When we look at “perfect families” like TV’s Cosbys & Camdens (Seventh Heaven) we just know that child abuse is happening only in imperfect families. Here lies the myth that leads to widespread disbelief when a child reports abuse. When we fail to hear that child because the offender is a “nice guy,” we condemn that child to continued abuse and lifelong suffering.
“Nice” is a behavior choice, not a character trait. Child abusers cultivate “nice” precisely because they remain safe as long as the other adults in the child’s life will not believe the child.
The reality of child sexual abuse is, that by some measures, 1 in 5 children will be sexually abused before the age of 18. Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s blog contains a powerful summary of the issues we so often ignore about child sexual abuse.