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How not to react to Stephen Collins’ child molestation confession

The news of 7th Heaven star Stephen Collins confessing to molesting at least three children is blowing up on social media. It’s a tough day for those who are triggered by stories of sexual abuse — especially when idiots have taken to Twitter to heap blame on Collins’ estranged wife.

The news doesn’t come with a trigger warning. For those who have been affected by sexual abuse and molestation, stories like Collins’ alleged confession dredge up horrific memories and trauma. Sex abuse affects entire families and marriages. We don’t know exactly why Faye Grant chose to wait two years to release tapes of her estranged husband confessing to molesting young girls. Her marriage is her business. She doesn’t deserve to be blamed for Collins’ actions, and picking apart her motives draws attention away from the real crime here.

Of course, some popcorn-munching bystanders don’t agree. Here are 12 tweets that make it clear our culture doesn’t place enough emphasis on victim advocacy and the responsibility of perpetrators. Please read on with caution and self-care in mind, as some of these tweets contain abusive language.

Let me break it down for you. Unless Faye Grant participated in molesting young girls, no one should be focusing on her at all. Talking about how this came out because of divorce, or because she is a gold digger, or because she’s (insert typical lady-hating conjecture), takes the focus away from where it belongs. An adult in a position of power and authority allegedly molested young girls. At least three victims are living with the trauma of abuse, along with 1 in 5 girls. So let’s keep the focus where it belongs.

Before you speculate about an ugly Hollywood divorce or you insist you would have alerted the authorities, just don’t. Don’t perpetuate a culture that blames victims and places the responsibility on family members and witnesses. Think before you fire off an ugly tweet — your thoughtless words could open up a victim’s wounds.

More on child abuse

Stop calling bad parenting child abuse
Signs of child abuse and neglect
Protect your child with special needs from sex abuse

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