The last two times Drew Peterson married, his wives turned up missing or murdered. Someone’s grown daughter, sister, and friend was murdered, and all the hopes, dreams, and shared experiences they has with Stacy and Kathy came to a deadly end.
This father’s concern for his daughter is a pleasant break from situations where women have been isolated and targeted by adult sexual predators and abusive manipulative “partners.”
Parents have no legal authority after ages 18 or 21, but that does not mean the threat to safety ends. A parent’s role as protector lasts through life. Their sense of duty to their children does not diminish if they haven’t abdicated their moral authority or parental role.
Accountability needs to be reestablished in relationships before a restraining order or criminal charges are filed. Parental or other family involvement at the first sign of trouble would be a way to establish accountability before the situation escalates into criminal activity.
Abusive “partners” can be seen as someone who grooms a same (or similar age) partner into physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. Murder would be the extreme expression of this. It is a fact that parental involvement in a minor’s life protects against sexual (and other abuse). When parents step into dangerous situations involving their grown kids, they are simply continuing the concern for their kids they had for the 1st 18 (or 21) years of their life.
Assuming the allegations involving Drew’s last two wives are founded, Peterson is a danger to younger twentysomething women in the same manner as a pedophile is a danger to 10 year olds. The danger isn’t expressed the same way with the wife killer and the molester, but they have a specific grooming method, specific power and control motives for their crimes, and destroy lives equally as effectively. A parent can choose to monitor the situation more closely, and this is what Mr. Raines appears to be doing.
Parents who stand back and sit idly by when sociopaths, sexual predators, or other abusers target their grown kids aren’t just abdicating their parental responsibility, but also an abdicating their common sense. Why in the hell would you do nothing when you see your grown child being brainwashed into believing that her abuser has her interest at heart?
This is what an abuser or other predator wants - lack of family support. Your protective role does not end at age 18. It is a big mistake to assume that children over 18 have the knowledge to protect against all threats at all times. They need someone on their side to protect against subtle tactics of abusive “partners” who have insinuated them into their lives.
If parental involvement in minor children’s lives protect against sexual predators, why can’t parental involvement in their grown child’s lives protect against abusive “partners?” It’s about the tension between the parents’ desire to protect their grown child and the desire to be on an adult footing by the grown offspring. The live and let live attitude is appropriate when there is no abuse of any type. If there is any risk of abuse, parents need to be parents again.
Some things don’t change. Abuse is abuse, and the difference between a rapist of women and a molester of 12 year old girls is the victims’ age ranges. Parents can intervene in DV situations, but too many times, they choose not to until it’s too late, because they focus on autonomy, but forget the safety, if not life, of their grown kids are at stake.
The difference in these perp’s mentalities are only the method of abuse, the way they pick targets, and the age range of a victim.
If there is a consequence of interfering in a grown child’s life, the consequence of a dead woman is much, much more serious that interfering in a grown child’s abusive relationship. Parents will live with the knowledge and shame that they could not have done more for their daughter before her abusive boyfriend/husband took her life.
If you see your daughter (or son with bruises) or a personality changed for the worse, it’s time to say “Get away from my child! (or sister, or friend)”. People with personality disorders and a lack of morals are everywhere, and as I’ve been saying, and not all of them target minors.