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throwawayinaway5 karma

Thanks, that's a very helpful suggestion.

throwawayinaway5 karma

Hi, a few years ago a close relative of mine was sentenced to ~20+ years for molesting his stepdaughters. Although there was no trial, it was a mess. The girls (now in their teens) were placed with separate nonrelative families, and we hear they are doing well.

I've struggled with whether to contact them. My wife and I were never close with them, but we did see them a few times every year. I'd like to apologize to them for what my relative did to them, and more importantly I'd like to assure them that we blame him 100% for everything. Sadly, some of my other relatives have tended to defend the offender and lay part of the blame on the victims because, for example, they dressed like normal girls their age rather than covering up more so the offender wasn't "tempted" (yeah, that kind of thinking is really sick).

Sorry for the long story, what I really want to ask is your thoughts on contacting victims of sexual abuse. The offender comes from "my side" of the family, so part of me thinks maybe the girls would rather never hear from me again. But then I think maybe they would interpret that as me "cutting them off" because I blame them (I don't). Then again, I don't want to disrupt their healing and getting on with a normal life ... but perhaps me not contacting them is actually preventing that in some way or another.

Any thoughts or advice? Thanks for your bravery, I admire you very much.

throwawayinaway2 karma

Thank you. The oldest is now an adult. She had added me as a FB friend some time ago and she has not removed me so I suspect there is no hostility on her part. I've been contemplating a FB message, and I am hoping that me telling her I blame her for NOTHING would be helpful to her.

throwawayinaway1 karma

I have a sibling who is deaf, and based on my observation of certain hearing parents of deaf children (which I assume is the case with your stalker) I cannot help but feel that a lot of this girl's problems are related to her mom's failure to provide her daughter with the language and social and academic help that she needed.

You cannot "opt out of learning sign language at a young age." I'm guessing either her mother simply couldn't be bothered, or perhaps she had some religious or philosophical or otherwise illogical reason for preventing her daughter from learning appropriate language skills.

Either way it's tragic that this woman so clearly fell through the cracks. It doesn't excuse her behavior, but it does provide some context -- and in that light I'm glad her "punishment" is to start getting the help she so desperately needs.

throwawayinaway1 karma

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