by Michael Pearl from No Greater joy – Twelve Year Old Molester
Editor’s note: A mother writes in about the molestation of her friend’s child by another child and Michael says do not report this to law enforcement? He seems to be completely unaware that their pastor is a mandatory reporter under the law and that if the offender is doing this because she may have been molested in the past that by involving the law she might be able to receive treatment from a qualified childrens therapist to help her move past her problems. How is covering all this up helpful to anyone?
I have a very serious question. I go to a small church, which I love. We are all very close. My best friend also comes there. We are both rather new at serving God. Just this week my best friend found out that her 6-year-old daughter has been being molested by one of our closest friend’s daughters-she is only 12.
Never in any one of our wildest dreams would we have thought… But nonetheless it has happened. We are devastated. My question is, if you found out your daughter had done something like this (unimaginable I know), what would you do? And on the other side of the coin, if it had happened to your daughter by someone who you trusted completely, even to watch her alone, what would you do? In answering, please note that we love the little girl who has done this, and her family. Her parents are 2 people that I have looked up to so much ever since I came to church. I have always trusted them to give me Godly advice or a Godly perspective on a situation. They do not have a TV, and have no form of pornography at all in their home. I really would have never expected this to come out of their home. We are all at such a loss; we aren’t really sure which way to turn. Even our pastor is blown away, but he has said, it is a crime, and it must be reported if they don’t say something, I think he will. I just wanted to know what you think, because I value your opinion highly, even though I have never met either of you.
Sometimes kids will experiment around on each other and it leads no where. They are not true molesters, not predators, and not addicted to it. It will pass when their curiosity is satisfied or when they discover that it is taboo, that adults are shocked. That is why it is important to instill in our children that such things are not normal; nor acceptable behavior. Most kids are just ignorant. However, my first suspicion when any child seeks sexual experience with another is to ask and find the answer to the question, “Has this child been molested by adults?” If you can get the details, you will be able to determine if the behavior was just experimental curiosity or taught perversion. You must remain calm and non-threatening to get the kids to talk to you. If your face shows horror or blame, they will clam up. There will be time later to show your disgust.
As to your question about getting the authorities involved. No I would not. At that age there will be no real action taken on children that young, but it will be emotionally traumatizing to all involved. Only if the child proves to be a hardened predator, seeking out other children, would I involve the law. If a child were so conditioned, then no doubt there would be adults involved in the history of molestation. Pre-puberty children do not become predators unless they are trained into it.
I do not need to lecture you on the need to better guard your children. Treat all the children involved as it they were your own. Find a way to minister to the perpetrator and her parents. In a few years the twelve year old could be yours. You will want to separate your children from the perpetrator. It is preferable to allow your child the best opportunity to forget.
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