Re: Child-on-child crimes

"Uncle Clover" <UncleClover@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
We focus so often on the dirty old perv living down the block
a ways, but they're not the only molesters one need be afraid of. An
oft under-considered phenomenon is that of children who commit crimes
against other children.

Particularly when it comes to issues of sexuality, children
often repeat the behavior they've been subjected to on other children.
When I was still pre-pubic, I most certainly did. I was abused by
other boys and adults, and repeated that behavior on younger boys. To
the mind of a boy who is being toyed with sexually, damage can be done
whether it's just another little boy or an adult male dishing out the

But how can one distinguish between a child who's innocently
"playing doctor" with another child and a child who is engaging in
more serious sexual abuse of another child? Can there even -be- such
a thing as "innocently playing doctor" among children?

I'm just curious as to how often the chain of abuse is
maintained through children abusing other children. I would love to
think my activities in childhood went no further than that, but how do
I know? How do I know if those boys I "played doctor" with turned out
okay despite the fact? How do I know they didn't grow up with the
urge to do that to children because of what I - as a child - had done
to them?

I hope they're okay. I wish I could've known then what I know
now so the whole rotten mess could've been avoided. I've never heard
anything bad about them since we've all moved on with our lives in
separate ways. But how do you know? You can't. For all I know, they
could be child molesters because of me.

I really think we should pay more attention to child-on-child
crime than we presently do. There's some progress in that direction
in Texas regarding abuse of kids by kids in juvenile detention centers
- that's a very good place to start. But it's also "out there" - in
the real world, in your neighborhood. It's not just in juvenile hall
that older children abuse younger children - it's in schools and on
the street as well. And I still can't get over how often people will
declare, "Not _MY_ child! My child wouldn't -do- that!" It's like
people become parents and forget just how sneaky and rotten little
children can actually be to each other, and how easy it is to hide
that fact from one's own parents. My parents didn't have a clue as to
what I was doing with those other boys, and neither did theirs.

Then again, how can one distinguish between child-on-child
"crime" and simple, normal, natural "bullying" (not of the extreme
variety, just the more normal, "character-building" stuff)?

Oy, it's an issue, to be sure. What's -your- opinion?

Hey, unk, it is certainly an issue. One that few professionals and/or
facilities deal with. Many foster parents have children in their care who
have sexualized behavior issues.

There are some references to be found on the 'net, like:

What is "normal"? Or "usual"? It seems to me that if there is harm and /
or threats, the line in the sand can become one etched in stone. Can, not
to say will.

Very tough issue. Some of these damaged children are very dangerous and the
behavior doesn't exist in a vacume. It usually comes along with other
problems such as torturing animals, fire-setting, various destructive means
to "THINGS", acting out, hoarding, low impulse control, self harm and worse.

The laws are unclear, imho, because of just some of the aspects as you
mention above. Denial, minimizing, smokescreening, etc. Further, with
respect to child placement agencies, they have reason to pretend that this
doesn't exist as it would preclude placing a child with these proclivities
into regular foster care with any other children in the home. Almost an
impossibility, if the prospective foster or adoptive parents were given
informed notice.

Not a pretty picture. However - most cases of kids messing around has no
great big meaning in the overall picture of their futures. If a child has
used force and coerced another child, that's where the real problems seem to

And that's briefly, my opionion,