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Thread: Sweeping Child Sex Abuse under the Rug

  1. #1

    Default Sweeping Child Sex Abuse under the Rug

    Here's the situation: last year it came to light that my elder brother had been molesting my youngest niece (who was 8 at the time that happened). Me and my father didn't find out until around October or so that this had happened, and that year he wasn't invited to any family functions (just as well, I thought).

    He has schizophrenia and had been acting erratically around that time. He also hadn't been taking his medication. I don't feel that's an excuse, however.

    My Mum has spoken to my niece about it, but saying 'Uncle Mark went a bit funny' to her, which I really don't feel was the 'right' thing to say. I'd speak to her myself, but she made it clear she's relieved that I 'don't know' about it, before.

    Anyway, this Christmas, guess who's invited to dinner? I found this out 3 days beforehand, and when I hinted to mum we should have 'just a small Christmas' with just me, my parents and my grandmother, she got really upset (like, tears in her eyes) and then said 'Well I've already invited Mark and Dan'. So I didn't bring it up again.

    Christmas day, I just didn't go downstairs while he was there. I couldn't believe she would ask me to sit at the same table as a man who molested a girl who's basically my little sister. How could I ever be expected to wish a 'Merry Christmas' to him? A merry trip to the morgue, perhaps...

    Anyway, after they ate Christmas dinner, mum came upstairs to confront me about why I wasn't downstairs.

    'Is it because Mark's here?'
    'Yeah.'
    'He's better now. He wasn't well. He hadn't been taking his medication.'
    '...ok...'
    'He has a serious mental illness.'
    '...Okay. You can do what you want. I'm not comfortable.'

    I was definitely biting my tongue at that stage, because Mum looked like she would burst into tears at any moment if I said what I was really thinking. Frankly, I feel that even schizophrenia is not an excuse for doing what he did, and I think giving him such a perfect excuse to abuse again ('whoops, didn't take my medication') is asking for trouble. Mum used to say 'oh, (the mothers of his children) told so many lies to the courts so Mark couldn't see his kids, poor him!', and now I'm wondering what those 'lies' were, and if they were maybe true after all. It's not the first time he's done this kind of thing (and been caught), either.

    Mum's even said at one point 'he's still family', but to me, he's not. He's just the guy who molested my baby niece. I don't want him anywhere near me, ever. She can visit him if she wants to. I don't want to.

    Has anyone else ever been in or heard of a similar situation? I hear it's pretty common for families to try and do this. Do you think I did the right thing? There's no way in hell I would have been able to sit there and talk to him normally.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by CharliePup View Post
    Has anyone else ever been in or heard of a similar situation? I hear it's pretty common for families to try and do this. Do you think I did the right thing? There's no way in hell I would have been able to sit there and talk to him normally.
    Yes I have been in a similar situation and yes i think you did the right thing.


    In my family it was a grand parent(still alive and hes a great grand parent to me), over a number of years he molested 3 of my aunties over a number of years, this was something that wasn't realized till after the fact.

    One of the people it happened to the last i grew up with theres 5 years age gap between me and that aunt.
    So in a way i suppose Im in a different position to you but my family over all reacted similarly, nothings been done about it. Its known about and spoken about behind closed doors but to protect their Grandmother/mother nothing has been done.

    Its something still picture when i see him and i avoid him at all costs, except when he younger children where around i always made sure i stuck around heavily.

    Its hard family can be so weird about things like this and use the most amazing excuses to pardon people but its not ok to let something like that go in my opinion and you did the right thing.

  3. #3

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    Anyone with a mental illness that has to take medications tend to stop taking them. Because they get that oh well I feel fine I don't have to take this or that medications. They stop. My sister X husband done that. Acted great on the medication but became a Jerk when he was off the medication. I guessing it happen a lot with Mental illness.

  4. #4

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    Hmmm I had been through something like that (as victim) but I do not want to state what happened publicly. (Reason is the person doing the act on me was younger and I don't want the backlash of I should known what was going on. For the most part I am very innocent with that kind of thing. I would even get picked on for my lack of knowledge of it. I will say i was in the 10-12 age range when it happened.)

    Then I got fausly accused of doing this to someone else twice (as in two different people, each one time) but it had no impact of me attending family events or not. The only thing that happened to me was one person confronting me and said "If I ever hear of you doing something like that again then I will do something very bad" (I forget what that bad thing was, I was frozen to speak and was very scared)

    The other time it was out of family, like me babysitting or something and said I could not do it anymore? I really forget.

