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Mothers Sexually Abuse Their Children

on Mar 2, 2011 | 1 comment

Honestly, I have not gone looking for stories about sexual abuse. There was a short news article on this situation in the Lubbock Avalanche Journal yesterday.

From April 2009 until September 2010, a Michigan man, Steven Demink, built an online profile posing as a single father and a pscyhologist. He targeted single mothers who were lonely and vulnerable. He made himself more attractive to single mothers by posting pictures of male models on his profile. He lavished attention on the single mothers and presented sexual involvement with their children as a therapeutic act.

I don’t know how he presented himself to the mothers, but he was apparently effective. None of the single mothers he tried to persuade to sexually molest their children turned him in. Instead it was a grandmother of one of the sexually assaulted children who called a local sheriff and turned in the mother. The mother is now serving time for sexually abusing her child.

Demink persuaded women in at least four states to sexually molest their children and send him pictures. He persuaded one mother to sexually molest her autistic son and let him watch via a webcam. The ages of the children who have been identified as victims range from 3 to 15 years of age.

I have to wonder if the mothers of the children really believed that engaging in sexual acts with their children was therapeutic or if they were willing to sacrifice the safety of their children to pursue a relationship with an attractive man. In my experience working with parents, both options are equally possible.

I’ve seen parents who would genuinely know so little about child development that they could be persuaded by someone else that sexual abuse was a therapeutic activity. These parents have grown up in such a negligent environments, they don’t know how to parent.

Way to frequently, I’ve see mothers choose a relationship with a boyfriend or spouse over their children. These mothers have actually lost custody of their children permanently because they would not end a relationship with a man who was sexually or physically abusing their children.

I don’t share this story with you to scare you. I’m sharing this article with you because I want you to realize that parents of your children’s friends may not have the same values you do. The parents of the other kids at your church or on your child’s Little League team may have different values and boundaries for their children than your values and boundaries.

Here are a few suggestions for you:

1. Make sure that you know a lot about your children’s friends and their parents.

2. When your children are spending time with other adults, randomly visit at unexpected times so you know what is going on.

3. Make sure that you spend time teaching your children about safe and unsafe people and relationships.

4. Pay close attention to changes in your children’s behavior or children’s reluctance to spend time with certain other adults or children. Your children may be trying to communicate that they don’t feel safe.

5. Trust your gut reaction. If it doesn’t feel right to you, don’t let your children go.

You can do a lot as a parent to insure the safety of your children.

Keeping your children safe is your job as a parent.

    1 Comment

  1. Just recently a woman who owned and operated a daycare in Houston left 7 children unattended to go to the store – house caught fire and several children died. Even though this doesn’t fall into the sexual abuse category … Parents need to be checking in on ANY situation where another adult is in charge of their kiddos. Children of abuse usually know their abuser too … Neighbor, family, friend of family. Can’t be too careful.

    Thanks for posting Beth! Awareness and staying vigilant about our kids safety is the key to prevention!

    Deanna

    March 2, 2011

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