Dear Prudence

Dear Prudence Uncensored: The Brother-in-Law Who Downloaded Child Pornography

Every week, Danny and Nicole Cliffe discuss a Prudie letter. This week: the brother-in-law who downloaded child pornography.

Danny: [one hour after sending the question] hey, sorry to pester you but I need to file this

Nicole: my HUSBAND just got back from out of town and I am GREETING him, you jerk

Danny: I’m putting this in the chat

Nicole: You can’t send me these things the DAY you need them

Danny: I’m sorry!!! also I am going to put this in the chat because I need the content

Nicole: yes, please do

this family SUCKS

Danny: IT IS A TERRIBLE RESPONSE

Nicole: They are so bad! None of them are safe.

The question of whether to respond to the letter about amends feels like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic

Danny: I mean, it’s already so much out in the open how you feel about him, you don’t stand to lose anything by saying, “This is an insufficient response that does not accurately address the crime he committed, and I don’t accept it. I do not believe he has fully acknowledged the extent of the harm he has perpetrated; he’s attempted to minimize what he did by conflating a ‘pornography addiction’ and ‘barely legal’ accidents with the intentional downloading of assaults on children his son’s age. I do not believe he has been appropriately met with consequence, I do not believe him rehabilitated, and I do not think he should be left alone with children.”

Nicole: RIGHT

Danny: like, you have no reason not to say this

Nicole: And I would make sure that CPS knows the nephew is seeing him unsupervised. Maybe they know already; that’s fine! Tell them anyways.

Danny: And if your in-laws are still angry with you for doing the right thing, then you need to make it clear you’re not sorry, you don’t regret it, and that they are enabling his evasion.

Nicole: Seriously. This is exactly how multigenerational predation happens. Next up: Someone new joins the family, no one tells them about BIL, he offers to watch their kids.

Danny: God, that’s awful.

I really think the LW should speak up with the others, just given how much everyone else wants to support this half-apology

Nicole: Oh, for sure. Go nuts. I would have quite a screed!

Danny: i just cannot imagine finding out your husband has downloaded enough child porn to warrant an FBI investigation—not a small amount!—and think “porn addiction” is a sufficient response.

Nicole: I MEAN.

Danny: leaving aside the whole idea of porn addiction, the fact that he is apparently now counseling other men is very distressing to contemplate. Like … is he counseling men who look at porn? Or is he counseling men who have been arrested for downloading child porn?

Nicole: Because at that point it raises the question of whether he’s using these men as new sources for more.

Danny: Yes, say something, and don’t let the fact that the rest of the family has decided to throw their support into enabling him deter you from doing the right thing.