/ Slightly difficult subject - voyeurism

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Rob Exile Ward on 24 May 2014
My two youngest children may have been 'victims' of this man:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-27479495

I don't intend to find out one way or another. But I have spoken at length to them, and they don't seem to be traumatised; a bit queasy maybe, perhaps a bit embarrassed, but frankly more concerned about his kids (who are still at their school) than being upset for themselves.

And I don't recognise the Judge's comments:

'nothing compared to the worry and real horror which is felt by parents who have trusted their children to you'

We don't feel horror. He was a nice bloke, everyone liked him, and the children felt safe with him; ironic, obviously, except that there are teachers the children feel uncomfortable with and he wasn't one of them, and they're not aware of anyone who was physically abused by him.

To our family this just seems a sad, weird, mental health issue with only the only real victims his family, and of course, himself ...

These sort of threads often descend into 'what would you think if it was your kids'... well, possibly they are, and now I can tell you.

mypyrex - on 24 May 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:
> My two youngest children may have been 'victims' of this man:




> He was a nice bloke, everyone liked him,

Isn't that very often the way? I seriously hope there's no long term"hidden" issues with your youngsters.
Post edited at 21:32
Rob Exile Ward on 24 May 2014
In reply to mypyrex:

They're not 'youngsters', they're people, and there won't be, at least not about this.
highclimber - on 24 May 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

I think there's a great deal of disgust flowing around since the whole Jimmy Savile debacle and every tabloid paper is quick to brandish all child crimes with equal indignation which I am pretty sure is felt by many of their readers.
Like all crimes, they are not all as bad as each each other and I think many can be rehabilitated. It's the Watkins and Huntleys of the world who make people feel uneasy when it comes to child sex crimes but thankfully they are very uncommon ocurrances.

mypyrex - on 24 May 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

Well I'm sorry you saw fit to respond in an apparently brusque manner. I was trying to make a genuinely sincere point and express some empathy
Rob Exile Ward on 24 May 2014
In reply to mypyrex:

OK, I apologise ... ish. But part of the problem - as I see it - is because it is assumed that damage *must* have been done... and if it is not apparent now then it will become so in the future. This seems like a lawyers' charter to make money to me.
mypyrex - on 24 May 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> OK, I apologise ...
Fair enough; thank you.
elsewhere on 24 May 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:
Bloody hell! That's my first reaction.

My second reaction is that you should be very proud of your children's concern for his children.
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

I agree with you, no benefit at all from dwelling on it; I'm sure I would do the same if it was my child, or at least try.
marsbar - on 24 May 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

What an odd reaction. He has caused genuine upset in parents and children. I know of another parent at the school and her child is suffering very badly. Its almost as if you take pride in the stiff upper lip approach.
Coel Hellier - on 24 May 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

On slightly difficult subjects. Suppose, in a case like this, no-one told the children or their families. Would that be better for them? Or is that way too paternalistic, and everyone should know the truth whatever? (Obviously the teacher should be appropriately dealt with whatever.)
marsbar - on 24 May 2014
In reply to Coel Hellier:

As I understand it some of the children are having to sign statements and so have had to be told.

Interesting question. I think the reality is that secrets tend to leak one way or another.
Duncan Bourne - on 24 May 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

I tend to agree with you that he is the sad one and, while voyeurism of children should not be condoned, the children were not harmed. If this had not come out then they would have never known that they were observed. It is not nice to know that you have been watched in your intimate moments but I would not consider myself a victim. God knows I have experienced far worse off adults when I was a child and suffered no long term effects.
In reply to marsbar:

> What an odd reaction. He has caused genuine upset in parents and children. I know of another parent at the school and her child is suffering very badly. Its almost as if you take pride in the stiff upper lip approach.

I don't read that into it at all. I think it's about dealing with it in a way that causes the fewest problems for your children.
Enty - on 25 May 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

We'd like to point out that no kids where harmed during the making of his 16,000 child porn image collection.

E
Antigua - on 25 May 2014
In reply to Enty:

> We'd like to point out that no kids where harmed during the making of his 16,000 child porn image collection.

Looking at what the law deems to be child porn/abuse I don't think you can catogorically say that.
marsbar - on 25 May 2014
In reply to Enty:

Quite. And if the images suddenly turn up in a few years time having been circulating I am sure that a stiff upper lip will see them through.
tlm - on 25 May 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

I've found that with a few supposedly "traumatic" things that I've experienced. They really weren't that bad and I genuinely felt OK about them and not upset. For example, when my dad died, he was old, ill and suffering. I was sad to lose my dad, but it was as though I had actually lost the man he was a long time previously. There is other stuff like that as well, where I really just wasn't that upset.

