Hi LN Cronan, You raise some really good points, but here is my question: Who was the second pediatrician/coconspirator who also agree that Gideon wasn't being abused? Did the two individuals know each other or were they unrelated? Here's my next question; why didn't the pediatricians contact Child Protective Services? When a complaint about abuse is made, a healthcare provider is mandated by law to register the complaint so that even if physical evidence of abuse isn't found, a social worker could follow up to ensure the safety of said child. A physician would also have to question the child about the abuse (very gently) and if the child stated that he/she had been abused to the healthcare provider (for example), then the physician would have no alternative but to report a case of abuse. My question is; What the heck happened here?! It seems that both Eva and Gideon were failed by the healthcare system at every single turn. Physicians failed to report complaints of abuse, potential and physical evidence that was found was disregarded, etc.... The type of initial abuse that is described in the book is basically grooming a child for the abuse. I personally think that maybe Gideon tolerated a lot before he said something and that someone or a group of someone's lied. After all how can one explain the level of hatred that Gideon has for Dr. Lucas? I also just want to be clear that there is no mild molestation. What we have here is a case of; fondling, potentially oral and eventual anal penetration. Gideon did not elaborate thus far except through his nightmares. So it will be interesting to see how this entire thing unfolds. He is a man with many dark secrets...
Hi GiGi! I've got some theories about the points you raise. But first I want to affirm you're absolutely right -- there is no "mild" molestation. All sexual abuse, especially of children, is serious and is wrong. I should have found a better word to convey the pattern Gideon's abuser used to victimize him, and you hit on exactly the right word: grooming. Grooming is how is started, and it escalated from there.
Wikipedia has an article on child sexual abuse that explains the myriad ways it is committed (as well at many of the effects it has on the victims). I invite others on this thread to read the article to discern which abuse patterns Gideon and Eva were subjected to and how in many ways the resultant damage was the same. The link is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_sex_abuse
As for the reporting: obviously in Gideon's case, his mother and stepfather used their money to squash the entire matter. Private consultations with pediatricians, and I'll bet the examinations were done at the Vidal house instead of doctor's offices. After all, the therapist originally hired to treat Gideon for his anger issues came out to the house to see him instead of him going to the therapist's office. She (the child therapist) came, bringing a male doctoral student (who became the abuser) along. She was supposed to work with Gideon, but she ended up working with his mother instead, who was in the midst of a difficult pregnancy. The doctoral student was left to work with Gideon. Unsupervised and behind closed doors with him (in the library) at the Vidal mansion.
Should the pediatricians Elizabeth Vidal hired to examine Gideon have alerted authorities? YES. They had a legal and moral responsibility to report even the accusations. They should have reported even strong suspicions. Child Protective Services would take over as outside authorities to investigate. I think Elizabeth Vidal privately paid a lot of money to have the accusations investigated herself, out at the house, by private doctors. The outcome was she decided Gideon must be lying. End of case. He was failed on every single level. The private mental health system that exposed him to the actual abuser. The private medical establishment. And worst of all, his family.
In Eva's case, Child Services did become involved. Here are a couple of passages from Bared to You from the conversation in which Eva told Gideon about Nathan. One of the questions he asked is how she got out, how did the abuse end.
"When I was fourteen. I thought I was having my period, but there was too much blood. My mother panicked and took me to the emergency room. I'd had a miscarriage. In the course of the exam, they found evidence of ... other trauma. Vaginal and anal scarring -- "
" ... The hospital reported the abuse to child services. It's all a matter of public record, which has been sealed, but there are people who know the story."
We know Nathan was dealt with behind closed doors instead of criminally prosecuted. However, Eva's mother believed her right away and got her out of the home, leaving her first husband, Nathan's father, and divorcing him soon after. Child Services, I think, deferred to the way the case was handled because the child victim was permanently removed from the abusive household, which consisted of a step family, by the biological mother of the victim, who whatever other choices she made, at least immediately took decisive steps to protect the victim. Which likely included continued medical treatment for the physical and psychological damage.