The Gap in Victims’ Rights and Protections

The gap fails to protect the victim.

When is the Victim of a Crime officially a Victim and afforded the Rights and Protections that Victims deserve?  Upon the reporting of the crime?  That makes sense, but is incorrect.  The Victim of a Crime has no protections as a Victim under the law until an arrest is made or charges are filed or an indictment has been handed down.  Until the decision to charge the perpetrator of a crime has been made, the Victim is not yet a Victim.  I shall refer to them as “Unvictims.”

The gap allows victims to continue being victimized.

Lacking the rights and protections afforded to Victims of Crimes, the Perpetrator can find ways around any protective order to Harass, Threaten, Intimidate and even Terrorize the Unvictim, causing the Unvictim’s life to become a living nightmare, the kind you believe only exist in horror flicks and Dramatic Lifetime Movies, you know the ones, where somebody has to die in the end.

The gap allows violent perpetrators to remain free.

The Perpetrator is able to bully the Unvictim until the Unvictim can no longer handle living in fear and halts the Investigation in exchange for peace with the Perpetrator thus allowing the Perpetrator to remain free and ensuring Justice is never served.

This is not a horror flick nor is it a Lifetime Movie, although it does have all the makings for one.  This is reality.  This is the retelling of real life events my children and I have suffered through, survived, and overcome.  These events continue to occur today and the will continue to occur until the Perpetrator of these horrendous acts and terrorization of my family gets everything he wants and not one minute before.  The law will not stop him.  The law looks the other way.  By law, we are not Victims nor will we ever be considering the main investigations have been halted by one of the Unvictims in exchange for the end of the living nightmare and the terrorization of her soul.

That is not all the Perpetrator demands.  The Perpetrator demands silence from myself and the other Unvictims.  The Perpetrator demands sole custody of the only child he still has rights to.  The Perpetrator demands the mother (that’s me) walks away from the child and forgets he ever existed.  The Perpetrator demands the mother pay him Child Support to live off of.  Until these demands are met, the Perpetrator will continue on his self-proclaimed mission of seeing to it that the mother is completely destroyed, imprisoned or dead.

Silence? Daddy always said I had a problem with authority and running my mouth.  He said running my mouth would cause me trouble but never did he say I should keep my mouth shut and my mind to myself.  Over the next few weeks, I shall tell the tale of how the Cochise County Sheriff’s Investigations’ Unit shelved an investigation of long-term, sexual abuse and molestation of a child beginning at the age of 9 and continuing non-stop until the age of 15, ignored pleas for help to stop the living nightmare, allowed the perpetrator of the child sexual abuse and molestation to terrorize the Unvictims of his crimes and to remain free to continue molesting children and how it was one of the Unvictims who eventually landed behind bars in an attempt to defend herself.

They never notice a thing until the victim fights back.

What does the “law” expect the
“Unvictim” to do when the law
fails to protect the “Unvictim”?

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Stranger Danger vs. Friendly Fire

Who is more dangerous, the creepy stranger standing on the street corner or the relative/friend-of-the-family you’ve known and trusted your entire life?

I remember learning about “Stranger Danger” as a child.  We were taught not to take candy from a stranger because they might through us into a van and drive off with us and we’d never be seen again.  Several homes in the neighborhood were marked as safe houses – places the children could run to in case of emergency and help was needed or the children needed a safe place to hide.  There was one we would stop in on the way to school every morning and watch a little cartoons while there.  That’s the only thing I can remember about it, as I was only about five years old or so.  I was either in Kindergarten or First Grade.  I’ll catch myself here before I digress.

We were never warned about the people residing in our own homes, family members, friends of the family, yet they ARE more dangerous than strangers.  Worse than that – they can get away with harming the children for years and once outed [IF (BIG IF) outed is more like it], still get away with it.  After all, who wants to believe that somebody you’ve known your entire life, who is a trusted and respected member of the family and society, is not only capable of but has carried out the worst atrocities against children one couldn’t even imagine thinking about carrying out?  Who wants to believe that their spouse, a person they consider their soulmate, has been sneaking into their daughter’s bed while you slept to molest their precious little girl?  I couldn’t believe it when it happened to me.  That is the normal reaction.

The first thought that runs through your head is that the child must’ve gotten into trouble and is trying to find a way out of trouble.  Our first thought is the rarest of possibilities.  Chances are, 99% of the time, the child is telling the truth yet somehow, we believe the child, that we raised to be honest and we believe we are doing a proper job in raising that child, is within that 1% of rare false reporters.  We automatically believe our child is lying because we don’t think there is any possible way Uncle Daddy is the type of person to rape our children.  There are not very many arrests in that area so why would we think it was possible?

Reality is that more than 90% of long-term child-sexual-abusers will never even be reported to authorities and around 95% of long-term-child-sexual-abusers will never be punished for their crimes.  Most of the long-term-child-sexual-abusers who are reported, will never be charged with the crime.  They get to roam freely and find their next target while you drown in the damages they’ve left behind.  Children are afraid to tell for a variety of reasons, the biggest and most common being that nobody will believe them.  Having experienced this in real life, within my own family, I can honestly say, those children are right.