On the other hand, I've been very, very upset in life about things that other people might consider trivial.

Things don't fit nicely on a sliding scale of badness. They mean different things to different people.
tlm - on 25 May 2014
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> On slightly difficult subjects. Suppose, in a case like this, no-one told the children or their families. Would that be better for them?

The thing is, they would find out that the incident had happened, then every single child might imagine that they had been filmed, even those that hadn't, and might imagine the filming was far worse than it actually was. Secrets leave space for imagination to run riot!
Rob Exile Ward on 25 May 2014
In reply to Enty:

I fully understand that porn - particularly kiddie porn - is not a victimless crime, and that's definitely the part of his offending that troubles me most.
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Rob Exile Ward on 25 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

'I don't read that into it at all. I think it's about dealing with it in a way that causes the fewest problems for your children. '

Exactly, thank you.
Duncan Bourne - on 25 May 2014
In reply to marsbar:

There are two interesting points here I feel.
one is the rise of the internet and how the minutia of our lives has suddenly become public and the second is how we make problems for ourselves where we don't have to.
You say "if", what if this happens, what if that happens. What if it doesn't? What if it does but no one gives a monkeys? In this context I am thinking of a philosophical stance that really we should deal with the actual problems in our lives and not invent problems for ourselves. I am amazed how many people live in fear of what might happen (which I can understand as I used to do it myself).
On the rise of the internet it has become so that our lives have become very public (assuming use of social media etc) and this is a new experience for society which it is still getting to grips with. We share photos of our children on Facebook but don't know where those images may end up, with every phone (almost) possessing a camera and with CCTV ubiquitous (local whohar about CCTV being purposely put in school toilets to watch children to curb bullying) there is no way of knowing when or where any of us are being filmed deliberately or incidentally. So while it is most certainly right to stop the sort of practices of the man in the thread it is no use worrying about it too much
Duncan Bourne - on 25 May 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

Agree with you there, it is the sort of practice that could lead to the harming of children.

But mostly it is a breaking of trust in a position where trust is very important
In reply to marsbar:

> Quite. And if the images suddenly turn up in a few years time having been circulating I am sure that a stiff upper lip will see them through.

"If". So following your model, one stresses and worries about a hypothetical situation, which may or may not come to fruition, and then still have to deal with it of it does.

Following our model, forget about it and cross the bridge *if* it happens.

Unless I'm missing something, the latter model contains less distress.

You are very disdainful about the stiff upper lip. I don't think there's anything wrong with stoically dealing with the shit life throws at you. It's certainly better than the opposite, IMO, of making yourself and others feel like victims about everything and make the most possible drama of any given situation. Imagine if people had been like that during WWII? I recognise that we're all on a continuum between the two extremes.
off-duty - on 25 May 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> I fully understand that porn - particularly kiddie porn - is not a victimless crime, and that's definitely the part of his offending that troubles me most.

Porn isn't a crime. Making/Possessing/distributing indecent images of children/ images an videos of the sexual abuse of children is.

I'm glad you, and most importantly your children, don't feel horror and don't feel like victims. That is great.
I'm not sure that it follows that therefore no-one else should feel like a victim in this case. I would imagine that the Judge's comments are based on the victim impact statements from some of those identified in the footage.

Some adults would not consider themselves victims (of anything other than copyright fraud) if naked adult pictures of themselves were available without their permission on the internet for the masturbatory fantasies of strangers. Others would.
Jim C - on 25 May 2014
In reply to marsbar:

> Quite. And if the images suddenly turn up in a few years time having been circulating I am sure that a stiff upper lip will see them through.

That is the big question, did he share these images?

Very likely I would think, but obviously I don't know for sure, only a forensic investigation of his on- line activities will reveal that, and if it was my children , I would want to know this soonest possible.



skog - on 25 May 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

It's great if the kids and parents involved can shrug it off on the basis that no physical harm was caused to them, and the guy is ill and needs help; if everyone can, and this teacher hasn't been up to anything worse, then it maybe is the case that no real harm was done.

