Accusation of inappropriate touching - FamilyEducation
Accusation of inappropriate touching
03/02/2009 at 10:05 AM

I am brand-new here. My father (who lives with me) told me he saw my boyfriend touch my daughter (15 y.o.) inappropriately (grabbed her rear-end). She says she wasn't touched. I know my daughter - and I was standing near her when the "touching" happened. She would have responded visibly; she would have pulled me aside immediately...something. We have a very close and open relationship. She is not sexually active and there is no evidence or pattern of this type of behavior by my boyfriend at all. She told me she feels very safe around him. They do play around affectionately - they are both outgoing that way. But I have never seen any interaction even close to inappropriate. They have never been alone together. She says he has never made her feel uncomfortable.

My daughter's safety and well-being are first priority. My dad could be described as "odd" but he wouldn't just make something up out of thin air. He is very upset and will not talk openly with me about the incident, nor consider that maybe he didn't see what he thought he saw. He thinks my daughter is denying (or ignoring) it because, at her age, girls sometimes "like" special attention from a man (golly-this sounds ludicrous now). I have not spoken to my boyfriend yet, since I feel it's best for me to come to my conclusions before discussing with him. Since I have involved my daughter in the conversation, though, I WILL have to speak with him about this. Before I do, I want a sense of whether I believe he did something wrong or whether there is just a misunderstanding.

Any suggestions how I unscramble this very delicate situation?

Thank you for any tips!

First thing would be to talk with your daughter and it sounds like you have done that. Second, you need to establish with your bf that smacking a 15 year old girl on her behind is inappropriate!!! Even if she was his own daughter, AND SHE IS NOT, it is not appropriate. He should not be tickling her or any intimate touching. He may have the purest of intentions but that does not matter, it can easily get uncomfortable in an instant and then he can never take it back. Bringing a man into a home with a 15 yo female is tricky anyway. This is the time where she is learning about her sexuality and wants to be "sexy". I find myself admiring the beauty of youth and I am a straight female. Even if we don't want to admit it, it's a delicate balance. If you feel at all this could be a possibility then you should avoid bringing your bf around until you are sure there is not any type of sexual tension or behavior. If you feel it could be true then break up with your bf right away and focus on your daughter until she is a little more grown. If you come to the conclusion with your daughter and your bf that things are all innocent then make sure they both understand how cetain teasing and playing can be viewed by others. Help them understand how important it is for them both to respect certain boundaries. They can still bond with verbal teasing, watching a common show, throwing a ball, making some food, hanging out... they do not need to touch, tickle and smack buns... Keep in mind that if your father thinks this guy is creepy they are not going to bond either. Honestly, if you don't plan to marry this guy then you should just leave him alone and move on.

Also be aware that grandpa sharing a home with a 15 year old can be problematic. This could be Grandpa projecting his own fantasies. I know, sick and wrong, but possible.

I joined this list to respond to your question, although I have read the q&a on this site for a long time. I am talking to you as a parent who's spouse (children's step-father) did molest them. And I had/have a close relationship with both my girls. I would have bet my life they would tell me if they were touched in any way. And they didn't. They didn't tell me until he scared the younger one so badly that she told me what was happening. It still breaks me heart, but the main reason they didn't tell me was because they didn't want to hurt me and they knew I "loved" him. Kids think crazy thoughts and they don't rationalize the same way adults do. My daughters never showed any sign of fear towards my ex-husband. When they asked my youngest about how she felt about him (they being the counselors) she told them she was only afraid of him when he had "mean eyes" I always thought I would "know" if my child were in trouble. I didn't know, I didn't see. And its' been ten years and I have still not forgiven myself. I thank God my children do not hold me responsible in any way. He is in prison (actually he's close to a release date at this point - there's an nightmare come to life thought) PLEASE get away from this man. If you are going to error ... error on the side of your daughters safety. And I don't think "Grandpa" would bring it to your attention if he were a pervert himself - I think he loves his granddaughter and is trying to protect her. Good luck with your situation and I'll keep your daughter in my thoughts that she is safe.

Sometimes it's hard to think objectively when you're in the middle of everything. Why wld you suspect anything? Your father may have seen something from another perspective that to him is inappropriate. It is possible that your dad is over-reacting. It's also possible that something did happen (a smack on the butt), that wasn't as innocent as it seems. Even your daughter may not realize that your BF is out of bounds here. He may not realize it either. I wldn't just sit around and guess or downplay this. I wld react right away treating this as a serious situation. Here's an example: I used to play softball. One yr I had a coach who wld pat us on the butt when we got a hit, made an out, etc. I was about 15. I really didn't think much of it at the time. It was softball afterall. Then our parents started complaining. The coach was immediately fired. I know this is your BF and not a stranger, but still you can never be too careful. Don't let innocent get out of hand. It cld happen to anyone.