the guy is 'cured' then should he be allowed to live a normal life? My view is "to a degree"
The people who come into contact with him should know about his past. I think a perp would be unlikely to re-offend if he knew he was being closely watched.

If his wife doesn't know, then I think she should - especially if there are new children to this relationship ( perhaps hers from a previous relationship? )

I might be a bit biased as a Survivor, but I wouldn't cut him much slack at all.
If his wife is a true friend of yours then she'll surely understand your motives. If she doesn't, what does it say about your friendship?

I don't envy you at all, but I admire your courage and commitment towards your children. Ensuring that there are no more victims of this man must surely be the right thing to do.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#61950 - 09/06/04 08:06 PM Re: Need advice---Accessing danger &Protecting my sons
Bubbles Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/25/04
Posts: 14
I would not let my kid be around anyone who I knew was a paedophile. Maybe the guy has got counselling, maybe he doesn't do it anymore, but for me, that wouldn't make any difference. The rates for paedophiles reoffending is pretty high and I would not take that risk with my child. He was trusted with children and he took advantage of that and did a terrible thing, he shouldn't be around children and be given the chance to do it again. It only takes him to do it one more time and that's someone's life messed up, the risk is too high.

As for the other mother, then yeah, I think she's got a right to know, I would be distraught if I didn't know my kid was close to someone who had abused. I know you don't want to ruin her vacation, but does that really compare to looking out for the safety of her child. You're right, it's not your fault, don't feel bad about anything, all you can do is look out for the kids and tell any parents what he's done.

Good Luck!


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#61951 - 09/06/04 09:52 PM Re: Need advice---Accessing danger &Protecting my sons
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Couple of points.
Quote:
The counseling of the abuser was done by a religous counselor....not fair of me maybe, but I wonder what training this person had?
As someone who has worked with sexual abusers for more than 25 years as specialist with this population, I would be very skeptical about someone with a religious orientation unless s/he was trained specifically in this area.

While abusers who get competent sex offense-specific treatment are less likely to recidivate, I would be concerned if he does things which cause your gut to wonder what is going on, especially if he is not sensitive to other's boundaries.

Successful graduates of offender-specific therapy are generally VERY aware of perception (i.e., being sensitive to what the behavior may look like to others.) If you give me the location (city/state) of this person, I may be able to find some trained specialists who could evaluate him to see what he knows/learned and whether he is applying the knowledge.

In any event, if you or anyone else has concerns about the behaviors of someone who MIGHT be a potential sexual abuser, you can call 1 888 PREVENT and talk about them with someone who is trained to help folks sort out normal or suspicious behaviors. The phone number is for Stop It Now!, an organization formed by a sexual abuse survivor to work on preventing sexual abuse. You can also go to their website, http://www.stopitnow.com

Ken


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#61952 - 09/07/04 10:09 AM Re: Need advice---Accessing danger &Protecting my sons
Dan88 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 247
Loc: DC
Personally, I would simply never let my kids near him without me being there constantly. This is a terrific burden -- as I'm sure you know -- since it means I have to be constantly on alert. Even normal social activities, like having a drink or using the restroom, become huge challenges. So because of the burden of this, I'd do my best to avoid him altogether and make sure that when I can't, I stay right on top of the kids when he's in the same location.

Take care.


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#61953 - 09/07/04 10:45 AM Re: Need advice---Accessing danger &Protecting my sons
Concerned Mom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/06/04
Posts: 4
Loc: Virginia
Thank you all....

About steering the victim (s?) towards counseling---he is in his late twenties now, so of course has to be ready and willing. The country he lives in has socialized healthcare. I will try to find out what he has been offered.

I will be seeing the wife of the abuser next month when she visits here. Fortunately, by then I will have seen my therapist and will be a little better prepared for the conversation I would like to have with her.

In discussion with my husband last night, we agreed that I will call the mother of the two year old that is currently being cared for occasionally and confirm that BOTH parents are aware of this grandfather's past behavior. I know she knows what was done to her brother, just don't know if her partner knows. She will at least have warning that if her partner does not know, she soon will. Having been inexcusably left in the dark, I will not participate in leaving someone else in the dark!!

Husband also agreed that he will see counselor with me, and read books to get a better understanding of the subject. Also, that as the least trusting of this past abusers "recovery", I will be the parent who sets guidelines for further contact. Right now, that would include NEVER leaving any children alone with the abuser even with his wife present. Also allowing NO physical contact. That will be difficult to explain even two years from now, but, such is life.

Thank you all so much for your help! Having struggled with and survived other, different challenges in my life, I wish for all of you survivors, family and friends strength, good health, and happiness.


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