However, that just isn't the way people work. Lots of these people will be genuinely very distressed about what has happened, and what they imagine could have happened - a bit like how people can be traumatised to discover burglars were in their family home while they slept, perhaps in the same room as their kids, even though the burglars left without hurting anyone. I don't think it's right to dismiss this as "lawyers' charter to make money".
skog - on 25 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> I don't think there's anything wrong with stoically dealing with the shit life throws at you. It's certainly better than the opposite, IMO, of making yourself and others feel like victims about everything and make the most possible drama of any given situation.

I think you're right.

And I think it's good to help others do that too, if they can.

Where it becomes wrong, I think, is when people are dismissed for not being able to do so. This isn't something everyone can manage in every situation, and different people are going to have different triggers and limits - the op and his family might deal with this very well, while others might genuinely be devastated.
Timmd on 25 May 2014
In reply to marsbar:
> Quite. And if the images suddenly turn up in a few years time having been circulating I am sure that a stiff upper lip will see them through.

I dunno, I think you may perhaps be making an issue out of something when there needn't be one. I think there 'can' be something to be said for not making something potentially traumatic, possibly more traumatic by focusing on how awful it is.

I've no personal experience of anything like this, but I remember reading a woman's account of being molested by a family friend one Christmas day, and she wrote about how helpful it was for her that the men of the family just got the family friend to leave, and then her family focused on making her feel warm and safe at home, and to paraphrase carried on as normal, rather than focusing on what had just happened.

I'm sure that for some people, this wouldn't be helpful, but she wrote about this being just what was right for her, and how she was able to move on from it without any lasting ill effects.

What I'm saying is that one approach doesn't suit all children*, and that Rob's may quite easily be the right one for his.

*Which I guess is why parents can do everything 'right', and their children can still sometimes need therapy to do with family or childhood issues, which their siblings may not have.

Edit: Having known a lad who was abused and did have lasting ill effects, I do sometimes think anybody who is guilty and goes to jail should probably stay there for something like 20 years, or long enough to seriously mess with the course of their life's path. It's one of the most unfair things that can happen to somebody, but possibly there's better ways of addressing it.
Post edited at 14:19
marsbar - on 25 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

Stocially dealing with stuff is fine. Denial leads to problems further down the line. Its a fine line between the 2. Stiff upper lip can lead to damaging disassociative behaviour and depression later on.

My main issue is the idea that the perpetrator is the victim and the victims aren't.

The other child I am aware of from this school is not in a good place right now. Suggesting that she isn't really a victim because he only looked at her and recorded her is offensive.

There is a culture in this country of calling child abuse images porn and suggesting that its victimless. Not to mention a disturbing fingers in ears la la la everything is fine mentality. Images of children are often traded and once out cannot be stopped. I hope this is not the case here but it seems that everyone assumes its not because he was such a nice guy ffs.
In reply to marsbar:

If that's a culture, it's one I'm unaware of. I don't see him as a victim, and of course if given a choice I would say the children were. I just think, like Rob, it's better if no-one sees themselves as a victim.

I hope the child you know (and the others of course) is ok.
In reply to skog:


> Where it becomes wrong, I think, is when people are dismissed for not being able to do so. This isn't something everyone can manage in every situation, and different people are going to have different triggers and limits - the op and his family might deal with this very well, while others might genuinely be devastated.

Totally agree.
Indy - on 25 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
Why in this day and age are we so insistant on wanting to force victimhood status on children at the slightest provocation?

My mum and her 3 sisters grew up in the 50's and all of them can recount stories of being flashed 1 was even forced to see a man masturbating on a bus yet they've all grown up pretty normal.
Post edited at 18:59
Indy - on 25 May 2014
In reply to Jim C:
> Very likely I would think, but obviously I don't know for sure, only a forensic investigation of his on- line activities will reveal that, and if it was my children , I would want to know this soonest possible.

Out of interest how would knowing that he did share them be a useful?
Rob Exile Ward on 25 May 2014
In reply to Indy:

Yes, I wondered that too. If it's not too flippant a comment, it reminds me of the adage of having the courage to change what you can, the serenity to accept what you can't, and the wisdom to know the difference.
upordown - on 25 May 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

I think your attitude to what has happened is commendable. You're not making it into a major drama as your kids aren't viewing it as this. I'm sure that in the future, if their attitude changes, you will support them but at the moment your measured response seems to be exactly the right way to respond.
off-duty - on 25 May 2014
In reply to Indy:

> Why in this day and age are we so insistant on wanting to force victimhood status on children at the slightest provocation?

