advertisement
Question
Posted by: Jacqui | 2010-03-06

Reporting child abuse

Before we open a can of worms, I''d like to know if this is the best for our child.
My step son, now 11, was molested on a regular basis by two individuals known to his mother when he was around 6 years old. This went on for some time. My husband and I now have sole custody of him and he is in a safe a loving environment. BUT I know that those scars run very deep and I can see that as he gets older, it gets more difficult for him to deal with. He has told me everything around the abuse, what happened and what was done - we have a very open relationship.
At the time the abuse occurred, my husband only knew about one of the abusers, a family member who has since died. It was only when our child started talking to me that he learned about the second perpetrator. That is why charges were not pressed at the time.
My question is: is it in our child''s best interests to proceed with charges against his abuser now?
In my heart I know that this may just protect one more child from being damaged in this way and we are all guilty when we keep silent. BUT, another but, I need to do what is best for this child to help him heal. Would this give him closure? Would it reinforce our belief in him and how much we love him? I really don''t know what to do. All I know is that I don''t want to act on " his behalf"  out of a selfish need of my own - I was also abused and am afraid I am just projecting.
Thank you

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Its had to answer your specific question in the abstract - the lad should be seen and assessed properly by a child psychologist or child psychiatrist, who can also help by discussing with him what he feels about reporting the abuser and what this might involve for him, himself.
Is there reason to believe that the other abuser is still active and on a larger sale, rather than opportunistic in this one case ?
Reporting the person, and any subsequent legal procedures can be very challenging for a child, and may well not "promote closure.
It will be easier to decide with the advice of the child shrink, and involving the boy in the decision in this way, looking at the pro's and con's, will help him to feel more empowered even if it is decided not to proceed further.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

4
Our users say:
Posted by: Jacqui | 2010-03-06

Thank you all for your comments and advise. I agree that its best to see a child psychologist first and take it from there.

Thanks again
:-)

Reply to Jacqui
Posted by: Woman | 2010-03-06

Your son needs to know that mom and dad will fight for him. Yes, let a psychologist tell him what to expect if he opens a case - it can be difficult for a child, but the state can protect him. And find out what he wants to do - maybe it will bring closure for him to know that the perpetrator is behind bars, maybe it would just harm him more. He had no control back then, so give him the control he needs to take back now.

Good luck, you are a good woman and a good mother.

Reply to Woman
Posted by: Maria | 2010-03-06

Has the boy seen a psychologist for evaluation and counselling? It might be a good idea to take him to a forensic child psychologist for a few sessions, and get such a person to advise you on your next steps.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010-03-06

Its had to answer your specific question in the abstract - the lad should be seen and assessed properly by a child psychologist or child psychiatrist, who can also help by discussing with him what he feels about reporting the abuser and what this might involve for him, himself.
Is there reason to believe that the other abuser is still active and on a larger sale, rather than opportunistic in this one case ?
Reporting the person, and any subsequent legal procedures can be very challenging for a child, and may well not "promote closure.
It will be easier to decide with the advice of the child shrink, and involving the boy in the decision in this way, looking at the pro's and con's, will help him to feel more empowered even if it is decided not to proceed further.

Reply to cybershrink

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
advertisement