What would you do if your child was a sex offender?
I read an article last night that left me thinking: what would I do if my son (or daughter) was a sex offender? We often spend a lot of time discussing the immediate victims of a sexual offender and how deeply affected they'll be for the rest of their lives. But we rarely ever spend any time talking about the other victims of sex offender, which are his family--more often than not, his mom.
I know that nothing can ever compare to the pain and suffering of a victim of sexual abuse, but it's undeniable that the mother of a sexual offender has to go through her own hell and share the burden of a crime she didn't commit.
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Before I even continue writing, I want to clarify that I'm in no way defending a sex offender or taking his or her side. Nothing like that. In fact, while it may sound barbaric, I've always said that, if God forbid one of my children is ever the victim of sexual abuse, I'll have to be restrained because I'm pretty sure I'd like to harm the responsible bastard. Yet, this doesn't take away from the fact that behind that responsible bastard, there's a mom. And what is that mom supposed to do?
A lot of them often find themselves the targets of the same kind of blame, fear and shame as their children. David Prescott, former president of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, told CNN that moms often feel guilty for not noticing the signs earlier or not being able to prevent the abuse from happening.
Even after someone is arrested and convicted, everyone else distances themselves from the sex offender, there's often the mom trying to figure out what's going to be right for their boy.
Because, again, what is a mom to do? In other words, does your son stop being your son because he committed a heinous crime? I hope to never ever be in those shoes because I can't even begin to imagine how messed up that would be. But I must say that if a mom's love is supposed to be unconditional, then I don't see how I could stop being a mother to my child regardless of what he's done. That does not mean that I would condone or try to minimize what he's done, but it does mean I wouldn't abandon him.
What would you do if your son was convicted of a sexual offense?
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