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Picture this scenario:

Caroline and her husband Ben have two little girls, aged 10 and 8, called Matilda, and Emily.

Caroline has an older sister called Janet, who has two sons, Tom, aged 21, and Terry, aged 17.

Four years ago, when Matilda was just six, her and Emily were having a sleep-over at Janet’s house.

In the middle of the night, Terry, who was then 13 years old, went into six year old Matilda’s bedroom, and sexually abused her.

The abuse carried on during the day, whenever Terry was left alone with Matilda.

When Caroline went to pick the two girls up, she noticed that Matilda was acting oddly.

The next day after Matilda had completed her horse-riding lesson, Caroline tried to hug her, but Mattie backed away from her. Caroline knew that something was wrong, and asked her baby what the matter was.

Matilda then told her mum what her 13 year old cousin had done to her.

Heart-broken, Caroline confronted her sister. Terry admitted to sexually molesting Matilda.

Caroline threatened to go to the police, and Janet told Caroline that it would be Matilda’s word against Terry’s.

Caroline went to the police, but was told that they couldn’t interview 13 year old Terry, without interviewing 6 year old Matilda. Caroline couldn’t bear the thought of Mattie being put through that hell, so she dropped the case. Subsequently, an official complaint was never filed.

Caroline and her husband have spent the last four years avoiding all contact with Janet and her kids.Nobody else in the family are aware of the abuse, although most of her friends and family know that something has gone on between her and Janet. Many people are curious about the details, but just assume that the two sisters must have fallen out, as sisters sometimes do. At least that’s what TTG and I thought.

Caroline never lets her daughters sleep over anywhere. She will not let anybody, other than her father and mother look after the girls. Caroline rarely goes out because she won’t employ babysitters.

She’s trying to keep both the girl’s lives as normal as possible, but finds it difficult, because as far as she’s concerned, every male stranger is a potential predator.

The above story is not a fictional scenario.

All the names have been changed, but Caroline is my best friend, and when I told her I was having a baby, she revealed this four-year old secret. She couldn’t risk me taking my baby round to Janet’s house in the future, without me being aware of the potential danger.

I felt sick.

I felt beyond sick that such a thing could have happened to darling, innocent Matilda.

The funny thing is, I saw Janet and the now 17 year old Terry at the supermarket a couple of weeks ago, and although I tried saying hello, she rushed off, before I had chance to speak to her. I hadn’t seen her in years and was pleased to have the chance to catch-up, so I was very disappointed, when she blanked me.

Now that I think about it, I wonder if she thought that I knew about what Terry had done, and was too ashamed to speak to me.

There are statistics that suggest that most sexual abuse victims are related to their abusers. I guess Matilda is now part of that statistic.

People say that you can’t wrap your kids in cotton wool, but sadly, I suspect that I’m going to be one of those paranoid parents who will attempt to do so.

54 Comments »


  • Ghetto Diva
    September 21
    12:38 pm

    I find it interesting how we all just should KNOW that person/your father/husband/mother/brother/sister/aunt/uncle/boyfriend was a pedophile/murderer/rapist etc etc. Is this something I can buy, like night vision goggles, or some ability I was supposed to be born with but lucked out and didn’t get?

    AnneD, it’s very difficult to know when it’s a father, mother, brother who has the evil thoughts of a pedophile. My husband’s mom was raped by her own father. Yes, he is the grandfather to both of my children, but to this day my kids go nowhere near him, and if he shows up at a family “reunion” or something, he’ll wave hi at my kids, but my kids never leave my side. There are very few people I trust in my life around my children, and that probably makes me paranoid, and a whole slew of words. We may not be able to have that “vision” that will tell us who is right to be around our kids, BUT as parents we have to be able to see signs. We have to as parents let our kids know that a loved one, or a stranger touching you is wrong, and that in no way it’s there fault, so that the kids are comfortable talking to the parent about. We have to be aware, so we can make our kids aware.

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  • Ghetto Diva – I have to ask one thing: I assume you expect everyone to apply this to their husbands and fathers of their children when there is no existing reason to? Because it appears more and more that there is absolutely no place for ANY sort of trust in your scenario. What’s the point in having a partner, or kids for that matter if you can’t trust your partner…and in this scenario who says you (figmentary you not a direct reference) as that parent are anymore trustworthy than all those people you don’t trust?

    We may not be able to have that “vision” that will tell us who is right to be around our kids, BUT as parents we have to be able to see signs.

