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A Parent’s Dilemma: Family Molestation

The Troubling Effect of Intra-Familial Molestation towards the Child Victim

Children are the most precious gifts for parents. It says in Psalm 127:3 that “children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him” (NLT). For many families, it is a blessing to have a lot of children at home since they symbolize the cohesive and strong relationship of every member. They bring happiness and joy for the entire family.

 

Accordingly, children view adult family members as their model – someone who provides protection, care, and love for themQuotationchildren view adult family members as their model – someone who provides protection, care, and love for themQuotation
. But what if that someone who’s supposed to protect them is the one who abuses them?

 

When children are...

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Some like to say that a child does not know how to lie. While this may not be absolutely true, the innocence and purity within a child’s personality make him better at telling the truth than fibbing.  But what if your kid tells you that her older cousin is molesting her? What if she accuses your brother of sexually abusing her?

 

When your child reveals to you that he or she has been molested by a family member, such revelation puts you in a very distressing situation. You’re placed in a sort of predicament by which you have to find out and decide if your child is telling the truth or maybe just making it up. Intra-familial molestation is a very serious crime and the very nature of it is disturbing enough that most parents do not know how to react and respond quickly.

 

Obviously, the molested child is the primary victim and the entire trauma is placed upon his/her shoulders. Nonetheless, intra-familial molestation by an adult also creates enormous damage in the relationship of the entire family. While the parents of the victim take her side, some family members may not share the same view. The main problem with this form of abuse is that it is harder to accept the guilt of someone who’s also a member of the family. The truth is every member fights back the acquiescence that one of them is guilty of molesting a younger relative.

 

Every case of intra-familial molestation presents an acid test for loyalty. The common consequence would be that some members choose to defend the molester while others sympathize with the child victim and demand for the imprisonment of the former.

 

What follows is tension.

 

Every member starts to argue and assert himself while others just want to settle everything without other people knowing. You cannot deny it but any case of intra-familial molestation is a shame not only for the accused but to the entire clan as well. By extension, if a family is involved with a particular church community, this can wreak havoc on the entire community as well. It is very tempting to try and brush everything under the carpet so as to save the group a “black eye” in the view of outsiders.

 

But as everyone tries to absorb every bit of it, the feeling of remorse starts to set in. It is extremely difficult on the part of the victim’s parents to swallow their pity for the molester and act according to what’s right – and that is punishing him.

 

Now if you’re the parent of the victim, you need all the guts and strength you can get to stand up for your child’s rightsQuotationyou need all the guts and strength you can get to stand up for your child’s rightsQuotation
. So make sure to bravely face these tests:

 

 

 

  • Loss of friends, relatives, and other close people who think that your family is shameful to have a member who abuses a blood relative.
  • Conflict with other family members who support the molester and think your child is liar.
  • Weighing different opinions and advice from concerned people like friends, co-workers, colleagues, priests, and other acquaintances.
  • Getting enough courage to go to proper authorities or the police to report the molestation and abuse.

This is without a doubt going to be one of the most difficult journeys your family has ever taken together, but remember these words “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4) and these words “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13)


 

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