Their abuser tells them over and over that nobody will believe them and they’d get in trouble.  Their abuser is telling them the truth.  So how do we change that?  How do we reprogram our brain to believe the child when the child tells?  That is the question and I don’t have the answer – or perhaps – education.  Just as we launched the Stranger Danger program, we need a program to teach people and children the reality of child sexual abuse; that reality being somebody in your home or who visits your home on a regular basis is more likely to sexually abuse your child than a stranger is.

When a child tells, you listen.  99% of the time, it is true and isn’t it better to err on the side of safety than the side of danger?

Dwelling in the light where the monsters cannot travel,

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**Please note, the numbers I used are from memory and may be off by up to 5%.**

My Father the Narcissist: A Narcissistic Father is a Tyrant and a Bully

Written by on August 6, 2013

Narcissistic fathers often emotionally damage their children. They disregard boundaries, manipulate their children by withholding affection (until the children “perform”), and neglect to meet the needs of their children because they are interested only in meeting their own needs. Their image and perfection is essential to narcissists; they often demand perfection from their children. The children thus feel intense pressure to be perfect and try to ramp up their talents, looks, intellect or personality to please their father. It has a high personal cost to them if they succeed in fulfilling their father’s wishes – and it can cost them just as much if they fail. It’s a no-win situation.

There is profound unhappiness among the members of a family ruled by a tyrannical narcissistic father. In many of these families, the mother simply echoes the father as she feels uncertain of herself (due to his emotional abuse) and is afraid to take her husband on. Often this destructive pattern is the result of the mother’s own childhood. Not aware of the dynamics of narcissism, she went from a cruel, tyrannical father to a brutal, domineering husband. Repetition of psychological patterns, such as is seen with abuse and narcissism, is common. The mother chooses a spouse similar to her abusive parent and raises a family in an abusive environment like the one she was raised in.

How a narcissistic father affects his children

Daughters of narcissistic fathers frequently report that they can never feel satiated when it to comes to getting what they need from their fathers. They never got enough time with their father and would have to compete with siblings for that rare time. As a young child, a father might comment on how beautiful his daughter was. But as she grew older, he would rarely miss an opportunity to comment on her weight and attitude. The daughters often carry these concerns into adulthood, even if they were otherwise successful. With a father like this, nothing is ever good enough. Their relationship with men in the future is clouded by feelings of vulnerability and worries that they’ll be dumped for someone else. Anxiously avoiding commitment or taking on the narcissistic role are both natural ways for the daughters to keep relationships “safe”.  It’s self protective but doesn’t lead to healthy relationships.

Sons of narcissistic fathers describe feeling that they can never measure up. Their fathers were so competitive they even compete with their sons. They either compete or pay no attention to their sons. The sons often simply accept defeat – how can they possibly win against a grown man? Sometimes they take another tact and work hard to beat their father at his own game- just to get his attention and some semblance of fatherly pride. Yet they never feel good enough even when they do succeed; they still feel empty and second rate.

Both girls and boys need to be loved by their fathers in order to feel validated as individuals. Narcissists are incapable of loving anyone other than themselves. Some of their children become narcissists themselves. That way they get their father’s attention (imitation is the highest form of flattery) and they learn from an expert how to manipulate and use people.

Having a tyrannical father is a nightmare for every member of the family except the “chosen child” (or children) whom he picks to reflect his perfect image. The chosen child is groomed to become his little clone. They have been chosen for their looks, intellect, special talents, or some other characteristic that the narcissistic father regards as valuable to him. Other children in the family are bypassed because they have not measured up to his expectations. They can be very bright, kind, considerate, or sensitive–none of this matters to the narcissistic father. He doesn’t care about the quality of his other children’s character or personality. These children suffer; they spend their whole childhoods doing their best, trying to get their father’s love and attention yet they always come up empty-handed. There is also usually the “scapegoat” child. Narcissistic fathers are often mean and cruel to these children and let them know- on a regular basis- that they are deficient, unmotivated, always wrong and too soft. They are worthless to him and are blamed for everything that goes wrong.

Characteristics of a Narcissistic Father

(From Children of the Self Absorbed: A Grownup’s Guide to Getting over Narcissistic Parents by Nina Brown)

