Moms Talk Q & A: Child Molestors: The Monster Walks Among Us

Local mother hopes to save other children by talking about her experience with sexual abuse.

“Shhstt… shhstt” The older man quieted me while pressing his brown fingers against his lips with eyebrows sharply raised.   

He was seated in the kitchen chair and I stood in front of him as he slid a very large hand into my pants and began to fondle me. I don’t know how many times, when it started (first grade or second) or when it ended exactly, but I do know that my mother didn’t need to call the boogeyman.

The monster that walked among us had been in my life before I was born, he was my step-grandfather, George.

As an adult when I told my mother what had happened she shook her head with disgust and said, “I always worried about George, he always wanted to take you somewhere alone so I made sure the three boys were always with you to protect you.”  Inside I died, you see I have one older brother by 15 months and two younger ones.

Three little boys were sent with a little girl to protect her from a monster they couldn’t see. 

In one horrifying moment I realized how little I seemed to mean to my mother and the house of secrets that surrounded me while growing up.  I never told my father what his stepdad did and I believe to this day had I done so—even though he was a correctional officer at the time—that he would have killed George and gone to prison for me. 

All children deserve protecting, why didn’t I?  Who would believe me?  Many children ask the same question and it needs to be answered. 

If 90 percent of molesters come from those we know then our society’s rule to protect our children from “stranger danger” is backwards.  Molesters "groom the parents and the child."  

A rising GOP star seeking re-election in Ted Kennedy’s former seat, U.S. Senator Scott Brown reveals in his new memoir about his own child molestation experiences. His first experience was with a teenage boy who molested Brown at age 7 in the woods. While in Christian summer camp on Cape Cod, Brown then age 10 was sexually abused by a counselor. Excerpts state that Brown has, “purposely erased his name from my mind, but I can remember how he looked: his long, sandy, hair; the beads he wore; the tie-dyed T-shirts and cutoff jeans. He knew I was the kid whose parents hardly ever came to visit on parents’ weekend, who got few letters, who kept to himself.” 

The monster fondled and molested the young Brown numerous times.

The 5 Browns, a quintet of classically trained siblings (three sisters and two brothers) have been in fame’s spotlight for more than 10 years.  This Utah based family has been presented as both inseparable and wholesome.  The recent revelation given by the three daughters, Desirae, 32, Deondra, 30, and Melody, 26 has their father; Keith Brown, 55 eying prison for sexually molesting them during 1990 – 1992 and again in 1997 - 1998.  Their mother, Lisa Brown who has stood by her husband’s side, was recovering with her husband from a dramatic car crash just days after he was accused of the sexual abuse charges in mid-February 2011. 

Ashley Pond, 12 and Miranda Gaddis, 13 from Oregon, were two best friends who shared their secrets of being molested by their natural fathers.  Ashley was raped by a neighbor, Ward Weaver and later that year both girls were murdered by Weaver, a neighbor, in 2002. The haunting question that plagues so many is how could those surrounding the sexually abused child not know?  Better put, how many suspect and don’t act or how many choose to not hear or see?

Do you see the monsters that lurk in your home, neighborhood or churches?  If you sincerely believe no molester has been in your family, you either don’t know what to look for or fear what you may discover.  No one wants to be associated with such a vulgar act.  Do you really know who the sexual molester typifies?

Women molest but the ratios are dramatically lower, boy/men abusers are 1 in 20 while girl/women abusers are 1 in 3,300.  A "typical" molester is male, has family, is educated, a hard worker, normal sex life at home and religious with these traits traversing all levels of income and classes; he looks more like the average American male or… he could be homeless. 

The major difference between a pedophile and a child molester is that the primary source of sexual gratification comes from being sexual with prepubscent children.  This is not true of the child molester whose primary source of sexual gratification comes from being sexual with an age appropriate consenting adult.   This puts the pedophile near schools, playgrounds and religious settings and the typical child molester is in our neighborhood and in our homes.  

We don’t want to believe we know them even when we see simple signs like a teenage boy or adult who pays too much attention to a younger child, even an infant.  George told my mother I deserved to be spoiled and wanted me alone.  

Unless a report has been filed, police, physicians, therapists and the courts come along after the crime because they’re not allowed to speak to a child.  Like rape, sexual molestation is one of the most under reported crimes with only 1 - 10 percent speaking out about their abusers and only 35 percent of sexual abuse is reported.  This horrific crime is growing in alarming rates and addressing this repulsive topic may mean that your child can be saved if dialogue begins at home.

Some of the things to look for in a sexually abused child: secretiveness, depression, change in sleeping habits, aggressiveness, flunking school, unexplained injuries, unusual interest in or knowledge of sexually related matters or expression of affection inappropriate for a child of that age, fear of a person or of being left somewhere and statements that their bodies are dirty or damaged.

Children are easily manipulated and coerced by adults. Rarely will a child make up an abuse story, believe them (unless you have a clear reason not to) and investigate even if it means the person they’re afraid of is your spouse, lover, friend or relative.  

Sex therapy programs are available through mental health departments to diagnose and treat and prevent those who could become offenders.  This needs to be heard as well.

Millions of molested adults know the shame, guilt, rage and the sense of isolation and feelings that the world and they don’t quite fit with one another.  We all have the right to feel safe.

 GPS Monitoring with REAL TIME Victim Notification is a start that would immediately begin saving the State of California millions, while we search for programs designed to educate and identify potential molesters/victims for prevention.  Prevention being the name of the game.

I taught my how to be safe.   Mother, can you hear me now?

*In memory of Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis. For Ashley Pond's family when she died.

Margie McKinnon April 02, 2011 at 08:37 PM
Please take a look at the Lamplighter website at http://www.thelamplighters.org. I have added on the Home page A CHILD'S BILL OF RIGHTS.
E.M. Fredric April 03, 2011 at 09:47 PM
April is National Child Abuse and Prevention Month, prevention and paying attention can salvage a life.
Kim Estes -The Savvy Safety Mama April 04, 2011 at 12:52 AM
Parents can also make a tremendous impact in their childs safety by taking a prevention workshop that will teach ADULTS how to look out for red flag behaviors, how to talk to their child about personal safety, how to create healthy boundaries and how to model safe grown up behavior. A great local resource for prevention education in the Los Angeles area is Pattie Fitzgerald at www.safelyeverafter.com She provides prevention education for adults and children. She is amazing!
E.M. Fredric April 04, 2011 at 03:09 AM
Thank you, Margie & Kim. Amazing information. I got a phone call from a friend yesterday who heard from a lady who just came to terms with her molester, a brother. He admitted it and will talk to her when he feels the time is right? Long road ahead and time to get together so prevention is key. Great site!
E.M. Fredric April 07, 2011 at 05:22 AM
Ashley Judd joins in opening up about her past. Good for her!


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