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**Trigger**Protecting Child from wrong babysitter- what are a mother's rights with shared custody - Page 3  

post #41 of 100
Thread Starter 

Thank you.  I really didn't mean to offend.  The questions are hard but sincere, and maybe the hard questions are the one that evoke dissonance but conversation.  I just wanted to find some answers.  No, ex MIL is white, and I am a minority. Years ago, I tried to speak with her about the rape and send her some support materials about classes, but she did not respond.  Not to say that she has to respond (perhaps she wasn't comfortable with me) but I'm just saying that to let you know that I really don't know what's going on.  And, that i'm uncomfortable because I know very little about that household other than that they seem to be closed people.   I read this statistic from various sources and it scared me...

 

Approximately one in four girls and one in six boys will report being sexually assaulted before they turn 18. One in three women and one in ten men will report being sexually assaulted sometime during her/his lifetime.

 

... How can there only be a small percentage of pedophiles when this statistic seems so large? Forget MIL was a rape victim.  What about this idea of protecting our children.  I have made an appointment to a parenting class and I hope to continue this conversation about what we can tell our children.  My daughter will say "yes" if I asked her if grandma changed or if it was "scooby doo."  I think she is too young to really understand at this age, and I don;'t want to have her live in fear.  Any suggestions?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoticzenmom View Post

I think the OP had sincere questions and it's been eye-opening to see the responses.  I would like for us to be gentle with the OP.  You can only meet someone where they're at.  We've informed her and I think she's taken it in quite well.   Can we be gentle? 

 

Marthawashington, what I got from Eclipse's post was that reporting is hard enough, but reporting by a minority may be even harder.  Is your MIL a minority as well? 

 

I think it may help also to realize that only a very small percent of people are pedophiles.  I don't know what it is, but I would guess it to be less than 1% of males and much less of females.  Your daughter is of the age where you can talk with her.  Since you're likely to have to share custody, it wouldn't hurt to get a good book about how to talk with children about this issue correctly.  If I were your exMIL's husband and I knew you were this suspicious, I wouldn't want to be anywhere near your daughter for fear of false allegations.  Get a good book on preventing abuse, or better yet, talk with a counselor about this fear and get some professional advice about it so as not to put your daughter or your exmil's husband at risk.



 

post #42 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by marthawashington View Post

Yes, I am more educated now about this.  I understood about blaming the victim but I guess I was judging MIL for not reporting it.  I felt this judgement because I worried for my daughter so much I was concerned for her and didn't want to take any risks.  If MIL's whole world would unravel (financial and medical well-being) by protecting my daughter, I was concerned she wouldn't do it based on past history (a history I judged).  Really the issue should be if anyone despite their background would come forward with protecting a child over their own self-interest.   In the end, he is a stranger.  If I am wrong, then the one that gets hurt is my daughter.  My MIL is not open to talk about these things so I sought advice from other mothers.  The issue now is not that she was raped and didn't report it but that my daughter is staying in a stranger's home.  But, I learned something about revictimizing rape victims today.  Thank you all for you kind, generous, and passionate responses.

 



 


Thank you for reconsidering your position on this one. I think we all can identify with wanting to protect our children. If I were you, I'd be making an effort to get to know this man on a more personal level so that you can have a more fully formed judgment of him as a person. It might alleviate your worries, or you might decide that it's very important to keep your daughter away from him and go from there. As a pp suggested, since your daughter is going to be spending significant time out of your care, now is a good time to start the conversation about inappropriate touching and who to tell if it happens. Even if this man, in particular, is completely safe, she could be exposed to other people who aren't. I don't know if you use day care or babysitters yourself, but if you do, any of those people are *potential* abusers (not likely, but it's possible) even if they seem perfectly safe to you. So you should really get the dialogue going with her now about these sorts of things.
post #43 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by marthawashington View Post

Thank you.  I really didn't mean to offend.  The questions are hard but sincere, and maybe the hard questions are the one that evoke dissonance but conversation.  I just wanted to find some answers.  No, ex MIL is white, and I am a minority. Years ago, I tried to speak with her about the rape and send her some support materials about classes, but she did not respond.  Not to say that she has to respond (perhaps she wasn't comfortable with me) but I'm just saying that to let you know that I really don't know what's going on.  And, that i'm uncomfortable because I know very little about that household other than that they seem to be closed people.   I read this statistic from various sources and it scared me...