  • Turns every conversation to himself
  • Expects you to meet his emotional needs
  • Ignores the impact of his negative comments on you
  • Constantly criticizes or berates you and knows what is best for you
  • Focus on blaming rather than taking responsibility for his own behavior
  • Expects you to jump at his every need
  • Is overly involved with his own hobbies, interests or addictions ignoring your needs
  • Has high need for attention
  • Brags, sulks, complains, inappropriately teases, is flamboyant, loud and boisterous
  • Is closed minded about own mistakes. Can’t handle criticism and gets angry to shut it off
  • Becomes angry when his needs are not met and tantrums or intimidates
  • Has an attitude of “Anything you can do, I can do better”
  • Engages in one-upmanship to seem important
  • Acts in a seductive manner or is overly charming
  • Is vain and fishes for compliments. Expects you to admire him
  • Isn’t satisfied unless he has the “biggest” or “best”
  • Seeks status. Spends money only to impress others
  • Forgets what you have done for him in the past but keeps reminding you that you owe him today
  • Neglects the family to impress others. Does it all: Is a super person to gain admiration
  • Threatens to abandon you if you don’t go along with what he wants
  • Does not obey the law-sees himself above the law
  • Does not expect to be penalized for failure to follow directions or conform to guidelines
  • Ignores your feelings and calls you overly sensitive or touchy if you express feelings
  • Tells you how you should feel or not feel
  • Cannot listen to you and cannot allow your opinions
  • Is more interested in his own concerns and interests than yours
  • Is unable to see things from any point of view other than his own
  • Wants to control what you do and say-tries to micromanage you
  • Attempts to make you feel stupid, helpless and inept when you do things on your own
  • Has poor insight and cannot see the impact his selfish behavior has on you
  • Has shallow emotions and interests
  • Exploits others with lies and manipulations.
  • Uses emotional blackmail to get what he wants
  • May engage in physical or sexual abuse of children

The tyrannical narcissistic father is a bully- a cruel, lying, arrogant person. He is a tyrant that is totally entrenched in his grandiose world and insistent that everyone follow his commands. He is emotionally abusive and can cause significant emotional damage to all family members. Unfortunately, his behaviors cause the relationships within a family to be toxic and can cause lifelong wounds.

References:

http://thenarcissistinyourlife.com/tyrannical-narcissistic-fathers-push-everyone-around/

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_do_you_know_if_your_father_is_a_narcissist

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-intelligent-divorce/201303/the-narcissistic-father

Johnny’s Resilience and Ability to Stand up for Himself

I am very fortunate to have such wonderful and forgiving children.  Some of them are, anyway.  I’m talking about my step-children, although I never considered them steps.  They’ve always just been my kids with the other three.  In 2010, when the family disintegrated, I did not do things the way a good parent would have.  I was shocked, blindsided, hurt, and had been fed so many lies by John that I believed the lies and thought the truth was a lie.  I hurt my step-children.  I called them names.  I yelled and asked them why they were doing this to us and asked how they could do this to their own father.

Fast forward, they were doing what I taught them to do.  They were standing up for themselves and the truth even though they were standing up against their father and I.  I’m very proud of them for that.  It takes a lot of courage and strength to stay the course and continue on the path of truth when it’s you against the world.  They survived it.  I will survive it as well.  They have forgiven me and they are by my side.  I am so blessed.  Johnny has always made me laugh.  I gotta tell ya, that boy, no matter what they (the family), he was always willing to keep trying to make everyone love him.  He never gave up.  I am amazed by his resilience.  Johnny is great.

Not long ago, Johnny took it upon himself to tell his “dad” a thing or two.  He texted me and told me all about it.  He even sent me what he had sent him.  He had actually posted this on his “dad’s” Facebook wall.  I use “dad” in quotes when related to Johnny because John is not Johnny’s biological father.  John was in prison when his wife, Johnny’s mom, became pregnant with Johnny.  That story will be told with much more of Johnny’s story over the passing days.  It explains why Johnny was chosen as the Scapegoat.  A little information about cheating on a Narcissistic Sociopath:

When you cheat on a narcissist though they cannot ever conceive of the idea that they aren’t enough. That you would dare to find someone else is beyond their comprehension. So if you do find someone that you aren’t a mirror of sometimes you get involved because they really care or you project that on them. Narcissist can be dangerous to cheat on as well as sociopaths as they will never admit that they are not the object of your adoration. They will stop at nothing to get what they want which is you. They may not even want you any more but you have become their property.

The injury caused by the cheating wouldn’t have been that bad, had she not also become pregnant.  To make matters worse, she gave birth to a son.  She gave another man something the narcissistic sociopath did not have but wanted:  a son to mold and shape in his own image.  The major N Injury caused an everlasting N Rage that was taken out on Johnny every chance John had.  He saw Johnny as the enemy and he hated Johnny.  Perhaps, it is because Johnny looks just like his Father.  I’ll get to that too.  For now, enjoy the conversation Johnny and I had.

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 7:14:25 PM ] Johnny:   I hope john dosent get offended

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 7:14:27 PM ] Johnny:   Of what I said

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 7:17:59 PM ] Me:   John who? Jj? I wouldn’t worry about offending him. Say what you feel and always be honest. Those who take offense can’t handle the truth. 🙂 I love ya. Three days until I get to see you! 

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 7:19:07 PM ] Johnny:   Ya

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 7:19:12 PM ] Me:   I didn’t see what you said or where though. And jj has me blocked so I can’t see anything he says. I’m sure I’m not missing anything.  

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 7:20:03 PM ] Johnny:   In moment ill forward it to yoy

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 7:20:13 PM ] Johnny:   You

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 7:20:33 PM ] Me:   Ok. Cool.  

