Asking the right questions

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By Jesse Osbourne


Chances are, you noticed some unpleasant news on the front page.
A man who used to reside in Washington County recently pleaded guilty to sexual abuse.
That’s never news anyone wants to hear.
While I wish the world was full of only good news, we all know that it’s not. I am the bearer of good and bad news in my job.
The mother of the victim, who we won’t identify because it would easily give away the identity of the victim, wrote a letter in regards to the guilty plea in this case.
The mother expresses a lot of anger and guilt in the letter.
The mother expressed guilt because she never, until recently, asked her child if sexual abuse had taken place. She instead, she said, thought her child would come to her if something were going on.
“So, I plead, that if you are a parent, don’t think your child will come tell you everything,” the mother wrote. “I always thought that.”
The mother indicated that she wasn’t pleased with the dropped charges, over 200 of them, but she said the victim was comfortable with the sentence.
If it were my child, I’m sure I would want every single charge to count in regards to determining a sentence. I can understand where the mother is coming from.
Sexual abuse shows up often all over the country. Recently, the national media spotlight has been shining on the issue with incidents at Penn State and Syracuse.
As a parent, it makes the temperature of my blood rise. I don’t want my daughter to suffer a bump on the head, much less the physical and pyschological damage that would come from abuse.
With so many people exposed to this problem through media coverage, I would expect more victims to come forth. Not just from the Penn State and Syracuse incidents, but all over the country in separate cases.
Maybe through all of this we’ll learn more about how to spot the signs of abuse. Maybe someone will be spared, or, maybe someone will start the healing process.
Like the victim’s mother, I’m asking you to ask your children the right questions in regards to abuse. If you think something is wrong, ask. You may be surprised.