Child sexual abuse is a very tough topic for law enforcement, judiciary, attorneys, social workers and advocates. The families who are personally confronted by child sexual abuse are put into a place where they will never be the same again. Now, add to child sexual abuse ending in murder of the precious little one, and hundreds of thousands are affected. How do we handle it? How do we curb it? Is it possible to stop it?
As we consider the kidnapping and murder of little Charish Periwinkle in Jacksonville, Florida, many questions are being raised. The public seeks answers as to how this could happen? Why did the mother allow her daughter to walk away with someone she had only met perhaps less than an hour before? Let me share what I know from my training and my personal experience as a former child sexual abuse victim.
First, pedophiles are slick, very slick. They usually have been active in their perversion long before being caught. They have an ability to come across as trustworthy, kind, the salt of the earth. Once they have won the trust of the victim (and/or their parent), the path is clearer. They can begin to work their wicked plan. Pedophiles will use such lines as, “I’ll buy you a doll, or candy, or a puppy…” or “If you tell anybody what happened, I’ll kill your mommy and brother.” How is an 8-year-old expected to process this? How are they to know they are being set up to become a victim of child sexual abuse? Children are innocent, naïve and trusting at that age. They are not likely to suspect the evil that lies within the dark soul of the perpetrator. This instance of child sexual abuse that ended in the death of a child should be a wake-up call to all parents, teachers and counselors. We simply must do more to inform our children. It is a sad time when we must inform and educate them about the dark sides of life, but if we fail to do so, we may lose them, just as we lost Charish. There are countless pedophiles seeking their next child sexual abuse victim.
In Charish Periwinkle’s case, this criminal easily had the ability to deceive the mother of this child. We only know he befriended her in a store, saw their needs and used that to offer buying her children clothes, shoes, etc. If the need was desperate, she likely saw this kind hearted man as an angel sent to help clothe her children, not as someone setting her daughter up to become his next victim of child sexual abuse. THAT is how well pedophiles can weasel their way into being trusted.
Now let’s address the fact he had just been let out of prison after serving a sentence for kidnapping and lewd/lascivious on a child under 16. He followed all the rules that pedophiles are required to keep after release from incarceration. He reported his residential address at all times when he relocated, keeping law enforcement as informed as he was legally required. Only the day before, he met with his probation officer. Perhaps in knowing there would not be another visit likely for some time, he struck while the iron was hot. It is very difficult to understand the mentality and capabilities of sexual predators. For this writer, even though I was a victim of child sexual abuse myself, I still cannot fathom a human mind working in such a manner, seeking to sexually assault and murder an innocent child.
For you to think about: The rate of pedophiles that can be rehabilitated is a mere 5%. So, 95% of child sex offenders simply cannot be rehabilitated. So, leave them behind bars. Given this statistic, 95 out of every 100 will probably re-offend. Leave the second chances to God. It is our duty to be prudent to keep the children around this planet safe—safe from child sexual abuse.
Read details of ABC Action News report by clicking here ∆
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