Reader disagrees with relationship advice
DEAR AMY >> I read your column every day before my shift. As a former sexual assault investigator, I vehemently disagree with your advice to “Sick of Secrets.” [Sick was the ex-wife of a man who had admitted to a sexual relationship decades prior, when he was 30 and the girl was 15 years old.]
Child sexual assault should never be kept a secret.
If a perpetrator will abuse once, they will abuse twice. This man abused a child.
Who says that this man has not abused his own daughter? This needs to be reported at once.
— Sgt. TM in Tulsa
DEAR SGT. TM IN TULSA >>
Thank you for reading, and for your response. Other readers agreed with you.
In responding to this challenging question, I was mindful of the fact that “Sick of Secrets” reported that the family of the victim was aware of the sexual relationship at the time it happened, and that the victim and her family members had all chosen not to report this — either when it happened many years ago, or subsequently.
I was concerned that an angry ex-wife might choose to “out” a victim, when in my opinion this should not be her choice. She had been sitting on this knowledge for many years, and her motivation now, as I read it, was to punish her ex through disclosing this to their teenage children.
As I said in my response, if “Sick of Secrets” had any reason to doubt her ex-husband’s behavior now, then she should act. She did not report having any concerns (she and her ex share custody of their children), and that’s why I responded that telling her teenagers about this would only shift the burden of this knowledge from her to them.