Once the kids went to bed, we whispered (my husband and I) our concerns. Will Ivan react to my accusations with hostility? Are more children being abused now? Will he run? We hoped Ivan would call and confess or more victims would speak out or Ivan would get caught in the act and the hero would turn Ivan in to the police. It was difficult not to search for evidence or think about fabricating evidence to initiate a police investigation, but I relinquished the impulse to force an outcome. Instead I chose to trust that God’s steadfast love and mercy would remain constant somehow and turn the ugliness and pain of this crisis into a mended and restored life for all of us. 

Other families waited too, one then two, those in my memories that communicated that they remembered Ivan's abuse. We all shared the same concern for our family’s safety and suspected Ivan was currently active in committing crimes against children. We agreed to be careful about who we talked with about our suspicions in fear of Ivan learning that victims were talking. We also wondered if the community where Ivan lived would lash out at us if they heard gossip and accusations that he was a pedophile disguising himself as a trustworthy citizen. But we also understood we had no control of any of it at this point. Just suspicion. Collectively we agreed to pray constantly for “That something” to happen.

Then it happened. One, two, three, then four children disclosed that Ivan abused them or witnessed Ivan abusing a child. I contacted Dr. Barone. He advised me to contact the proper authorities and the battle for justice began. My fervent hope and quest to expose Ivan's crimes materialized as power shifted from the hands of a pedophile into the hands of victims and their families. It felt like I took hold of a kite string and as the winds shifted I lifted off, first on my side then up, then by body twisted around. My feet dangled behind me and my hair blew over my face. My fingers interlocked around the string and I wasn’t letting go. The higher I flew the safer I felt.

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Are you in a similar situation? You are not alone. Are you afraid or unsure what to do next? Read more here, help me find help and identify the signs of abuse.

Be safe. Be accurate. Be brave.

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