Is it ever ok not to expose pedophilia?

by SixofNine 24 Replies latest jw friends

  • SixofNine

    Some comments in another thread got me thinking about this.

    I can't imagine any scenario wherein it would be best to cover over pedophilia. The needs/feelings of the victim was brought up as a possible reason. I think the needs of society outweigh the needs of the victim six billion to one, but I also think that this means what is good for society is also exactly what is best for the victim. Sure, it may hurt, but not more than a life-long coverup. The darkness is never a good thing.

    Could you learn of a pedophile (or any sex criminal) and do nothing to stop him/her from striking again? Btw, I understand that in some circumstances, simply having information is not enough to do anything legally, if your information is second-hand. But would you ever not encourage, even push, the victim to report (understanding that truly dangerous situations have to be resolved differently)?

  • Hmmm

    Well, I guess if the pedophile were dead, there wouldn't be a pressing need. It might still be beneficial--closure, exposing an organizational problem, etc--for things to come to light, but in that case I'd be much more willing to let the victim(s) decide what was best.

    Ever OK not to expose an ACTIVE pedophile? I can't think of a reason.


  • morrisamb

    What an excellent post! Should you ever push a person to disclose their abuse?

    You might find this interesting. This is a partial quote from a lengthly review from India (the entire review is posted on this thread:A new book... ) of my book in which there was a ton of disclosures....

    "The first way of dealing with abuse, they say, is to “speak out”: disclosure as a one time, one shot blowing the lid off abuse, because the law will take charge the moment we speak. Father’s Touch teaches us that disclosure is as multi-layered and multi textured as the violence itself, and the “law” [assuming of course that by that term we mean a secular law] hangs above, barely touching the surface, and even that reluctantly. We learn that the law also “copes” with family violence through dissociation, providing in the process little relief or opportunity for recuperation to survivors! In Donald’s case, the first disclosure was to his mother when he was ten, i.e., six and a half years after he began to be abused. The earliest disclosure outside the immediate family was soon after, when his older brother Ronnie told a doctor. The doctor replied: “You’re probably going to turn into a homosexual. Just be careful and don’t turn into a molester. It happens quite frequently,” and sent him home with his abuser and did nothing further.” [p.78]. Then Ronnie confides in the Elders of the religious community. “Their reaction: a mix of detachment, curiosity, and confirmation.” [pp.105-106]. Over a period of nine years approximately thirty people had been told about the abuse, including policemen, judges, attorneys, physicians and the Church Elders. And, when the survivors decided to press charges of assault, ...)

    You get the drift, disclosing is just one (and a giant one at that)step...the process is multi-layered and complex. I know a thousand victims of sexual abuse...maybe 5 have disclosed. Why? I wrote this column on this very subject:

    Why male victims don't tell?
    By Donald D'Haene

    As a survivor of sexual abuse, what strikes me as most ironic is the fact that male victims still remain nameless: ashamed of their experience even now, in 2002. Why should male victims be ashamed when our numbers are legion?

    It's time we talk openly about child abuse and its prevention. But the fact is that men are ashamed of disclosing their experience with sexual abuse. They shouldn't be.

    Almost two decades ago, I decided, along with four other victims (three male, one female), to charge our abuser. Since 1982, after going to court and public with our case, scores of men have disclosed their abuse to me but few have gone public. For every man like hockey player Sheldon Kennedy, there are thousands who remain silent. Why?

    Our society cultivates feelings of shame in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Often an abuser is enabled to continue molesting by members of the community. For example, consider the protection that powerful institution, the church, provided our abuser, my father. My younger brother disclosed the abuse to our mother, two years later, my older brother confided in the ministers of our congregation. To report our abuse would have involved the Children's Aid Society, which would have removed us from our father's reach. Although our father was excommunicated by the congregation and our mother was publicly reproved for not reporting the incidents to the ministers earlier, we four children were sent back home with our abuser.

    Therefore, although the congregation was protected, the abuser's children and the public at large were not. From the disclosures other victims have shared with me, my experience is not unusual in this regard.

    But even people who truly care about victims add to the issue of personal shame. One minister and his wife told be it would be better if I change my name "because there is a bad sound to it now. It's connected to the abuser. People will think of him, not of you as his victim."

    Another reason for silence is a concern for the feelings of the extended family. But I suggest disclosure may lessen the feelings of shame. Sometimes victims must listen to their abuser being praised as a fine pillar in the community. Silence perpetuates abuse.

    I am not suggesting that court proceedings will not prove daunting. In our case, even though a conviction was achieved, I learned justice is a relative term. The judge, in his oral reasons for judgment, said, my "childhood must have been a hell on Earth," but he also found that my abuser, "is not now, in my opinion, in need of rehabilitation or reformation and is not now a danger to any member of the public." He said he based this on my father's lawyers' submissions and a psychiatric report which "shows clearly that there is no overt sign of mental illness."

    How is it possible that a victim's recovery process involves years of therapy, ongoing issues such as sexual confusion and flashbacks, whereas an abuser can be deemed free of mental illness, and not in need of rehabilitation? Because in our case, the prosecutor never interviewed the victims, never asked if we wanted to testify, and had arranged a plea-bargain before the case went to trial. We had no opportunity to dispute or challenge any testimony.

