Are some people aware thet their SO is a paedophile but choose to do nothing?

Well I have always thought that now there must be a significant amount of people who are aware that their SO is a paedophile but choose to do nothing about it. I would like to find out why this is. They’re in a position where they must be aware that their SO is a paedophile but who choose to tell nobody and in effect they tolerate it. In Britain it was an “open secret” that Jimmy Savile was a paedophile and someone said something about what he had done to someone else at the BBC and they said “That’s a terrible thing to say about your Uncle Jimmy!” and it meant that you weren’t supposed to say anything against Jimmy Savile. If anyone had said anything and he had been taken away by someone then the money from various events like marathons and other events wouldn’t go to the hospitals to help children and so on. And he knew that. In general, I would like to know the reasons why someone would be aware that the person they were married to was a paedophile and they tolerate what they do alot? And also, why they choose to say nothing about it?

Maybe some feel trapped, or are manipulated.

Maybe some get convinced that the person they know is not like all those others, or convinced in some other way that it’s all right or that it’s not as bad as it sounds or whatever.

Maybe some think it’s good.

Maybe some are mentally deficient.

“Because they’re in love!” Sadly this is probably the number 1 reason.

Substitute abuse (mental, physical, drug or alcohol) for pedophilia and the above is statement holds true along with those DavidwithanR posted. The second most common reason is probably that the person (he or she) was also abused in the same manner (sexually, mental, physical, etc) and feels unable to stop the cycle. I was physically (though not sexually) and mentally abused by my father when I was young and despite everyone saying “Oh, you’ll be different when you have your own children”, I know in my heart that I wouldn’t be able to hold myself back. My way of stopping the cycle was to (thankfully) never having children and remaining single.

In Hawaii, the 20 year case of the disappearance of a young boy, Peter Boy Kema was finally resolved last year when enough evidence was finally gathered to convict his parents of manslaughter (sadly not murder). Peter Boy’s mother claimed she was also abused by her husband and got a lighter sentence because she testified against her husband.

As for Jimmy Savile , we have Bill Cosby (for many in America, the ideal Dad) who after multiple accusations in recent years has been found guilty of aggravated indecent assault. When the first accusations where made, the public’s reaction was “Oh, it can’t be true…not Uncle Bill, the Jelly Pudding Pop guy”. Public perception goes a long way towards denying guilt.

Google up “Marion Zimmer Bradley”. She fiercely defended her pedophile husband for decades, because, as it turned out she was busy abusing their own kids. Her daughter has told her own story about her childhood, which is rather awful reading, but gives some insight to how awful people perpetuate their own awfulness.

One other way is that people who have been badly abused in the past are often attracted to new people who they believe are going to replicate those familiar abuse patterns.

Abusers often successfully teach their targets to believe that they deserve it, and/or that this is just how life is, causing them to seek more of the same.

Because they’re being abused themselves, or perhaps they say, “As long as s/he doesn’t abuse OUR kids…”

In the case of Jimmy Savile a lot of people were making a lot of money being in his orbit. That led them to turn a blind-eye.

When money is not the case we certainly have examples of women turning a blind-eye to their husbands assaulting their daughters. Why they put up with it would need a psychiatrist to explain but I would guess fear of their husband’s reprisals. Why these women don’t leave I will never understand. “But I love him!” does not work as an explanation.

Other common excuses/reasons are:

“He’s not always that way, it’s only when he’s [mad, drunk, high, etc]”

“He said he’ll stop / change”

“I’m slowly changing him.”

“I’m all / the only one he has.”

“If he doesn’t do it to him/her, he’ll pick on me”

“I can’t afford to leave him. Where will I go?”

“Nobody else will love me, he told me so!”

“He / she needed to be taught a lesson!”

“If I tell he’ll kill [himself, me, the children].”

“What are YOU going to do about it?”

“It’s all YOUR fault!”

SIGH The list goes on and on.


A schoolfriend (M) was abused by her stepfather, primarily violent, but some sexual as well. Her mother- even after the guy was convicted and imprisoned- seemed to cycle between:

‘It’s just a misunderstanding, I’m sure he was just playing and it got out of hand’

‘I’m sure it wasn’t really that bad, he’s a great dad to his own daughter’

‘Well, maybe he did get carried away, M probably encouraged him. Maybe she was just trying to ruin our relationship, she’s always been a bit jealous’

‘I’m sure it was just a one off thing, emotions got high and things got out of hand, if she’d just give him another chance, she’d see how nice he really was’

Even though it was a condition of his probation when he was released from prison to not contact M, he still had the right to see his own kid, and their mother insisted on inviting him round when M was there and trying to get her to make friends with him and let it all blow over. M would have been about 16 at that point.

Her mother did eventually admit that she was wrong, stopped all the justifying, and cut the guy off. It took years, a new much nicer boyfriend who supported M, and M moving in with another schoolfriend for two years before that happened though.

Initially though, she couldn’t stop prioritising M’s little sister’s relationship with her father (there was no indication that he was abusing his own kid, she adored her father), and used that as evidence to herself that what her elder daughter was saying couldn’t really be true. She convinced herself that she knew the guy. Better than anyone else. So anyone saying things about him that didn’t mesh with what she thought must just be lying or mistaken.

