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#62786 - 04/24/02 12:26 AM Reporting the Abuser
WorriedFriend Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/23/02
Posts: 7
Loc: New Jersey
A friend of mine recently told me he had been abused repeatedly as a child by a neighbor. He even told me the man's name. I feel that this person should be turned in to the police, because it is a crime. Especially in light of what is going on in the Catholic Church, I think it is necessary to report acts that stand a good chance of
being repeated and harming others. At the same time, I want to respect my friend's privacy. Is there anything I can do?

#62787 - 04/24/02 11:44 PM Re: Reporting the Abuser
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
You're possibly asking the wrong people here, most survivors would rate going to the police as getting off lightly.
But you have to put a value on your friendship, and maybe your friend needs a real friend right now.
I dont envy your choice, and maybe there's no rush to report anything right now, maybe your friend is more important, the abuser can wait.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#62788 - 04/25/02 02:07 PM Re: Reporting the Abuser
tjcowden Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/13/02
Posts: 8
Loc: North Carolina
The only advice I have to offer is this, just support your friend. It took a great deal of courage for him to open up to you and for you to go behind him to the police would do nothing but bring his pain public. Perhaps in time he will be able to come to terms with his abuser but it must be in his time. I understand the anger that you are feeling but also understand that there may be statutes of limitations involved. Just be there for your friend and let him know that you are there for him. Don't pressure him into anything that he's not ready for. Your friendship will probably prosper instead of him feeling betrayed once again. It's a difficult road.


#62789 - 04/27/02 05:13 PM Re: Reporting the Abuser
Thad Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 08/28/01
Posts: 1752
Loc: Oakland, CA
I am in agreement with TJ & Lloyd, your first objective should be to support your friend. Telling his story takes great courage because most survivors feel completely alone and often were threatened by the abuser that something would happen if they told.

Bringing it out in the open is a most important step in recovery. Helping your friend by being there for him is crucial at this stage. He must have felt enough trust to be able to tell you. Trusting others is very difficult for us and if you inform the authorities without his permission he will likely feel that it breaks the trust that allowed him to take this first important step.

Your feelings about your duty to report the abuser are real. You need to assess the situation in terms of whether the abuser presents a present danger to other children. If he is, then you should give this information to your friend. He will have to make the decision about when he is able to tell versus the danger to other children. I believe it should be his decision and it will be a part of his recovery.

On the other hand, if your friend does not want to expose the abuser and you know of some specific act or involvement with another child that is going on presently, reporting that abuse does not mean that you have to also report about your friend's abuse. The police can act on this present crime. That way, your friend can still make his own choice about when to come forward. But tell your friend first.

Above all, your support for your friend is so important - encourage him to get some help - he will need it.

"..this place isn't a discussion's a portal..." Lupin
"The truth will set you free, but first it will probably piss you off." dwf's AA sponsor.

#62790 - 04/30/02 01:37 AM Re: Reporting the Abuser
WorriedFriend Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/23/02
Posts: 7
Loc: New Jersey
Many thanks for your responses. Actually, I was so angry when my friend told me about the abuse, I wanted to go beat up the neighbor myself, at the very least slash his tires... I still say the jerk should be in jail, even with the statue of limitations... I mean, chances are slim that my friend was the only one he abused, right?

My problem though is also with my friend. He and I are both recently separated and started dating... things were going pretty great, but one day he just cut me off completely... I was very hurt, and asked repeatedly for an explanation... He finally said I was rushing things too much... I was certainly not looking to jump into marriage again, but I did think we had something pretty special... we connected on so many levels (and I did feel honored that he shared with me his past.) So now, after three months of almost complete silence from him, he says he wants to see me again, "just like we were" but casually... "no demands..." Of course, I'm thrilled, but it is going to be sort of hard for me cause I gotta tell you, this guy is excellent! He is truly an honorable, decent person, even more so considering what he went through... he is funny, fun, smart, sweet... nice to everybody, and loves to make people laugh... but (and I did tell him this) as good as he is with people, maybe that's until they get too close? He is so worthy of being loved, and maybe he doesn't believe that? Maybe he is scared of being hurt again, or of hurting me...?

It is *very* hard for me to know how to support my friend. Especially if I am one of the few people he has told... I don't think he has had any therapy at all, and I can't even imagine what he must go through hearing all the news lately... and of course all the talk is about the priests - very little is ever mentioned about how to help the abused people... but I would never bring it up unless he did... I don't want to remind him of something so awful (as if a day doesn't go by when he doesn't think of it!) But I swear it makes me physically ill to think that people like that jerk exist in this world... I mean, I can see (somewhat) if a person rapes an adult (of course that's still awful) but a child?!?!

#62791 - 04/30/02 07:31 PM Re: Reporting the Abuser
getteddie Offline

Registered: 07/19/01
Posts: 226
Loc: Cub Hill, Md
There is a cop who is a member, who lives up in NY. He lives not far from his abuser but still can't get him busted for the SA. What does he do? Go to his house every now and then and comfront the guy...who is old now...and drive him nuts!!! Now I'm an old biker who doesn't like pigs...but this guy is a cool person who has got his shit together...when I grow up ..I want to be just like him...that's what I'm aiming for in my be cool about it like he is!!! He still has a hard time with the sex thing and women and lots of the other head fucks that SA males have but he handles it real cool! Have your friend report it to the police...too long but they will know...then comfront him!!!...lots of times...until he moves out of town! But, I'm not even ready to do this and may never be!!!!! Good luck..but read up on co-depend...and survivors!!!!!


#62792 - 05/03/02 04:00 AM Re: Reporting the Abuser

Trust your gut instinct. You did'nt get to be your age without learning something. Truth from illusion,reality vs our modern-day wishings. If you think this really happened,act on it. But don't allow yourself to become an enabler-of-illusions. Ours' is an interesting time. Other people give us our truths these days. It behooves us to utilize independant conceptualization. Trust your gut instinct..


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