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January 23, 2013

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Anne

Would you have any links/references to where this is in effect? I've been looking and can't find any specific reference to this.

I too have seen this in situations with victims of incest - it's in fact rare, at least amongst the people I've seen, to find any situation where a mother was told and actually supported their children instead of their spouse. I've heard people telling of confronting their mothers as adults and being subjected to the most shocking and cruel taunts. I've had several say that they had years of therapy and thought they'd "dealt with all that" but still with lingering major problems in their lives they couldn't untangle, only to finally discover that it was their mother sitting (seemingly) quietly behind all that abuse. Far too many eventually recognize that their mothers were in fact orchestrating it. All of them say that their therapy never prepared them for that possibility.

So any movement to include these parents in the offender registry is a positive movement. Perhaps after that we might finally be able to get to the issue of women who sexually offend and men who turn a blind eye (NOT a small number, btw, as is commonly believed.)

Any links you could provide would be appreciated. I've been trying to google for them to no avail.

Anne

Re: fathers passively (or so unbelievably passive that they must be considered to be covertly aggressive) supporting a female abuser, the case of Mary Beth and Joe Tinning is a good example. http://crime.about.com/od/female_offenders/a/marybeth-tinning.htm

This case is about child murder, not child SA (at least not that we know of). Unfortunately, female perpetrated SA is so rarely prosecuted (or even considered) that it's difficult to find cases covered in enough detail to examine the bigger picture considerations.


It's my opinion that the possibility of child SA almost always remains unexamined when it comes to female abusers. On an aside, in my opinion, for women the line between murder and sexual abuse is sometimes thin - meaning that they may be more related in the mind of the offender than is assumed by investigators and researchers. Just like men, some women (see Karla Faye Tucker) get a sexual charge out of committing violence, so even the definition of sexual vs. physical abuse can be problematic if we don't take the offenders POV into consideration.

In the case of the Tinnings, if this were a case of SA rather than murder I'd hope a parent like Joe would be on the SO registry. Joe's is exactly the same kind of it-strains-credulity "I didn't see anything" response we see from many mothers whose partners commit child SA.

Both fathers AND mothers need to be equally held to account for "failure to protect" when their partner is abusing children.

I

Hi Anne,

I'm in Texas where women are charged with sexual abuse (SA). It is rare, but it does occur. You can search it yourself at:

https://records.txdps.state.tx.us/SexOffender/PublicSite/Index.aspx

The failure to protect laws are applied to two different situations. One, where the child is molested and the mother knows about it, but allows it. The second, where the child is physically abused and the mother fails to remove the child from the violent sitiuation. The latter is causing an outcry in the domestic violence (DV) community. But I'll return to that.

In either case, I've worked with women who have been charged with "failure to protect" so I know we do it here. And I appreciate the change it is affecting in women's attitudes here, that they must step up and put the child ahead of the man. I had a mother earlier this year who explained to me that her children were removed from her because she was more worried about the well-being of her boyfriend who was molesting them than she was about protecting them. And she was charged for it. She had previously considered it normal. She now understands it is intolerable. So holding women accountable is happening here and changing how women are thinking.

Unfortunately, most of the articles regarding "failure to protect" laws which involve DV are complaining that women are being charged with it. In my humble opinion, many members of the domestic violence community further victimize women by treating them like children who need the agency's protection instead of empowering the women to stand up for themselves. And I think this is reflected by women's advocates in the field of DV's protest against failure to protect legislation where they put the rights and needs of the woman ahead of the protection of the child. Some people are heavily invested in keeping women in the victim role. And I'm sure people will scream in protest about this comment, but I will stand by it. Should violence against women be tolerated? Absolutely not. But should the system treat them the same as children? Absolutely not.

Some articles about "failure to protect" legislation which I found are:

http://www.timesargus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100407/NEWS/100409970/

http://www.caringforourchildrenfoundation.org/?p=6708

http://www.newser.com/story/94074/mom-charged-with-failure-to-save-child-from-beau.html

http://worstparentsever.com/2011/05/tennessee-man-charged-with-raping-children-mom-charged-with-failure-to-protect/

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20091209/breaking/912099952

I Googled "failure to protect child mother charged". There were more articles than these. I hope this helps.

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