Reply To: Ohio poised to remove thousands from registry


I can understand your point of view on victims, but I disagree with it. In the instance of a teacher/student relationship, a student cannot give authentic consent. The teacher is in a position of authority, and the student knows it. What if the student says “no”? Will the teacher fail him? Would anyone believe him if he told? And what would his friends say?

The same can be said for priest/altar boy; doctor/patient; police/citizen; corrections officer/inmate.

The other issue with children and consent is that children, even physiologically mature teenagers, do not have the emotional experience to handle a sexual relationship, especially with an adult. For example (and this is just one of many, many scenarios), they may feel like if they do not “give it up” then the adult will not want them. That’s not consent. That’s peer pressure. (I’m not saying you put pressure on your victim; the victim may have put that pressure on herself.)

The relationship may very well have been consensual in the sense that both parties wanted it to happen. But from a slightly different point of view, one shared by psychologists that treat both offenders and victims, one person had all of the power in the relationship. That alone precludes any true consent.

**And just for the record, I was 34 and my victim was 14. I’ve been through treatment and see things a lot differently than I did before. If you don’t believe there were long-term effects to the victim, you’re lying to yourself. I say all of this as a friend, not in judgement. We all lie to ourselves to be able to live with our poor choices. Once you expose the lie and accept the truth, healing begins.