Friday, April 18, 2014

A Paedophile speaks

What a sweet child!

What an adorable face!

Who could resist being charmed by such a child?

Would you mind...? May I play with her for a while? May I dandle him on my knee?

I watch you out of the corner of my eye. I can tell that you are pleased with my attentions. It won’t be long now.

Before I win your complete confidence.

Before I have you eating out of my hand. Metaphorically speaking.

And your child too. Literally speaking.

There’s nothing to stop me. When was the last time you talked to your child? Have you explained to her that bad things can happen to good children? That he should scream and shout and run to the shelter of your arms?

Oh no, perish the thought. You’re a good family. Such sordid messes don’t happen to you. Better to just wish me away.

You would rather trust me than your own child. The child you swore you’d protect when you looked at her innocent face. At his chest, gently heaving up and down in the throes of deep sleep. You’d stand between a hurricane and your child. But you’re powerless in front of me.

Powerless in your ignorance. What is that they say? Ignorance is bliss. Not for you. For that matter, you would have been just as powerless even if awareness were to hit you like a ton of bricks.

“Hush,” I’ve heard it said so often. “How could you speak thus of ___? 

He’s Papa’s best friend. 

She’s Mummy’s distant cousin. 


An older cousin.

An older sibling.

The driver. 

The teacher. 

The attendant on the bus. 

The priest.

The face in your mirror.

The face I show you could be that of anyone you know. Anyone you’ve known since you were a child. Someone you’d trust in a heartbeat.

Besides, what would the neighbours say? How would you look anyone in the eye?

That makes my work easy.

At first, I will lure your child with chocolates. With sweet talk.

Don’t talk to a stranger, you say. What if I’m not a stranger?

And then I will threaten your child. Tell them that bad things will happen to those they love if they tell anyone of what has just happened between us. That should be enough to frighten them. Subdue them. With any luck, you won't even notice the change in your child.

I can't help it. My lust is a hungry beast. Wanting appeasement over and over again. Seeking fresh prey.

It’s easy for me to be charming. No demons gnaw at my breast. No guilt claws at my soul. I’ve shifted the burden of my sin.

See it there! Burdened low. Its childhood in tatters. Its self esteem in shreds. Forever sentenced to fail at relationships. Floundering through life.


Do you ever watch your children for signs? To see if she seems withdrawn? Or if he seems troubled? Would you probe for answers? Or would you shirk the unpleasant questions.

You know children. They have such an overactive imagination. Always making things up. Living in make-believe.

Better to wish me away. But I’m not so easily put off.

Better to shush them up. He’s only a child; he’ll get over it.

She’s only a baby. She won’t even remember this.

Except that they will. In painful, excruciating detail. I will preside over their thoughts. Turning the nightmares loose. Till there’s no escape.

May I count on your support?

What a sweet child!

May I dandle her on my knee?

(April is Child Sexual Abuse Awareness month. Let's spread awareness about child sexual abuse and help prevent it.)


  1. Written beautifully and empathetically. so true that more often than not it is someone known to the child. Ever so scary.

  2. what a strong post Cynthia !
    I wish more kids are taught about the horrible people they may come across! I wish no kids experiences such thing which leaves a permanent scar

  3. Cynthia, as I went line by line, I felt my skin crawling wanting to hit out at the person speaking and behaving thus. Oh what monsters exist in our midst! :(

  4. I wish I hadn't read this. Its truth allway till the end. But I cant sleep now...such horror!

  5. Ugh. So sad. This one was hard to read, but beautifully written.

    Visiting from the A to Z challenge signup page. Great to meet you!

    Stephanie Faris, author
    30 Days of No Gossip

  6. You made me tear up today Cynthia. And these words:

    No demons gnaw at my breast. No guilt claws at my soul. I’ve shifted the burden of my sin.

    ...they were a jeering laugh in my ears. It was the slap I got at a bare 7 years because I dared to talk 'nonsense' about an aged relative.

    I never opened my mouth again.

    But as you said, I remembered. And I made sure to warn my kids well ahead of time... and to keep a hawk eye over them until then. They never went through the things I went through. For that, I am thankful it all happened to me.

    But I wish it didn't. I wish no child will go through any of it. It wipes out your nascent self- respect and it takes all your life to rebuild it again.

    The worst of it is to get blamed for 'inciting' predators. Can you imagine the horror of it?

    Thank you for writing this. It needs to be said- again and again and AGAIN!

  7. Such a powerful write!! This hit me in the gut! Dropping from A-Z!

    Aditi, dropping from A2Z



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