Two days ago, the New York Times reported that dozens were molested during the year that the F.B.I. took to pursue the investigation of Dr. Nassar with “with little evident urgency” and “the silence at times drove the victims and their families to distraction”.
While I can totally sympathize with the plight of the families (I too reported a child predator that is still free), I have to point out how hard it is to prosecute a child predator.
It can take 9 months to 2 years to get enough evidence to make sure he/she doesn’t walk away. Even if they are caught red-handed and/or reported by the child or the child’s parents!
Our legal system says we are all innocent until proven guilty and that we all have a right to an attorney. Some defense attorneys are so good at what they do that they can brutally victimize someone who was already victimized, make imperfect law enforcement look like complete liars, and/or find the tiniest issue to focus on and legally destroy a case.
The agents who work on these cases have my respect.
Law enforcement needs to be able to dot every “i”, cross every “t”, and generally make sure the case will stand up to whatever the defending team will throw their way. This means piling on all the evidence they can, especially when it comes to high profile cases like this one.
You’ve probably heard of times when a defense attorney says the woman was wearing sexy clothing and socially drinking at a party before she was raped. They will bring up her sexual history, social media posts about past relationships, and generally, re-rape her in the process. This time with a court and a lot of other people present.
Imagine what something like that would do to a child.
There are a lot of details that would make most of us sick. There have to be a certain amount of pictures or videos, specifically posed images so they can match ages to names, a pattern during a set period of time (that can’t be claimed as a ‘one time’ ‘curious’ type event), etc. There’s more but even just that made me shake and I needed to vomit.
The intent and process need to be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt or that pedo will walk away. That means they will never be able to be charged for that crime again.
Yes, the wait for the reporting family is absolutely awful. We know what happened and we know it’s probably happening to others but there’s nothing more we can do.
In my case, I didn’t know the targets so nothing could be done. I have to wait until a child or the child’s parents reports that the child was hurt. That’s where this post, podcast, and vlog come in.
One pedo was enough for me (and he’s still free!). Three in one family (with legal experience) was too much. I left the area and still wait for the justice train to thunder around the bend. Until then, I’m waving a red flag and trying to draw attention to this mostly silent epidemic.
The guilt and shame kids feel, combined with whatever threats to remain silent, feeling unsure about who to confide in – who would really listen and help – and being so confused about the situation makes them less likely to speak up.
So What Can A Parent Do?
The best defense is a good offense. Talk to your kids openly and regularly. Get involved in conversations. Find out who they are talking to and what they talk about (like most of us already do, since we care about what our kids care about).
They may be the greatest kids on the planet but predators are a sneaky bunch with life experience our kids don’t have. Our babies are no match for these vampires.
Pay attention to your child’s behavior. Sometimes what gets classified as ‘normal’ child/teen behavior is a reaction to a confusing, upsetting, and potentially predatory situation.
You know your child better than anyone else. Trust your gut and fight like hell for your children’s innocence.
P.S. Do you have a resource suggestion, an idea for a post or tutorial, or want support on your journey? Contact me here.