PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO:
Video Helps Parents Prevent Abuse
Posted on Wednesday,
29 of December , 2010 at 1:10 pm
The New York State Division of Criminal Justice
Services (DCJS) has released a video in which convicted child molesters reveal how they preyed on their victims – and
in which adult victims of childhood sexual abuse discuss what they wish their parents had known or done to prevent the abuse.
Child Sexual Predators: The Familiar Stranger
was produced by DCJS as a result of legislation signed by Governor David A. Paterson directing the agency to create a video
to instruct parents on how to protect their children from sexual predators. It will be distributed to libraries across the
“A child molester is every parent’s
worst nightmare,” said Acting Commissioner Sean M. Byrne of DCJS. “Unfortunately, people who abuse children
are extraordinarily manipulative and resourceful. Parents may have no idea that the friend, relative, coach, clergyman or
other trusted acquaintance who is lavishing attention and seemingly innocent affection on their child is a sexual predator
– until it is too late. I hope that this video will raise awareness and prevent children from suffering the devastating
and often life-long impact of childhood sexual abuse.”
required for continued access to The North Country Gazette. Special subscription rate through Dec. 31, 2010 for new subscribers—6
months for $15.95 (Reg. 24.95)
The video includes footage of four
paroled child molesters who provide candid insight into what they did, how they did it and how parents can protect their children
from people like themselves.
Also featured are three survivors
of childhood sexual abuse – a woman who was repeatedly molested by a 17-year-old neighbor when she was about six- years-old,
a man who was abused by a priest when he was a teenager and a young woman who was molested by her own father.
Child Sexual Predators: The Familiar
Stranger also includes a demonstration by FBI Special Agent David C. Fallon who, posing as a 15-year-old girl in Albany,
enters a readily accessible online chat room. Within 30 seconds, a 47-year-old man on Cape Cod is flirting with who he believes
is a teenage girl; within 30 minutes, seven potential predators have zeroed in on the girl. One of them – “Superhero129”
from Florida – sends the “girl” a picture of himself half-naked and asks her: “Would you fool around
Dr. Edelgard Wulfert, professor
of psychology at the University at Albany, takes viewers on a guided tour through the troubled mind of a pedophile and offers
insight into how child molesters operate, how they manipulate children and families – and why, all too frequently, parents
refuse to believe their own child.
The program is narrated by Tina
M. Stanford, director of the New York State Office of Victim Services. Ms. Stanford noted that children are almost always
molested by someone they and their family know and trust, not a stranger.
“As a former prosecutor and
crime victim advocate who has dealt with sex offenders and seen the impact of their crimes on their victims, none of footage
in this video surprises me,” Ms. Stanford said. “As a parent, it sickens and scares me.”
The legislation resulting in this
video was sponsored by Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol (D-Brooklyn) and Senator Dale M. Volker (R-Western New York).
Below are descriptions of
the offenders and victims who appear in the video and excerpts from their comments. The names of the offenders are all pseudonyms:
“Pete,” a respected
member of his community and beloved uncle, molested his 10 and 11-year-old nieces when they stayed at his house. When they
told their parents, the parents believed Uncle Pete – not their own children. “Pete” was arrested after
he attempted to entice online someone he thought was an underage girl, but was really a police officer.
“What turned me on about
the children, the young teenage girls that I was chatting with online, was their innocence and the idea that what I was doing
with them, talking sexually with them, was taboo to society and it excited me.”
“Fred” used his role
as a teacher and coach to gain access to his victims. He focused on emotionally needy boys, and sexually exploited their need
“I got involved in activities
where children … were involved. I became good at what I did in those fields, coaching junior football, junior basketball
and so on. It wasn’t usually the athletes, it was the wannabes, the hang-arounds. The athletes, they were self-sufficient
usually. They had to have some guts in order to turn out for a team and play, but the kids that hung around … I would
make friends with.”
“David” was a child
therapist who specialized in treating children who had been the victim of sexual abuse. He molested three young boys and two
girls, typically in his office and occasionally while their parents were in his waiting room. “David” would essentially
blackmail his victims, threatening to disclose their secrets if they disclosed his.
“One boy said that he was
experimenting sexually with a neighbor girl. They were both about ten, nine at the time. Rather than doing what I should have
done, which was to report this to the parents…I’m storing this information to say, ‘Well, when I begin to
sexually offend against him, now I have this little thing in the back of my pocket.’”
“Jack” molested both
his 13-year-old stepdaughter and eight-year-old stepson. The girl told her mother, who didn’t believe her; “Jack”
told the boy that if he said anything, the police would come and the child would be taken away from his mother.
“I started grooming her
by becoming a part of the family and taking her to amusement parks, to movie theaters… I would put my arm around her
shoulder, just to see where I could go. Eventually, I’d move my hand down towards her breast… I proceeded to do
the same thing to my 8-year old stepson.”
Laurie was repeatedly molested when
she was six or seven-years-old by a teenage neighbor. It was years before she told her mother, and decades before she recognized
that what this boy had done to her was a crime.
“When I told my mother
when I was 12 what happened, I didn’t feel it was a crime. I felt at that time that it like I had done something terribly
wrong by letting this happen to me. I didn’t view it as a crime because it wasn’t violent, it wasn’t
hurtful … He didn’t hurt anybody.”
Mark suffered abuse by a priest,
starting when he was 12-years-old. The priest lavished Mark and other boys with praise and attention and brought them on special
trips to his hunting cabin deep in the wilderness, where the boys were served alcohol and abused over many years.
“I was trying to minimize
what had happened because I didn’t want to be a molestation victim. I didn’t want to be perceived as having sexual
encounters with a priest, or any male… To this day I feel very guilty that I didn’t speak up. It would have prevented
these younger kids from getting molested.”
Jessica was abused by own father.
But it was Jessica, not her father, who was banished from the household. Jessica’s mother chose to believe her husband,
not her daughter, and Jessica was banished from her home when her father got out of jail.
“The closure for me would
be if he[her father] stood up and apologized …That is the closure I need. But I need closure from my mom more than anything.
I need her to say, ‘I am sorry for sticking up for your dad while I should have been a parent.’ That is what I
need. My dad hurt me. But my mom hurt me more.”
Child Sexual Predators: The Familiar
Stranger was produced by New York Network, a service of the State University of New York. It will be distributed to libraries
across New York State over the coming weeks. 12-29-10