“We both knew it was wrong.”
A fellow mama bear shared this story with us, about a 33 year old youth pastor charged with sexually abusing a 15 year old girl under his mentorship, noting the news channel that shared it on their Facebook page, had plenty of comments to the effect that a 15 year old girl knows what she is doing, and that she probably wanted and consented to the sexual relationship.
(FYI:The offender is married with 3 children and was also found to be in possession of child pornography.)
So lets get a few things straight….
1. Regardless of what this girl knew or understood – he was the adult. He was in the position of authority. His job was to guide her in her faith, not exploit her for sexual gratification.
2. Even if she knew it was wrong, she is 15. The law, in no way shape or form, puts any sort of responsibility upon a child, to “share the blame.” This is not a car insurance claim “what was the condition of the road that day?” – No detail of the relationship enables him (or anyone) to put any responsibility upon this 15 year old girl.
3. Even if she threw herself at this man, he had the responsibility to do the right thing – request reassignment, refuse to be alone with this girl – in order to protect himself, and her. We all have come into contact with a 15 year old – we were all once 15 and probably had a crush on an adult, whether it was someone famous or the attractive teacher, coach, or youth pastor. 15 year olds are YEARS away from having a fully developed brain and are literally not capable of making sensible decisions all the time, their age doesn’t diminish the abuse when an adult takes advantage and seduces a child, or acts upon the advances of a minor (which it doesn’t seem to be the case in this situation.) Furthermore, if a child is seeking a romantic relationship with an adult, it is more likely a sign that they may have experienced previous abuse, and not that they are mature enough to understand what they are consenting to.
4. Just because sexual abuse doesn’t involve bruises – doesn’t mean that it isn’t traumatic.
“Survivors are damaged to different degrees by their experiences. This does not depend on what happened physically. A Survivor who has been raped will not necessarily be more damaged than a Survivor who has been touched. The degree of damage depend on the degree of traumatic sexualization, stigmatization, betrayal and powerlessness, the child has experienced.
This in turn depends on a number of factors such as:
So please, if you ever feel the need to put responsibility on a victim of sexual abuse (for victims of any age) open a book, instead of your mouth.
No, the world is not your oyster. You were not brought into this world through blood, sweat, and tears so you can merely seek enjoyment and pleasure.
You, my child, are the oyster.
The sea is vast and full of life. There is much to see, for sure, and other creatures to come to know – but it is not to be owned.
A single oyster, you may be, but important to the world – you have much to offer.
You are strong yet vulnerable. But to live, you must be exposed. And most of all, when sand is tossed in your face, as it inevitably will, you have the opportunity to take that struggle and turn it into something beautiful – something that only you can offer. A pearl.
Do not fear the struggle. But rather, embrace it, and you will discover what you are truly capable of. Yes, it is work. Yes, there will be vexation. But you have the fortitude to endure it, and influence others to do the same.
So you see, my child, the world becomes beautiful by what you put into it, not from what you take out.
For some day, like us all, you will return to the earth, but the pearls that you leave, in their milky iridescent wonder will continue to inspire well beyond your time.
Teachers, Parents, Foster Parent, Youth Counselors and More Charged & Convicted For Child Sexual Abuse – In the News Week of June 16th, 2014
Matt Sandusky Founds Charity Supporting Survivors Of Child Sex Abuse
Matt Sandusky, the adopted son of Jerry Sandusky, has founded the Peaceful Hearts Foundation, a charity that supports survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Children Testify in Trial against Abuser in Lubbock County, Tx
Three children a 55-year-old Slaton man is accused of sexually abusing in 2011 and 2007 testified Monday they were fondled, forced to watch pornography and threatened if they told anyone about the abuse. The abuser plead guilty in court.
Girl testifies Against Abuser in Rockland, ME
The charges allege that the offenses occurred from 2009 through 2011 at Vultee’s home, where he was watching the child for the girl’s mother. The Girl sai she finally disclosed what happened in 2012 after she saw Vultee with one of her younger cousins.
Santa Rosa Man convicted, sentenced to 3 life sentences plus 200 years
Lee Pardue was arrested in November of 2012. The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation after Pardue told an acquaintance he took sexual photos of himself with a child. They found the photos and discovered Pardue had also committed sexual acts on a child he was babysitting. Pardue was convicted of a number of charges ranging from sexual battery on a child to possession of photos depicting sexual conduct by a child.
Foster parent charged With Sexual Abuse
60-year-old Steven Wayne Anglin was arrested Monday night for child abuse and 4 counts of rape.
Anglin is accused of sexually abusing several children, boys and girls from ages 7 to 13.
Former MARyland Youth COunselor Pleads Guilty
Former Fort George G. Meade youth counselor has pleaded guilty sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy and sending inappropriate texts to others.
Anthony Dennis Williams II, 28, was charged with abusive sexual contact and sexual abuse of a minor for incidents that occurred in 2010 and 2011.
