Epilogue

justcould have been a much longer book full of the things you find in successful memoirs–descriptions of meals and vacations and conversations in transit. It stops abruptly (except for the necessary introduction) two years ago at the end of 2009.

I did not put the rest of the story in because it was worse, yes, worse.

Our families, church, and many colleagues did not handle our story well. Our children were isolated and lonely. Out of everyone we knew, one couple confronted Charles about what he had done. Most people sent him cards and money. Some said unspeakable things.

Many long acquaintances just withdrew. Some old friends disappeared.

There was something good and valuable that happened.
Dozens of abuse survivors and rape victims shared their stories. We may have winnowed out family and friends, but we are deeply grateful for those who have listened, shared, and grieved with us.

And we now know that the only uncommon thing about our story is our willingness to speak out. Most families hide the story and ignore the damage.

It is time for that to change.
It is long past time.

Every family, church or community that turns a blind eye to an identified predator is responsible for the victims

All the innocent victims.

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