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Letters to the Editor

Out of darkness

January 20, 2012

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To the editor:

I am sure I am not the only Journal-World reader who has noticed the almost daily mentions of someone being charged for acts of child molestation. Every one of us is and has been affected in some way by the molestation of a child.  From mothers and fathers who know the searing pain of losing a child to suicide to the family member or friend who must deal with the post-traumatic impacts on those we care about who have been molested, we are touched deeply.

For those of us who live daily with the memories and implications of how our lives have been impacted, we must grieve. Today, I challenge the residents of Lawrence to bring this important issue out of the darkness. To gather and find ways we can influence what is happening to our youth. Let us begin the conversation now.

Comments

number3of5 2 years, 11 months ago

These conversations need to begin at home. As you say sexual abuse can scar a child for life, or with understanding and help, the can recover and live healthy useful lives. Verbal abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse if a familiar thing to most of us. Having a family where you feel free to talk to your parents either one or the other can be a deciding factor. If the parents are the abusers, then you need to seek help from a teacher, pastor, or law enforcement officer or maybe all three.

Lesa Weller 2 years, 11 months ago

It's naive to think your solutions are the answer, when this has been the fallback for years. The schools already do their part, pastors, the law have come a long way. Keeping this in "the closet" is just what we have to avoid. One has to strip away their own discomfort of the subject and think outside the box. I am not promoting invasive measures. I am promoting more education for all. We are a society just realizing the implications of war. We must realize the implications of child molestation to get the whole picture, because the results are not that different.

Getaroom 2 years, 11 months ago

Number3of5: Sure, all of those are typical and good suggestions, but these issues are much deeper in the fabric of many societies and cultures than can be addressed by those whom you Have included. Those in your list are often also perpetrators of these crimes against children. Perhaps in a "Father Knows Best", "Leave It To Beaver", or Disneyland world that might be fine. However, there are few, if any, truly functional families, but obviously and fortunately not all harbor sexual predators. But there are in fact, far more than we know of, thus - Lesa's letter. These uncomfortable conversations must be had publicly as Lesa Weller has reminded all of us.
Denial has a long standing in society already and has contributed to the secrecy and pain caused by these horrid actions. Predators come from all walks of life and status, including the mentally ill and those from poor socio-economic status. But also they exist among us as rich, powerful and pious religious fundamentalists. All too frequently the perpetrators of abuse are those perceived as upstanding family members - who's status in society has shielded them for far to long. Out of Darkness indeed, it needs to come out!

Lesa Weller 2 years, 11 months ago

Getaroom, thanks for your comments. You are definitely on target. I am thinking about putting together a forum. I would like to pull minds together and come up with ideas for going forward on this issue. What can we do as a community? As individuals? Would you (or anyone) be interested?

Lesa Weller 2 years, 11 months ago

Iwetmypants, who are you referring to? No, nothing like that. This isn't about "witch-hunting" or someone making a profit. This is about a real crime that is committed to a child every moment of every day.

Kate Rogge 2 years, 11 months ago

When a child is molested, they think it is their fault. They don't want to tell anyone about it.

Lesa Weller 2 years, 11 months ago

Sunflower-voter, this is so true. That is why we, as a community, need to make it very common-knowledge that this is an important issue. To the point that we are getting the message through to the most vulnerable - "It isn't your fault." And "If this happens to you, there are people to talk to who will be compassionate." Another problem is that most molesters tell children and teenagers that they or someone they love will somehow be hurt if they speak out, which also lends to the idea that they are at fault. And by the way, this is happening to other vulnerable populations, but it's not called "molestation." It's call "elder abuse," "abuse of the disabled," and rape." On and on. Thanks for posting.

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