 

Approximately one in four girls and one in six boys will report being sexually assaulted before they turn 18. One in three women and one in ten men will report being sexually assaulted sometime during her/his lifetime.

 

... How can there only be a small percentage of pedophiles when this statistic seems so large? Forget MIL was a rape victim.  What about this idea of protecting our children.  I have made an appointment to a parenting class and I hope to continue this conversation about what we can tell our children.  My daughter will say "yes" if I asked her if grandma changed or if it was "scooby doo."  I think she is too young to really understand at this age, and I don;'t want to have her live in fear.  Any suggestions?
 



 


One reason is that most pedophiles offend with multiple children over long periods of time. In the under 18 group, I'd say a good portion of those assaults might be peer to peer assaults when you get into the jr. high. or high school range.
post #44 of 100
Thread Starter 

How do i do the "trigger" sign on the title so that people don't unnecessarily stumble on this if they're not ready.

post #45 of 100

Outside of grandma's history, which is obviously a really touchy and painful topic, I don't think there is anything wrong with judging grandma's boyfriend before you get to know him.  As far as I'm concerned, I don't want people caring for my kids unless I have met them, know them well, and feel they are safe.  I don't know the stats on how many people are pedophiles, but I have worked with kids who have been sexually abused, and it is really startling how common it is.  If you get a weird gut feeling about this guy, I say better safe than sorry.  Not caring for your daughter will not ruin his life or impact him in any way substantially.  Allowing someone you don't feel comfortable with, regardless of the reason of if there even IS a reason, to care for your child is recipe for disaster.  Your mama gut should be trusted when it comes to your child's safety. 

 

As far as what to do legally, I don't know.  Can you get a court order?  Talk to your lawyer?  I don't know the answers to this but do agree that it is worth fighting for. 

post #46 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by marthawashington View Post

Thank you.  I really didn't mean to offend.  The questions are hard but sincere, and maybe the hard questions are the one that evoke dissonance but conversation.  I just wanted to find some answers.  No, ex MIL is white, and I am a minority. Years ago, I tried to speak with her about the rape and send her some support materials about classes, but she did not respond.  Not to say that she has to respond (perhaps she wasn't comfortable with me) but I'm just saying that to let you know that I really don't know what's going on.  And, that i'm uncomfortable because I know very little about that household other than that they seem to be closed people.   I read this statistic from various sources and it scared me...

 

Approximately one in four girls and one in six boys will report being sexually assaulted before they turn 18. One in three women and one in ten men will report being sexually assaulted sometime during her/his lifetime.

 

... How can there only be a small percentage of pedophiles when this statistic seems so large? Forget MIL was a rape victim.  What about this idea of protecting our children.  I have made an appointment to a parenting class and I hope to continue this conversation about what we can tell our children.  My daughter will say "yes" if I asked her if grandma changed or if it was "scooby doo."  I think she is too young to really understand at this age, and I don;'t want to have her live in fear.  Any suggestions?
 



 


One in 4 and 1 in 6 is what I've heard as well,but think of all of the people that we meet before our 18th birthday.  Wikipedia had it at less than 5% of men.  That means that at least 95% of men are not.  Pretty good odds there.  I have no real advice about how to talk with her about it. 

 

post #47 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by marthawashington View Post

How do i do the "trigger" sign on the title so that people don't unnecessarily stumble on this if they're not ready.


