So here is the story (not my own personal story, just making that clear) –
So my brother and I got taken away from my mom at a young age (I was 6 or 7) my brother was an infant and we were put into foster care. I went with my aunt and my brother went to a stranger foster family. My mom was able to get me back before she got my brother back. (From what I remember my brother had been hurt and they thought he was being abused, so we both were removed from the home.) Around the time my mom had us both back in her custody, my brother’s father started sexually abusing me. I told my mom and she ended her relationship with him and told him to leave. I always wondered why she never told the police but I now realize that maybe she didn’t tell law enforcement because she didn’t want us taken away again. As a mature person now, that seems like a reasonable explanation.
One adoptive mother replied –
I think your explanation of your Mom’s failure to report is plausible. She got you back and wasn’t going to let you go… also she managed to take you out of immediate future harm by making him leave. It sounds as if this is maybe an older story, and I don’t know the timeline, or your relationship with your Mom right now, but: do you think you could ask her why? She might not have an answer or know why she didn’t report. But asking her and talking openly about it can deepen your connection.
I have a very good adult relationship with my Mom, but we went through a really rough patch due to me having difficulty coming to terms with why she didn’t have the capacity to take me out of harm’s way when I was abused as a young child (not by a family member), by a person I knew she strongly (and justifiably) suspected. I have compassion and empathy for why she didn’t report and that eases the pain of the fact that she didn’t… and also, discussing it with her was zero fun but it ended up deepening our relationship and connection.
Another part to this is, and I can’t tell from your post how you feel, but do you want him reported? That is something to consider asking yourself. For my part..: By the time I came to terms with the abuse, I was well into adulthood and my abuser was dead. If I could have gone back in time and reported him myself, I would have done it. But I ironically wasn’t ready until my late 30’s… I’m not saying you want to do this, that’s only for you to know, but if you find yourself wanting to report him, there are resources that don’t have to include your Mom, if that’s not going to help your connection with her.
You could talk it through with a counselor who will know the laws in your state and know whether you are jeopardizing your and your brother’s ability to stay in your Mom’s home. IF you want to report. Which many people don’t. I just regret that I wasn’t able to come to the decision to report before the f**ker was dead. You have no responsibility to anyone but yourself in this. I am so sorry you’re carrying this burden. If you have access to a trauma therapist, I encourage you to consider engaging one. While I won’t tell you to report, I will tell you that getting support to work through childhood sexual abuse is better than white knuckling it for decades.
And another person with some thoughts about Child Protective Services (CPS) –
If your mom had knowledge or experience of how reporting abuse works, that could explain her silence about it. My son was abused by a 14 year old boy when he was 11. Last year CPS did a mandatory assessment to see why or how my child wound up in the position of being abused! Luckily for u,s it was a boy from school and it happened at school. No blame could be laid at my feet. I was abused as a child. My mother believed me but didn’t report it as she “didn’t want the family to get a bad name!” I know how that felt, so I never thought twice about reporting my son’s abuse. However, doing so did throw us into the bureaucratic ringer! Both with CPS and in actually having to go to court! The boy was found guilty of 5 charges but wasn’t jailed. We were made to feel at fault and under the microscope. Had it been a family member, I’m damn sure I would have lost all my kids. I would not go through reporting again. A lot of victimizing comes with taking action, especially blaming of the accuser by CPS.