chapter  7
28 Pages

A Framework for Understanding Child Sexual Abuse

The trouble with child sexual abu se is that events that should be viewed as reflecting an enduring pattern of ongoing misconduct are instead seen individually, independently, and in isolation. Groomers evade detection because the overall pattern of their behavior remains invisible. Relevant pieces of information are available to various peopIe who haveknown and lived with or worked with the Groomer, but this knowledge never reaches the authorities. Sometimes the clues are spread over large time periods, or are geographically far apart. Former spouses and girlfriends have their suspicions. Friends and neighbors had their complaints. Worried employers were relieved to see hirn leave, but never dared voice any possible suspicions in a letter of reference. Neighbors whose children were molested never pressed charges to spare their children from the further trauma of an investigation and publicity of a trial. Children who had previously been abused knew what happened but never told anyone. All these players remain silent. When allegations eventually arise none of these other prior victims learn of the accusations. Each continues to suffer alone.