> My mum and her 3 sisters grew up in the 50's and all of them can recount stories of being flashed 1 was even forced to see a man masturbating on a bus yet they've all grown up pretty normal.

There's a difference between "forcing victimhood" on people and accepting that the same offending can have different effects on different victims.
balmybaldwin - on 26 May 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

Years ago (early 90s I was 11 at the time) I had a similar experience at my school. A well liked (and one of my fav) teacher at my school was arrested after a scandal at Trent College where a lot of kids had been abused by a ring of teachers including this one who kept diaries that implicated the other teachers involved.

At my school he was the english teacher in charge of the school play, and had previously had various members of the cast rehursing at his house. All the kids at my school including me were interviewed by the police and social workers to see if he had continued to abuse kids at my school, but the conclusion was that he had done nothing wrong at all whilst at my school.

The whole thing seems a bit vague to me now, but overall, I wonder if he was caught up in this ring and tried to get away from it by moving schools...i dont know, maybe peer pressure sort of thing. I still think he was a good teacher. Before him I hated english and had no interest and he inspired me, apparently I should resent him, but I dont.
off-duty - on 26 May 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:
....apparently I should resent him, but I dont.

Why should you resent him? You were not one of his victims.

Whether that means you should actually praise him is a different matter - down to how well you knew him and perhaps how well you now know the details of his offending.
henwardian - on 26 May 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

Did a bit of research just now.

Ever noticed how lots of anime films have childlike characters with improbably large eyes and breasts? Well, if you ever watched a sex scene in one of these films, you have been watching kiddy porn, according to the law.

Just sayin'
:P
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Jim C - on 26 May 2014
In reply to Indy:

> Out of interest how would knowing that he did share them be a useful?

If he had shared them, then my children would have to be prepared for the possibility that their images may appear on the web. ( granted that might be a small possibility)

There are already images of people who have been filmed without their permission, public toilets, changing rooms etc. whether they are fake or not I am not sure.
Rob Naylor - on 26 May 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> Years ago (early 90s I was 11 at the time) I had a similar experience at my school. A well liked (and one of my fav) teacher at my school was arrested after a scandal at Trent College where a lot of kids had been abused by a ring of teachers including this one who kept diaries that implicated the other teachers involved.

> At my school he was the english teacher in charge of the school play, and had previously had various members of the cast rehursing at his house. All the kids at my school including me were interviewed by the police and social workers to see if he had continued to abuse kids at my school, but the conclusion was that he had done nothing wrong at all whilst at my school.

Something similar locally here....one of the favourite teachers of all 3 of my kids (and also probably of 80% of the other kids) was arrested and jailed after piles of kiddie porn was found on his computer. He also did the school plays etc, and loads of kids were interviewed to see if he'd actually abused any of them. Not one whisper of him actually abusing anyone at the school, despite concerted attempts to uncover anything that might have gone on. Very odd.
skog - on 26 May 2014
In reply to Rob Naylor:

> Very odd.

Do you think so?

I reckon there must be a lot of people that are in the horrible situation of being attracted to young post-puberty adolescents, but are moral enough that they refuse to physically act on it.

We've evolved to breed, so there must be a fair bit of attraction to adolescents that are likely to fertile, surely? It's just that, in today's society, people are less mature later, and have more opportunities to lose if they're manipulated by adults.

Of course, there's also the real possiblility that he just didn't get caught, or hadn't got around to it yet.
spearing05 - on 26 May 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> Yes, I wondered that too. If it's not too flippant a comment, it reminds me of the adage of having the courage to change what you can, the serenity to accept what you can't, and the wisdom to know the difference.

I went to the kind of school where although not a church schoo, the Lords prayer was recited every morning in assembly along with another short prayer. This particular one was a favourite and while I'm not so sure about the 'Lord, grant me the . . .' part of it, I think the rest is an incredibly powerful way to livr life.

off-duty - on 26 May 2014
In reply to skog:

> Do you think so?

> I reckon there must be a lot of people that are in the horrible situation of being attracted to young post-puberty adolescents, but are moral enough that they refuse to physically act on it.

I'm not sure that in this instance, or in many (the majority I would guess) of child sexual abuse images cases that the victims are post-puberty.

skog - on 26 May 2014
In reply to off-duty:

Ok- my post obviously doesn't apply, then. I'd still expect the use of unpleasant porn in general to be higher than the unpleasant practises it depicts.

I used to think that paedophilia was rare, but I've lost confidence in that notion.

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