It looks like the mod added it for you.
post #48 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post


One reason is that most pedophiles offend with multiple children over long periods of time. In the under 18 group, I'd say a good portion of those assaults might be peer to peer assaults when you get into the jr. high. or high school range.


Eclipse-- I hope you're not trying to minimize the number of children affected or say that peer to peer assaults are any less traumatic.  I am sure you aren't, but I just have to point it out.  Also, just from my personal experience, I would venture to guess the numbers posted that you quoted are actually somewhat low.  I'd totally jaded from working professionally with kids who have been sexually abused, I admit.  But a great number of friends and family have apparently felt that because of my work, I was a safe person to share with.  I have really been startled by how many people I am close to are sexual abuse/assault survivors.  It seems to indicate to me that the numbers are somewhat low.  Regardless, lets not minimize the real dangers to our children in the name of giving this dude a chance. 
 

 

post #49 of 100



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoticzenmom View Post


One in 4 and 1 in 6 is what I've heard as well,but think of all of the people that we meet before our 18th birthday.  Wikipedia had it at less than 5% of men.  That means that at least 95% of men are not.  Pretty good odds there.  I have no real advice about how to talk with her about it. 

 



Okay, I hate to disagree with a moderator, but those don't seem like good odds to me at all.  1/20 people then are pedophiles?  Sounds like we need to A) (and most importantly)  be very careful about who cares for our children and B) teach our children what is and isn't appropriate in terms of touching and C) make sure they know they can come to us and let us know if something inappropriate does occur. 

 

post #50 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post




Eclipse-- I hope you're not trying to minimize the number of children affected or say that peer to peer assaults are any less traumatic.  I am sure you aren't, but I just have to point it out.  Also, just from my personal experience, I would venture to guess the numbers posted that you quoted are actually somewhat low.  I'd totally jaded from working professionally with kids who have been sexually abused, I admit.  But a great number of friends and family have apparently felt that because of my work, I was a safe person to share with.  I have really been startled by how many people I am close to are sexual abuse/assault survivors.  It seems to indicate to me that the numbers are somewhat low.  Regardless, lets not minimize the real dangers to our children in the name of giving this dude a chance. 
 

 


Oh no, absolutely not! I'm sorry if it was interpreted that way. I just meant that this mother, in this particular situation, wouldn't be dealing with that at this point. Peer to peer assault in the teen years wouldn't have anything to do with the vetting of the child care of a 3 year old. The OP was wondering how so few men could be pedophiles if so many children were assaulted by age 18 - my point was that a good portion, maybe the majority, of those assaults are not committed by pedophiles and that many of the assaults that are committed by pedophiles are committed by repeat offenders - so that a large number of children could be abused by a small number of men (and a smaller number of women).
post #51 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post



 



Okay, I hate to disagree with a moderator, but those don't seem like good odds to me at all.  1/20 people then are pedophiles?  Sounds like we need to A) (and most importantly)  be very careful about who cares for our children and B) teach our children what is and isn't appropriate in terms of touching and C) make sure they know they can come to us and let us know if something inappropriate does occur. 

 

Ok, 1 in 20 does seem different from 95%.  I had to be talked down from my paranoia years ago for my own sanity and looking at it as 95% of men wouldn't abuse helped me.  If a man so much as gave my child a piece of candy, I would wonder if he was trying to groom and question his motives for having candy in his pocket. 

 

As a side-note.  I would hope that you would disagree with me.  If you don't, then I'm essentially ignored half of the time which makes being an active member kind of pointless, so thanks.

 

 

 

post #52 of 100
So you have been raped. It's traumatizing. Then you start to think about reporting it and undergoing invasive medical exams and testimony and legal processes, dredging up the whole ordeal again, undergoing scrutiny, losing your privacy, and chances are you won't be able to adequately prove that you were raped by the person who raped you. It is completely understandable if you can't bring yourself to go through all of that for nothing.

