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.

E.M. Fredric March 09, 2011 at 09:58 PM
Thanks, Mike and everyone for coming out.. wow.. I am deeply touched and honored
E.M. Fredric March 09, 2011 at 09:59 PM
Thanks to a good editor for allowing a topic that most deem too vulgar to want to touch
Mike Szymanski March 09, 2011 at 09:59 PM
Let's keep chats like this going on, and please feel free to constantly comment. Eva-Marie gets the comments sent to her if you reply to this story, and of course we will address it again....
Mike Szymanski March 09, 2011 at 10:00 PM
Future topics... How about Adults dealing with STDS.... Talking to your Kids about Santa/Easter Bunny... Talking about sex? How early.... how about just age-appropriate movies anymore? If any of these are things you are interested in, shoot me an email at MikeS@patch.com!
E.M. Fredric March 09, 2011 at 10:00 PM
Mike, Women molest too! castration.. you made me laugh.. good to laugh even on dark topics
Stephanie L. Jones March 09, 2011 at 10:47 PM
First, Eva-Marie, thank you for your courage. I am a "child molestation" survivor. I was molested from ages 5 to 13. So much so, that I was a promiscuous teen and young adult. That feeling, desire, and lust was ignited in me at FIVE years old. After so long, I felt more like a participant, and just as guilty for liking the feeling and sometimes initiating the abuse, which is one of the reasons I didn't tell. One of the first things I noticed and appreciate is your use of the word "molestation." Oftentimes, the words 'sexually assaulted' and 'raped' are used interchangeably. I know they're the same on many levels; I'm not saying this is wrong. But I've also noticed that as I travel speaking throughout the country about overcoming molestation that many people who were molested don't respond the same to "sexually assaulted" or "raped." They consider assault/rape as someone jumping out of the bushes or an alley. Daddy didn't do this. Their big brother didn't do this. My uncles didn't do this. Final thought: One of most important things missing from the molestation discussion is the fact that it's generational and oftentimes begins with kids. You have a boy who is molested from ages 6-10, who then "touches" his little sister, brother, or neighbor. The cycle keeps going and going. No, this is "not" always the case, but research proves it to be a huge problem, with 50% of molesters being under age 18. "Kids" begin playing house, doctor... I thank God I'm healed!
E.M. Fredric March 09, 2011 at 10:56 PM
How thoughtful of you to add your story and information. I would also love to have an expert make clear what help there is to PREVENT kids or adults from becoming molestors. I thank you for your courage, beautifully put.
Nancy Irwin March 10, 2011 at 07:04 AM
Regarding rehabilitation of sex offenders, I'd like to say that YES it is possible. As a survivor of sexual abuse (clergy) myself, I am a sex offender treatment professional. I wanted to pursue this field to make sense of it. What is really exciting is that, contrary to popular beliefs (and myths), the recidivism rate of sex offenders WHO RECEIVE TREATMENT is only about 5-13%. That is significantly lower than any other crime. 75% of the time, sex offenders (including child molesters) were abused themselves. Gone unacknowledged and untreated, they unconsciously act out in order to turn their own victimization into empowerment in the only way that was modeled to them. I am fortunate to watch miracles happen as these men unfold their own issues and have insights into what caused their own aberrant behavior. Believe me.....most live in their own hell. No one chooses to be a child molester! It's an extremely complex thing, and most people want simplicity. So thank you for opening this dialogue so we can move past the fantasy of "It's wrong: just don't do it" mentality and let professionals help these people. Let's move past the punitive mindset and use some compassion to effective positive change. The best way to prevent victims is to help perpetrators. If someone had shared this information with me when I was suffering, I'd have rejoiced. I didn't want to see my molester castrated.....I wanted to learn why he did it, chose me, etc. Dr. Nancy B. Irwin, Los Angeles.
Margie McKinnon March 10, 2011 at 05:06 PM
And I of you. One of the most challenging tasks in doing this work is that it is such an uncomfortable subject. It is difficult to get people to understand that in keeping silent about being sexually abused as a child you are helping the perpetrator to continue his work. The silence must be broken and when I talk about I'm doing and cause people discomfort I feel so bad about that and wish there were a "nice" way to encourage victims of child sexual abuse to come out of hiding. I say to myself often, "Come out, come out wherever you are." My blog this week at http://www.thelamplighters.org as well as Facebook and Twitter is about this very subject.
