I think this is something we all need to take to heart, and spend more time thinking about:
“When someone commits sexual abuse over a long period of time, our first instinct may be to question how they were able to keep their crimes hidden. For many of us, it can be difficult to comprehend how red flags could go unnoticed, be explained away, or even be ignored. This can be especially true if there are multiple victims or witnesses and when the abuse takes place over years. Still, this pattern is not uncommon — it’s time to ask ourselves what we are missing. “
The article then goes on to list 6 ways we miss sexual abuse going on and how this particular case was no different. We had a person who was well respected in the community, targeting specific children he thought would be less likely to be believed, or tell in the first place, who groomed them as well as their families, and who just “didn’t seem like that type”.
This is hardly the first example of this. We’ve seen it over and over again, in the sports world, with teachers, with male and female authority figures. They don’t seem like what we imagine child molesters to be, in fact, they seem to be one of us, and we’d never do that. So it must not be true.
That one simple falsehood keeps this all going. Stop looking at the type of person involved, and look at their actions with children. It’s there. Believe it when you see it.