We are all people. Equal. Deserving of love, happiness, self-respect, compassion, opportunity etc.
I started The Mama Bear Effect because I realized that if I love my children this much, so do many, if not most other parents out there. And if I can help convince people to care about child sexual abuse - not because they're afraid for their children but because they love their children, then perhaps we can persuade people to not be so afraid or in denial about how often children are being sexually victimized and instead learn how to prevent it.
Most days I feel filled with compassion for people, that is my driving force. I want to help people - people I don't know and will never know me. I want to change the way people think about this issue that isn't even on the back burner, it's back in the box it came in - people act like it's "brand new" but the truth is it's been around for a long time, but nobody really wants to open it up and expose it to the light of day.
Today though, I'm reading this book: Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, & Other Sex Offenders by Anna C. Salter, Ph.D.
I'm sick. I'm devastated. I feel like I'm on a roller coaster (and I hate them, there is not really one second of it that I think is fun) and I'm going down the big hill and the pressure of force is pushing against my chest and I'm screaming on the outside and on the inside to just, please, let me off this thing.
It's not even so much what these abusers do to children (and this book focuses on the worst of the worst) but the fact that so many people - good people, that want the truth, that want to help a child, are fooled by these people. They have so much training and big degrees and they still are fooled by their lies, by their friendly behaviors and mannerisms. I'm reading short snip its of various cases and I feel like I'm watching a movie and I'm yelling at the tv - "NO, don't let that guy go! He's lying, you idiot!"
Here is what has struck me thus far:
"A convicted child molester, this particular one made friends with a correctional officer who invited him to live in his home after he was release - invited him despite the fact the officer had a nine-year-old daughter....they initiated adoption proceedings-adoption for a man almost their age...Not surprisingly, he molested the daughter the entire time he lived there. Later when this was disclosed and the offender was reincarcerated, the guard and his wife continued to try to visit him in prison. They wanted to understand how he could do this....Even the offender was astonished by their behavior. He told his psychologist, "I feel like saying, 'What the fuck is wrong with you, lady. I molested your fucking daughter,"
Which leads me to this very important message:
"What these experiences have taught me is that even when people are warned by a previously founded cases, or even a conviction, they still routinely underestimate the pathology with which they are dealing. Niceness and likability will override a track record of child molesters any day of the week."
- Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, & Other Sex Offenders by Anna C. Salter, Ph.D.
We want to believe that we could identify a child molester, that we would be smart enough to see through their guise. We are not always. It is a very hard thing to accept that you cannot believe everything that you think you know. You cannot 100% trust anyone, and you cannot trust yourself to be able to protect your child from a predator.
Psychopathy is a mental disorder. They do not understand love, not the way we understand love. These people cannot have real, intimate relationships with people. They may be able to fake it - and look like regular people, but they're not. And we must always be cognizant and accept that. Not just parents - but protective services workers, the police, lawyers, judges etc. Child safety must always come first. Sexual offenders do not deserve a second chance to abuse another child, and we must do everything in our power to protect our children and keep open communication so that they are never shamed into silence and never fearful of the threats from an abuser. We are their their guides, their counselors, their protectors - always. And our children need to know that.