It was the first week of February 1987 when I received Ivan’s letter. He responded to my accusations. He believed me that I was molested by someone. He assured me it wasn’t him and that he didn’t know who harmed me. He encouraged me to continue with counseling to findanswers to my problems and hopefully heal.
At first I felt ashamed I accused Ivan of being my abuser, until I read his closing paragraphs warning me and my family to stay out of his private life or else. His abrupt and authoritative demand seemed familiar. When I was a child, he often spewed similar statements to family or friends that he felt were meddling in or being nosy about his secretive daily schedule.
After I read the letter I felt torn, once again, with what to believe; my limited childhood memories that Ivan is a predatory pedophile or Ivan's statement in his letter professing his innocence. My emotional response lingered as I bounced from confidence that Ivan was the shadow who abused me to shameful doubt that I wrongfully accused him due to my childish imagination fitting his face in the outline of the shadow. How do I know my memories are accurate? How do I find the facts that will reveal answers?
That evening my husband read the letter and encouraged me to be patient. “If Ivan’s guilty, he will grow more and more anxious and continue to react. It will surface in a matter of time. You’ll see.”
Yes, if Ivan’s guilty more evidence will surface. The cloak of deceit will fall away and Ivan’s crimes will be revealed. I don’t have to say anything more. God will help reveal the truth, somehow. I just have to wait and trust.
Waiting and trusting that more evidence would surface seemed make-believe, imaginary, a pretended hope—something that would never evolve as real.
Be patient after the alleged perpetrator is confronted. Finding and documenting facts is the foundation for a legal pursuit to stop a criminal pedophile. Continue to document letters, conversations, and anything factual about your perpetrator, that the authorities can collect and use to build a proper case against a perpetrator. Click and read more about confronting your perpetrator at childwelfare.gov and learn more about how states define sexual crimes against children here.
Be safe. Be accurate. Be brave.