NOT MY CHILD: A Mother Confronts Her Child's Sexual Abuse by Patricia Crowley

NOT MY CHILD: A Mother Confronts Her Child's Sexual Abuse

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A close-to-the-heart account of mass sexual abuse of children at the Wee Care Nursery in suburban New Jersey. Newspaper feature writer Crowley, whose daughter was one of the victims, zeroes in on the devastating impact--on not only the victims but also on the families--of the initial abuse and subsequent investigation and trial. Like other parents, Crowley at first refused to believe that five-year-old Hannah had been sexually abused and had not talked about it. She rationalized Hannah's strangely deviant behavior as ""just a phase."" Moreover, none of the other, similarly bewildered parents was aware that sexual acting out--bathroom language, school phobias, nightmares, etc.--had become endemic among the children whose nap time was supervised by newly hired Kelly Michaels. The behavior among the children deteriorated further after they reluctantly told investigators of the horrors they had endured. Like Hannah, they felt they were ""bad,"" and vented their rage on parents who had ""not protected them."" Siblings suffered neglect as distraught parents concentrated all their energies on the victimized child; obsessed mothers, including Crowley, teetered on the verge of breakdown; marriages strained and two foundered. Today, Hannah--who, along with both her parents, testified at the trial--is doing well in therapy but is still terrified that Kelly will escape imprisonment and ""get"" her. A vivid, occasionally overwrought, depiction of families caught in an ongoing nightmare. For another, less affecting but more objective account of the case, see Manshel's Nap Time, reviewed below.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1989
Publisher: Doubleday