The story of Elizabeth Thomas has been all over the news. The internet is full of people’s opinions about the case. Unfortunately, those opinions also include blaming the victim.
Adults with fully developed brains and a vast array of life experiences are passing judgment on Elizabeth. They believe she should have known what was about to happen and how to handle the situation.
However, Elizabeth is a 15 year old child. Her brain is not fully developed, so she doesn’t have the same ability as an adult to make logical decisions or understand the potential consequences of what is happening. Elizabeth also has a very limited amount of life experiences, which would prevent her from knowing how to deal with a sexual predator.
Tad Cummins is an adult and he knew Elizabeth was struggling with her home life. He also knew that would make Elizabeth an easy target. The early phases of their relationship involved classic grooming techniques used by sexual predators to ensure compliance from their victims.
It is not uncommon for children to return to a sexual predator that has groomed them and inserted themselves into the life of the child. There are a lot of reasons children fail to report sexual abuse.
One of those reasons is fear. They are afraid of being blamed for the abuse. They believe it is their fault. Unfortunately, that is what some children are seeing now. A child was victimized by an adult and some adults are placing blame on the child.
When I hear people blaming Elizabeth for what happened, it breaks my heart. I think of the pain she has endured. These adults are only going to make it harder for her to overcome the abuse and learn to live a normal life.
I also think of any children that may overhear these conversations or read online posts blaming Elizabeth. What if they are also being abused by someone in their life? Will these children believe they are to blame for their abuse? Will they endure years of abuse at the hands of a sexual predator, because the adults around them are blaming a victim?