Dear Readers - Many of you expressed concerns about a man, known for inappropriate sexual touching, who has taken in a troubled teenager (Nov. 14 column). His family was ignoring disturbing behaviour with the girl.
Many suggest that the writer call child welfare authorities and make an anonymous report. She can describe what she and others witnessed and the girl’s vulnerability.
I’d already noted that those who know of the likelihood of sexual abuse and do nothing, risk being charged, along with this man.
Here’s added reader information that is consistent with the situation:
“Frotteurism: With me, (a man) pulled me up on his lap and had an erection in his pants. Doing this with others around is part of the thrill for the man. It can be utterly devastating to the victims.”
The word frotteurism means an interest in rubbing, usually one's pelvis or erect penis, against a non-consenting person for sexual gratification (Wikipedia). It’s often done where the victim cannot easily respond, i.e. in a public place. Usually, it’s viewed as a form of criminal sexual assault.
I have two daughters, 39 and 43, and five grandchildren; my daughters and I are in constant phone communication. I’ve been a hands-on grandparent - crafts, swimming, sleepovers, museums, playgrounds, etc.
Three years ago my oldest daughter, wrongly accused me of favouring her younger sister. She said nasty, hurtful things. We didn't speak for a month. She and her husband have been in a difficult separation process for 18 months, while under one roof. I haven’t been to their home nor seen those three grandchildren (16, 17 and 21) much.
Last Christmas, my granddaughter, 17, bought gifts only for her other grandparents who are elderly. I was hurt. She said she couldn't afford to give me a gift, too, though we were closest. My husband talked to my daughter, privately, but she wouldn’t intervene.
My mother, 83, recently had cancer surgery and I’ve been her main, very stressed, caregiver. My granddaughter planned to baby sit great-grandma, but due to a cough, she decided instead to stay with my sister.
I called saying I wanted her to stay with me, but she wouldn’t. She said, "I know you’ve done lots for me, but I love you both the same!"
My daughter said I was overly sensitive at this time, and she’s to blame for telling my granddaughter to call my sister. I was in tears. When she later phoned saying my granddaughter would stay with me, I said, forget it.
I don't want to see my daughter or granddaughter over Christmas!
Family, get a grip! It’s terribly sad when a large and connected family splinters over relatively minor spats. All the players here currently have life stresses.
Your eldest daughter’s situation (living with separating hubby, the effect on three older kids, possible mid-life changes) is rife for producing sibling jealousy. It’s time for a wise mother - YOU - to stay reassuring and not take her every word and action so personally.
Your granddaughter’s caught in this tension, trying to please some people and yes, taking you for granted. That’s actually a compliment, even if you prefer a different kind.
And then there’s your own natural stress and fatigue from caring for your ailing Mom. So take a break and get relief help from anyone else in this wonderfully extended family.
Then, plan a Christmas that’s consistent with the joy you’ve given your children and ALL your grandchildren, for years. They’re lucky to have you. And vice versa.
Feedback - On Gifts for Children: “Our two young girls at Christmas used to receive many age-inappropriate gifts; they also already had way too many things.
“We asked everyone to contribute whatever they wished to one gift that we’d all buy together. Last year, we all bought a dollhouse that our girls play with for hours.
“Each relative had their name on a box that went with the doll house; everyone was happy. Any leftover money was put into their education fund.
“We also asked all non-relatives to please not give any gifts but instead to find an activity that we can do together or, better still, give a gift to a charity for children who need something at Christmas.
“We’re no longer wasting time looking for gifts for children that already receive too much (ours and theirs) and instead, spending more time enjoying the holidays with family and friends.”
Tip of the day:
Christmas dinner is NOT the time to bring family tensions to a boil.