Except it's not really for nothing. Advocating for yourself against attack helps increase awareness and empowers more people to come forward about abuses they have endured. Knowing that they are likely to be prosecuted and convicted of crimes is likely to make those crimes be committed less often. We need to encourage people to report rape and to talk about it. Thanks to everyone who has shared her story here. I hope you will consider coming forward about it and taking legal action even now, if at all possible, but you have my sympathy if you don't.

What are some ways that the process of reporting a rape could be made easier? Ideas? Sources of information?
post #53 of 100

You know, at one point I also thought that people should OBVIOUSLY report an assault.  But so often it is just another invasion for the woman and it can become a barrier for her healing. 

 

The exam itself is long, and horrible, and invasive.  Would I do it?  Maybe.  But it would really depend. 

 

As someone who was victimized at one point- and then- after it WAS reported- the police told me I was lying about the incident- I can tell you I wish I hadn't reported it.  I wasn't at fault, but they treated me terribly.  http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1307996/memories-unlocking-sexual-assault-triggering  I posted this about it a while ago, and as to whether I would report now- sure- where I live and know the docs/and am friends with the police- I know i would be heard.  Never again in a town where I don't personally know the police though.  It's not worth further emotional damage to myself when what I need is to take care of myself and heal. 

post #54 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoticzenmom View Post

Ok, 1 in 20 does seem different from 95%.  I had to be talked down from my paranoia years ago for my own sanity and looking at it as 95% of men wouldn't abuse helped me.  If a man so much as gave my child a piece of candy, I would wonder if he was trying to groom and question his motives for having candy in his pocket. 

 

As a side-note.  I would hope that you would disagree with me.  If you don't, then I'm essentially ignored half of the time which makes being an active member kind of pointless, so thanks.



No thank you :).  I have to say that is the first time I've been thanked for disagreeing with someone ;).  Anyhow, I get the whole self preservation thing, and in some ways, I have to do it myself because I am so jaded from work.  But, in the end I remind myself that while I want to give my son a normal life in terms of not letting my anxiety completely rule my decisions, I also want to ensure that I take all steps necessary to protect him from sexual abuse.  As you know, the impact is so far reaching. 

 

post #55 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by marthawashington View Post


One reason is that most pedophiles offend with multiple children over long periods of time. In the under 18 group, I'd say a good portion of those assaults might be peer to peer assaults when you get into the jr. high. or high school range.



And because some people who are sexual abusers of children aren't pedophiles in the true sense of the word. They are motivated by control and the vulnerability of their victim.

And also you wouldn't need to be sexually attracted to children in order to be sexually attracted to adolescents. Most 13 year old girls I know have very adult bodies.

So actual pedophilia may be rare, but sexual abuse of children is common because you needn't be a pedophile in order to commit abuse of children or adolescents. And as the poster above said, rapists tend to have more than one victim.
post #56 of 100

.  Double post

post #57 of 100
OP, you may want to try starting a new post about your concerns with leaving your DD with a stranger (and leave the MIL's past out of it obviously!) because I'm not sure you're going to get much helpful advice on this thread, it's taking on a life of it's own and I think your original question is getting neglected (I have no answers for you myself)... But if you are still open to hearing a bit more on this particular issue, I'd like to add a couple of comments.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hjdmom24 View Post

I guess I am in the minority here. My mother was sexually assulted and did not report it. Years later my sister and I were sexually assulted and my mother found out but did nothing to report it or protect us. I guess knowing the reason why your ex's mother did not report it might help. It it was from shame or embarrassment then I would be concerned that she would keep it to herself if it happened to your child due to the same embarrassment. Not saying everyone would make the same choices my mother did but it does happen and if your mommy radar is going off then I think it is vaild to be concerned.

I believe that it is equally likely that a mom who has never been violated might neglect to report their child's abuse. Any parent can be too embarrassed, ashamed, scared, etc. to report it... you don't have to be an abuse survivor to feel that way about your own children's abuse.