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 7:29:06 PM ] Johnny:   I said

“if you like my aunt why dident you marrie her instad of my mother shed probably still be alive now and you woudent have ruined my life but this is just making matters wors. just don’t hurt shawnna or jazmine or my aunt I would hate to get my hands dirty. And if you do marrie my aunt at least be a better father and husband to them then you where to my mother and Melissa. And I sure am glad my gpa paul is there as a fautherly figure than you and I am glad I’m not even related to you and that your not my real dad thank you for your time.”

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 7:37:12 PM ] Johnny:   Its long I know

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 7:37:48 PM ] Me:   Releasing a little anger, are you? There’s nothing wrong with what you said but be prepared for him to say a lot of hurtful things and lie and try to manipulate you. He does it to everyone that stands up to him. Stay strong and don’t give in. Don’t give him any power over you. And unfortunately, he can’t be a good father or a good husband. He’s too selfish. He won’t even stop smoking weed for the sake of his children. And he hurt Cynthia the same way he hurt Tiffany and Ashley and I’m praying missy wakes up and gets jazzy out if there before he hurts her too. :/ And I’m sorry I let him manipulate me and I believed his lies and I hurt you because of it. I love you. You’re still my son and I’m still your mom. I’m trying to make everything right. I’m looking forward to seeing you. I miss you so much! I miss you making me laugh. I sent the girls their cards and am sending you one too but I have to finish making it first. 🙂 Keep standing your ground and speaking your mind. I got your back. 

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 7:38:37 PM ] Me:   By the way, what you said to him, I think you’re right. ❤ 

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 7:42:59 PM ] Johnny:   LOL akways

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 7:49:48 PM ] Me:   Most excellent! You’re a terrific young man. And smart too. 🙂  

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 7:50:37 PM ] Johnny:   I know thank you

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 8:19:50 PM ] Me:   Life is getting good son. Almost everything is as it should be. I’ll see you in a few days. Call me anytime you want to.  

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 8:21:08 PM ] Johnny:   OK I need john vgay gays phone number to finish what I started

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 8:21:38 PM ] Me:   Lol! Ummm…what did he say to you? 

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 8:22:24 PM ] Me:   Tell me first and I’ll decide if you should have his number or not. 

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 8:23:32 PM ] Johnny:   he said that gpa talt me well with language what a shame. and I’m not done with him

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 8:24:35 PM ] Me:   You didn’t say not one curse word. You should see what he writes to Tiffany.  

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 8:25:25 PM ] Me:   You’re language was much better than his and you’re only 15. You’ll get a high school diploma too. He never did. 

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 8:25:50 PM ] Johnny:   and he called me a dumb ass for some reason

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 8:27:01 PM ] Me:   He called you a dumb ass because he’s immature and he can’t handle truth and honesty. Especially when it’s the truth about himself. 

  • If someone criticizes them or says something that causes them to feel insulted, the feeling will cause them to react violently toward their victim. This is the only outlet that they know to use to quell feelings of inadequacy.

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 8:27:53 PM ] Johnny:   ha he blocked me what a loser. he runs away from a feeble fight LOL.

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 8:28:40 PM ] Johnny:   ya

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 8:28:53 PM ] Me:   I don’t want him to hurt you. :/ He will say things to hurt you.  

He blocked you so you won. 

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 8:29:56 PM ] Johnny:   Oh trust me he can’t hurt me any more I’m stronger then him

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 8:32:23 PM ] Me:   I’ll give you his number so you can tell him what you need to tell him. Do not let his words hurt you and if they do, don’t let him know they do. 

You are stronger than him. Even moreso now that almost all my kids are on a united front, standing up to him, with my full support.  

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 9:00:25 PM ] Johnny:   ha he has weak comebacks I won again

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 9:01:54 PM ] Me:   Do you know how to screen shot and send the pic or forward it? I’d like to see what you’re getting into. I’ll get the blame for it and I like to be prepared. 

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 9:03:45 PM ] Johnny:   I do and I made sure he dosent know its you

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 9:05:46 PM ] Me:   He’s going to blame me either way. He blames everything on me and spreads lies about me. He needs to accept reality. Reality is, it’s his entire fault. He did it all to himself.

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 9:05:58 PM ] Johnny:  He (JJ) said

“Lol nice try! Now I know who told you that lie! Now you going to lie for them too? Karma will get you for your thoughts. And yes you are a little kid who about to get him self in deep water! Juvenile hall sounds good for you about now the way your headed. Keep making threats for others. Gets you no where. Bye!!!!”

  • The abuser will swear that events never occurred and that certain things were never said. The victim knows better, but over time will begin to question their sanity.
  • Abusers use threats to cultivate anxiety, despair and the ability to resist.

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 9:08:24 PM ] Me:   You won’t go to juvie. I’ll protect you. He’s worried he’s going to jail for the rest of his life for being a child molestor. He doesn’t want anyone to know what he really is.

[ Monday, August 18, 2014 9:09:23 PM ] Johnny:   oh I know

[ Tuesday, August 19, 2014 8:24:43 AM ] Me:   Would you like to write a statement about how jj treated you growing up to be read in court at my hearing coming up?

