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Dear Wendy

Friendship over? What do I do?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by avatar Logan 3 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #843870 Reply

    A close friend of mine has recently told me when he was 10 years old he sexually molested two younger boys who were his neighbours (this now being 19 years ago) My close friend himself was sexually molested for two years when he was 7/8 years old by his older cousin. I am torn confused and sick. I have a young son myself and pregnant. While he was telling me this I was understanding I’ve known for a long time about his abuse but never knew or thought he was capable of it too. He said he was fighting with his own sexual progress but when he started high school he realised it was wrong and never did it again. He has been to counselling and Always thought he was the victim in the situation in regard to his own sexual molestation but understands now he is also in the wrong he is heavily into pot and acid to numb the pain as he says it (I’ve always known about his drug use and always thought it was about the pain from the sexual abuse) he has said he wanted to tell me so I can decide what I want to do so that I have a choice. I feel very ill about this and now am thinking should I report him to the authorities also? I have always been against sexual abuse of any kind I feel strongly about how wrong it is. I feel by saying I will continue being friends with him I’m saying I’m okay with sexual abuse. I’m confused extremely sadden and sick. He has always been there for me as a friend even in some of my hardest times (before I even had a child) what do I do?

    #843880 Reply

    You should definitely avoid to put your friend in presence of your child. About his past abuse, no, I personally wouldn’t report him to the autorities or do anything myself, except protect my family. He was still a child himself, right? Or a teenager? You don’t know what happened really and in what real timeline. In my country, there is a justice deadline for such cases, according to their gravity, the age of victims and abusers: it might be too late to prosecute, or not. I don’t know where you live, and what is the law.
    What you can do is to encourage him to go to therapy. You can tell him that you are not equipped, as a person and as a friend, to address such grave issues and it affects you in a way that you can’t handle. You can’t discuss this with him. Friends have their limits. He should talk to a psychiatrist. Then, he can discuss with the therapist what he can do himself regarding his victims and his own abuser: report himself as an abuser? file against his own abuser? both? He can also assess the consequences in a more informed way and start a work on himself. You can also ask him what he expects when he speaks about this terrible past with you? Does he want to own it? What can you do about it? Only encourage him to start a therapy and assess the situation.

    #843887 Reply

    there is an interesting article here on whether or not a child knows right from wrong:
    abuse can retard the moral development of a child so it may be that your friend at age 10 didn’t know what he did was wrong….it probably took a lot of courage and trust to admit what he did
    that being said i would protect my child from him
    according to the law the consider age 12 to know right from wrong
    i don’t know, this is one of the toughest letters i’ve ever read on here….i would err on the side of caution though and never let him be around my children

    #843889 Reply

    I think you need to advise him to see a therapist, ASAP. He gave you this information, so that you “have a choice.” I mean, wow. That’s alarming. That sort of warning is very strange. It’s like “hey I used to molest young boys, I’ll let you decide if you want your kids around me.” He said he stopped in high school, right? That’s when he realized it was wrong and never did it again. I don’t know, that just doesn’t sound right to me. This warning makes me think he still has these urges, or has done more than he’s telling you. Maybe he consumes child pornography. It sounds bad. Does he work with kids?

    I don’t know the laws regarding this type of thing, but based on reading news stories about big cases (Jerry Sandusky, Larry Nassar, Richard Strauss) cases (with adult perpetrators) even if the crime isn’t punishable it might be worthwhile to tell the police or ask him for more information. I don’t know what you can do. Maybe you should ask him what he wanted you to do with this information. Frame it as being concerned (which you are.) Try to get more information. This is if you even want to have any further contact. I can absolutely understand not wanting any more.

    Obviously, protect your children and keep them away from him, whatever you decide.

    #843898 Reply
    Dear Wendy
    Dear Wendy

    I wouldn’t report him to the authorities, but I would stop being friends with him. I agree with anonymousse in that it feels like he was warning you in telling you his secret. Furthermore, it was ungracious of him to burden you with this information – a close friend who has a young son and is currently pregnant. He he needed absolution or forgiveness or compassion or whatever, he could have gotten that from other sources without complicating your friendship and throwing this moral dilemma on you that you didn’t ask for.

    #843983 Reply

    I would tell him to confess to his crimes

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