By Lavinia B. Masters
Oprah did what I have wanted to do for a long time...to try and get inside the mind of a child molester and or rapist. I must admit that she did a very noble thing of trying to bring education and awareness to the public by interviewing these sex offenders on national television hoping that we would listen with our intellect and not with intense hostility. Well aware that she sat in front of a group of manipulative and conniving professional liars she continued on her quest to try and search for something that unfortunately I think that she will never find…the truth and a valid excuse to why sex offenders prey upon the weak and innocent… and for that I would like to say thank you Oprah.
This is the very question that I asked myself for years after my assailant brutally raped me at knifepoint when I was just 13 years old. How and why did this monster attack me the way he did…what was going on in his head? Why did he choose me? What was he doing out at two o’clock in the morning crawling through people windows and raping their babies? Did he wake up that morning determined to find a child to victimize? How could he carry out the assault when I told him stop and fought while crying uncontrollably? Did he have any feelings? Was he human or was he indeed a monster? Did he have a mother, sister, aunt, grandmother or any other female figure in his life that he truly loved and cared for and would hate to see her go through what he was putting me through? Was he born with that devious mind or was it developed over time?
These are just some of the things that I would love to ask my offender in person hoping that he could give me an answer that would allow me to believe that there was something that I could have done differently on the night of July 31, 1985 to not only save me from being spoiled but from going insane. I would ask him not for a valid excuse, because we all know there isn’t one, but just as I believe one of the reasons Oprah did it…to try and make sense out of what doesn’t make sense.
Excuse me if I sound a bit crass, but trying to go inside and understand the mind of a child molester/rapist would be like diving into a cesspool in search of your contact lenses. Entering the mind of a child molester is not only a filthy and immoral place but foul, putrid, and full of waste that is disgusting, linked with moral depravity. A place that has no end and a place where the hopes of you finding your contacts is zero!
As I watched this group of predators share their stories, I flinched as they practically showed no remorse to the crimes that they committed. I was appalled as to how they could even conceive such devious actions towards a child. How could they honestly say that they loved this child yet caused harm in the same instance? I then questioned, do these predators even know the true meaning of love? Love does no harm, especially sexual immorality to the weak and innocent.
However, I salute Oprah as she tried to educate parents and the public on “red flags” and what to look out for when it comes to your child’s safety in reference to sexual predators. It is important to know and understand that 9 times out of 10 that your child will be violated by someone they know. Parents and guardians, we need to take heed to the warning signs and be more vigilant in knowing whom are children are with, but most importantly, not only watch but listen. Just as Oprah said if it does not seem or feel right mostly likely it isn’t.
There are no more excuses for ignorance and I say that because I would like to believe that my parents were ignorant to the fact of sexual violence and the effects that it may have on a child especially when you choose to tell a victim to remain silent about the incident. This helps bring the false shame and leaves a child in a world of chaos and confusion. They need to know and understand that they will be protected and their offender needs help and the hurt that they have caused them needs to be addressed. The lies that a predator tells a child has to be downplayed with words of love. Our actions have to show that we pay attention as parents and guardians and that we will protect them at all cost. Children need to know and realize that if they are ever in a potentially harmful or hurtful situation that there is someone there for them that they can go to.
I am quite sure that this subject matter will never grow old because, unfortunately, predators and victims are created and born every day. These are sad and alarming facts, but as humans living in this world this is something that I have learned to accept…the truth. Now when I pray for all victims… I pray for all sexual predators as well…I pray that they are caught, exposed, pay for the consequences of their sins and turn from their wicked ways. I am learning that, unfortunately, a lot of times predators aren’t the only ones that victimize our children…some of us are found guilty as well because we refuse to address and discuss these very important issues with our children.
Stop the violence…talk to your children about sexual abuse! Once again thank you Oprah!