[ Tuesday, August 19, 2014 10:18:55 AM ] Me:   Up to you. If you wanted him to hear it and wanted it on record, the option is available.

[ Tuesday, August 19, 2014 11:55:19 AM ] Johnny:   I’m gunman talk the GPA about it.

[ Tuesday, August 19, 2014 11:58:27 AM ] Me:   Ok. If he has any questions, he can call me. Thought you might like a different outlet than last nights activity. ❤

[ Tuesday, August 19, 2014 12:02:54 PM ] Johnny:   OK LOL

[ Tuesday, August 19, 2014 6:09:51 PM ] Me:   Are you behaving today?

[ Tuesday, August 19, 2014 6:10:50 PM ] Johnny:   know never LOL ya

[ Tuesday, August 19, 2014 6:13:18 PM ] Me:   Well, if no one else bails you out of jail, call me and I’ll do it. :-p  

That’s a joke. Don’t go to jail. It’ll mess up your military career. I know you won’t though. Your grandpa  raised you right and you’ll never be like jj. I love you kiddo!

[ Tuesday, August 19, 2014 6:45:45 PM ] Johnny:   your darn tooten correct about GPA

Here is the statement Johnny wrote.

Johnnys Statement

.:._/*\_.:._/’~’\_.:._/*\_.:._/’~’\_.:._/*\_.:._/’~’\_.:._/*\_.:._/’~’\_.:._/*\_.:._/’~’\_.:._/*\_.:._/’~’\_.:._/*\_.:._Something I wrote late last year in my FB notes:

I remember shortly after JJ and I got together, we moved to a place on Calle Alamo.  We weren’t there very long.  We had a friend, Jeff, staying with us.  We called him Jeffrey the Butler.  He would clean up and look after the kids while we were at work.  I noticed a bruise on Johnny’s back one day. Not just any bruise and not on his buttocks, but a distinct handprint in the center of Johnny’s back.  The bruise was too big to be from any of the other kids and was attributed to Jeff.  I’m pretty sure it was JJ that gave him that bruise.

The grandparents had seen it and I believe Mary did as well.  A photo was taken by somebody and it was  reported to CPS.  CPS didn’t visit until later after we moved to 2nd St in Huachuca City.  More bruises had  come and gone by then.  Johnny was always bruised up.  I worked and J took care of the kids.  I was always told it was from rough play – the metal bars on the bunk beds, falling down and hitting his head, etc.  I’ve  since then learned that both Ralph and Johnny weren’t just spanked, they were more like beat down:  shoved to the ground and punched and kicked while being degraded, insulted and belittled.

  • Abusers degrade their victims in order to damage their self-esteem and make them think they are unable to face life on their own. 
  • Subversive manipulation of the mind and destruction of the victim are perfect tools to enable abusers to succeed.

This is what went  on after I went to work.  Why and how would and could somebodydo that?  JJ used to tell me how his father punished him while he was growing up.  He would describe something similar to what my boys describe.  He  would tell me how it was wrong, abusive and he hated his father for it.  People like JJ most likely suffered a great amount of abuse during their childhood.

  • Many people who are abusers have experienced or witnessed violence during their childhood. This leaves them with a feeling of worthlessness and low self esteem, which in turn traumatizes them and leaves life-long emotional scars.

Some children of abuse get help and grow up to be wonderful people and others, turn into the abuser.  That’s the cycle of abuse. Perhaps that is the why and the how.  Some of the damages done by long-term abuse is irreversible.

Self esteem can be damaged beyond repair

Drugs and alcohol are perfect for covering up past abuses.  It is those that cover it instead of taking it head on to put it behind them that have to higher propensity to become the abuse.

  • Many abusers are alcoholics or use drugs frequently.

There is nothing JJ can do at this point to make me feel any differently than I feel about him now.  He’s had an opportunity to get help and to change. He has had many.  He has always refused.  He has always sworn he didn’t need it.  He claims there is nothing wrong with him.  Not only does he swear and claim these things, he believes them 100%.  He will never admit he has done anything wrong.  He is incapable of it.

  • The abuser will often redefine situations to blame others for his troubles. Abusers will seldom admit that they are wrong, or for that matter, less than perfect. It’s always someone else’s fault when they act inappropriately.
  • Abusers seldom take responsibility for their actions, but try to justify their behavior by making excuses. 

The only place for him, is a 6×8′ cell.  I’ll never allow him to harm any of my children again.  That’s why I need this severance. So Devon has a real future ahead of him.  The only thing he has to gain with having JJ in his life to influence him is nothing. I can’t think of one positive thing that can come out of him having JJ in his life.  To be belittled, insulted, defamed, degraded, abused, manipulated, and held back from reaching full potential is the complete opposite of what’s in anyone’s best interest.

I’ll have more tomorrow or the next day.

Love always,

Mel, Saved by God’s Grace

Has the Truth Ever Passed Though Your Lips?

