There is super casual neighborhood mothers page on Facebook that I belong to. Today someone else in the group posted an attachement to a letter written by a Mom accusing her babysitter of taking her 3 and 5 year old girls to the home of two male friends where they were separated from each other and sexually abused.
It turns out I know the Mom and family. And from what I understand they have contacted the police and have been told there is nothing that can be done.
The young woman had provided child care for at least one other mother in the thread. A long discussion ensued about the matter and several people weighed in to say it was inappropriate to have the conversation at all. We don’t know what happened, innocent until proven guilty, etc.
I forwarded the letter to Z at work. He and I had a long talk and decided I should email the letter to neighborhood Moms we know. I did, I even included T’s preschool teacher. But I don’t know if it was the right thing to do. Am I participating in fear mongering? Is it responsible to share a pertinent situation with our neighbors, or is it irresponsible to spread rumors?
I am really asking these questions. What do we do in this situation? What should we tell T? We haven’t even started talking about inappropriate touching. How do we bring it up without scaring the shit out of him?
And what is the right way to handle this if the police won’t help? Ultimately I decided that true or not I’d want to know that the issue was happening in our neighborhood. If the young woman and men are being falsely accused it is a terrible thing that could ruin their lives. If they did this I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that there is nothing the parents can do according to the police. A mother on the FB thread felt that sending the letter was an awful invasion of the privacy of the children who were suspected of being abused. But what is the alternative? Not to talk about it and risk it will happen again?
I feel sick to my stomach. And completely and totally unprepared to deal with these issues as a parent. Friends, I am asking you, what do you think? What is the right thing to do? How to we protect our children? Today I am really scared. I don’t feel ready to handle this responsibility of leading people through this world where so many terrible things can happen.