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would you forgive a child molester? what if it was your brother?

o.k im 24 years old now and my mother thinks i should talk/forgive/ see my brother who was a child molester when he was younger. from age 9-21 we know several cases where he messed with young girls including some of my family(cousins). well its been about 10 years since we have had contact with him. and now my mom thinks hes a changed person and we should let him back in our lifes. me on the other hand am still discusted, i dont want anything to do with someone who could hurt a child!! i have a 1, 1/2 year old and dont want him to even look at my child, much less hug or touch. i do believe in forgiving people, but i cant forget or trust someone like this!! am i wrong for not wanting any contact with him, or should he be invited to events like holidays? would you be able to let someone whos done these horrible things back in your life?


Asked by Anonymous at 10:11 AM on Aug. 3, 2010 in Parenting Debate

This question is closed.
Answers (30)
  • It would be a long hard road but I would make the attempt. Forgiveness and trust and two very different things. You do not have to trust him just because you have forgiven him. Trust is earned. Don't know your spiritual background but my bible tells me I must forgive as I want Christ to forgive me. A sin is a sin so the lie that ones may tell are just as bad as the molestation of another hard to swallow but true. Being guared and watched will be apart of the punishment he forever endure for his actions either he accepts that and tries to move on with his family or he stays away.

    Answer by j45505 at 10:17 AM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • You're not wrong for not wanting any contact with me. You're looking out for your kids. I don't think I would be able to forgive a child molester family or not.

    Answer by Cassandre at 10:15 AM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • Never. For me that is unforgivable. We have someone similar in my family. He's not around much anymore but when he was everyone kept their kids at their side.

    Answer by Kiwismommy19 at 10:16 AM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • I can honestly say that no matter how much of a turnaround he did in his life, that I would ever be able to forget about it especially once you have your own children. I could see how if a person didn't have any children they would probably just be judgemental, but I could never see there ever being a fully recovered realtionship. And I would really not be able to let him have much of a relationship with my own children, in fear for their safety.

    It's really a horrible situation for anyone to be in and I hope you as well as the rest of your family are able to work together and come to a decision.

    Answer by 1st_time_mom23 at 10:18 AM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • I understand your mom's feelings, he'll always be her son, no matter what he's done, however, as you said, you can forgive him, but it's understandable that you can never trust him again. When I was a child there was an older family member who had molested other family members before I was born. The family kept it a secret, & allowed him to continue being part of the family. Years later he tried to molest me. I wasn't old enough to understand what he was doing, just that I didn't like it & stayed away. I didn't tell my parents until I was 19, & I didn't want to see him. I was shocked & devastated to know that my parents knew what he'd done before, but had assumed he'd "outgrown" that behavior. THEY put me at risk, when I wasn't old enough to protect myself. To be honest, it was easier to forgive him than my parents.

    I'd be willing to bet many family members feel as you do. I feel for your mom, but I'd still keep him away.

    Answer by ohwrite at 10:24 AM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • i feel like, as a christian, i should say that it's always best to forgive. but i can't say that. it's unforgivable. would you ever be able to look at him without thinking about it? probably not. do what is in your heart. it's not your mother's choice, though i'm sure she means well in guiding you to be forgiving.

    Answer by mama_moonsong at 10:16 AM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • I don't think I could ever forgive someone like that. ESPECIALLY if they were my family. My heart would ache at my loss of them, but... imo it takes a really sick person to do that to a child. And I'm not sure they can ever be cured of this "disease".

    Your brother started young....... was he molested as a child? It wouldn't excuse his actions but I've heard that if you are a victim you are more likely to victimize? If this were the case, I might try to be understanding on some level, but I still don't think I would allow personal contact. Maybe letters and phone calls, but that's about it.

    I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. Its impossible for me to even imagine realy. Good luck! Follow your heart!

    Answer by ToriBabe1221 at 10:17 AM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • Even doctors say pedophiles don't change. I would not forgive anyone in my family for doing anything like that. If I knew about it before the statute of limitations expired, I'd turn them in to the authorities. I have zero tolerance or sympathy for sex offenders.

    Answer by wildflowers25 at 10:19 AM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • My uncle molested my sister when she was a baby... She had no memory and doesn't know it happened... I on the other hand, know it did. And no, I never forgave - I never found a reason too. This was just one of his many many issues, but I just saw no good reason why to forgive. I didn't even go to his funeral...

    Now, I think there are exceptions to that... I heard a story the other day where a man had molested his sister. They were both now in their 30s & 40s and he was a young teen when he did it - plus, it had been done to him. At the time when he was doing it, he was still being abused by his abuser... I would see that as forgivable - He was as much a victim as she was...

    But in general - no...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 10:54 AM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • It is a good thing to forgive but forget I don't think anyone could forget. He was younger so hopefully he is not the same. When your young people are stupid they don't think it out.

    I dated older guys when I was younger not too much older but I was 14 dating a 17 year old and once an 18 year old. My friend was 14 dating a 19 year old, she had kids and married young but now they are divorced so does that make him a child molester I don't think so. Sometimes we use the word too often, he was young. I am saying you should give him a chance, if you don't trust him with your kid then don't leave him alone with your child.

    Child molester he might not be, a young boy with raging harmones is what it sounds like to me. Unless you know of an incident recently or him being 25 dating a 14-17 year old then I would not consider him a child molester.

    Answer by KFree907 at 10:26 AM on Aug. 3, 2010