The first thing that I heard when I was contacted by my victim (one of my child) was that she was having nightmares for the last ten years because she thought that I hated her and would come to get her for coming forward because I was abusing her. Since that time, I have learned that children most of the time have some sort of feelings of guilt for “telling”. It is hard for a kid to tell on someone that they like or love even though this person is hurting them. This is how people who do things like I did can get away with it. Now once someone is caught, we as a society want to protect our kids from that person and make it where our kids will never have to face that person again. And while a child may not want to interact with that person any longer, there is, most of the time, a sense of guilt for coming forward and getting someone in trouble. The idea that my kids would feel any kind of guilt made the fact of what I did, even worse.
I do have an idea that I think would help tremendously. Anyone who does a plea agreement in a child-sex abuse case should be required to read a prepared statement that tells the child that he/she is blameless and the he/she did the right thing by coming forward, and that the person is not angry and does not hate them. This crime damages our children, sometimes beyond repair, doing this is about allowing or kids to receive the absolution that they need, even though they did nothing wrong. Without this type of absolution from the offender, a child will, most often believe that the offender hates them because they came forward. That belief can turn to fear and that fear can make healing impossible.
The reality is that most offenders would be wiling to do something like this and in cases where the offender is a family member or friend, it is even more necessary. I would have done it. Think about it. If you think that it is a good ideal call your lawmakers and tell them about this idea. Make a difference.