This is a very touchy topic for me. My most fond childhood memory of this actor( Morgan Freeman) was his role as Mr.Clark in the movie, “Lean on Me!” Many of us who grew-up in the south (Yea Atlanta is the deep south) had a Mr.Clark. This is why this story is somewhat difficult for me to believe. I had to remove Morgan Freeman from the imagery of this man (Mr. Joe Clark) to the character of a more vulnerable “step grandfather.” Please be advised that it is estimated that approximately 20 million Americans have been victims of parent incest as children.
The allegations suggest that there was a more than ten year “incestuous” relationship between Morgan Freeman and his step granddaughter. Although, he is not her biological grandfather, this would still be deemed as inappropriate and incest. After looking at the facts, I am NOT totally convinced of the validity of the reports because all of this information came out AFTER his wife filed for divorce. The story did break, but it appears that African-American communities did not buy into the allegations against Superstar Morgan Freeman, last summer.
However, this is a very touchy topic in many of our communities and has to be addressed. Many so-called “stepfathers” don’t see how bad this behavior really impacts the future lives of their stepchildren. Dr. Diana Russell, a Sociology Professor out of Oakland, CA, conducted a study of 930 San Francisco woman. She discovered that 17% of the women, that is 1 in 6 of the women, had been molested by their stepfather. On the otherhand, only 2% of biological fathers molested their daughters. She also noted that most of the Very Serious Sexual Abuse was perpetrated by stepfather. (47% stepfather vs. 26% biological father)(Source: The Prevalence and Seriousness of Incestuous Abuse: Stepfather vs. Biological Father by Diana E. H. Russell, PhD)
Some of the most serious cases of Major Depression, that I have personally treated, is of woman who were sexually abused and or traumatized by their stepfathers and fathers. Mothers this is a very serious phenomena. According to the reporters, Morgan’s step granddaughter (now 27 years old ) supposedly did tell her mother when she was seventeen. There are reports that Mrs.Freeman did confront her then husband. However, the allegations suggest that the affair still continued for ten years. This is also alleged to be cited in the divorce filing by his wife. Now parents, I am not sure of the Statute of Limitations* surrounding incest cases, but I am sure that they do exist for this crime as with many other crimes. Please note that this crime is punishable, by law, in most of our fifty states. Although, I am not convinced that Morgan is guilty, I will use this opportunity to spring board into the importance of recognizing childhood incest.
I have to also mention that their is a new phenomena (within the last twenty years) where mothers/fathers are sexually abusing their sons. This is becoming more and more prevalent. This conclusion is not yet out, on the Freeman case, but it certainly deserves honorable mention on the blog. Sex crimes, to include incest, rape, etc. are getting out of hand.
Warning Signs of Childhood Incest:
- Your child will avoid or be very attached to the parent/stepparent
- Your child will appear or actually be more sexual
- The child may be anxious and paranoid
- Or the child may appear disruptive and fearless
- The child may present self-injurious behavior (i.e. cutting, suicidality or substance abuse)
As difficult as this may be for your to confront or deal with, if you suspect any form of sexual abuse of your child, NOTIFY the proper authorities immediately. This should be the case with either your young son or daughter. After this, please seek the appropriate medical and psychiatric attention for your child. This wil be essential for proper resolution of the event(s) and normal sexual development your child.
We always hope that our families will live healthy, full lives and make the right decisions. However, what happens when one of our family members become depressed, anxious, or display uncontrolled emotions? In this case, they may be suffering from a mental issue and not know it. A healthy mind makes for a healthy body; taking the Dr. Owens Mental Health Prescreen Assessment will ensure a healthier start on life!
*Statute of Limitation= Maximum time after a crime that legal proceedings can be started.