Saturday, May 23, 2015

How Many Kids and Counting?

All this news about the Duggars has been very triggering to me.  A lot of what's bothering me is that Jim Bob and Michelle did nothing to protect their children.  They continued to allow Josh in the home, around the other children.  And then Anna married him, knowing he sexually abused children, and bore him more children, which he will most likely abuse as well.  Because sex offenders rarely stop.  How many kids has he victimized already?  And how many more will he hurt?

I think the way a family responds when a child is sexually abused has a lot to do with the degree of trauma that child experiences.

Here's what I mean.  I know a guy that was sexually abused by a neighbor as a child.  He told his parents.  He felt safe telling his parents and trusted them to help him, regardless of what the neighbor might have told him about keeping it a secret.  And his parents responded as perfectly as any parents could have.  They told him what the neighbor did was wrong.  They told him it wasn't his fault.  They told him they were sorry the neighbor hurt him.  They told him how glad they were he'd told them what happened.

His  parents called the police.  They wanted charges to be pressed.  In the course of the investigation, it was discovered there were a number of other victims.  The neighbor, upon being confronted with the evidence against him, confessed.  He plead guilty.  There was no trial, because he plead guilty, and he went to prison.

His parents found a counselor that was experienced in treating male children that had been sexually abused.  He went to counseling for a while. Said the counselor helped, not only with things related to the abuse, but with other things, too.  He went to counseling for as long as he needed to go, then stopped going, but knew if he needed to go back, he could just tell his parents and they would take him back.

As an adult, he does not seem to me to be particularly traumatized by what happened to him as a child.  He does not have PTSD.  He doesn't have nightmares about it.  He does not suffer from clinical depression or anxiety.  He isn't ashamed about what happened to him.  He doesn't feel guilty about it. 

Compare that to what happens to many children that are sexually abused.  Compare it to what happened to me.  I didn't tell what it happened.  I didn't trust my  mother to help me.  When I told her as an adult, she accused me of lying or being crazy.  I expect her response would have been the same if I'd told her when I was a child.  I doubt she would have called the police or found me a good counselor.

How much of the trauma comes, not from the actual abuse, but from not being able to tell, from not being believed, from being blamed, from not getting the help you need to deal with what happened?  Sure, the abuse is traumatic.  But the rest of it just compounds that trauma so much.


6 comments:

  1. Very sad scenario, it would not surprise me to see more negative events from this scenario unfold as the days/months proceed. You know, it's terrible to say, these kind of news events, I tend to filter out. Also, News events such as local & international News also gets filtered these days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't follow the news much. By that I mean I don't have a television, so I never watch TV news. I don't read any newspapers. I don't go to online news sites. I do see news headlines when I log into Yahoo to check my email and I sometimes click on a story that catches my attention and I see news-related things people post on Facebook and occasionally a friend brings up something from the news or current events in a conversation. I am often not very well-informed about current events and news, and I like it that just fine.

      Delete
  2. As you know, child abuse comes in various formats. For example, physical, verbal, underfed, and other forms of general neglect. As an outside observer, I have seen just about all of the above mentioned more from the past then current. More importantly, if I observe some type of child abuse while out and about, I try to make an anonymous report to the proper authorities. At least today, there are more tools and resources for one to report various forms of child abuse vs. years ago. However, I do realize that despite the current tools and resources we have in society to report child abuse. Child abuse still continues and why ? Outsiders/family members might be afraid of the ratifications both short term and long term, if one decides to make or file a child abuse report on a person who is violating said child. Say one does decide to file a child abuse report, there is that unknown element as to what the outcome will be ? Though despite the many resources and tools to report such activity, sadly in past and current times, there seems to be many flaws in how child abuse cases are handled, this stems from not only just advocacy, the flaws still continue through our legal and court system. Thus resulting on system that is overloaded and how many children are actually going to get the necessary help to not only stop the abuse. The short terms and long term treatments as so that child can continue to grow into adulthood and be able to move onward in his or her life. However sadly to say: a reported child abuse scenario or not? There are many instances where say a child was abused and now is an adult with a family, somehow, due to up bringing, the abuse still continues ? Why ? I honestly don't know. This is a tough subject to write about and or even reflect upon past life's experiences. However, if nothing else, this topic can be more openly discussed by others vs. years ago, when such events were considered taboo and hid in the closet.
    In summary: one can only hope and pray that via open discussion forums/online, in real person etc will hopefully help pave the way for changes in the system and to bring even more awareness that child abuse issues still exist. Moreover, what can be done to prevent and put an end to child abuse ??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You bring up many good points. I think the bottom line of why such abuse continues is that children aren't valued much in our society and abuse has become such a common thing in our society we treat it almost as if it is normal.

      Delete
  3. And the BS apology that SOB gave is about as convincing as the Catholic's excuse/apology for the pedophile preists! SURPRISED THAT THE SQUEAKY CLEAN DUGGARS ARE NOT SO SQUEAKY CLEAN! NOT!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have a rather odd belief. People don't want to address abuse because they find it too disturbing and upsetting!

    ReplyDelete