Child or Predator…

ImageIn the last few days, there has been a farcical, yet very tragic, court case in London involving a thirteen-year-old girl’s sexual molestation by a forty-one-year old man.  He pleads guilty to sexual activity with a minor and being in possession of child pornography and images of bestiality.

The abuser met the thirteen-year-old victim when she asked him to buy her cigarettes from a local store.  He bombarded her with telephone calls and texts over the following two weeks until she finally agreed to visit the paedophile at his home.

In his conclusion of the case, the paedophile’s Barrister, Robert Colover, described the thirteen-year-old victim as “sexually experienced and predatory”.

ImageOn sentencing the abuser to what should have been a stiff custodial sentence, Judge Nigel Peters, reiterated the Barristers words, adding his own ignorant comment that the victim looked older than her age and was “egging on” the abuser.

The abuser received an extraordinary lenient eight-month suspended prison sentence, much to the outrage of the British people.

If you have experienced sexual abuse, the thought of someone describing us as “sexually experienced and predatory”, will immediately turn your stomach with rage.  To face accusations of “egging on” our abusers sounds even more degrading than the sexual act itself.

Of course there is something wrong with any minor who actively seeks sexual activity with a grown up.  Who knows why her young world has become so sexually orientated, but it is certainly not the behaviour of a healthy and balanced mind.

My own sexual abuse initially started at 5-years-old and continued until about 8-9 years old.  The perpetrator was a neighbour.  My experiences were definitely not as traumatic as some fellow-bloggers.  On the surface, they were the “games we played”.  However, the damage to my early development was deep and complicated.  The impact would not be realised for many years to come.

We moved house to a new neighbourhood when I was 9 years old.  It took only a few short days to detect (with my tarnished senses) that we were only a stone’s throw away from another grown up who liked to “play games with children”.

I imagine it was all about seeking attention from a grown up.  There was not much of that going on at home and early experiences had already instilled a belief that most grown-ups only want sexual favours anyway – that is why they are nice to us.

I was the minor, he the grown up. Yes, some might say that I made myself available to him, but my abuser was dealing with a child who had the makings of an already sick mind and he took advantage.

Therefore, this recent case of apparently intelligent and influential men calling a minor “sexually experienced, predatory and egging on the abuser” has been pulling a few ghosts out the closet this week.

Thankfully, the Attorney General’s office has become involved and will decide whether to send the case to the Appeal Court under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme.  So the real predator might just get what he deserves after all.

The ignorant Barrister and Judge cannot participate in future sexual abuse cases until investigations are complete.  New legislation should prevent them from doing so, anyway.

17 thoughts on “Child or Predator…

  1. brokenbutbeingrepaired

    Hi Cat,

    Brilliant post. Was trying to get something written on it, too but got way too messed in the head.

    Having been spoken about by ‘professionals’ in ways similar to that little girl was during the trial, I have found the recent coverage sadly un-shocking.

    Don’t feel I can write the thoughts going through my shared brain right now but am really pleased you’ve managed to write coherantly (as ever) about this case.


  2. myspokenheart

    I am saddened, disgusted and overwhelmed by the information on this case – here in Canada I had not heard of the case (plus I generally avoid the news because of stuff like this)… once again the victim is the apparent ‘problem’, we have had a lot of this in rape cases here in North America. Suddenly the case is not about some-one forcibly attacking and violating a victim it is about what the victim was doing, wearing, the time of day/nite, etc… I just do not understand this mentality…

    You did a very good job of expressing yourself without getting overly emotional and becoming incoherent (always my downfall)…

    Good job! *hugs*


    1. Cat Post author

      I also avoid the news, but this one story pushed through my defences!

      We have new legislation here in the UK to protect victims and witnesses of sexual crimes. The guidelines include
      – A requirement that sexual abuse cases (incl rape) are dealt with by specialist teams of prosecutors
      – Every case must be considered on its facts and merits; myths, stereotypes and prejudices must be ignored
      – A requirement that police and prosecutors ensure that appropriate support is available
      – A duty of prosecutors to challenge myths and stereotypes in court
      – Ensure cases are progressed quickly and trial delays kept to a minimum.

