In this quotation from the News-Advance of Lynchburg, Virginia it is clear that there is something mysterious and even hidden in dark shadows as character when parents are sexual abusers.
After looking over the excerpt, please comment on two things: (1) What kind of person, both by characteristic and by moral character makes a good description of the parents who are sexual abusers? (2) Where do these acts by parents usually take place, and if there are not specific spots, how do you describe some of the ways and places of the acts of child molesting? Can you give us a case study?
The kind of person who does this to a child are fathers, uncles, neighbors, step-fathers, football coaches, athletes and the guy next door. Child sexual abusers are all races, all religions, all economic levels and in every neighborhood across the United States and around the world. It is epidemic. I believe it has always been this way. Now the victims are brave enough to step forward. It is not the poor, or people of color or people who live in certain neighborhoods. It is everywhere in every race, class, gender, and sexual orientation.
When we talk about sexual acts by parents against their own children, they tend to take place in private, wherever an adult who is a sexual abuser has the opportunity and the privacy to perpetrate. There is a difference between a child molester and a pedophile. Most incest aggressors are child molesters or abusers. Where you find pedophiles—they have a different thought process and pattern. Pedophiles believe they are having a love relationship with a child. It’s the Michael Jackson comment: “I love children.” “I love sleeping in the same bed with children.” “I love bringing them cookies.” It’s Sandusky. They are serial child predators that are pedophiles. Incest aggressors are your more typical parent child molester. They do it for power and control. But the parent is more interested in feeling better about themselves: Having an outlet for their frustration, their feeling of helplessness. Some parents do it because it feels good and they can get away with it.
In a case study, the father was paparazzi. (This was my own case as an attorney, representing the 16 year old daughter.) He would have sex with his daughter while the whole family was watching television. He would have sex in the bed where the mother slept beside the child. He would urinate on his son. And when his son misbehaved, he would make his son dress in girl’s clothes. He’s an incest perpetrator: Molester.
Although there is no moral leadership, it is not unusual for the abusing parent to rule as a tyrant. The weaker parent may give up all responsibility for parenting, frequently blaming a lack of parenting on psychosomatic illnesses. Children learn little about what is normal in other families.
If discovered and prosecuted, family members frequently support the offending parent and join in the lie that nothing bad is happening.
Bardill warns sexual abuse can occur in other families as well. But generally, these nastiest of families stay hidden.
The perverted misbehavior of adults is never the fault of abused children. Unfortunately, it may take years of therapy for victims to accept their own innocence.