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Child Abuse: Don't Ask, Don't Tell

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A judge rules that parents can choose whether they want to know if their child was molested.

vanessa george mugshot

Police believe as many as 30 babies and toddlers might have been victims of abuse at the hands of British childcare worker Vanessa George. Up until now, George, 39, had not divulged the identities of her victims. The former childcare worker is charged with 17 counts of  child pornography counts and two counts of sexual assaults on children.

This week, George finally told her lawyer the names.

Now, says the judge presiding over the case, it's up to the parents who left their children at the Little Ted's Nursery in Devon, England -- where George worked -- if they want to be told if their child was abused.

"If they don't want to know, and I fully understand why some parents should not want to know, then the information should not be thrust upon them" said Mr. Justice John Royce.

According to the BBC, many families in the case do not want to know if their children were victims. "It's a lot for them to take on board and some just want to try to forget and get on with their lives," said one source.

Given the choice, would you want to know if your child was abused?

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13 comments so far | Post a comment now
Natalie S November 6, 2009, 4:20 PM

You’d have to. These children will need lots of counseling and help. It’s not about the parents, it’s about the future of these children. This woman makes me sick.

tennmom November 6, 2009, 7:29 PM

I’m not sure. If I knew I would want to seriously hurt her. I don’t know if I have enough self control to be able to stop myself.

Wendi November 7, 2009, 8:56 AM

Ummm…how could you not want to know. The kids that did get abused will need counseling and support from their families. im guessing here, but even if they say no they dont want to know, the will see moods and such that will tell them that something happened. It’s better to know up front and help the child deal with it.

Shannon November 7, 2009, 9:11 AM

I would absolutely want to know. It’s a must in order to begin the healing process for both the victim & they’re family. As a child I too was molested, but did not get help for it until I was older.

Nicole November 7, 2009, 10:26 AM

I am a mother to be, and if someone decided to keep this from me it would make me sick. How are we suppose to help these children deal with what the have gone through? As a child I was molested, and if my mother had not helped me through it I see it would have been damaging.

Monica November 7, 2009, 5:52 PM

Heck yeah I wanna know. I really don’t understand the statement that some families just want to forget and get on with their lives. What? What about the child. The child can’t forget what has happened to them. Even at a young age it can and will effect them. So for a parent to know so that that they can be able to help their child get thru any tough feelings that may have later would be a absolute must. What do you say to little Susie who grows up to be 15 and can’t figure out why she has an unhealthy anxiety around older men? Will you just brush it off because you didn’t want to know back when she was 3 that she was molested and you chose to forget about it but she didn’t. Not knowing is like not acknowledging that your child is a person. You don’t know and it didn’t effect you so why find out? Are people deliberately trying to make their children mental cases?

Lisa, mom of 2 November 8, 2009, 6:54 AM

Do they have the death penalty in England? Look at that woman’s face. I don’t live in England & my child was not involved in this horror, but I’d still like to punch her in her fat, unremorseful face! What a complete pig. And that’s the nicest thing I can say about her!

Nikki November 8, 2009, 9:33 PM

Yes, You have to know! It’s not about you it’s about the child and they will need counseling.
It is known that children who are molested and don’t get help continue the cycle. They need to get help so they don’t become predators and stop the cycle.
Those poor children my heart goes out to them. I hope the parents can be selfless and put the children 1st and get them the help they need.

PlumbLucky November 9, 2009, 6:31 AM

Its more a “need to know” than a “want to know” issue to me…I don’t think any parent “wants” to know that particular truth, but needs to, in order to take care of their child!

Mic November 9, 2009, 9:46 AM

Are you joking me? There are actually parents who don’t want to know? And the judge has given them a choice? That is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard! Of course you don’t WANT to know, but you HAVE to! And yes, it is a very difficult situation to go thru, but you have to. That is your child.

Sue November 10, 2009, 8:16 PM

I wouldn’t want to know but what choice would I have? Ignoring the implications of abuse could really hurt the child in the long run if something isn’t done about it. I was sexually abused as a 6 year old and unfortunately, I remember every bit of it.

former victim December 11, 2009, 9:59 AM

Child abuse is permanently scarring and it hurts to think about parents who would rather not know because they can’t deal. I beg you: find out and learn how to deal. Seek help and teach your child how to overcome. Pain can be used to reach out and help others. Trust me, I KNOW.

Rhonda Meyer December 11, 2009, 6:10 PM

yes i would want to know without a doubt, due to what i have gone thru! i know what i have gone thru & the scars it has left me with, low selfesteem, do you realize how many times you ask yourself why me? what did i do? guess that is why i am seeking help now due to domestic violence case, need help ASAP!!!! redheadedtexan

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