Justice: A letter to the abuser
This page details the thoughts and intent of Kevin in writing a letter to Mark, an organist/conductor/teacher who sexually abused Kevin, from the age of 13 years old. Kevin has since, married and gone on to become internationally renowned in his chosen profession.
After confronting Mark with the letter, Kevin notified the local Church authorities, where upon Mark was immediately fired and banned from any involvement with the Catholic Church. Kevin has generously allowed the letter to be reprinted here in the hope that it will assist other men who have been sexually abused, as well as their partners, family and supporters.
Writing the letter
It is very difficult trying to decide what you want to say, when you have a lifetime of feelings and emotions you'd like to express. I made some very definite choices in writing the letter that of course wouldn't be right for everyone.
When my wife and I went to my hometown to confront him on that Easter Sunday 2010, I had to decide on a few things to say to him that would be pointed and direct, but literally just a few sentences, because I knew that the longer the confrontation went on, the greater the chance that I might lose control of the situation..i.e. someone might come up, he might call for someone to help "with this crazy man", LOL, whatever. I also knew that there wouldn't be enough time to make my point… ergo, the letter.
I decided to not argue what I imagined would be his principal argument if I were to ever be in conversation with him, that being that I was gay and wanted it because I was gay (something that was not actually true). I also decided not to go into the litany of ways in which I've suffered (flashbacks for example) as I knew that in his pathetic mind, that would be proof I was denying my true nature by not being with him (side note, he was a somewhat unique perpetrator in my experience, in that he seems to have been trying to raise his own adult partner). Therefore, rather than divert the discussion to myself, I tried to make it all about him and what he did, not how I reacted, either then or now. I determined to merely discuss the one assailable fact about which there could be no debate…I was 13 and he was 30 and that makes him a child molester.
Handing over the letter
My wife kept returning to the question of “What if he doesn't take it?” I decided on a line that I would use when giving it to him…"Mark, you need to read this, it's very important for your future". As it turns out, I didn't need to worry about him taking the letter.
I had it in my hand when I approached the altar after he finished playing the postlude and upon saying his name and he turned around to see who was speaking to him, and saw this rather serious looking man with a shaved head in a very sober black suit (not usual Easter wear in southern states, US!). He simply took the letter without a word of direction from me….by this point he was shaking and sweating like he expected the police to be waiting with handcuffs outside the door. I don't mean to gloat, but it was fucking brilliant to be the one calm and cool and have him being the one shaking like a leaf!! I said the line anyway because I did want to at least go away with the idea he would read it.
For you it all came down to one thing I realize…I was gay and therefore it didn’t matter to you that you were sexually abusing a teenage boy. I’m sure you also say there was nothing abusive about what you did. Let me correct you on both counts.
Sex between and adult and a child is sexual abuse Mark. I don’t feel there can be any sane difference of opinion about this. And yes, I was still a child at 13, 14, 15 and because of what you did to my head through the trauma of performing sexual acts with you as a way to find some kind of love and acceptance, I remained a child for many more years where you were concerned. That allowed you to manipulate and control me beyond what I knew was right, but I was helpless to do anything but play the role you designed for me. I admit that I probably played it so well that you would be astounded to hear how I really felt. I actually hated you almost as much as I hated myself for being with you. That’s an example of why sexually abusing a child is never acceptable…an adult never knows what they are actually doing to a developing mind. With children what you see isn’t always what you get.
That brings me to the core of your self-deception Mark. You no doubt comfort yourself with the idea that if I was gay then it was OK. Let’s look at how twisted that is. If a child is coerced through whatever means, be it subtle cajoling or violent force to have sex with an adult and that adult happens to be the gender to which that child would be attracted, do you think that makes the sexual abuse of that child ok? Can you truly believe that? That is one of the greatest insults to abuse victims everywhere I can imagine. It wouldn’t matter if I was gay, straight, bi, asexual or anything else…it’s wrong to do what you did and you know it.
I don’t feel like telling you all of the different ways I’ve suffered because of you. I don’t wish to provide you with one iota of information about my life. I will tell you though that I have suffered and greatly. I will also tell you that without a doubt my life is better, richer in family and friends who love me than yours could ever be, because these people know all of me. Who can you say that about? How many people would really think the same of you if they knew what you did? No matter how you would like to try and color it, just imagine putting out the facts to your family on your next visit with them. That must be very lonely.
Speaking of people knowing…I hope you haven’t forgotten how many people know what you did and how old I was when you did it. Perhaps you’ve even felt that over the years. People in Evansville wouldn’t come out and say anything…but they act different to people they suspect are child molesters. Hopefully that will change one day and people will take action against an adult they suspect is having sex with a child. Lucky you, that day certainly hadn’t come back when I was 13.
Your loneliness is what it was all about though. You were so lonely because of an inability to deal with your own sexuality that the only was you could face it was with and through the eyes of a child. Maybe you were bringing me up as you would liked to have been…or maybe you felt the only partner you could control was one you had incubated in your own sexual/mental laboratory.
I don’t subscribe to your religious beliefs but if you truly do, then you know what this means. You know what you’ve done.
I will tolerate no contact from you to me. You need expect none from me. This is a one-time event to plant the seed of you as sexual abuser firmly in your mind. I know it will take root till the day you die. Every time you open one of those Bibles you will remember what you did to me. I know you.