Dispelling Rumors

This is my son, Johnny.  Now, I did not give birth to him.  He has an Angel Momma.  I did watch him take his first steps and hear him speak his first words and I love him ever so much.  Johnny has a special story that he and I will be telling.  I wish I had seen him before he was shipped off to his “dad’s” parent’s house way back when.  You see his black eyes in his first two baby pictures?  Those were neither the first bruises nor the last that his “dad” inflicted on him.  See, His “dad” is a Narcissistic Sociopath.  People like that place roles on the children in the home.  Johnny’s role was the Scapegoat.  The following defines scapegoating and how Johnny was treated in the home with the encouragement of his “dad”.  Why?  I have a theory.  I will tell you all about it…

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Child Sexual Abuse Awareness

The highlighted text is applicable to our lives.  It is not the only portions of the text which are applicable.

This information comes to you from Sanford Health Dakota Children’s Advocacy Center.

Child sexual abuse overview

Child sexual abuse is a national epidemic. It affects boys and girls of all ages. In fact, this is a problem that directly affects millions of children around the world. Child sexual abuse is not rare. There is an estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse in America today, and based on prevalence data from adults, about 500,000 children are sexually abused each year in the US. In contrast, each year in the United States, there are 12,400 new cases of childhood cancer diagnosed and 18,000 new cases of juvenile diabetes diagnosed. It also affects more children than those diagnosed with asthma or ADHD.

What is child sexual abuse?

Child sexual abuse is any interaction between a child and an adult or another child in which the child is use for the sexual stimulation of the perpetrator or an observer. Sexual abuse can include:

  • Touching of the vagina, penis, breasts or buttocks
  • Oral-genital contact
  • Sexual intercourse
  • Voyeurism (trying to look at a child’s naked body)
  • Exhibitionism
  • Exposing the child to pornography

Abusers often do not use physical force, but may use play, deception, threats or other forms of coercion to engage children and maintain their silence. Children can be sexually abused by another child or adolescent. Activity in which there is a clear power difference between them and one child is coercing the other—usually to engage in adult-like sexual behavior—generally would be viewed as abuse. This is very different from behavior in children of about the same age that reflects normal sexual curiosity and mutual exploration (such as playing doctor). While some degree of sexual curiosity and exploration is to be expected between children of about the same age, when one child coerces another to engage in adult-like sexual activities, the behavior is unhealthy and abusive.

Disclosure

Disclosure can be a scary and difficult process for children. Some children who have been sexually abused may take weeks, months or even years to fully reveal what was done to them. Many children never tell anyone about the abuse. In general:

  • Girls are more likely to disclose than boys
  • Very young children tend to accidentally reveal abuse, because they don’t have as much understanding of what occurred or the words to explain it
  • School-aged children tend to tell a caregiver
  • Adolescents are more likely to tell friends

Disclosure is often a difficult process for children. It is rarely a one-time event in which an interviewer sits down with a child and the child tells everything. Children often tell their stories over a period of time and some never fully tell what happened. Delayed disclosures are more common then not. Many children will never tell. Reasons many children don’t disclose include:

  • Fear the abuser may hurt them or their families
  • Fear of not being believed, or will be blamed and get in trouble
  • Worry that their parents will be upset or angry
  • Shame or guilt
  • Fear that disclosing will disrupt the family, especially if the perpetrator is a family member or friend
  • Fear that if they tell, they will be taken away and separated from their family

Additionally, to most children telling means something very different then it does to adults. Children will say “Uncle Joe hurt me” and will assume adults know what they are talking about and will react to keep them safe. They don’t understand or comprehend why adults would need more information.

What do I do if a child discloses?

  • Listen. Do not fill in words for the child.
  • If the child is having a difficult time talking—don’t help the child with words that you think the child is going to say. Allow the child to tell you what happened in their own words.
  • Tell the child that you are glad that they told you.
  • Tell the child “It was not your fault.”
  • Reassure the child that they are not in trouble.
  • If the child asks you not to tell anyone, remind the child that it is your job to help keep them safe and you will do whatever you may need to do to keep them safe.
  • Do not be overly critical of the offender. Children are protective of people they care about, even if they are being abused.
  • Tell the child you believe them.
  • Don’t express panic or shock.
  • Use the child’s vocabulary to the child and when reporting.
  • Be aware of your own feelings about abuse so that hopefully you will not project these onto the child.
  • Do not ask probing questions.
  • Remember you must report suspected abuse.

Recantation

Recantation is common among children who disclose sexual abuse; approximately 23 percent of children who disclose sexual abuse later recant. Studies show that most children who recant are telling the truth when they originally disclose. Recantation is largely a result of familial adult influences rather than a result of false allegations. Children are more likely to recant when they are younger, abused by a parent figure and who lacked support from the non-offending caregiver. Interestingly, children who were placed in foster care immediately following the disclosure of sexual abuse were slightly less likely to recant then those children who remained with family members. Finally, when looking at reaffirmation rates, the researchers noted that 48.3 percent of the children who recanted their statements of sexual abuse eventually reaffirmed at least some part of those statements.

