Sunday, June 8, 2014

GRANDPA WILL LOOK AFTER YOU SWEETHEART: #INCEST

You have to go out to pick up some groceries and don't feel like getting your youngster all dressed up to take him or her with you. Grandpa's watching TV and having a cuppa. You wonder if he'd mind looking after the little one for an hour. You promise not to be long and you tell your child to be good and do whatever grandpa tells him or her to do. And you're out the door.

When you get back, your little one runs into your arms and starts crying? Did he or she miss you that much in such a short time? Why does he/she looked scared? Oh it's probably nothing. Your little one's just a bit tired ...

Meet Angela: she's in her 20's now and a member of my secret incest group on Facebook. She wasn't that little when "it" happened. She had just graduated from Grade 8, but she waited another 3 years to tell on Grandpa. As she wrote to me recently:

"As I was still too young to stay alone over night, I went to my grandparents' house. The night started off as any other, watching some boring shows that my grandparents just loved. My nana decided to have a shower while my papa and I just continued to watch the television. I heard the shower turn on and that's when the night took a turn for the worse. My papa got up out of his usual seat in the rocking chair and came over and just looked at me. He then proceeded to lift up my blue nightgown and touched me; he fondled my lack of a chest, and kissed me,  trying to stick his tongue in my mouth. He must have gotten spooked because he suddenly went back to his chair and sat down. But not even five minutes later,  while I was still trying to process what had happened, he was in front of me again. He held his finger up to indicate "one more time" and repeated what he'd just done 5 minutes earlier.  When I heard the shower water turn off, I'd never been so thankful in my life! I ran into the bathroom with cramps (which I later learned happens when ever I'm nervous) and begged my nana to call my parents. She called and called and finally my dad came and picked me up at 3 in the morning. He asked what was a matter.  I told him I had cramps he said it must be my period coming on. I agreed, unable to tell him the truth. When we got home I went right to my room and cried and cried and cried."

Maybe to the reader of this post, that doesn't sound so horrific. Perhaps readers have experienced what they consider much worse happen to them at the hands of a grandparent. But all children are different in how they react to violation of their bodies. Some take it much harder than others. But none of them ever walks away and forgets about it.

And the bottom line is NO GRANDFATHER has the right to do what Angela's grandfather did! To this day, though Angela's come a long way thanks to some therapy for this and other abuse she later suffered at the hands of others, she still has a lot of "self" issues.

Before writing this post, I did a quick Google search on "grandfathers, sexual abuse". Pages and pages of articles, forums, blogs came up, like this one:

http://www.southshorenow.ca/en/20140115/News/16612/Grandfather-sexually-abused-girl-for-years.htm

and this one:

http://www.psychforums.com/sexual-abuse-incest/topic52830.html

Read the articles. Feel the pain. Now tell me this isn't happening again and again with those, whom next to our parents, we should be able to trust most: our grandparents!

And then there's this information I found at this link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1393732:

"Using a sample of 95 case records of sexual abuse substantiated through child protection investigation, this study confirmed several findings from earlier studies of sexually abusive grandparents: (a) virtually all perpetrators are male, (b) the vast majority of victims are female, (c) a disproportionately large share of abusive grandfathers appear to also be sexually abusive fathers, and (d) stepgrandchildren appear to experience greater risk. Additionally, it was noted that stepgrandparent perpetrators were more threatening and physically violent. However, contrary to some earlier studies, evidence was provided that this form of abuse is inappropriately described as "gentle." Explicit threats and overt physical assault were noted in 14 cases. Moreover, the other tactics used to gain children's compliance, such as overpowering them, suddenly grabbing their genitals, and attacking them in their sleep, appeared to seriously compromise children's autonomy and personal integrity."

 I was intrigued by that sentence above that said these forms of abuse were considered "gentle". I guess they were like Angela's case. That statement makes such abuse sound less significant, something moms leaving their children with grandpa needn't worry about even if the old man does decide to lift the child's nightie and cop a feel or stick his tongue in her mouth.  After all, it's only grandpa. Right Angela?


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