I reported my exBF's abuse of me. We were in college. He was expelled from school. THAT'S IT. There was no trial, there was no arrest (he was arrested a couple of times for violating a restraining order, but only for a night & then released). It did not prevent him from going out there and hurting someone else. He tried to kill me & I am quite certain he will have multiple victims. I feel so sick even writing about it... I wish there were something I could do to stop him. I've even thought about going back and trying to re-report it or something, but I HAVE A CHILD and I need to protect my baby and I don't want to risk exBF finding out my new name, where I live, etc. I can't take the risk, I just can't.

And (now you will probably blame me for this, I still blame myself) after that I got involved with another guy who was also abusive to me. I never told anyone he raped me, just about the other abuse. Obviously after experience #1, I didn't see the point. Also, the situation was different, and it wouldn't have been safe for me to report that. Like I said upthread, there is no "CPS" for adults. Some people are able to safely report crimes against them, and some are not. Should I really risk my life (which, for the record, has already been at risk multiple times by these 2 men) so I can report it and they may not even DO anything about it???

I know where you're coming from, and that you're saying if we, the victims, don't speak up, who will?? I don't have an answer to that. All I can say is, I need to keep myself and my family safe. I need to protect my (very fragile) emotional health. I need to FEEL safe. I could not have handled a rape kit. Do you know that I have never had a pap smear? That I had to have an epidural during childbirth just so I wouldn't feel the OB check my cervix? That I have been TTC a second child for 2 years and part of the reason we are having trouble is because I do not have a normal sex life with my (very safe, wonderful husband) because EVERYTHING physical gives me flashbacks?? A rape kit, just so some guy could *maybe* spend a year in prison or something (and then 99% percent chance he'd go out & re-offend)?? It's just not worth it to me.

I live with guilt. All day, every day. I feel responsible for everything that happened to me. I feel responsible for TWICE getting myself into such bad situations. I feel responsible for not doing more to stop either man. I feel guilt for my child that he will probably never get to enjoy being baby-sat even by family, because I am so terrified someone will hurt him. There is enough guilt to last me a million lifetimes.

I hope I don't sound rude or insulting... it's just the pain of writing about this...
post #58 of 100
Thread Starter 


Thank you all for opening up.  I cry for each and every one of you because I see that we were all like our daughters at one point and this shouldn't happen.  I am really signing off this time.  I learned a lot about judgement and see how painful it must be to live with the cloud of hurt and judgement.  I think I need to just focus on the issue of the stranger danger at this point since I am no expert for this issue.  I think we are all 100% women and we should be proud no matter what and not let other opinions take away from us our decision to keep family and ourselves safe.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

OP, you may want to try starting a new post about your concerns with leaving your DD with a stranger (and leave the MIL's past out of it obviously!) because I'm not sure you're going to get much helpful advice on this thread, it's taking on a life of it's own and I think your original question is getting neglected (I have no answers for you myself)... But if you are still open to hearing a bit more on this particular issue, I'd like to add a couple of comments.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hjdmom24 View Post

I guess I am in the minority here. My mother was sexually assulted and did not report it. Years later my sister and I were sexually assulted and my mother found out but did nothing to report it or protect us. I guess knowing the reason why your ex's mother did not report it might help. It it was from shame or embarrassment then I would be concerned that she would keep it to herself if it happened to your child due to the same embarrassment. Not saying everyone would make the same choices my mother did but it does happen and if your mommy radar is going off then I think it is vaild to be concerned.



I believe that it is equally likely that a mom who has never been violated might neglect to report their child's abuse. Any parent can be too embarrassed, ashamed, scared, etc. to report it... you don't have to be an abuse survivor to feel that way about your own children's abuse.