    You contradict yourself here. Either you have some magical ability to see the evil in people or you don’t. It sounds like you’ve taken the road that every single person but yourself in this world is evil. I’m sorry, but I can’t do that. I can’t live my life under the rule that every single person in this world – and that includes ME – is guilty until proven innocent. I cant abide the thought that when I walk up to someone to introduce myself that their first thought is “Are you a rapist/murderer/pedophile?” on the basis of “Hi, my name is Anne”. Now, if I walked up to you and declared “Get outta my way muthafucknbitch”, that would be quite a different story…

    We have to as parents let our kids know that a loved one, or a stranger touching you is wrong, and that in no way it’s there fault, so that the kids are comfortable talking to the parent about. We have to be aware, so we can make our kids aware.

    And I don’t think you will have seen any commenter in this post say anything otherwise. BUT, I refuse to instill in my children that if a stranger stops to help them if they fall down, drop something etc etc that that person is out to abuse/kill/rape them.

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  • Ghetto Diva
    September 21
    4:38 pm

    Ghetto Diva – I have to ask one thing: I assume you expect everyone to apply this to their husbands and fathers of their children when there is no existing reason to? Because it appears more and more that there is absolutely no place for ANY sort of trust in your scenario. What’s the point in having a partner, or kids for that matter if you can’t trust your partner…and in this scenario who says you (figmentary you not a direct reference) as that parent are anymore trustworthy than all those people you don’t trust?

    Actually Anne, I’ve been married for 11 years. My husband and I have two children, and he has two more from previous relationship. I trust my husband 100% with my kids. But it took years to build that trust. I’m one who doesn’t trust easily at all. How do I know I’m trustworthy? As long as my kids love and trust me, that’s all that matters to me. My job is to protect them, and make decisions that will protect them from harm. Yes I’m overprotective, and its something I need to work on in the future, but for now I’m okay with it since they are only 6 and 9.

    You contradict yourself here. Either you have some magical ability to see the evil in people or you don’t. It sounds like you’ve taken the road that every single person but yourself in this world is evil. I’m sorry, but I can’t do that. I can’t live my life under the rule that every single person in this world – and that includes ME – is guilty until proven innocent. I cant abide the thought that when I walk up to someone to introduce myself that their first thought is “Are you a rapist/murderer/pedophile?” on the basis of “Hi, my name is Anne”. Now, if I walked up to you and declared “Get outta my way muthafucknbitch”, that would be quite a different story…

    First, opening your eyes, and looking for signs doesn’t mean that I have a “magical ability”. What I meant it as, I as a parent need to look and be aware of the company I keep as it can effect my children. I don’t think I live my life as everyone around me as evil. I believe its more like, if you want to be in my life then you have to earn my trust. Yes, a man can earn a woman’s trust and still be the “pedophile”, but I still say leaving you children around a person you’ve been dating for a year, wouldn’t sit well with me. Just the way I am.

    Now, if I walked up to you and declared “Get outta my way muthafucknbitch”, that would be quite a different story…

    Don’t know where that one came from but ok. Moving on.

    And I don’t think you will have seen any commenter in this post say anything otherwise. BUT, I refuse to instill in my children that if a stranger stops to help them if they fall down, drop something etc etc that that person is out to abuse/kill/rape them.

    I wasn’t disagreeing with any commentor. I was only agreeing with what was pointed out. I don’t see anything wrong with the original statement I made.

    And as to your “stranger” comment, helping a stranger if they fall, or cross the street with there grocery bags out in public is one thing. Helping a stranger bring there grocery bags to their apartment is something else entirely.

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  • but I still say leaving you children around a person you’ve been dating for a year, wouldn’t sit well with me

    Okay, I’m not trying to start anything here, really? After a year? At that point, it’s a committed relationship, and if you don’t trust them by that point, you shouldn’t be with them at all- kids or no kids.

    According to a friend of mine- a psychologist who deals with sexual deviants- most pedophiles will not stick around if you refuse to introduce your children to them quickly. They will move on to an easier target. She says this stems from two issues- one, they don’t have the patience. It takes all the patience they have just to insinuate themselves into the childrens lives. Being put off for a number of months is generally too taxing, so they move on. And two, most pedophiles have an age range, and it’s usally small. The longer they have to wait, the better the chances that the child will outgrow their preferred age group.

    My friend says she always recommends a six month wait period before introducing the boyfriend to the kids- and that includes no grown-up sleepovers. That way, if the guy is a pedophile, chances are good he will take off before he ever gets near the kids.

    ReplyReply

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