I was informed yesterday that my uncle has never sexually abused his children. My mother had read my last post and contacted them to establish the truth with regards to their welfare. They have known for a while about his past actions, yet as far as I am aware they have never stated that they are or are not themselves victims, until now.
This of course is a huge relief. I think the world of my cousins even though I do not know them well – the eldest is 15 years younger than me. I’m so glad that they have not suffered in this way.
Yet I do still wonder if he has ever harmed another child in the 36 years since his violation of my trust, innocence, mind and body. If he had the capability, with no social or moral barriers, to sexually abuse a child all those years ago then surely he could be just as capable now, or at any time in the past or future.
Those who sexually abuse children can operate at all stages of life. That seemingly innocent old man who secretly grooms young children in chat rooms, or the P.E. teacher who likes to watch the children get dressed. All hiding behind a facade. All preying on not just children but the assumptions or gullibility of adults who cannot see beyond the friendly, weathered and bearded face or the confident smile, muscular physique and good looks. One only has to look at the news to see famous people who were once idolised and now despised – Rolf Harris, Jimmy Saville, Stuart Hall, Gary Glitter, the list goes on.
It should be noted that paedophiles are classed as “having a strong sexual interest in prepubescent children” so not all child sexual offenders are categorised as such. Maybe he isn’t a paedophile, perhaps he just abuses children when regular healthy sexual activity is not available.
As much as I am so very happy that my cousins are safe and unharmed it does make it much harder to come to a decision on whether to report his crime against me.
Harder still that through my teenage years I was in his company on a regular basis – talking, playing video games together, his jokes making me laugh. In a weird way I miss him sometimes, that fun person who I admired and respected.
But I have to remember that his actions have cost me dearly, regardless of how I felt about him during a time when I had no ability to understand those early memories.
If I reported him now would it be for justice, or for revenge?
I think justice.
I doubt myself though.