Adapted from a recent online discussion.
My son is getting married soon to a lovely woman. Since they are in their mid-30s they have told me they would like to start a family right away. My ex is bipolar, which my children know. However, they are not aware that he is a sex addict. I happen to know he makes obscene phone calls. He acts very flirty around teenage girls. Likes to wrestle, tickle and pick them up. While I do not know for a fact that he engages in child pornography, I believe he has that potential.
Should I tell my son and his wife this if/when they have a little girl? What do I tell?
Tell your son what you know, whatever you know, now, just facts, because he deserves this knowledge, whether he has a little girl, a little boy, or no children at all.
Tell your other children, too. You clearly mean well, but you are protecting the wrong entity here.
Re: What do I tell:
As a former child-sex-crimes prosecutor, I would like to address a common misperception, which seems to be shared by Ex, that pedophiles only target young girls. In fact, child sexual predators target boys as well, depending on their personal preferences. So the advice that she should share what she knows with her children — regardless of whether her future grandchildren are boys or girls — is spot on.
Also, I don’t know what level of detailed information she has regarding her suspicions that her ex may be collecting child pornography — which is a state and federal crime — but if she does have information, I would encourage her to contact her local FBI office to report what she knows.
I have been sitting on this for 25 years. It will just crush my son to find this out.
Why do I feel so terrible about this dilemma? I am afraid he will tell his father why he doesn’t want him alone with a child, and then I will be in hot water with everybody.
— Ex again
You didn’t heat the water, he did. Do what you must. Please. If you don’t feel strong enough to take important actions to protect the people you love and possibly society, then please talk to a therapist as soon as possible. Keeping it to yourself is not a defensible option.
“I am afraid he will tell his father why he doesn’t want him alone with a child and then I will be in hot water with everybody.” That’s exactly the sort of manipulative fear that child sex abusers are counting on, in order to continue their abuse unchecked.
— Anonymous 2
Re: What do I tell:
Ex can report suspected child pornography use to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at report.cybertip.org.
— Anonymous 3
Thank you all for the valuable contributions.
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