Children with no emotional reaction

Often there are times when you will encounter children who have been abused and they are emotionally upset, angry about the abuse or show extreme embarrassment. This will most often occur with children who are abused by strangers or when the abuse is a one-time incident. Children who are abused by someone they know and/or are victims of chronic abuse may suffer from depression and thus present with no emotion or a matter-of-fact stance. Sometimes it can be difficult to believe that the incident occurred, especially violent abuse, when the child’s disclosure does not involve any emotion. The fact that the child may be depressed should be taken into account when making the assessment of the child’s statements.

Common myths about child sexual abuse

Children who have a normal medical exam were not sexually abused.

False: The majority of children who have been sexually abused do not have conclusive medical findings that substantiate sexual abuse.

Children make these types of things up for attention.

False: Most victims are very reluctant to disclose abuse; they attach a sense of shame to their victim status, and blame themselves for the abuse.

Only female children are abused.

False: Many boys are victims of sexual abuse.

You will be able to tell if your child has been sexually abused.

False: There is no foolproof way to tell if your child has been sexually abused.

All children who have been sexually abused will become abusers in the future.

False: Appropriate counseling may help prevent the cycle from continuing.Children who have been abused need help dealing with the trauma of abuse.

Children will tell someone when they have been abused.

False: Children are often afraid or ashamed to tell someone about their abuse. Many children are threatened not to tell.

Children are always angry with the abuser.

False: Children can have feelings of anger, fear, love and concern for their abusers. Children can love the abuser but hate what the abuser did.

A child who has been sexually abused once will not let it happen again.

False: Children do not let abuse happen and often cannot protect themselves against adults.

Gentle sexual activities that aren’t forced or don’t involve penetration will not harm the child.

False: Any sexual activity with a child can be emotionally and physically harmful.

Sexual assault by a stranger is more traumatic than sexual abuse by a known adult.

False: Children can be more traumatized when an adult the child knows commits the abuse; because the child’s trust in the adult has been broken.

All sexual offenders are men.

False: Women as well as other children can be sexual offenders.

If an alleged offender insists he or she did not abuse the child, the child must be lying.

False: Most offenders deny that they abuse children. The police and Child Protection services will carefully investigate cases of alleged abuse.

Men who sexually abuse children do not have relationships with women.

False: Men who sexually abuse can be married, have children of their own or be in serious relationships with adult women, it doesn’t make a difference.

You can tell if a person would molest a child by their personality or their appearance.

False: There is no foolproof way to tell if a person would abuse a child. People of all incomes, education levels and professions have been convicted of child sexual abuse.

People who sexually abuse children do so only to achieve sexual pleasure.

False: Many times sexual abuse involves issues of control and power. In other cases, sexual abuse involves unresolved issues of past abuse.

Grooming awareness

Most offenders groom their victims; in other words, they spend time making themselves look nice to their victims and their victims’ families. Many times offenders appear as charming, smart, caring, warm and helpful. Grooming is a process that sometimes occurs over years. It starts by building relationships with potential victims that an offender targets. They may do this by hanging out where children are: schools, malls, playgrounds and parks. They often target children who feel unloved and unpopular and will welcome any adult attention. Children with family problems, who spend time alone and unsupervised, who lack confidence and self-esteem and who are isolated from their peers are all likely targets.

Grooming also often involves building trusting relationships with adults who are in charge of children and may be overwhelmed. Single parents, homes where parents have to work more then one job and caregivers who are sick or disabled may be seen as easy targets by offenders because there is less time and resources to spend on the child. Often this includes helping out the parent by offering to babysit, give rides and even becoming physically involved with the caretaker. Offenders do whatever they have to do to become a trusted part of their life and gain access to their victim. Successful predators find and fill voids in a child’s life.

Once the offender has built that trust and has access to the child, grooming moves in another direction. They start to prepare the child for a physical relationship. The first physical contact between offender and victim is often non-sexual touching designed to break down boundaries: They may hug the child too long, start to play tickle games or have the child sit on their lap. Non-sexual touching desensitizes the child. It breaks down inhibitions and leads to more overt sexual touching—the offender’s ultimate goal. They may “accidently” leave out pornography or start making comments about a child’s physical appearance. An offender will usually introduce secrecy at some point during the grooming process. Initially, secrecy binds the victim to the offender: “Here’s some candy but don’t tell your mother.” Later on, secrecy often includes threats: “If you tell your mother what happened, she’ll hate you. I’ll get in trouble and we’ll never see each other again.”

Eventually the touching moves to sexualized touches. The offender may “accidentally” move his hand up the child’s shirt while tickling them, or put their hand down a child’s pants “to keep them warm”. Children most often react confused and unsure of what to do.

