The Good, The Bad, or The Child Molester

30 years ago a sad, lonely, depressed, fragile 13-year old girl announced to a living room holding a few of her closest relatives  in it that she was molested by two people. 


Actually it was three, but since the first one was a teenager she didn’t know that he counted as well. 

That 13-year-old was me. 

Molested.

I just got that word from a television movie called, “Something about Amelia.”  Actually the movie came on t.v. the year prior.  

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I always thought that people who molest children were bad people.  I hated the people who molested me so they certainly qualified as bad.  But, I also blamed myself.  So, I thought I was bad too.  So maybe I deserved it.

But when, “Something about Amelia”, aired in 1984, they cast Ted Danson as the sexually abusive father.  That was brilliant!  I didn’t think of him as a bad person.  The fun dude from “Cheers”?  No, wasn’t he the one always helping people solve problems or something?

The fun dude from “Cheers”?  No, wasn’t he the one always helping people solve problems or something?

I really didn’t know.  I was still a kid.  Still watching, “Different Strokes,” and“The Facts of Life.”  You know, trying to get my hair to look cute like Tootie’s and Willis’ girlfriend, Janet Jackson.  Shrug. 

But you get it right?  He seemed nice.  But he wasn’t he was molesting  the his oldest daughter.

Nope. This wasn’t Cheers.
Poor Roxanne Zal  played the daughter and was all confused, terrified, and feeling stuck.  
She loved her father, but she wanted him to stop “molesting” her. Didn’t seem like a whole lot to ask. 

So brave Roxanne Zal told someone. 

Ted Danson had to leave the house. 
There was a big investigation.  Social worker came to monitor the home and everything.

The mama hated Ted’s character. 

Then she hated the victimized daugher.

 The little sister joined the hate festival.

Whew!  This was waaaay bigger than my afterschool special stuff. 

In fact, if my mom didn’t just happen to be out that night.  I would never have been able to watch it.

In that year, I was suffering. Man, I was dying.  Or at least constantly trying to figure how to do it.  Luckily I wasn’t very good at it.

It’s Through the Fire

And that is when I figured out that there was no way out of this fire but through it.  So I stood in the living room…..and my whole life… flipped over.  

So What Have We Learned? 

 I don’t think that I ever would have made the connection but for, “Something about Amelia”.  Specifically the genius casting of Ted Danson as the father.

People who commit acts of sexual violence may be very likable.  In fact, they usually are.  This is out of necessity. 

It’s a mask y’all.  A person who abuses children can appear to be a person with a very good character. They can even appear to love children.  

Don’t we love those people?  People who seem to be good with children?

Keep in mind, it could be a setup. 

I’m not asking you to believe everything that you hear but at least stay curious and open minded. 

Don’t fall for the con. 

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Tonya GJ Prince

Tonya is a Social Justice Expert with over 24 years experience as a speaker, group facilitator, crisis intervention counselor, writer, advocate & activist. She holds a BS in Organizational Management & Development.
Her Tortie rescue cat MiaBelle, is her longtime co-writer.
More Info.....www.tonyagjprince.com
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Post Author: Tonya GJ Prince

Tonya is a Social Justice Expert with over 24 years experience as a speaker, group facilitator, crisis intervention counselor, writer, advocate & activist. She holds a BS in Organizational Management & Development.
Her Tortie rescue cat MiaBelle, is her longtime co-writer.
More Info…..www.tonyagjprince.com

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