Friday, August 10, 2012


When you find out that a child in your care has been abused, even in a minor way, you instantly start to suspect everyone around you.  You look at everyone wondering, « is it you ».

You start first by evaluating those who are near enough to have done the deed, yet far enough away that you can bear the thought that they may be someone who would hurt a child.  Once those people are eliminated, you move your suspicions slowly and slowly closer.  You judge them while at the same time hoping you are wrong. The closer you get, the more scared you are that you are to blame for not seeing the potential danger.

It is so much easier to believe that it was an acquaintance, than to suspect someone you yourself love and trust.  Even though I am no stranger to the concept of the monster within the family, the thought that there was another, one that I didn’t already know about, and worse, one that I didn’t recognize and never suspected, nearly drove me crazy.

This is what we went through recently, the suspicion, the blaming ourselves.  The answer was both reassuring and horrifying at the same time…it was another child.  A child who had no idea that what they did was wrong, who never wanted to hurt the other child, but will one day learn that they may have done serious psychological damage.

How do you make sure that the child who abused knows what they did was wrong and that they should never ever do that again, without making them feel like a monster?  How do you protect the victim all the while still encouraging them to have a relationship with the other child, because that is the best way for everything to move on?  How do you go on trying to keep everything as normal as possible while maintaining a constant vigilance so it never happens again?  How do you keep from scrutinizing everything that happens from that moment on?

If we figure it out, I’ll let you know

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