Dear Auntie Linda, I am in my seventies now and grew up in a large extended family. Not surprisingly, Mothers in our family whispered for their daughters to stay away from Uncle Joe, but nothing was ever done about it. Once Great-Uncle Henry invited me and my cousin to spend the weekend. I don’t know why this didn’t send up a red flag to alarm my parents. Why would there ever be a good reason for a distant relative to invite two pubescent children (boys or girls)he hardly knew for a weekend? Uncle Henry pursued us the entire weekend, fondling us and trying to get in bed with us. He showered us with gifts of candy. His wife was there, but he skillfully maneuvered us away from her, as he no doubt had done for his entire life. At first we thought it was a game, till he got more aggressive. By sticking together, we managed to escape rape, but didn’t enjoy an unthreatened moment. Sometime later, after my sister was molested by a different relative, my mother asked if I’d ever been molested. When I told her about Uncle Henry, she said she was going to let Uncle Henry “know she knew, but didn’t want Aunt Mary to be hurt.” She was very concerned about breaking up the marriage. Why? Uncle Henry and Aunt Mary had an adult daughter, Helen, who lived at home. Helen had a son when she was only sixteen. My parents made much over the fact that Helen was such a bashful girl they’d never even known her to date. It seems likely Uncle Henry molested her. We continued close family visitations with the uncle who molested me and the other two uncles who molested my sister. When we asked our younger sisters later, none of this had ever been mentioned to them, nor were they warned, though the all the families still visited. Until we were grown and compared notes, neither me nor my sister knew the other was molested nor by which uncle. We each could have been easily victimized again by a different story uncle. Not Funny Niece
Dear Not, Who knows why know anyone would ever protect a predator. They just need to be locked up. Hopefully we will reach the point that everybody who comes in contact with a child is alert to the signs and reports.