Dear Mary: Plea to expose childhood abuser falling on deaf ears
I know the subject of this letter is not an easy one to deal with, but I have already attempted to reach out to support groups, lawyers, and even a "vigilante justice" group in the UK regarding this, and have received no response. If I keep being ignored, I think I will freak out.
I'm a gay man in my mid-20s. When I was a very young teenager, I used to have adult Skype calls with grown men. At the time, it didn't seem bad to me. I had seen grown men in porn, so I figured watching them on Skype was no different. What I didn't consider was the kind of men it would take to do that with a child. It is only now I am near the same age as many of them were that I realise how inappropriate it was.
This happened with a few men, mostly from abroad. But there was one man from Dublin. I remember where he lived, because I almost met him once, but turned back at the last moment. I was still well under 18 at this stage, which he knew. I know his Facebook account, and I remember most of his email addresses.
This all occurred before 2009. My question is, is there anything I can do at this point? Is there a Statute of Limitations that means I waited too long? I'm worried about saying something and being sued for slander. But I know this man well, and he's dangerous.
Please don't just ignore me. I can't understand why everyone else has.
Mary replies: It is sad that you have been ignored in your quest for guidance. It seems to me that your main concern is that this man from Dublin is still abusing and you want to do everything you can to ensure that he is stopped. There is also the question as to how damaged you have been by the experience.
To begin with you should contact One in Four who help support people who have suffered sexual abuse in childhood. If you contact the Advocacy team at firstname.lastname@example.org they would be very happy to explore your options with you and one of those options will be contacting the gardai. If you contact the gardai they will put you in touch with a specific officer who is trained to deal with historical sexual offences of this nature.
Criminal abuses that took place in the past can be investigated by the gardai if the abuser is still alive, as there is no Statute of Limitations on such offences. The charges possibly can include exploitation of a child and defilement of a child. I believe there is also a separate charge relating to children under 15. Your abuser has to be stopped and I admire your tenacity in trying to make sure that he is.
You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting www.dearmary.ie or email her at email@example.com or write c/o 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1. All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately.
Sunday Indo Living