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September 03, 2013

Comments

Stacey

I had a very similar experience with a worker at Disneyland when I was 12. I was a passholder, so in the position to be there a lot and see cast members on a regular basis. Although I did know enough to tell the guy if he ever talked to me again I'd get him fired. But I should have reported it and gotten him fired anyway.

Mkhutchins

I'm tall. At 12, people mistook me for an older teenager. At 14, people mistook me for an adult. Including 30+-year-old men. But a friend's discreet mention of my age always left such men embarrassed and apologetic. Statutory rape laws (and good friends watching out for me) meant that I wasn't left to repel the advances of men more than twice my age. Statutory rape laws protected me.

Thank you for this post.

Kate

I totally agree with you! I look back on things that happened to me at 14, 15, 16 and am shocked seeing them again from the eyes of a now 38 yr old adult. I would say I was extremely naive on the way men think in general until I was married. I was too innocent as a teen to think my experiences could mean more than what I interpreted them to be at the time. Thanks for the post. Your Santa story seriously creeped me out!
(P.S. I'm reading "Midnight in Austenland" right now and am really enjoying it:)

Kate

My heart goes out to her family. Hopefully the guy gets the jail time he deserves.

Anon for this

Likewise, when I had a teacher *details of molestation elided* when I was 11, my greatest concern was that people wouldn't "understand" that he was a perfectly nice middle-aged man who had merely done something inexplicable. Thank God I told my mother anyway. Never saw him again, nor discussed it apart from a conversation with the nice lady police officer. It took a good seven or eight years for me to realize that despite the fact that I thought I was okay at the time, I no longer trusted men to see me as anything but a sexual object. I haven't had a truly trusting relationship with any man but my father since.

And I thought I was old enough to deal with it, and the answer is "no". No, I wasn't. A fourteen-year-old might be getting old enough to start making SOME decisions with PEERS, but not old enough to make any decisions regarding a person four times her age with a large power differential. This is rape culture: where even not-yet-women can be "asking for it".

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Stephanie Rust

When I was around 9 years old a car pulled up in front of my house. There was a man inside dressed as Santa Clause. It was nowhere near December. He called out to me. My little brother followed. He began to talk to us as if he were Santa. My mother, who typically sent us off to play and didn't supervise (as was the norm of that day), happened to look out the window. As she came outside and called to us, the man sped away.

When my mom shared with us what the man had intended to do, I thought she was being paranoid. Of course he wasn't going to pull me into his car and drive away. He was just a nice man entertaining kids along the way.

When I grew up and revisited the incident I was sick. Of course that man was a predator! I shudder to think what would have happened had my mom not intervened.

Santa Claus, a teacher, a church leader are people we should be able to trust. People we have been taught as children to trust.

Side note: Shannon- I live in your area. Someone just posted a picture of a car. The man inside the car has been driving slowly around N.S. taking pictures of kids as they walk home from school. This brought home my experience. Always be aware.

I look

Juli

I completely agree. Thank you for saying just what I felt.

Rebecca

Thank you for such a good description of why statutory rape laws should exist. I have no idea why some in society think that someone who can not drink, live on their own, vote, watch rated R movies or do other adult things should be able to consent to sex with an adult. And when that adult is in a position of authority over them, someone who is supposed to have their best interest in mind, why do people think that that wouldn't sway a young person's actions? When that judge in Montana said the equivalent of "she looked 18" I was beyond shocked. We have these laws for a reason and we as a society need to demand that they be upheld.

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