Margie McKinnon March 10, 2011 at 05:18 PM
As to your comment, Mike, about is their rehab for this, I'd like to recommend one. The book/program that I developed called REPAIR Your Life (and is on amazon.com with several 5 star reviews) took me from being married to my 3rd abuser, suicidal, living part time in a womans shelter and filled with despair to being the happiest person I know. My motto after going thru that program was:" If I'd have know life was going to turn out this good, I would have started it sooner." If anyone out there needs the help please repair your life. Children of an untreat child sexual abuse victim stand a five times greater chance of being molested themselves. If we can save the mother we can save the children
Bill (DOC) Bennett, PhD March 10, 2011 at 07:53 PM
I have the pleasure of knowing the author and calling her a cherished friend. I know her to be a woman of truth and integrity and a lover of all breathing things. I can feel her heartache in my own heart, and knowing other wonderful friends who were unfortunately put thru similar situations. I pray for two things, one the relief of the anquish from the hearts and memories of my dear friends who experienced such incidious acts upon them. The second is for those who violated the trust of children, that some day the rewards they receive will be at the hands of men in prison who have children. Having been a former L.A.Co. Deputy Sheriff, I had the opportunity many times to interview little children who were abused and molested. To this day, I can see their eyes and the fear that will live with them forever. God Bless the little children and the little children remaining in the hearts of those who have now grown and still live with the pain. Bill (DOC) Bennett, PhD Corvallis, Oregon
Dan Skopp March 10, 2011 at 08:20 PM
I learn something new from Evie everyday !!
Stephanie L. Jones March 10, 2011 at 09:45 PM
It will take much more, but here's a few things that we can do: 1. HAVE OPEN AND CANDID CONVERSATIONS WITH YOUNG PEOPLE. This is not only about what happens to them, but the damage done when they violate someone else. I have shifted my attention to young people. I was impressed to do so when a father said to me, "I didn't realize the damage that I'd done until I heard you speak." I also had a friend molest her younger cousins. She's hurting because of how their lives have turned out. She feels that she played a role in their decision making. So, I'm going to youth and saying, "Hey, it's not okay to touch your sister, cousin, or that little girl/boy next door. Look at what it did to me." 2. COUNSELING/THERAPY FOR CHILDREN WHO ARE MOLESTED. This piggybacks off #1. I can't count the number of parents who've contacted me about their children being molested, because now their "acting out." When I ask, "what did you do when you found out," they usually say nothing. Oftentimes, nothing leads to something. 3. STOP ALLOWING THEM TO BE IMMERSED WITH SEX! We are sexual beings already, but what society is doing to our kids is downright pathetic. Absolutely pathetic! They can't watch cartoons without the characters selling them sex. Burgers. Candy. Shampoo. Game shows. Reality shows. Music. Billboards. Everything is just sex, sex, and sex. Parents need to take responsibility and stop allowing their kids to see, hear, and watch anything and everything. They want to act it out.
E.M. Fredric March 10, 2011 at 11:22 PM
Thank you Stephanie but I would add this information found that has nothing to do with ads or the TV or the music, which is standard excuses for most crimes. Not that it's not valid, but molesters are those with abnormal sex drives and they need sex-specific therapy and those therapists can be found and utilized to prevent acting out. Kevin Bacon was in "The Woodsman" about a pedophile, great movie, hard to watch but gives some insight yet this below I got from the sexual abuse prevention link: What Causes Someone To Molest? Focus on the cause. To do that, we must know the cause. What could possibly cause someone to suddenly molest a child? In general, sexual abusers act because they fit into one of four broad categories. They act because: 1. They are children or teenagers who are sexually curious or experimenting. 2. They have a medical or mental problem that needs treatment. 3. They are opportunists, who lack feelings for others and who have an antisocial personality disorder. 4. They have an ongoing sex drive directed toward children.
