This week I received a phone call from a grandmother in turmoil. It was evident in her voice just how scared and desperate she was for help.
Her dilemma was the same I’ve heard, tragically, too many times before. She said, “my son-in-law is sexually abusing my grandchildren but I have no proof, I just KNOW it.”
So I continued the conversation with her as I had done so many times before, by asking questions.
I asked, “Have you seen him touch them inappropriately? Have the children told you anything to alert you? Have you spoken to your daughter, their mother? Have you filed a police report?” And on and on we went.
And again, her responses were like ones I’ve heard countless times. “Yes, I’ve seen him touch one child in a way I knew was wrong and he smiled at me while he did it, knowing there was no way I could say anything. He was a cop so he knows people. They’ve stopped letting me see the kids. My daughter doesn’t believe me.”
As we went further, she said the following statement that made me want to cry. She said, “I’m scared that if I do something about this, if I go to the police, who I don’t think will help anyway, that I will lose the relationship with my daughter. I want to have a relationship with her. What do I do??”
So I paused…and I answered her question with a question. I asked her what I’ve asked of parents and guardians, churches and parishes, person after person…
What is your priority?
What is more important to you; the safety of a child, or a “relationship” with your child built on denial and the potential enabling of a sexual predator?
Because it’s more likely than not that one day you will have to choose…what is more important to you, what is more sacred to you. If what you believe in your heart of hearts is true, then you can’t have both if your child chooses to stay with and protect the one harming your grandchildren.
And let’s say, worst case scenario, you’re wrong. Then what? Will a child who truly loves you hold it against you forever that you were trying to protect their
child? I don’t believe so. And if so, then the relationship has many more
issues than this one.
Now, if you just don’t like your son-in-law and this is some sick, perverted way to drive a wedge, then you will be held accountable for that one day. But if not, if your intentions are pure, as are your concerns, then you really only have one choice.
Those babies have NO VOICE, NO DEFENSE, NO ONE TO PROTECT THEM. And you MUST be THEIR defender, THEIR voice. If not you, then who???
It’s what we all must ask ourselves…IF NOT US, THEN WHO?!?
God how I wish someone who had concerns back in 81 or 82 or 84 or 85 or 91 or 92 or, or, OR (and there were PLENTY of them) would’ve had the courage to stand up and say, what the hell is this man doing with these little boys at his house overnight?!?!
So that leaves us with these decisions…decisions…
…what will you do?