Parental Concern After Student Exposure To A Potential Abuser Is Always Well Placed

Today my op ed piece appeared in the Wilmington News Journal concerning well placed parental concern at an elite private school whose headmaster was just arrested for possession of child pornography and who also reportedly admitted past acts of childhood sexual abuse.  You can find the article at –

http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20131107/OPINION07/311070002/Neuberger-Tower-Hill-School-parents-rightly-concerned

Briefly, I note that if there is one thing that I learned in recounting the medicine found in my recent book, When Priests Become Predators, “it is that Tower Hill parents are correct in their desire to identify potential survivor victims in the school.  To ignore the potential that your child may have been the victim of a sexual crime is to condemn him or her to a ruined life of terrible enormous pain, anger and confusion.  As the walking wounded, any child victim will suffer consequences which can include, alcohol abuse, drug use, suicide, confusion over sexual identity, divorce, inability to maintain a stable marital relationship or relationships with others, guilt, anger, grief, feelings of worthlessness and loss of faith in one’s parents or God.” 

I also add that “after a period of grooming by an authority figure, the crime occurs.  But rarely does a child victim tell a parent.  They are too confused.  They are afraid because often they have been threatened by the perpetrator. 
Depending on the age of the victim, often they do not have the vocabulary to say what has happened because they don’t have real knowledge of body parts and sexuality and what is being  done to them.  Sometime plain amnesia sets in because what happened is too awful for the mind of a child to comprehend.  So they forget it.  Then many years later it may start to resurface, piece by piece.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, this is one of the most under-reported crimes in the United States.” 

Most often parents are poorly informed on these matter by their school officials or the local authorities.

 

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