I reported my exBF's abuse of me. We were in college. He was expelled from school. THAT'S IT. There was no trial, there was no arrest (he was arrested a couple of times for violating a restraining order, but only for a night & then released). It did not prevent him from going out there and hurting someone else. He tried to kill me & I am quite certain he will have multiple victims. I feel so sick even writing about it... I wish there were something I could do to stop him. I've even thought about going back and trying to re-report it or something, but I HAVE A CHILD and I need to protect my baby and I don't want to risk exBF finding out my new name, where I live, etc. I can't take the risk, I just can't.

And (now you will probably blame me for this, I still blame myself) after that I got involved with another guy who was also abusive to me. I never told anyone he raped me, just about the other abuse. Obviously after experience #1, I didn't see the point. Also, the situation was different, and it wouldn't have been safe for me to report that. Like I said upthread, there is no "CPS" for adults. Some people are able to safely report crimes against them, and some are not. Should I really risk my life (which, for the record, has already been at risk multiple times by these 2 men) so I can report it and they may not even DO anything about it???

I know where you're coming from, and that you're saying if we, the victims, don't speak up, who will?? I don't have an answer to that. All I can say is, I need to keep myself and my family safe. I need to protect my (very fragile) emotional health. I need to FEEL safe. I could not have handled a rape kit. Do you know that I have never had a pap smear? That I had to have an epidural during childbirth just so I wouldn't feel the OB check my cervix? That I have been TTC a second child for 2 years and part of the reason we are having trouble is because I do not have a normal sex life with my (very safe, wonderful husband) because EVERYTHING physical gives me flashbacks?? A rape kit, just so some guy could *maybe* spend a year in prison or something (and then 99% percent chance he'd go out & re-offend)?? It's just not worth it to me.

I live with guilt. All day, every day. I feel responsible for everything that happened to me. I feel responsible for TWICE getting myself into such bad situations. I feel responsible for not doing more to stop either man. I feel guilt for my child that he will probably never get to enjoy being baby-sat even by family, because I am so terrified someone will hurt him. There is enough guilt to last me a million lifetimes.

I hope I don't sound rude or insulting... it's just the pain of writing about this...


 

post #59 of 100
yeah, that pedophilia rate seems pretty low, even the 5% rate, sadly. i recently read in an article about incest that 1 in 20 fathers has sexual contact with his daughters, and for step-fathers it is 1 in 7. that doesn't take into account grandparents, siblings, cousins, family friends, coaches, strangers - or the victimization of boys. now, personally i don't give a rat's ass whether the guy is a true pedophile or just a molester/rapist who somehow doesn't qualify as an all-out perv, because the damage is done regardless of whatever is going on in the abuser's mind.
post #60 of 100

My daughters were molested last year by my stepdad, who was married to my mom for 20 years.  I have recently been through training at the Advocacy center here, and go to a support group and the kids got counseling.... The very first and last thing in preventing child sexual abuse is to TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS.  I had the instincts....I called my sister and talked to her about it and she talked me out of my instincts- a few times.  If grandma was not an active part of your child's life before the split, or didn't babysit her, then you might try to assert in court that they don't have a prior relationship, and mention the pool thing....Unfortunately, my mom had been molested by her brother when she was a girl.  That she fell for the sociopathic ploys of another molester is not that rare (there are other women in my support group who repeat this same pattern.)  One of my degrees is in Women's Studies and while I believe all the stuff about rape victims which has been mentioned here (and I am a date rape survivor)....whether we like it or not abused women (and men) repeat relationship patterns which can result in repeated situations of abuse.  Whether we like it or not, sociopaths prey upon the vulnerable, like the grandma in the OPs post, or like my mom, who had been through a terrible divorce and then just nursed her mom to her death of bone cancer, and whose dad had Alzheimer's.  If the objective is protecting the kid, then the OP needs a custody order, needs to put in the agreement who the kid can be left alone with, needs to ask her lawyer when/how to report the pool issue (is it better to use it in court, or report it now.)   As for knowing the rate of pedophiles in the general population, the Crimes Against Children Detective who came to speak to our support group said that the rates are much higher than the stats because of so much that goes unprosecuted, and unreported. 

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