Advice on Child Molester — The Bump
September 2017 Moms

Advice on Child Molester

I don't want to go into much detail because I feel it is not my story to tell, but I have a close family member who molested several of my family members. It never went as far as rape, but there was inappropriate touching and cuddling. It came to light about four years ago, and I have not seen this family member since. It took about a year before I even answered his texts, and another year before I would talk on the phone with him. I didn't invite him to my wedding more for the sake of his victims than my feelings.
My mother has informed me that he has asked to see the family over Christmas, but will deny him this opportunity if even one of us feels against it. My question now that I have a baby on the way, is what precautions and safeguards should I put in place regarding my child? I have no qualms now against seeing him, we just haven't because we live in two different states. But should I let him see my 3 month old (at Christmas)? Should I let him hold him/her? Should I only meet with him alone and let him be content with pictures? 
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Re: Advice on Child Molester

  • The only way I'd even maybe consider being in the same room is if there is proof that he has undergone treatment of some sort. And even then, I would never leave him alone with anyone under the age of 18.
  • I wouldn't bring my children anywhere around him.  And I wouldn't hesitate to tell anyone where I stand.

  • @DPandMB That's a really good point. I guess my thought right now was that the baby was too little and would never be out of my sight. But I would never want him to be around when my child gets older. So never letting him see my baby is probably the only place to draw the line.
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  • This sounds tough and like it's a close family member which makes it trickier. Will there be other children at Christmas or just your baby? I would be inclined to say no but if he has great remorse and has sought help then maybe yes. 

  • @jessieR358 I will have the only child at Christmas. To my knowledge he has apologized to his victims, but has not undergone any treatment/counseling.
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  • mrsmarygs said:
    @DPandMB That's a really good point. I guess my thought right now was that the baby was too little and would never be out of my sight. But I would never want him to be around when my child gets older. So never letting him see my baby is probably the only place to draw the line.
    I agree then. No relationship with your kids is the best. No matter the age. Then it's just a personal decision on if you want to see him by yourself. 

  • no way would I let this person around my child...  it just isn't worth the chance IMO
    Me: 36 years old   DH: 42 years old
    Married: 05.2012  
    TTC #1 Since April 2016
    HSG/FSH/AMH/E2/SA all normal DX: unexplained IF

    spontaneous BFP 01/01/2017-  Alexander was born sleeping 04/13/2017 at 19w1d  ic/chorio
    September 2017 HSG #2 & Gonal-F/Femara/Ovidrel/IUI #1 = ep (Salpingectomy of left fallopian tube)
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  • I wouldn't want him around my kids. I just wouldn't feel comfortable with it. 
  • I had a chat with H about this (I hope that's ok?), he just approaches situations differently than I do. His dad is a minister, and he can be kinder/more open minded than me.

    Here are kind of our combined thoughts, without knowing more (like Amanda said, not asking for more info,just that our thoughts are only so useful).

    I hesitate to bar someone from a family holiday. You've said he has apologized to his victims - has he admitted he has a problem? Will any of those victims be at the same event? Do you have a family member you trust that would be willing to "buddy system" with this person? Make it a condition of him being there. He must be within eye sight/arm's length of this person at all times. It would make him accountable for all actions (no physical touch, no taking photos, etc), but allow him to participate in the family event (and having a buddy could actually make him more comfortable as well). While my child's safety will be paramount, to a degree this is also an illness that must be battled. If he's willing to do the work and accept the conditions (discussed ahead of time), I would probably let him attend.
  • It's a big no from me, but we are particilarly sensitive. There is a reason we don't speak to members of DH's family. Not my story to tell, but given the allegations, I don't even want those people to know we are having a baby. No reason for them to contact us. 
    me: 33 DH: 33 DS#1: Sept 2017

    TTC#2 since January 2019
    PCOS diagnosed in 2016
  • I would have a similar take on it that you said above (it wouldn't let me quote you) that with a baby, he would never be alone with him/her anyway, so I would probably be okay with it. 

