Justice is unequal in sex abuse

  • Article by: PAM LOUWAGIE and GLENN HOWATT , Star Tribune s taff w riters
  • Updated: June 16, 2009 - 12:23 PM

Those who molest family members get lighter sentences than outsiders, data show.

  • 15
  • Comments

  • Results per page:
BONNIEB62Jun. 3, 0911:30 AM

Things are a bit better than when I was a child. I was raped by an older relative and my mother kept it a secret-didn't even tell my father and we never talked about it again. Years later when my older brother and sister found out they didn't believe me.

srcolfordJun. 3, 0912:28 PM

Thank you for sharing your story, I appreciate it. I am also a person that comes from a long history of sexual abuse. Family and friends, thank goodness I have a great support system at home to help me through the years. I pray for those who repressed the thoughts and suddenly think they are going crazy because all these memories are coming back to haunt or those who never told. Also those who told and weren't believed, I pray that you are getting some help that you need!

sage1994Jun. 3, 09 3:08 PM

Less of a sentence for a family member? That is so wrong! It should be stiffer for sure.

srcolfordJun. 3, 09 3:10 PM

A huge good luck to you and your daughter. I would like to recommend Central Minnesota Sexual Assault Center or one in your area, if you haven't already contacted one. They can offer advice for you and other affected family members. This is something that will be hard, but at least you can thank that you are getting him charged. Some of us aren't so lucky. You guys will be in my thoughts! You can make it through this

redgemJun. 3, 09 4:28 PM

A list of these things would help more of us be aware and stop these awful situations sooner. I'm sure it's been printed before, but it bears repeating. Best wishes to all of you who've had to live through this.

HotsplitterJun. 3, 09 4:57 PM

These felons should get LONGER sentences rather than shorter ones because they are much more in a position of trust!!!

dflpartyJun. 3, 09 5:09 PM

The Democrats that run the Hennepiin & Ramsey Couty Attornies offices take the easy way out. Sure it's more work to get the tough conviction, so they don't even try. Typical waste of taxpayer dollars by democrats

impel2Jun. 3, 09 6:12 PM

I was a victim of abuse, too, I have three things to say. One, I am very familiar with impact and lasting effects, and it is proven that abuse by a person in a position of trust is much more traumatic and psychologically damaging, so sentences should absolutely be higher. Two, what judges or juries *think* is best for families is not necessarily best for the victim. Just because an abuser could be a breadwinner doesn't mean a family can't figure out how to make ends meet and come up with a solution if he goes to jail. The material inconvenience of other family members is NOTHING compared to the amount of work it takes for a victim to heal from something like this. Not finding a solution means you've given up. Judges/juries need to get over the idea that the world will end if a family needs to relocate/find new support/whatever. And lastly, to the victims, my heart goes out to you. My advice to you is that you will heal completely (and yes, this is possible) only if your "success" is not dependent upon winning a court case. If you want to heal completely, you have to build a new association and ultimately change the meaning of this trauma for yourselves (e.g., becoming an advocate, educating others, volunteering, doing what you can to make sure this doesn't happen to others, etc.). I know you guys can do it. Take the time that you need, but work through all of the hard parts. It is more than worth it. I've never been happier in my life and I know you can get there, too. Peace.

ZombiehunterJun. 3, 09 8:24 PM

in one way or another. My mother, by her father from a very young age to her early teens; an ex-boyfriend, by his own grandparents; friends from elementary school, by a neighborhood "friend," and one friend whose husband raped her on a regular basis if she dared to say "no." As far as I know, NONE of these people spent any time in jail. This needs to be stopped. I was abused by other children of my own age in my 'tweens and have subsequently blocked out many of what should have been my most cherished childhood memories. Not a day goes by that I don't think about what someone must be going through, right now, because no one bothered to report a situation. If you SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.

srcolfordJun. 4, 09 8:08 AM

You are absolutely correct, it is sad and scary that so many people are getting away with this. I am an advocate for a MN Sexual Assault Center and it is surprising and sickening to see how many get away. What are we teaching everyone? To reaffend? My last sexual assault happened 4 years ago in my own home by my boyfriends friend. Of course when it came time to try to bring charges I had to speak to my perp on the phone and he claimed that I had called rape on so many people (Did anyone read that recent story?) and then of course he wouldn't even say sorry. Only saying that he would burn in hell if he ever did that. Well before I broke the phone I screamed enjoy HELL! I was let go from my job because we worked at the same place and of course I was the lier.


Comment on this story   |  


question of the day

Poll: What's your favorite Easter candy?

Weekly Question





Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters