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Paedophile hysteria on MN-should DH quit?

(99 Posts)
socharlotte Tue 13-Nov-12 12:04:17

DH is a qualified gymnastics coach.Something he got into when our teenagers were small.He always works in the company of other coaches and there is a parents viewing area.
However most of the gymnasts are little girls (there are a few boys).the jog obviously involves physical contact with the children supporting their flips and vaults etc.But I am thinking he should quit after reading some of the posts on MN recently .A dad hanging round a nursery and a headteacher hanging round a classroom are viewed with suspicion.Are people saying this about DH too.How sad it is that men can't work with children without being viewed as weirdos sad

MrsMelons Wed 14-Nov-12 14:11:47

The father at the nursery is potentially not a volunteer and actually just a 'hanger on'. Thats what people meant.

Both my boys have male teachers (they are at infant school) and it has never crossed my mind to be concerned in the sameway I wouldn't be concerned if they were women. They have male instructors at out of school clubs too and it really hasn't crossed my mind that they are in danger. All adults in a position of trust should ensure they protect themselves from false allegations.

I know a couple of teachers who have been falsly accused of things (not necessarily sexual harrassment or anything like that) but they have allowed themselves to be in a position where things can be made up about them. One instance I know of was a girl in my class saying a female teacher hit her - she openly admitted to us she made it up but the teacher was alone with her so she realised the 'opportunity'. Awful stuff and not a good outcome.

cory Wed 14-Nov-12 07:48:21

First of all, I still think the hysterics are in a minority- and if you have been on MN for any length of time you will have noticed that they always get laughed at here.

Secondly, there was a thread only the other day about a poster who suspected (with good reasons, it seemed) that her child was at risk of abuse from her grandmother. And listen to Penguin further upthread- as a professional she sees female abusers very regularly. Posters who believe they are keeping their child safe because they are only leaving them unsupervised with women are burying their heads in the sand. There is absolutely no reason to believe that a child will be safe just because s/he is only left with female relatives.

The only thing that will keep a child safe is a parent who can tell the difference between normal and abnormal behaviour and a child who also knows the difference and feels confident enough to tell. Imo for a child to develop their abnormality radar, they need to come into contact with a wide range of normal, non-abusive adults, not be left cocooned in their own nuclear family with no experience of the outside world. A confident child, as LivesInJeans puts it.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Wed 14-Nov-12 07:39:54

The implication was there about the father at nursery when she said she wanted him CRB checked. Just saying.

LivesInJeans Wed 14-Nov-12 07:38:15

Dismissing one thread as hysteria when it had classic signs of an abuser in action (someone leaving career in UK to work in area without CRB checks, isolating a child and insisting on being present in situations where children are undressed but there is no need to and taking small child to sit on his the jacuzzi alone?)is really worrying. Either a deliberate attempt to mislead or a plain lack of appreciation of how paedophiles work. I have trained in safeguarding adults/children and work with sex offenders. The one biggest impression made on me when I started work was how many of these men (my clients are all men) don't present as weird, odd or creepy. Prison staff told me that's very normal and they wouldn't be able to offend if they didn't have the ability to lull parents into trusting them. About 50% have loving families, wives, own DC (usually adult). No flags apparent.

Do I think we shouldn't trust any man? Not at all I do think same rules should apply to men/women/family and mean inappropriate behaviour is not allowed. Most abuse continues because adults ignore it. The fear of being seen as hysterical is a good barrier to adopting healthy child protection.

maddening Wed 14-Nov-12 07:20:55

But the teacher wasn't just in the gym class - there was some odd behaviours that would make anyone uneasy.

And the man hanging round the nursery was not employed there - and she wasn't suggesting he was there in a paedophile capacity- she was annoyed he was taking up nursery workers time as they were distracted from their work and chatting to him.

I don't think people make accusations of paedophilia lightly at all.

ecohippo Wed 14-Nov-12 01:00:56

Okay I did want to post anon but anyway. I feel so angry that someone is trying to push this under the carpet as a 'hysteria'. It is about time that children were protected from men (or women) who want to use them for their own gratification.

I was born in the 80s and I know way too many who have been sexually abused. I was sexually abused as a child and am only just coming to terms with it now as a married mother. It damaged me so much that I actually purposefully forgot large buts of my childhood so much that people would have to tell ME what I was like/did.

