Writings, Stories, Articles

the Blog

Is There A Predator Living Next Door?


What’s Happening In Your Neighborhood?

Child sexual abuse is most likely happening in the city you live in. It might even be happening to someone you know. It may be happening in your neighborhood, and possibly the person who pulls into the garage within eyesight is actually a predator living next door.

He looks like an ordinary Joe, smiles to show his perfect white teeth, and hollers a friendly hello. He’s somebody’s granddaddy, uncle, or brother. There is nothing about his appearance to indicate he should be feared. And the little girl, whose bedroom he slips into at night, doesn’t know that what he is doing is wrong. Very wrong.

Predators Don’t Fit A Stereotype

My son’s pediatrician was a pedophile. Shocking as the truth was when it became known years after my son was an adult, I could only look back and be grateful that the what-ifs didn’t happen to my son. Unfortunately, they did happen to other mothers’ sons.

The pediatrician held summer camps for boys on his remote property. As a result of being caught molesting young boys, my son’s pediatrician committed suicide.

In the ensuing years, I reflected on the suspicious incident that had occurred in his office when my son was five. The doctor told me to wait outside the examining room, and when he emerged with my son, he told me that my son was “a fairly tense little boy.” I thought it was an odd comment but dismissed it. Had the doctor tried something on my son? Was he providing an alibi for what my son might tell me?

Children are often exploited by people they love and trust. A coach, a family friend, a babysitter. The examples, sick as they are, sometimes fall too close to home to seem believable.

Scared That Someone Is Behind Every Bush?

Yes, you bet! You should be checking every possibility! And checking every corner where you leave your child—at a friend’s house, the church camp facility, the bathroom at the roadside rest park. Without a complete understanding of the people who will be there, a child is vulnerable. Not only are predators living next door, but they’re also aligning themselves with opportunities of every description.

Children Unaware

It’s not always the pedophile who’s out of jail on parole, lurking at the edge of the kid’s playground. Predators can be almost anyone—people you least expect—who use violence, threats, and other manipulative tactics to victimize children. And it’s predators who unscrupulously exploit their victim’s vulnerabilities or circumstances for personal gain. 

The trauma experienced from abuse can have a profound impact on the lives of youth—decreasing mental health, challenging self-identity, and affecting personal development.

What If?

Child pornography has found a welcome home on the internet. It is a multi-billion dollar online industry with over 100,000 sites dedicated to the crime and is one of the fastest growing online businesses. Webcamming is the photography of whatever acts you can put in front of the camera, making the webcam a vehicle for much of the pornography that is so readily available online. 

Fast-forward into today’s world. My son’s pediatrician could have easily orchestrated one of those situations that goes from bad to worse. Who would suspect a pediatrician? 

If a child talks, you should believe. It’s a healthy warning to heed and comes from Our Kids, a Nashville nonprofit that provides expert medical evaluations. Our Kids is also available for crisis counseling in response to concerns of child sexual abuse. They are an organization dedicated to increasing community awareness of child sexual abuse, and they offer education and training about the issue.

Apparently, there’s an insatiable appetite for the deplorable. Can we, please, ask God to change hearts?


Submit a Comment

Let’s Stay in Touch

Sign up to hear news about what I’m writing that may be of special interest to you.

You’re just one step away from a sneak peek of EASTBOUND FROM FLAGSTAFF!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Want a sneak peek of Sufficient Sacrifice?

Download this free preview and get started

on the third narrative in the My Father trilogy.

You have Successfully Subscribed!