When I was 14,a male,adult family member tried to molest me(he did not succeed.However,I believe this incident,along with other factors,helped set me up to be abused and raped later on). I never told anyone til I was an adult. I live with that guilt everyday because I know I wasn't his first or last victim. My first response surprised me,I got MAD. Which most likely prevented me from being raped. I scared the shit out of the guy,he was scared of little old 5ft nothing 100 lb me. And the bastard still had the nerve to tell me I was to blame. For wearing shorts. In 90 degree weather. In the middle of August.In a house with no central air conditioning. I looked too good for him to keep it in his pants,yes,that is precisely what he said to me. I was 14,he was in his sixties,over 6 ft tall,close to 300 lbs. Who REALLY had control here?
I was vulnerable mostly because my homelife sucked. I never got told I was loved,special,or treated as though I were precious and respected. I was raised by a mother who was herself abused,raped,beaten,locked in a closet for telling what happened to her. Abuse is transgenerational,passed on. It takes alot of work to break that cycle. Many people fail at breaking that cycle,it's not easy,there is no pill you can take,no simple program to follow.
Sexual predators have a built in radar, they are extremely adept at picking the most vulnerable among us. When it comes to those who prey on kids, they hone in on the kid's need to feel loved,accepted,doted on. This process is known as"grooming". It's a courting process,with gifts,flattery,an understanding ear,even a shoulder to cry on. This needs to be understood by more adults,that someone paying lots of attention to your child,or a neighbor's child,may not have the best of intentions. It's sad,many adults simply love kids(like me),and want to advocate for,mentor and help them. But we've come to a place in this country where you can't trust anyone until they've EARNED it. And you must watch,carefully,closely,and never ignore that little voice inside that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck when something isn't quite right.
I'm focusing on victimology here because it's really time for a wake up call in this country. Sixteen year old boys are not,I repeat NOT men. I know guys like to think they were all manly and stuff at that age,but they still were not men when they were teens. Becoming a Man(or a Woman)is a process,and in this culture,such as it is,teenagers are pushed into being adults way before they're ready for it. It might be a little different if we prepared our kids to be adults sooner,but the fact remains that we do not,and 16 yrs on this planet is not long enough of a time for that preparation. Just because a kid that age is 6ft tall and wears a size 15 shoe doesn't mean his brain contains the adult information needed to make adult decisions,let alone the emotional maturity to be cut loose if something bad happens to them. This time of life is ackward enough,and as a Mother,I'd have to argue that kids need the adults in their lives as much if not more at 16 than they did when they were 6. I'm not talking about smothering a kid with overprotective fears here,I'm saying that as a teen, you need someone to help you navigate the choppy seas of life,until you can learn and do it yourself.
The kids most vulnerable to predation are from broken homes,abusive backrounds,those who are overly indulged and overly protected(aka more naive than many of their peers),or those who live with parents who are controlling and overly restrictive(or any combo of the above). These situations leave you with a kid who craves adult approval. Sexual predators who target kids KNOW this,and it's time the rest of us knew it too.
As I've followed the Foley matter,I've noticed it's only been men coming forward to lay blame on the kids. Even Bill Maher did it on his show last night. And I could be mistaken,but all the guys who have tried blaming the kids for this madness haven't raised any kids themselves. They need to STFU and sit down and let parents and victims speak on this. And don't give me any crap about"age of consent"here either. That turd might float IF we taught our kids about the emotional components and impacts of sex and their sexuality,but we don't. If more kids understood this emotional impact early on,perhaps we'd see a bit of a drop in teen sexual activity because we'd be raising up children who can see around corners a bit more. Instead,we pass on our own shame and"dirtiness"about all matters sexual. This teaches nothing useful.
Until you've held a weeping child who gave her boyfriend a blow job because she thought that would make him love her(when instead he bragged about it to all his friends who then called her a whore),or you've been confronted with a teenager who is about to become a father or a mother many years too soon,or had a child come to you and confess to being abused,or have put years into being a good parent,or even read a fucking book about child abuse,don't run your fucking piehole on this subject and blame the kids. They didn't create this fucked up society,adults before them did.
You know what a responsible and mature adult would do when confronted with a kid who came on to them sexually? The first question ought to be this:
What happened to this child? Because it's NOT NORMAL for a kid to behave seductively,especially with an adult decades older than themselves. It's almost a guarantee that kid has been molested. And that should be your invitation to make damn sure this kid gets some help,yesterday. It means you take a deep breath,make some inquiries, and get the professionals on the case. It's not an invite to have sex you moron,it's a cry for help. An abused child will act out until someone intervenes on their behalf. Period,end of story.
Predators ALWAYS have the choice to act or not to act on their impulses. Let's not minimize that. There is NO child on this Earth that has control in a sexual situation with an adult. EVER. I don't give a flying monkey's ASS how"mature" or "precocious"a kid is, they are not the ones in control of the situation.
And let me make one last point,make it perfectly clear:
Anyone who blames the kids in a situation like this IS USING THE SAME DEFENSE THE PREDATOR USES. Got that? By doing this you are no better than the predator,you are DEFENDING what they did. And this kind of shit makes it impossible for kids in these situations to come forward and end the violence. Because that's what child predation is,an act of violence. The predator may never raise a hand to the child in anger,but the result is an attack on the very core of who that child is. No one has the right to do that to another person. Ever.
I'm dead serious about this folks. Anyone who even hints that the kid had it coming needs to be nailed to the wall immediately for using the same defense predators use. Trust me,if that happens enough,these know nothing fuckheads will keep their shitty opinions to themselves. Allowing this to take hold in the American psyche is dangerous,and it's about time to stop it dead in it's tracks.