Letters

Sex Offenders

You paint Dallas County Probation officers as though they are "hit men." Could it be that you interviewed disgruntled therapists and that the probation officers are really doing an excellent job? I have been working with child sexual abuse since 1976. Nicholas Groth, Suzanne Segroi, and Henry Gioretto, all pioneers in child sexual abuse treatment, encouraged a multidisciplinary approach. This approach has proven to work best, and I believe that this is the approach that Dallas County encourages.

Joanna Vatsis
Via e-mail

The monster side: As I read the article "Hello, My Name Is Pervert," I was hit with a lot of mixed emotions. I do feel that the laws with which we label and persecute these sex offenders should be applied on a case-by-case basis. To say the man who drops his pants at a pool is in the same class with an actual child predator is crazy.

Many times, it's not the stranger we need to be looking for to take our children and to do the unspeakable. This is not a new problem, either. Molestation of a child is only now being screamed out against, but it's been going on forever. I had a baby sitter who watched me, and in that time I was molested in the morning by her husband almost every day. I finally told the baby sitter, and she begged me not to tell my parents. Her husband found out I told and proceeded to rape me one afternoon when I was left in his care by her. Later, I discovered that his stepdaughter had also been molested by him 15 years earlier.

Out of all the children this woman watched, four other girls were also treated this way. Over the course of dealing with this, I became withdrawn and stayed to myself for years. I also fell into self-destructive behavior, and I resolved within myself to get over the things that man did to me. Not surprising to me, some of his sons have been accused of molesting children. You see, they were allowed to watch what he did to us. It's scary to know that there are human beings out there in the world who wait for these opportunities. It's scarier that people would go as far as they do to protect the monster side they have. I try my best to screen anyone who may watch my own children, and I rarely let them stay at anybody's house overnight. It doesn't always matter. My little girl was 2, and the daughter of the baby sitter molested my child. The one who did it was 13. So, stereotyping and screening and laws just don't work; knowing where your kids are and who they will be around and open communication with your children are the best policies.

I do hope that the 13-year-old gets help, and I do hope that the man who preyed on me is happy in Hell. In the end, that's the judgment that will matter the most.

Name withheld
Mesquite

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