The Severn resident worked at at Child and Youth Services program on Fort Meade called Passport to Manhood from 2005 to 2012.
Former School Aide On Trial For SExual Abuse
The girl was not a student at the schools where he worked. The 42-year-old man and the girl knew one other, authorities say, and the alleged abuse occurred in his home over the course of several months.
Starting when she was 11, she said, Abinacer showed her porn, took inappropriate photos of her and molested, raped and sodomized her whenever he had the chance.
The sex acts occurred “mostly every day,” she testified.
She told jurors the abuse was painful and scary. Abinacer, she said, told her not to tell anyone what he was doing or he’d go to jail.
Missoula MT Man arrested for child sex abuse
In a detective interview, 19 year old Hayes admitted to asking for her pictures and confessed that he had kissed and touched the 12 year ol child and planned to have sex with her as well.
Husband, wife charged with child sex assault
Two of the minors are Robert Pleasant’s biological children. The other is his ex-girlfriend’s child, who now lives in Michigan.
Jury weighs evidence against Paterson NJ man in child sex-assault trial amidst the child’s recantation That it was a dream
The case against Ruel Powell relies heavily on the allegations made by the girl, who initially told investigators that Powell molested her but has since recanted her story. The girl, who is now 9, testified during the trial in Superior Court in Paterson that she dreamt up the assault.
552 victims of child sexual exploitation identified by HSI so far in 2014
More than 550 victims of child sexual abuse and exploitation have been identified by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations special agents in the first eight months of fiscal year 2014.
The victims were identified during the course of HSI-led or jointly led child exploitation investigations ranging from the production and distribution of online child pornography to child sex tourism.
Of the 585 children identified this fiscal year as part of HSI international investigations into child sexual exploitation, 430 victims were located in the United States in nearly every corner of the country. Slightly more girls were victimized than boys: 288 girls versus 264 boys.
Investigators at the HSI Cyber Crimes Center say that these shocking statistics are a reminder about how dangerous the Internet can be and that summer is a good time for parents to talk to their children about online safety.
teacher rejects child abuse charges
The District Attorney’s Office charged Sheila Heacock, 44 — also known as Sheila Roostai — with three counts of oral copulation with a minor and three counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.
Charges stemmed from an April sheriff’s investigation after someone told deputies of a relationship between Heacock and a student.
Former Special Ed Teacher Sentenced To 1 Year
A judge sentenced Jason Lamar Thompson to six years in prison – one year for each of six counts of sex abuse. The counts will run concurrently, which means Thompson will spend a total of one year in prison.
Thompson was originally charged with sodomy and sexual abuse, but those charges were dropped to second degree sexual abuse as part of a plea deal.
Thompson had already admitted to sexually abusing four victims at his home, according to the Commonwealth’s Attorney, all were under 18-years-old and at least one under 14.
Police say it was during his time as a special ed teacher at Leestown Middle School that he had sexual contact with a 13-year-old boy. The former teacher was a well known Zumba instructor, and had an X-box video game character. He’ll now be known as a sex offender.
The judge said Thompson will have to go through a sex offender treatment program and will be registered as a sex offender for 20 years.
MUSIC TEACHER in PA ARRESTED FOR CHILD SEX ABUSE
The three victims were all 6 years old and were students at the music school at which he taught.
To read more click here.
Protesting that Baptist Church Not Taking Sexual Abuse SEriously
Coverups, revictimization, and silencing of victims. To read more, click here.
64 Year old charged with abusing multiple children under the age of 12
For more details, click here.
American Man Charged with Abusing Cambodian Orphans
The victims were children living at the orphanage that he was running in cambodia. To read more, click here.
By Adrianne Simeone, Founder of The Mama Bear Effect.
I told my 4 year old where babies come from.
And it’s worse than that… I showed her an actual depiction of her reproduction system.
I know. I know. I’ve ruined the big secret. I told her before she could find out at school in some awkward video (if that’s how it still happens) where all the girls go into one room and the boys go into another… It’s true. She found out from her own mom.
There’s a lot that they don’t tell young kids, because some people might be in uproar about, ya’ know – informing kids honestly and openly about their bodies.
Embarrassingly, I did not know until adulthood that urine comes out of the female body from the urethra. I didn’t know that the exterior parts of female genitalia are not actually the vagina, but the vulva. I felt like Kathy Bates’ middle-aged character in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes where she takes a mirror and looks at herself “down there” for the first time in her life.
(Here’s a child-friendly diagram if you want to see if you know the names of all the parts of female genitalia.)
It wasn’t until I wanted to become pregnant, with my now daughter, that I really learned how female reproduction worked. I found out how I could predict ovulation by taking my own temperature every morning. I found out why certain times of the month our grade school nurse informed us that we might have “wetness” in our underwear and that it was normal – but were never told what it was or why it happened. And I also learned that this isn’t the case for all women.