It’s not so much about SOs, you know; more it is about those who want to “protect” the abuser against the needs of the abused.

In the Summer of 1956 I was four years old. During that Summer Vacation an Aunt, her Son, and her Daughters visited from another State. They all went somewhere, taking my two-year old Sister with them, but leaving me in the care of my first Cousin, who did, during that long Summer afternoon, introduce me to what I’m sure he conceived of as a delightful activity involving his penis and my anus. When (whatever it was) came to an end he told me never to tell anyone about it, and he told me to take a nap.

The next thing I knew was my Grandmother and my Aunt were holding me down to the bed and administering enemas rectally, and telling me not to worry about it, that “Brother” hadn’t meant to do anything wrong with me.

Well, “Brother” died a few years ago. To be honest I had entertained fantasies about bringing that end about on his behalf. Thankfully I never got the chance. Also thankfully he’s in his “Reward Zone” now (whatever that might be).

If you’re protecting a pedophile (American spelling), a child abuser, a spouse abuser, you deserve the same thing “Brother” got. You deserve it now, and not after living a “long, rewarding life”. That’s my take on it.

This is a huge reason.

People invest a lot in believing that the life story they tell themselves (their own private story of their own life, I mean) makes sense and is justified. When accusations against an abuser (any kind of abuser) threaten to damage the innocent person’s internal life story, they will keep the story (desperately trying to stay sane) and reject even the hardest evidence.

I know someone whose son who for the past few years has been in and out of jail for threats and assaults (thankfully at least not sexual), some against her, ultimately requiring restraining orders against him.

When she told me about it, I told her to not allow him to come back to her and not to bail him out of jail. Her reply is that everyone is telling her the same thing, but “I don’t care, he’s my only son”.

“Denial is not a river in Egypt”

I’ve stopped listening and talking to her about it. SIGH

In my grandmother’s case, “(s)he provoked him!” was her go-to excuse no matter who he had assaulted. If she happened to be already mad at him at the time she took the target’s side for about as long as it took her to stop being mad at him, at which point “she provoked him!”

Not wife, but daughter: my mother’s excuse for letting us within 1000 miles of the Grandfather From Hell was “I didn’t think he’d do that” (for varying values of ‘that’); her reaction when I asked her for help because he was trying to pimp me out was “if your father hears a word of this, you don’t set foot in my house again” (that is, how dare you present a danger to the fantasy I project and the lies I’ve been telling your father); to finding out that he’d abused my brother and our cousin, giving access to them to his pedophile friends, was “oh, but that wasn’t so bad!”

I don’t know what was my aunt’s excuse for leaving my cousins in the care of the Grandparents from Hell, but the actual reason appears to be close to “a complete lack of thought”. My mother’s relationship with logic is wobbly; her sister’s, somewhere beyond non existent.

Nava: Are you sure you’re not protecting your mother still today? From what you said about her, it doesn’t sound like she had any difficulty at all with logic - it just sounds like she was in on it.

I agree with the above that sometimes it revolves around money when the bad person is also the family breadwinner. I was reading about these cases up in Alaska in remote native villages where if authorities were called about an abuser, they would haul the person off to jail but then what happens to the family or people he was supporting? Maybe he was a good hunter or provided firewood? Maybe he was the only one with a job?

Like these native Alaskans they tend to be very tribe focused and the outside world, usually “white” are the enemies. So they try and deal with issues themselves.

Humans are complicated.

In a slightly related anecdote, there was recently a local news story of a man who got arrested for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from work, and I think there was camera evidence for some of it. Comments on the news article included a number of variations on “I don’t care what they say, Joe’s a good guy,” and, “he was always nice to me, there’s no way he did it,” or, “there must be more to the story.”

Objective information about a person’s actions is not always enough to sway narratives and emotional/psychological needs.

I have a friend who discovered her husband was a pedophile, and was selling sex photos of children. She did turn him in, but she described it as the most terrifying thing she’s ever done. She believed that if he found out she had told the police about him, he would kill her. After he was charged and she “officially” knew, she left him, and went into hiding.

She also spent several hours with the police looking at the photos (they hid everything but the face from her) to see if she could identify any of the children. I don’t believe she could, so he was probably just selling, not creating. She cried telling me about it, more than a decade later.

He killed himself before the trial. There was enough evidence to convict him, and he didn’t want to go through with what would come next.

Anyway, it’s a huge deal to turn in your husband for pedophilia. I have some sympathy for people who don’t find the courage to do so.

No, she’s both narcissistic and delusional. The woman lives in a parallel universe and does not perceive other people (including her children) as anything but figurants in the movie of her life, or at best extensions of her self. To her, I am HER daughter; my father was HER husband; you are nonexistent, as she’s never encountered you.

Protecting HER daughter from HER anybody else has never been a priority, even less when HER daughter was just a rebellious tool (frying fork, clothes iron and dust cloth) who had dared go to college too far to do its duty. Keeping up appearances very much is, and has always been, a priority for her. Anything that breaks the bubble is unacceptable. Accepting that HER father had attacked HER favorite child (my brother) would break the bubble.

Nit pick to some, but important to others: a pedophile is an adult sexually attracted to children. Pedophiles don’t necessarily actually do anything with children. You’re discussing child molesters. Equating pedophiles with child molesters is like equating typical straight men with rapists.