      Evidently, that message does not appear to have gotten through to every Barrister and Judge. It is tragic that one person’s pain can bring about such positive awareness and change. We can only imagine what the victim must feel like.

      Thank you for your very kind appraisal of my post…. Always appreciated.


    1. Cat Post author

      Only someone who has been abused can understand the true magnitude of what you say. Thank you for reading and commenting


  3. Red

    Excellent post Cat, it certainly stirred my ghost as well. Thank you for expressing your thoughts and feeling so eloquently, I think you speak for many survivors.


  4. Pingback: Victim Blaming | brokenbutbeingrepaired

  5. Ellen

    With sexual abuse, it seems there are so many ways of making it the child’s fault. That’s how abusers operate, and children are quick to take on the blame. It’s sad to see a court system act this out. Hope a new investigation sheds much needed light. I relate to how it bothers you by stirring up your own issues.


    1. Cat Post author

      If a social worker or police officer said such things, they would be out on their ass. Thankfully, new legislation in England and Wales states that specialist teams of persecutor’s should tackle future sexual crimes. That might take some time to implement, but it is a step in the right direction.

      Thank you for commenting, Ellen


  6. RisingSong

    I am absolutely outraged!! In fact, it took me a few times returning to this post before I could even write a comment!

    “To face accusations of ‘egging on’ our abusers sounds even more degrading than the sexual act itself.” EXACTLY!! My abuser has never been brought to justice, but when years ago counselors and others talked to me about the possibility of prosecuting him in court, this is what I was always afraid would happen. I was afraid that he would somehow turn the fault on me and that he would expose the reasons why I was an accomplice.

    You hit the nail on the head. Our minds and our innocence had already been tarnished, and they were there to prey on that.

    As difficult as it was for me to read this, thank you for sharing it. But thank you mostly for opening up to us about your own story. This could not have been easy.


    1. Cat Post author

      Rising Song…. It is always lovely to hear your feedback. This was a disgusting case of blaming the victim, but sadly, it is not an isolated one. I completely understand why you would not want to put yourself through this.

      Apparently, there are changes to legislation in the UK over how we deal with sexual crimes and one of the guidelines state that only a team of experienced Barristers and Judges should handle such cases – believe it when I see it…

      This post and responses have really been playing on my mind of late. I read another post where a (educated) blogger was talking about this case. She claims it is a fact that we not only have adult sexual predators but we also have teenage and child predators. I must be missing something. Could it be that I am every bit as ignorant as that Barrister and Judge? Can a child or early teenager be a predator? Mmm…looks like I need to do a little more research!


      1. RisingSong

        I’m thinking our “educated blogger” has never had the misfortune of being sexually abused. I know that I am saying that without the benefit of real facts, but I probably could not handle reading what she has to say.

        As a kid who went through this, it’s really difficult for me to see the other side of this coin. Sure, I know that there are kids (especially teens) who might come on to older adults, but unless the child/teen is threatening to physically hurt him or her, the adult ultimately has the upper hand in his or her power to say no. And just as you wrote in your post, any kid who is doing this needs help, not somebody taking advantage of them.


    2. Cat Post author

      I did do a little research and it seems that older children and adolescents lives can become sexualised from an early age. I’m not so sure they can be classed as predators.

      It wasn’t very easy to read through some info, but what continually came to mind is the point we both make – that the adults are the ones with the responsibility to say no or, indeed, to take advantage. Thanks for engaging with this.


  7. hiddenwholeness

    Well-written post Cat. I was also shocked and horrified at the judge’s comments, although heartened that at least the media saw an opportunity, if not from genuine disgust then from the love of their own headlines, that the judge’s comments were pounced on. It’s unfortunate, but it usually takes things like this coming out in the open to bring about change. Here’s hoping.



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