Jan 26, 2023

Here is an excerpt from my book “Father Figure – my mission to prevent child sexual abuse” about involvement from family members:

After reading this book, you can see how the girls’ family played a key role in ensuring their personal safety. As we learned in Father Figure, biological family members are often the only ones with the legal power to take action on behalf of vulnerable children.

To all people reading this, please keep this story in mind if someone ever advises you that children related to you are in a potentially unsafe situation, and if you do find yourself in such a predicament, I ask that you please act quickly and do not delay becoming involved. In Father Figure, you read how Joan and I had to approach Dave’s family multiple times in order for them to take action on behalf of Lisa and Laura. While I fully commend Dave and his family now for what they have accomplished, I was concerned with the length of time it took for them to get moving at first.

While all legal process is time consuming, there were instances where I wish the family could have acted quicker. While I’m relieved to say in this case that it’s now water under the bridge, families do need to take swift action with the welfare of children at stake, whether the possible threat is coming from outside of or within the family. It is possible that family members might face some of the inconsistent or unsatisfactory responses that Joan and I had to deal with, but it is also true that the ‘family’ connection can give them a better chance at succeeding as compared to ordinary citizens in a situation like this when the possible threat is not coming from an existing family member. It can however be more difficult for family members to report and to get appropriate responses if the threat is from within the family”.

© 2017 - Sumi Mukherjee
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