    I would definitely never let my child alone with this person, and would want to limit their contact in general. But, if it's going to be a "we only see uncle johnny on Christmas" situation every year, I probably wouldn't say no he couldn't come. I would just make it very clear he isn't to be holding or left alone with my child. 
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  • 4N6s4N6s member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Nope. Nope. Nope. 
  • nope. absolutely not. 
    as soon as he crossed that line, he gave up his right to have a family. sorry to be so tough about it. but we've had those issues in my family too. i would rather bar him from seeing anyone than cause any triggers with any of his victims. 
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  • @Bringmemylongswordho I am truly sorry for your past and the pain that has caused you. However, I don't believe you understand my situation. As I said in my original post, my mother has been asked by him if he can join our family for Christmas. I was not the instigator, nor did I invite him over for the holidays. While I have not seen him in 4 years, his two victims have had meetings and conversations with him. It was in their time, and both felt it was necessary to face him in order to find healing. Again, as I said in my original post, my mother has contacted me and each person in my family to ask everyone what their position is on this meeting. If anyone, including the two victims has any hesitations, it's a no for everyone. She was giving me a veto vote as well since I will be the only one with a child at Christmas. 
    Again, I am truly sorry for what you have gone through and I understand your anger. 
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  • BigBadWolf12BigBadWolf12 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited March 2017

    However, there are some scenarios where I would allow it. For example, if this person was also a child when these activities took place and close in age to the other children, I may be more understanding. Sometimes children get curious and don't understand the implications or consequences of their actions until they are much older.

    This is exactly what I was coming to say. Some things I would ask myself:

    1) how long ago was the most recent known offense?
    2) how old was he and how old were the victims?
    3) is he remorseful and has he been taking actions to avoid tempting situations by his own initiative?
    4) would I be comfortable opening the door with the real possibility of having to close it again later if you find you're uncomfortable or doubtful?

    its a tough situation and I'm sorry you're in it.

    eta: I think a public space like a restaurant with no physical contact or photos is a good place to start if everyone is comfortable. From there you can decide whether to close the relationship, maintain it in public spaces, etc.

    TTGP history (*TW*):

    Started TTC Oct 2015
    BFP #1 June 2016: EDD 16 March 2017, MC July 2016
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  • Breath_Easy92Breath_Easy92 member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited March 2017
    Well I have a "creepy boy uncle" no one really talks about it but we all kinda realize and I had personal experience with him as a child because he lived with us for a time. He travels to Thai land a lot and has been there a few years since the last time he came to town and was asked to leave. Honestly I wouldn't let him touch or hold my kids, I wouldn't purposely even go to the same family event as him (big family I have almost 40 first cousins, we all live in the area but it's impossible to get everyone together at once). No one would ask why because everyone knows but I wouldn't hesitate to be upfront with him or anyone else. I would without a doubt veto in any situation, while I've been working on it's not my place to judge others and there wrong doings, this is one of those things I personally could never get past.
  • I agree with @Msashley2010

    My answer would depend if this person was a child himself when it happened or an adult. And also how old his victims were. There is a big difference (at least I think) between a 12 & 13 year old vs a 20 & 5 year old. 

    If it's the latter, then it's probably best to say no contact ever, right from the start. 
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  • I've read all of the answers and I respect everyone's opinion, but my answer would be no. If I didn't have a baby, then I would say fine, and would keep my distance. But as a parent, why expose your child? If this was a one time event, sure. You can protect your child for one day. But it sounds like this person is starting to try and come to family functions. Once a year, twice, three times? After a few years what does that look like? Nope. I don't want them around my child. I don't want to have to keep my child at arms length at every holiday. Nope. 
  • I think those are some really good points, @amandarene112. I don't think that presenting a previous offender with a tempting situation would be helping them at all with their recovery. 

    Also, when I was a child, the people I knew that were discovered as child molesters were often what I viewed to be the coolest people and I never for a minute would have believed that they would hurt me. I wouldn't have second guessed my safety being alone with them. 

    I imagine that once a child were to get older its a situation that would be difficult to maintain control over. 
  • It's nice to forgive and try not to hurt other's feelings but it's not always about comforting the feelings of others. You've gotta do what's best for your little tribe and not think about saving face with everyone.
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