I was abused by my uncle whilst he was staying at our home regularly. I remember feeling that I was the naughty one/maybe I like it. I was aged about 6-8. I Didn't even show any signs of puberty. If I tell you what he did you would probably throw up over your computer. I was abused by my older cousin when I went to stay at my aunts house. Yes I still went back and wanted to go back to stay at my aunts and would not avoid my abuser. I just acted normal. I was asked sexual questions by another cousin who use to tell me how I could do things. This was all whilst I was in primary school btw.

I have a friend who's step dad tried to rape her and she managed to injure him to get away.

I know another person who was abused by her cousin.

Another who did things with her brother/cousin. It came to light her brother also abused another cousin.

Another who said that it was pretty common in her time for cousins to 'mess around' together.

My sisters tutor in college (last year) said some every sexual things to some of the girls in her class including her as a 'joke'. She said she felt very uncomfortable and couldn't wait for the year to end. She came to hate that teacher and only says he is disgusting.

my secondary school teacher slept with one of the kids on a school trip. I don't know what happened to her.

Non of these people who were abused ever reported it to the police.

So I can understand someone not wanting to leave their children around their own brother. I would feel uncomfortable too. Not because I think my brother would do anything. But because I'm sure my father never thought his brother would abuse me! No one would tell you what they are doing to your child and go to great lengths to hide it. Also children are very good at pretending everything is normal.

My children won't sleep over another person's house except my mother's. When we all stay together I make sure girls and boys are separated.

It is sad but unfortunately this thing happens much more than it should.

Paedophile hysteria?!! Don't make me laugh! It is not spoken about enough.

Your question.I gather it is rhetorical yes?

Cathycomehome Wed 14-Nov-12 00:31:12

I read up to page three, so forgive me f I missed something, but... My partner of thirteen years, the father of my children, my NON PAEDOPHILE partner is a primary school teacher. As am I actually. I would be VERY upset if people thought he was in some way weird because of his job.

LivesInJeans Tue 13-Nov-12 23:51:02

Two of the above abusers were women btw

My DD has male swimming teachers. I'm fine with that. I think they are great. Previous swim club had a male teacher who made me very uneasy. No evidence. No clear reason. We left though.

LivesInJeans Tue 13-Nov-12 23:49:04

Hysteria? Bit harsh. I was born in the 60s. My Dads best man tried to groom my brother, my history teacher had an affair with a girl in my class, a colleague at works' Dh was imprisoned for his activities as a scoutmaster, choir leader at Church was cautioned for lewd behaviour in public toilets, friends son was groomed by the family GPs wife (couldn't make some of these up!)

Of those... One went to prison.
It's out there.

I strongly believe the best way to protect your DC is to make them confident and encourage them they would be believed if they came to you with an issue.

My DP is also athletics coach. He takes sensible precautions. Any person who wishes to declare it all 'hysteria' and prove it by ignoring the sensible precautions is putting themself at risk or has an ulterior motive.

Should he resign? No that would be hysterical

neuroticmumof3 Tue 13-Nov-12 23:34:42

DD had a male nursery worker for 2 years, he was fantastic and she adored him. I would not be worried about male gym/swim coaches who have to, at times, have physical contact with my children. I would be more wary of any adults who have an emotional 'importance' to my child. I think child sexual abuse often has a significant emotional/psychological element to it; victims often want to please/appease the abuser. Penguin, you make a good point about gender blindness when it comes to child sex abuse.

AnyFucker Tue 13-Nov-12 23:29:01

my H is an athletics coach and has never considered giving it up for this reason (he is a volunteer, so could be classed as a "hanger on" I suppose)

he is CRB checked, but as everyone knows, all that means is that up until the day of the check, you haven't actually been caught yet (if you are guilty of something)

I have enhanced CRB disclosure for my job, but since I haven't had a new job in years, it means fuck-all

OP, your H should carry on what he is doing

PenguinSalute Tue 13-Nov-12 23:18:49

But I don't understand the argument of people who are saying it's not hysteria- even if it's not, and child sex abuse is more widespread than some people are aware of, why are we just focussing on males? As someone that works in rehabilitation of offenders, I come into contact with female sex offenders with great regularity.