    Finally, the most common reason male victims feel shame is our culture's imposed guilt of homosexual contact. Unfortunately, sexual abuse of males is often labeled in this way instead of the criminal act it is.

    Survival is a never-ending process. Our society still tries to silence victims. My abuser writes me: "It appears (I) am the only one whose lifestyle reflects that of the Almighty...I forgive you for all that you have done to me." But I encourage fellow victims and survivors to take charge of their destiny. Come forward, seek help and healing. For those who have the strength, fortitude and peer support, consider telling your story and seek legal counsel now. It is only by publicly bonding that we can truly feel we are not alone, not to blame and do not need to continue feeling shame.

  • Imbue

    I can't think of scenario where this may happen. However if the victims were harmed I think it would be questionable.

    Are you referring to exposing them after they are released from prison?
    Can't we just lock them up for life?

    Crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

  • Valis

    The only reason I could see not exposing a pedophile outright would be if that would put the victim at risk of death or further serious injury. Even then I think I would find a discrete means of informing the authorities about the crime and the level of danger involved in regards the victim. Otherwise I say they all need to be locked up and shunned till they go meet Jehovah.


    District Overbeer

  • Amazing

    Hi Sixofnine: Good points. In response to your points, some victims may feel they need to keep the secret ... but the truth is they acting out of intimidation and needless guilt, for which they really need this issue to be reported and get help. It works like this:

    If I get mugged, and my leg is broken, I may feel a lot of pain, and guilt that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I may not want medics to touch my leg because it hurts so damn much. But, they need to help me anyway so as to reset the bone so it will heal correctly ... and the police need details so they can catch the nugger.

    Pedophiles must ALWAY be reported so that they know we collectively as an adult society, as responsible individuals will NOT tolerate ... ever ... their behavior. This issue has plagued the human race a long time ... and it is time in our social and intellectual evolution to bring an end to it ... just as past generations put an end to slavery, or government abuse ...

    ... there can never be a reason to keep it secret. Besides, that has been done, and proven not to work ... it is exposure in recent decades that has finally led to improvement in laws and enforcement, treatment and healing.

    I do not believe in executing pedophiles. There are degrees of severity, as in anything else in society ... but I do believe that the best mental health minds in the world should be brought into this ... take pedophiles to some remote island, and figure out how to cure them ... or at least keep them forever away from civilization.

    Thanks again for raising a good and thought provoking post.

  • MegaDude

    Once a pedophile starts molesting children my understanding is they rarely stop. They can't stop themselves so it's up to society to do it for them. I would turn them in. What is ironic, of course, is they will end up in prison, where they, in turn, will assume the role of being the abused.

    One JW child molester I know, who is now in prison, has been repeatedly attacked for who he is, and repeatedly tortured. He's covered with scars from being held down while being stabbed repeatedly with small sharp objects. The guards look the other way. A few months ago he was attacked with a wire garrot. He got his hand up to protect his throat but the wire cut all the way to the bone in his hand. Then they beat and kicked the hell out of him and put him in the hospital.

  • silentlambs

    While this subject may seem to be controversial the facts remain the same, when you do not report a child molester and he or she molests another child you now share in the crime. It is true in many cases child molesters do not go to jail, but if you have done your part by reporting the matter then you have done what is morally and ethically right. As mentioned above there are extreme circumstances where reporting may not be needed, but to use these out of the ordinary circumstances and try to apply it as a choice for reporting child molestation is absolutely absurd. You might compare it to murder, in some circumstances there might be a reason to not report it, yet most would agree reporting the crime of murder should not be placed in the optional catagory.

    I have talked to many victims who have never reported their abuse, I simply encourage them to talk about it to counslers, close friends, or report the matter on the sl website. The more they learn they can speak out the more likely they are to report the crime. We have had over a dozen molesters turned in since the inception of silentlambs, it is my belief that many more will follow.

    In conclusion, you will find certain ones defend the option of not reporting, often it is those same people who defend WT Policy and say WT is moving in the right direction. Subtle misinformation to mislead those who read this website. Yet those who work for WT interests expose themselves by taking this stubborn position.

    Remember their are various ways to report a crime, child services, local police, or through therapists, etc. With a little planning it can be done while protecting the victim from further trauma. To do any less will be something you will have to live with the rest of your life if another child is molested which will further inhibit healing when dealing with child molestation issues.

  • waiting

    Howdy megadude (where DID you get that name?)

    This is not a black/white issue.

    Once a pedophile starts molesting children my understanding is they rarely stop. mega
    There are all kinds of child molesters - from the person who molests children for 20 years and has hundreds of victims - to the father who molests his daughter/son......and no one else.

    They are both wrong - but might be acting out from different needs/wants. From my understanding, the one-victim father could do quite well in therapy, after which he stands a good chance of non-repeating. The other? Most likely not - but even that's not a black/white question.

    Even the legal system has been broken down into specific areas as to where a molester's action fits in. It's necessary because of the frightful variety of offenders.

    But they're always wrong and they hurt children.


  • SixofNine

    Stories like that just confirm the beauty of the death penalty for me, Megadude. I don't want to torture them, but I want them gone. Forever.

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