These are all true - they happened, either to me or to people I knew. I'm telling these stories because they illustrate (I hope) that there are many facets to this issue.
One facet - I was ten years old when a neighbor decided I was old enough to touch his penis, to stroke him and felate him until he ejaculated. I learned to keep a Kleenex handy to wipe the weird white stuff of of my mother's couch. He opined that I would soon be old enough for him to put it inside me, and that it would feel so good. Eventually he and his family moved away. I never told anyone about our after-school "dates", for fear I'd get into trouble.
D was fourteen when she agreed to go into the barn with T. He wanted more than she did. He was nineteen, and stronger than she, and he got what he wanted. It wasn't the first time he'd talked a younger girl into the barn, nor the last. Going into the barn with T gave a girl cachet, even if she wasn't entirely sure how she felt about it...and at that time, at that age, status was everything.
P was six when she went to live with her father. She was a teen when her mother finally got her back. Her father taught her many things which no child should know.
Another facet - S was fifteen when she met B. He was in his twenties, in the Navy. They were in love. They had sex. She got pregnant. They married. Several decades and two more kids later, they're still married.
K was a young teen when she met B. Still in high school while he was well out and making his way in the world (in his twenties). They dated with the consent of her parents. They married, and several decades and three sons later, they're still married.
And a third facet - S was nineteen when he met L at a party. In college, studying for his future, he was taking a rare break. She told him she was eighteen, in nursing school. They dated, had sex...and her mother found out. L's mother pressed charges, despite L's insistence that she'd consented, that she'd lied about her age (she was fifteen). He went to prison for several years.
J was in his twenties when he met X at the park. They talked on the phone a few times, and then she asked him over to her place. They fooled around a bit - no sex, just petting. Her father found out. J went to prison for twelve years. Turns out, X wasn't seventeen, as she'd said.
T was a middle-school teacher. He liked to go to the beach on the weekend, enjoy sun, surf, and sand. One day, he and a friend went to a nude beach, curious about it. They thought it would be nice to sun themselves without bathing suits. The beach was empty, so they shucked their clothing and commenced to enjoying a sunny day on the shore. The police explained, while arresting them, that the nude beach was actually several hundred yards along.
There are more stories to tell, but these should suffice. Which of the above are predators? Which are rapists? Which pedophiles? And which ones were the victims of their own misunderstanding or of another's misdirection? The law makes no distinction. The law says they are all criminals of the same class. This is wrong. They are not all the same - the young man who believes a girl when she says she's old enough is not the same as the middle-aged man who preys on his neighbor's ten-year old daughter (knowing full well her age). The man who unwittingly exposed himself to an empty beach is not the same as the one who coerced girls on the floor of a barn. They should not be treated as like...but they are. How is that just?
Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!
"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One
For old quotes, look here.
For old quotes, look here.