I found out that my body was actually pretty amazing and that the process of creating new life is really, a miracle.
So, when I became pregnant for the third time, and my daughter was four, I was looking forward to explaining a lot of this to her. Because, it really is cool. We read this book from time to time, but I haven’t felt the need, just yet, to tell her about sexual intercourse – and thus far, she’s content knowing that an egg sometimes turns into a baby. I’ll save the sexual intercourse for a few years down the road (which most experts recommend children understand between age 7-9).
Right around the time I gave birth to my third child, there was a story about another pregnant woman who couldn’t make it to the hospital and gave birth at home with the help of her 8 year old daughter. The woman told the news reporters that earlier her daughter asked how the baby was going to come out of her body, and the woman, uncomfortably, changed the subject. Well, her daughter certainly found out. All I could think was, why shouldn’t an 8 year old girl know? What’s the big deal?
If all that isn’t shocking enough, my 3 year old son also knows that he doesn’t have a uterus, and can’t carry a baby. (And shh, he even knows that I pushed the baby out of my vagina! For shame!) He knows he has a penis – not a pee-pee or a wee-wee, and he has no problem telling me if something his bothering his penis – which I hope never changes. Because I never want him to feel like his private parts are too private or worse – embarrassing, that he can’t talk to me.
What’s actually embarrassing, is that my mom couldn’t bear to talk to me about sex until after I was married and had my first baby, and the cat (or baby) was already out of the bag (aka uterus). (Sorry to throw you under the bus, mom.) I don’t want my kids to enter adulthood and not understand and respect their bodies, expect respect from other people, and in return respect others. If they have a question, I want them to come to me – not their friends. I want to explain sex and love before they accidentally come across or purposely search for porn on the internet. Especially when I’m learning about the negative impact on children.
So yea, we toss ‘taboo’ words around our house all the time, because when it comes to raising happy, healthy, safe kids, keeping the human body and sexuality a taboo needs to stop.
For information on talking to your kids about all this, visit the Empowering Children page of our website.
Keeping kids safe from sexual abuse is not a black and white issue. Even experts on the issue who have interviewed convicted child molesters remark on how “likable” they appear. It’s the grey area where most exist- predators that come off as “good” and charismatic “every day” kinds of people.
Keep in mind, sexual abuse is often not about sex, but about control and dominance. Sex, is often, merely an outlet that offenders are using to fill a perceived need. And it is difficult when no two abusers look, talk, or act the same.
Strangers and acquaintances
You may not necessarily know these people very well, or only by name/face alone (a neighbor, a coach, a parent of another child you know). In order to gain access to your child, they usually try to establish a rapport with the parent as well as the child, but in some cases, they are less careful about hiding their intentions. Be cautious for the following behaviors/characteristics:
Family, Friends, and People of Authority
These are people you, most likely, have known for some time, trust with you child and/or enjoy their company. You may see some of these signs and pass them off as normal behavior – and in some cases, they may be. And in some cases, this person is not necessarily looking to prey on children, but finds him/herself with an opportunity to take advantage of access, trust, and familiarity with a parent and/or child. (You’ll note some of these were listed above.) Be cautious for:
Women are more likely to sexually abuse boys, and unlike most male offenders, female offenders often abuse a child in conjunction with a male – often a spouse or partner, she may abuse a child to please the other offender. Be cautious for:
Juvenile offenders are estimated to be responsible for approximately 40% of all child sexual abuse, yet they are the least discussed type of offenders. Most juvenile offenders are over the age of 12. The reality is, you may see these behaviors in your own child, not necessarily someone who is a threat to your child. As adults, it is our responsibility to guide and take action if we feel our child may exhibit signs he/she could sexually abuse another child. Be vigilant for:
What Else We Can Do To ProtecT Children
While people are often shocked when child sexual abuse comes to light in their own community, the reality is that children are being sexually abused every day – and in most cases, they’re never even being reported.
Every day, we receive email alerts of the top stories regarding child sexual abuse. There are so many that it would overload our posts if we shared them via social media. Unless you’re like us – looking to be notified of all these stories, you’re probably not going to hear about them.
Here, though, are four of the top stories we’ve come across just this past week alone, and what, we feel, can be learned about the reality of child sexual abuse in our society.
Female Accused of sexually abusing 4 year old relative
Sara Marie Garoutee, 32, is accused of sexually abusing a 4 year old relative and sending the photos to her boyfriend, per his request.
What People Should Know:Women that sexually abuse children, although in the minority of those that offend, often do so on behalf or with a partner/spouse or in exchange for monetary payment. It is suggested that such women are more likely to have previously experienced abuse and/or are in an unstable relationship or lifestyle (poverty/substance addiction) and exploit children for financial gain. Read more about female offenders here.
Guidance Counselor and Former music Teacher/Private Singing Coach