I was lucky not to be molested

by | Nov 21, 2022 | Child Psychology, Mental health problems, Religion, Sexual assault, Social Support | 0 comments

I recently learned that a professional for whom I once worked in the U.S. had a tragic experience as a child. He was molested by the local priest. The boy told his Catholic parents, who responded by telling him to keep quiet. I would guess the priest went on to molest many other boys.

Hearing that story led me to think of my own childhood. I was a Catholic altar boy. I could have been molested by a priest, but I was not — maybe because I was lucky or because I lived in a small town where it was hard to keep a secret. 

What would I have done if I had been molested? I cannot be sure, but I think I would have told my mother — I was a relatively confident child. I expect that she would have told my dad, who would have told the sheriff. The sheriff would have talked with the priest, put “the fear of God” in him, and then dropped the matter. The priest might have stopped molesting kids — at least until he moved to a different town. No justice for me, but life can be like that. 

Being molested would have had a huge negative effect on me. I would have lost much of my confidence, much of my enjoyment of life. I would have felt ashamed, sad, and angry. I might have been permanently affected — if I never sought counselling. 

Although I was never abused by a priest, many others aren’t so fortunate. In France alone, 333,000 children were molested by priests in the past 70 years, according to a national commission. Worldwide, the number could be in the millions. 

Photo by Marco Ceschi on Unsplash


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *