THeRe'S An AnGeL On My ShOuLdEr...

Monday, April 25, 2005

The Grey Zone 

The book I'm reading at the moment, Into the Darklands has stirred a memory in me and I must say, it's causing me a great deal of confusion. Though, as an aside, It's far better than the dark abyss I often find myself falling into upon thinking of such inanimate objects as lamps. But that's another story.

When I was 15, & only just 15, my older brother Simon took me on a ski trip. He was 21. We had a fantastic time. While we were there we met up with a couple of guys who were also staying at our chalet. They were in their 20's. One was a teacher. They were both from South Australia. We all got along really well & spent a fair amount of time together. A week later we left. One of the guys stayed on as he was being met by his girlfriend. The teacher (I can no longer recall his name) returned home on the same bus as Simon & I. On the journey home, the teacher taught me how to play backgammon. We also engaged in some 'heavy petting'. Although I was just 15 & he was in his 20's, it was most certainly consensual.

And this event has now raised a number of dilemas for me. Most who read this, if anyone indeed does, knows roughly what I do for a living. Part of my role involves the identification, classification and monitoring of Paedophiles. I have an umber of questions running through my head that I find, having been in that situation, that I cannot satisfactorily answer. Was he a paedophile? I certainly didn't think so at the time & even now I have trouble considering that to be the case. Yet if I examined the same circumstances in my professional setting, it is likely that I would reach the conclusion that he was. I don't know if this was a pattern of behaviour or whether I was the only one it ever happened with. Did I feel violated at the time? Certainly not. Did, or even do I feel that an offence was committed? No. Though I know technically it did. I wouldn't, and hadn't ever considered this event to even be in the same league as being sexually assaulted by the girl who lived up the street from me, or being raped on my 17th birthday. They were sexual assaults, no two ways about it. There was an offender and a victim. But this event when I was 15? I don't feel that I was a victim of anything. This is The Grey Zone. When does the age difference make a difference? Did the fact that he was a teacher make a difference? Naturally each case must be examined on its own merits, but this has created somewhat of a dilemma for me professionally.

I would be interested in the opinion of others.




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