Grooming signs to watch for:

  • Having a “special relationship” with the child. Often wanting alone time and spending unusual amounts of time with them.
  • Offering drugs or alcohol to older children or teenagers.
  • Secrets between the adult and child.
  • Becoming “indispensible” to the caregiver; offering to babysitting and/or having the child sleep over night.
  • Buying their victim and/or caregiver gifts or money for no apparent reason (toys, dolls).
  • Pornography in the house that is “left out” or where the child can see or reach.
  • Commenting on the child’s appearance: how beautiful they are, how grown up they look, how they are developing and even how sexy they are.
  • Talking about sexual topics or participating in sexual acts where the child can see or hear.
  • Talking about problems normally discussed between adults, including marital problems and other conflicts.
  • Having a non-sexual physical relationship with the child such as having the child always sit on their lap, tickling the child or rubbing their back constantly.
  • And they almost always offer a sympathetic, understanding ear. “Your parents don’t understand or respect you? I do. I respect you. I care for you more than anybody else. And I love you. I’m here for you.” They take an undue interest in someone else’s child, to be the child’s “special” friend to gain the child’s trust.

What you need to know about sex offenders

The majority of sex offenders are male, although a small percentage is female. The average age of the sex offender is 31. Sexual offenders usually don’t fit the stereotypes of being dirty old men or strangers lurking in alleys. More often, they are known and trusted by the children they victimize. They may be members of the family, such as parents, siblings, cousins or non-relatives, including family friends, neighbors, babysitters or older peers. There’s no clear-cut profile of a sex offender. About 20—30 percent of offenders were sexually abused as children, but others have no such history. Some are unable to function sexually with adult partners and so prey on children, while others also have sexual relations with adults.

Child sexual abuse is so hard for most people to comprehend because people want to believe it only happens when an offender is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but that’s not usually the case. Very frequently, abusers are repeat offenders and a significant percent are adolescents.

  • Family members commit 39% of the reported sexual assaults on children (Snyder, 2000).
  • 56% of those that sexually abuse a child are acquaintances of either the child or the family (Snyder, 2000).
  • Only 5% of sexual abuse is perpetrated by a stranger (Snyder, 2000).
  • The younger the victim, the more likely it is that the abuser is a family member. 50% of those molesting a child under 6 were family members. 23% of those abusing a 12—17 year-old child were family members (Snyder, 2000). 34% of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by juveniles. In fact, 7% of sexual abuse is perpetrated by youth under the age of 12 (Snyder, 2000).
  • The younger the child victim, the more likely it is that the perpetrator is a juvenile. Juveniles are the offenders in 43% of assaults on children under age 6. 14% of these offenders are under the age of 12 (Snyder, 2000). Homosexual individuals are no more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual individuals. (Jenny, et. al., 1994).

The impact of child sexual abuse on adolescents

Children who have been sexually abused may display a range of emotional and behavioral reactions, many of which are characteristic of children who have experienced other types of trauma. A number of factors influence how a child reacts to a specific traumatic event including:

  • Severity of the trauma
  • Extent of exposure to the event
  • History of or presence of other stressors
  • Multiple episodes of abuse or exposure to violence
  • Proximity to the trauma
  • Preexisting mental health issues
  • Personal significance of the trauma
  • Separation from a caregiver during the trauma
  • Extent of disruption in support systems during and after the trauma
  • Parental mental health issues and parent distress
  • Support available from family members
  • Presence of supportive role models in the child’s life
  • There is a growing body of literature that suggests that genetic factors may influence the strength of an individual’s response to any given traumatic event, producing more extreme responses in some children.
  • Although many children who have experienced sexual abuse show behavioral and emotional changes, many others do not.

Traumatized may report vague physical complaints, seek attention from parents and teachers, withdraw from others, experience sleep difficulties, avoid school, show a decrease in school performance and even show regressive behaviors, like the inability to handle tasks and chores that they used to be able to handle. Traumatized adolescents may isolate themselves, resist authority, and become highly disruptive. Because adolescents may experience feelings of immortality, they may experiment with high-risk behaviors such as substance use, promiscuous sexual behavior, cutting, and suicidal behaviors or other risky behaviors, like driving at high speeds or picking fights. Coping behaviors don’t always appear to be negative. Adolescents that internalize things may become perfectionists and over achievers. Always having to prove themselves or be the best. They become good at hiding their pain by always being perfect.

Adolescents may also feel extreme guilt due to not preventing injury or loss to loved ones. They may fantasize about revenge against those they feel caused the trauma. Adolescents typically feel a very strong need to fit in with their peers. This may result in a reluctance to discuss their feelings, even denial of any emotional reactions. Finally, due to their increased maturity, adolescents may show traumatic responses similar to those seen in adults. These responses could include flashbacks, nightmares, emotional numbing, avoidance of reminders of the trauma, depression, suicidal thoughts, difficulties with peer relationships and anti-social behavior (e.g., criminal acts).

A list of other behaviors that traumatized adolescents may show includes:

  • Withdrawal from peers/family
  • Substance abuse
  • Delinquent behaviors
  • Perfectionism
  • Change in school performance
  • Self-destructive behaviors
  • Detachment and denial
  • Shame about their fear and vulnerability
  • Abrupt changes in or abandonment of friendships
  • Sexual promiscuity
  • “Pseudo mature” actions such as getting pregnant, leaving school and getting married

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