It concerns me that the people who talk about viewing males as a threat etc think they are doing everything they can to protect their children,yet are seemingly overlooking the fact that females can be a
risk too- it's that attitude that can end up leaving things to be overlooked/disregarded- which is one of the main reasons abuse by female perpertrators can go unnoticed for extreme lengths of time.

Justforlaughs Tue 13-Nov-12 15:57:55

I sent my own DC's to a male tennis coach and love the fact that at pre-school age they had the opportunity to see a man in a role like that. They also have a male teacher for trampolining , and I feel the same way about that. In all honesty, I don't know how I would feel about a male childminder, actually I'm not a fan of childminders full stop and have never use done. I wouldn't have aproblem with sending my child to a nursery where there was a male member of staff and yet conversely I haven't encouraged my 19 year old to go into a chilcare profession because of concerns over allegations. He would be fantastic with little ones, but I do worry about how he might be percieved. (I haven't discouraged him either, and would support him if it was something he felt strongly about, it's just something I can see him enjoying and he has no idea what to do as a career). I don't think your DH should resign and I really hope he doesn't, I do however understand why you feel this way. I think it's very sad.

Cluffyfunt Tue 13-Nov-12 15:13:54

Tell me about it angry

I can categorically state that there are child abusers out there who are not on any register and have no criminal records.

I am married to a lovely man, have many trustworthy men in my family and know quite a few men that are not any risk to children.
I don't hate men at all and I don't think I'm hysterical in the slightest.

Greensleeves Tue 13-Nov-12 14:59:27

it's not just women on MN who have these prejudices

Just been talking to dh about it and he confirmed that he would wonder about a male childminder, and that if he was looking on Gumtree etc for a nanny and there were just several names, he wouldn't choose a man

Personally I think that although it is very sad for men who are talented at working with children and represent no harm, it's hard to get away from the fact that most sexual abuse against children is perpetrated by men - women have far more access to young children and STILL sexual abusers are overwhelmingly more likely to be men - so the prejudice isn't entirely groundless and it isn't going to go away.

RyleDup Tue 13-Nov-12 14:57:59

Pressed send to quick.
.... I happily send my dd to that, as do others with their dd's. Its never occured to me not to trust him.

dottyspotty2 Tue 13-Nov-12 14:56:58

Cluffyfunt Takes a hell of a lot to get it to court the CPS only proceed with cases they are sure they will get a conviction out of lots of cases are historic still as well.

RyleDup Tue 13-Nov-12 14:56:47

Why should he quit. Its a male gym teacher who runs our holiday club, along with his son. Theres no female adults. I happ

goralka Tue 13-Nov-12 14:56:14

I doubt it cluffyfunt, seriously - really really odd - complaining about 'hysteria' ffs

Cluffyfunt Tue 13-Nov-12 14:53:01

Are there many cases of malicious false allegation against innocent men?
Serious question,I have no idea.

People used to say that men should protect themselves from women who would 'cry rape', but now we know that it is unlikely.

Are people hysterical or are we more likely to believe a child and want to prosecute a peadophile?

goralka Tue 13-Nov-12 14:51:37

it's actually quite an odd OP, re-reading it.
If your husband has nothing to hide, why on earth would he want to quit now?

dottyspotty2 Tue 13-Nov-12 14:45:52

But still think your DH shouldn't quit he's not done anything wrong and if he quits people may question why he has done so.

Fairyegg Tue 13-Nov-12 14:45:11

No! Ds has a male gymlastics coach. He's great with ds (and the other kids). There's not enough male teachers / instructors nowadays IMO, probably because they are to scared of being accused of something.

dottyspotty2 Tue 13-Nov-12 14:41:55

I don't think its being alarmist there only figures for known offenders who are convicted and found guilty another that I know of was added to the list on Thursday and is now registered remember not all are found guilty either some extremely clever lawyers out there who try to pull victims apart in court.

letsgomaths Tue 13-Nov-12 14:40:32

No no, no no, and no. Your DH should not quit!

To do so would be succumbing to the notion that "everyone with a penis is a threat", which has caused innocent people from paediatricians to pedestrians to be attacked in the street, and it would be a victory for mob hysteria if your DH did quit simply because of this.

I myself used to worry about the same thing, then I learned about "DM mob hysteria".

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