In response to William J. Ruddy's letter, "Should issue overshadow good," on Aug. 17, I can only shake my head in disbelief. You sir, and people like you, are the reason this problem that has affected so many families across the country has gone on so long, unnoticed and swept under the carpet.
I invite you to try to comprehend the trauma and turmoil that a family has to face after an episode of child sexual abuse. Imagine the grief and outrage that the father might feel and then multiply it by a factor of 10, because whatever you might imagine can't hold a candle to the reality of the experience for one who has gone through it. Now try to imagine the pain, shame and trauma that the child has gone through. This is something, again, that you can never realize unless you have had the experience inflicted upon you. If you are a parent, you have missed out on even the minimum amount of compassion needed to care about any children but your own.
The only answer to a pedophile predator is extended jail time and serious psychiatric rehabilitation - not blaming it on whiskey and sending him off to do it all over again in another locale. This only perpetuates the cycle of pain, and places an equal share of the responsibility for all of the future victims upon your shoulders. No amount of good done elsewhere can ever balance the scales for what is done to the child in such a circumstance. The pain and stigma last throughout the rest of the child's life.
I feel sorry for you.