Hello Mr. Hutten,
I found your statement about going with the flow when writing these newsletters interesting in light of the previous topic on Adolescent Sex Offenders. I have to ask, are the parents coming to you with questions because their children are the offender or questions because their child has been a victim??
I have a little experience with this and am curious what percentage of parents are out there who's children have sexually offended and they feel paralyzed by their inability to talk to anyone about their experience because this topic is just not socially acceptable. I think the parents are often viewed to be just as bad as the child who offended. I feel that not all cases are worthy of litigation but certainly all offenses are worthy of mandatory counseling for the offender.
What are your thoughts and would you consider this parent support group a safe place for those parents to share their experiences, to learn from, and also to help others?
Parents who email with questions about sex offenders usually have some suspicion that their child is engaging in this activity …they just don’t have any solid evidence yet. They’re trying to educate themselves on ‘what to look for’ because some red flags have shown up.
In the U.S., 15 to 33 percent of all sex offenses are committed by persons under 21 years of age. Males represent approximately 90% of adult and adolescent sex offenders reported to authorities.
Many victims do not report their abuse out of fear of revenge. Victims of sexual dating violence or acquaintance rape, or male victims of female offenders often do not define their experience as sexual assault or abuse, therefore do not report it. Other victims are afraid of parental reactions, or are too embarrassed to report because they mistakenly believe that what happened to them is their fault. Some are sometimes reluctant to involve the police or other "officials" because they think they will bring shame or stigma to themselves or their family. Some victims are just too young, developmentally delayed, or immature to realize they were sexually assaulted or sexually abused. Sexual acts by teens are still often dismissed or minimized as being just experimentation or harmless curiosity. Adolescent sex offenders rarely disclose their abusing behavior or refer themselves to treatment. Many parents also do not report incidents of incest between siblings or other members of the family.
Re: “…would you consider this parent support group a safe place for those parents to share their experiences, to learn from, and also to help others?”
Answer: Absolutely. Parents remain anonymous. In many cases, the parent simply states she does not want her email posted to this blog, in which case, it is NOT posted for others to read.