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This is always difficult for me. Going through my personal past to make a salient point about a current topic is never fun. And, yet due to the prevailing misogyny in out culture, I find myself having to relive parts of my past…again.

I was a target of a child predator. He just also happened to be my father. My biological father (which is what I’m often asked when I reveal this. Because it’s slightly less horrific if it’s just a step-father). This is a most important point. As Andrew Vachss points out, the typical child predator is not the monster lurking at playgrounds and other places where children like to be. The child predator is most often in what Vachss calls “the circle of trust.” A father, an uncle, an older brother, a  religious leader–you get the idea. To get the full story on that, here’s the link ( https://hecaterising.wordpress.com/2012/10/24/nietzsches-eyes/) to my blog post  when Congress, in its infinite wisdom, *four years ago*, was debating on issuing birth control to victims of rape and the sage  Representative Todd Akin (R-Missouri) used the term “legitimate rape.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/21/us/politics/rep-todd-akin-legitimate-rape-statement-and-reaction.html?_r=0)

If you think that I’m making this up or just speaking of the narrow scope of my experience-here are some places to go to to get a more complete idea of what to look for if you think your child has been the target of a predator.

Sexual Offender Tactics and Grooming

http://www.abusewatch.net/pred_sex.php

“As a society we vehemently condemn child molesters but when someone we know in the community is accused, individuals take sides often refusing to believe that ‘a pillar of the community’ could commit this type of a crime. The true seducer type pedophile is extremely good at what he does. He puts himself in a position in his community where he has easy access to children. He will often work hard (sometimes for years) to gain the trust of parents while at the same time be sexually abusing their child. If an allegation is made against this person by another child, it is often too emotionally difficult for families who trusted and allowed the accused into their home to believe that he could commit such an act against a child. The betrayal is too great and many families will not only deny the possibility, but will blame and defame the child making the allegation. This is what the offender counts on. Families tricked by cunning predators could not have possibly imagined the degree of betrayal possible and the extent that a predator would go to, to get at a child.”

 https://www.parentsformeganslaw.org/public/prevention_childSexualAbuse.html

Just researching this has given me flashbacks and triggers. So, I am *not* just speaking up out of an excuse for a pity party.But I can not let this discussion continue without letting people know the *real* dangers that are closest by. Please. Do the research before condemning a group of people simply because their DNA did not form the way that yours did. These people are not abnormal. They are not monsters. Truth be told, if they are in a bathroom with your child they will more likely be protective of your child than attack them.

Start with your “circle of trust” and then move outward from there.

As for exploring the issue of transgender people, you can follow Associate Pastor Mark Wingfield’s example. In fact, I can recommend no higher path to follow on this issue.

https://baptistnews.com/2016/05/13/seven-things-im-learning-about-transgender-persons/

Thanks for listening and blessings on your journey.

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