    In both cases I am not even sure why they got that message. For the babysitting thing all I did was bring over my ps 2 and played games with the 2 kids I was babysitting. The other case.. I have no idea where it came from it might of been in play. I really do not remember what age I was, all I know for sure is that it was before uni. I really do not know all I know is that I was really scared when I was confronted and made me rush with these bad feelings.

    I really do not know what to say in your situation. I was raised Christen so I embrace the idea of forgiving especially if they are trying not to be bad. But the thing is with acts like this I that it could scare the child for life. I do not think I got screwed up from my case but who knows what is going on subconsciously.

    This was so hard for me to write (I am borderline crying) and I really do fear attacks but I am a honest person and thought it might be helpful to see another view of it (A person directly involved with this issue)

  5. #5

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    It's a difficult topic in many regards...

    my own history in this is with a family member who molested someone from my close family - sorry for omitting details, but it's still a public forum - Anyhow, it was taking some time until the whole thing surfaced, and to my astonishment, no charges were pressed... but that just made me mad enough to confront that arse and tell him if I ever see him around that other person again, I'd kill him.
    Mind you, I wasn't joking... he was all "sorry" and everything like "I'm in therapy, etc"... still, it's one of those things I have an absolute ZERO-Tolerance for: Child Abuse in ANY way. To me, there's very little else that is just as wrong.
    I don't understand it, and I have no sympathy - none at all - for ANYONE who does something like that. And I don't think there's any legit excuse either.

    So in my book, you've done the right thing by at least showing that you think it's way over the line to bring "Mark" back into the family.
    He ruined a good part of a child's life - and no matter how much "better" he is these days (maybe) - it will never make good on what he did. Your niece has to live with those memories to the end of her days... she might get to "terms" with it one day, but it's not something any child should have to deal with.
    One of my best friends got seriously abused as a child by her own father... Loving bastard to the outside world, monster at night at home... this went on for years she confided in me one day many years after all of that... after her father had died.
    She's my age and still has to deal with problems (social, love-life, etc.) over twenty years after it had happened... I don't think she's ever going to be "OK" again.
    The world is unfortunately full of those sad "stories"... And it just reinforces my believe that society has a far to high "tolerance" for child abuse... it's still something that isn't being really regarded as serious as it is.

    So family or not, someone who does that has lost any right on a life.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Sweeping Child Sex Abuse under the Rug

    If you suspect child molestation at all, especially if events have been within the last few years, get the cops involved because that is the best thing you can do for the sake of the children who are victims. Please, all of you, for the sake of the children, do not make the same mistakes as the late Joe Paterno and let kids continue to suffer because pedophiles do not change by themselves.

  7. #7

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    There would been no physical evidence with what happened to me from the way it was done. I told my mom when I was little and since it was between two young kids nothing could been done anyway?

    What do you do when it is between two young kids?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Sweeping Child Sex Abuse under the Rug



    Quote Originally Posted by CutePrincess View Post
    There would been no physical evidence with what happened to me from the way it was done. I told my mom when I was little and since it was between two young kids nothing could been done anyway?

    What do you do when it is between two young kids?
    I was talking primarily about events that are either between adults and children, or teenagers and pre adolescents. Not so much "games of doctor" between young kids.

  9. #9

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    Games of doctor? umm... the person that did it to me knew what it was but I didn't but they where younger then me. It was from my cousin.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by CharliePup View Post
    Has anyone else ever been in or heard of a similar situation? I hear it's pretty common for families to try and do this. Do you think I did the right thing? There's no way in hell I would have been able to sit there and talk to him normally.
    Well, first off, I'm terribly sorry that this has happened to you and has spoiled your Christmas!

    Families are naturally going to search for continuity, and while you might call what your mom did "sweeping it under the carpet," it's also not too difficult to imagine what she must be going through. Really, everybody else in the family is a kind of victim in this situation. That's not to say your mom should pretend that nothing ever happened, but from what you've said, it sounds like she's tortured by it and is probably having a terrible time trying to decide what to do. I would suggest talking to another senior member of the family if you haven't already done so. Perhaps somebody who shares your feelings needs to host Christmas from now on and take that burden off your mom. And you!

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