Every time I encounter this, I feel the need to say something, to shout something, about it. But I haven’t before. I’ve just encountered it again. I’m saying something.
I have to say this, not to criticize those who have already done it — that’s not productive — but to plead with those who are thinking about doing it, to those who are convincing themselves that it will be OK. IT WON’T BE OK. And even if there were a slim chance that it would, the risk is too great.
I have seen them in the media, and I have met them in real life. Over and over and over again. Those women (usually it’s women) who were sexually violated during childhood by family members. When these women grow up, they convince themselves that their own children will be safe around those same family members.
“He’s old now, he doesn’t think like that.”
“I forgave him, and we have moved past that.”
“I told him what will happen if he does, and he’s promised me that he won’t.”
“He knows how much it hurt me; he would never do that to his grandchild.”
GET. REAL. I understand that you wish all those things were true. It’s only normal that you would wish they were true. I wish it for you. But God didn’t entrust your child to wishes. God entrusted that child to you. It is your job to keep her or him safe. When you delude yourself enough to put your child in that situation, and what you have convinced yourself won’t happen, happens . . . You are the one who knew better. Not your child, not even the perpetrator, who may have convinced himself he wouldn’t do it again. No, you are the one whose job it was to keep that child safe, and you, better than anyone, know that his promises aren’t true. They weren’t then, and they aren’t now. How many times were you promised it wouldn’t happen any more? Or told that it was OK? That is was normal? And all the other lies that just now disgust me too much to even write them here?
You know better. If you don’t do better, then you are an accomplice. Please don’t sacrifice your child in the name of family relationships, or saving face, or an inheritance, or forgiveness, or writing a happy ending to your story, or any other of the dozens of things that can’t compare to your child’s safety.