Why Some Child Victims Wait Until They Are Adults To Report Child Sexual Abuse

Police arrested a 53-year-old former youth baseball coach for allegedly molesting boys on his team, ages 11 to 14.

The accused had been helping coach a club baseball team and volunteered as a baseball coach at the Seton Catholic Preparatory High School in Chandler, Arizona until early 2011 when the crimes allegedly took place, according to police.

A former player on the club, who is now 21, contacted police in June and reported several sexual encounters with the former coach when he was between the ages of 11 and 14. Police said another former player also came forward and revealed he also had sexual encounters with the former coach.

Both players were interviewed when they were younger, between 2010 and 2011, but they did not disclose any sexual activity with the former coach at the time, according to court records.

On July, one of the accusers made a police-monitored phone call to the former coach in which the alleged perpetrator spoke about touching him on several occasions, court records said. After police arrested the former coach, he admitted to being the man on the other end of the recorded conversation but he denied any inappropriate touching.

Police are still trying to determine if the accused continued to coach baseball or interact with children as a coach or instructor after 2011. Nathan J. Fish "Chandler police: Baseball coach arrested on suspicion of molesting boys on team" www.azcentral.com (Jul. 11, 2018).

Commentary and Checklist

Disclosures of child sexual abuse often unfold gradually and may be presented in a series of hints. If they are ready, children may follow with a specific fact statement if they think it will be handled well.

The victims in the source article were interviewed when they were younger, most probably when the abuse was taking place. They did not disclose the abuse at the time, but waited until they were adults to disclose. This is not rare. Too often victims have a reason for not disclosing their abuse or their abuser until they are older. Here are some of those reasons:

  • They think they will be blamed.
  • They think no one will listen to or believe them.
  • They think they are mistaken that the abuse is wrong or even happened.
  • They think the perpetrator will harm them or their family.
  • They fear being viewed or treated differently by their peers or their family.
  • They fear being questioned.
  • They like how the abuse feels physically.
  • The offender is a relative or other person they love.
  • The offender is a person of power or influence.
  • They do not want the offender to get into trouble.
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