E.M. Fredric March 12, 2011 at 01:55 AM
"Hello, I would love to publish your article on my webpage, if you would grant me your permission. I would put it next to an article about the forces that are against disclosure of sexual abuse: The False Memory Syndrome Foundation. They are very political and active. When I wrote my article, they sent several responses. I have only put up a few comments, because it was overwhelming. However, I would post all their comments, if I had your article to balance it out. My article is at DrFaye.net, entitled The Politics of Memory. Incidentally, I address the issue of the McMartin Trial and false accusations. You have done a wonderful job here, and your facts and research are excellent. This would be a valuable tool for the work I do, if I could post this article. Thank you again. --Dr. Faye"
Mike Szymanski March 12, 2011 at 06:54 AM
Anyone, Dr. Fay or anyone, can link to this story, it's probably easier using this short link.... http://patch.com/A-f7xM
Stephanie L. Jones March 14, 2011 at 05:43 PM
You're welcome! Again, thank you for writing this article. In regards to TV/music not having influence on child molestation, things that "children" and "molesters" have told me tells me otherwise. A 7 or 8-year-old boy who puts his hand or tongue between his 4-year-old sister's legs hasn't developed abnormal sexual behavior, so we can't compare him to Kevin Bacon's character. He's 8! If he has, where did he get it from? Where did he learn this behavior? Many children have seen "sex," either with their parents or other family members, and/or they've seen it on TV and/or heard it in music. I'm interviewing a teacher who recently stopped me and said she caught her two of her first grade students "making out." First-graders. For the past 3 years, I've had to encourage a mother who's daughter was kicked out of daycare for "fondling" other children. The mother told me that she had allowed her daughter to see her have sex; she thought she was too young to understand what was going on. The eyes and ears are the windows to the soul.
E.M. Fredric March 14, 2011 at 07:37 PM
To Stephanie above, thank you and I agree Kevin Bacon's character is that of a pedophile not just a molester but it is important in that much of what you answered in your question is 'learned behavior' which does need to be looked at. Kids kissing is normal exploration but you said 'making out.' I take it they were going bit further in the playing doctor. I'd really love to read more of what you find.. I think the more education kids have on both sides will prevent one from being a victim and the other from becoming a perp. I too, Nancy, wanted to know why I was chosen, in my case it was easy. I was the only girl and my mother obviously didn't heed any signs. It never happened when he tooks us, it happened when she left the room!
Stephanie L. Jones March 15, 2011 at 02:07 AM
This is very, very powerful ! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KQ9xG3yWfw
E.M. Fredric March 16, 2011 at 10:17 PM
I don't believe molesting a child is a religious issue, Stephanie.. although some religions have been in the news. I think it's a sickness that is taught and/or allowed from my own experience and that of my friends who have come forward.
E.M. Fredric March 26, 2011 at 05:57 AM
A friend sent me this tonight. Wow, if true, very interesting about James Dean and being molested. SDa4651343 has shared an article with you: http://www.popeater.com/2011/03/25/elizabeth-taylors-secret-james-dean/
Rich Duran March 30, 2011 at 05:15 PM
Thank you for going back into the darkness in order to share for us on such an uncomfortable, yet all too common misfortune. Your article was well written and made think of a time when twin boys age 10 were moved far away from their Father/me. Their Mother chose a man from a local Fayetteville, Arkansas church to be a father figure to the boys. This man was a Boys Youth Group Coordinator. This man is now serving a 35 year sentence for child molestation. I learned this from my boys when they were just 6 months shy of their 18th birthday. The boys had informed me that they were not abused by this man and I believe them. I am writing this with much emotion and the flow of tears thinking about the kids less fortunate. Thank you very much for such a moving story and for opening your heart. I could only imagine the pain in having to endure such a thing. Warm Hugs, Rich
E.M. Fredric March 30, 2011 at 05:30 PM
Thank you for sharing that story, Rich and also to Bill. Both of your comments give me hope that more dialogue on a national level will happen in learning about prevention so more children have a childhood.
Margie McKinnon March 31, 2011 at 12:43 AM
It is so great to see this dialogue continue. If we can talk about it we can make a huge difference in the numbers. I think children should be taught at a very young age that they have the right to set boundaries about their own body, that they have the right to tell others about anything or anytime someone wanted to touch their bodies in an inappropriate way. Now you got me started. I'm the founder of the Lamplighters at http://www.thelamplighters.org and am going to my website right now to add, Children's Bill of Rights, utilizing all of my own personal experiences as well as so many I've heard from others to set up the rights of a child. Keep your eye out for it. I'm also the author of the REPAIR series: REPAIR Your Life: A Program for Recovery from Incest & Child Sexual Abuse, REPAIR For Kids and REPAIR For Toddlers (all available on amazon.com. Marjorie McKinnon
E.M. Fredric March 31, 2011 at 03:24 AM
Thank Margie, what an awesome site. I misspoke in my last comment. The father of the classical group, "The 5 Browns" is being sentenced tomorrow and going to prison for molesting THREE of his daughters. The people in general around this issue are still making the girls out to be the problem and not the victims. I would really like to know what makes a person do this and how to stop them from becoming a molester or a pedophile. Your site will help those who have been hurt, my hope is that we find ways to also help those never be hurt.
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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