Female kindergarten teach is accused of sexually molesting three little girls. This article hits me in two different ways.
1. I am glad female abusers are finally making headlines. There has been far too much demonizing of men going on. So much that ordinary, law-abiding men are afraid to bathe their kids or show affection for them in public for fear of someone reporting them for molestation. Society likes to put women on a pedestal. We are the caregivers, the protectors of children. How can a woman, a mother, a kindergarten teacher, abuse a child? It happens every day. There is a stigma and immense personal confusion working against children of sexual abuse when a man is the perpetrator let alone the stigma of admitting a woman is responsible. The same internal questions apply but become more dire.
- Will they believe me?
- How do I prove it?
- Did I do something to provoke this?
- Is it wrong what was done to me or is it normal and I’m blowing it out of proportion?
- Did I like it?
These are the questions that ran through my mind and I was molested by a man. I can only imagine how much more confusing it might be for a boy to figure it all out or a child whose molester is a woman, or their mother.
Women want equal rights – well it goes both ways. Female criminals should face the same charges and punishment as men.
2. I have zero trust in the prosecution of cases against accused child molesters when the case hinges solely on the testimony of the child. I have even less trust in their testimony when it’s taken repeatedly and years after the alleged abuse has taken place. I won’t get into what I think of psychologists and the abuse revelations that arise out of counseling.
I would like all child molesters off the streets as much as any former victim but it is NOT worth a witch hunt that will sully the issue and send innocent people to jail. I recently watched a special that aired on MSNB (April 25, 2010) titled Witch Hunt. It told the story of families that were ripped apart circa 1986 by rogue county prosecutors and CPS officials due to baseless accusations and coerced child interviews that failed to pass even the CA Attorney General’s standards of handling child testimony and victim statements. In this instance, mothers and fathers spent decades in jail for convictions of sexual abuse that were eventually overturned. The victims recanted their stories and their testimonies were debunked.
Catch criminals, please, but make sure the case is rock solid. Our judicial system works best when we are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Young minds are pliable. I have no doubt if a child says they were molested, something happened but if you ask leading questions to a child who hasn’t spoken up first and doesn’t even know what molestation is, then you haven’t proven anything to me.
I know I was molested. I know dates and locations and circumstances. I know my molester and I wasn’t his only victim. Still there are memories I’m unclear about. I have memories from a time that is fuzzy and the details are less concrete so I question whether those occurrences actually happened. The scary thing is that the more time that goes by the more sure I am those moment DID happen – but did they? Now imagine I’m nine years old on the witness stand discussing what I “remember” happening when I was five.