By Brandy Miller
It’s hard not to be sickened by the reports of what Lauren Bush, did to her neighbor over a period of months. She forced him to perform sexual acts with a family pet, forced him to walk barefoot across thin ice at knife point and refused to help him out of the freezing water when he fell in. She did this not once but many times and video taped every act. It is easy to label her a monster and declare she requires no form of compassion because monsters are born a certain way and can’t be changed or helped. However, there are some very important questions that aren’t being asked and need to be before we decide to consign her to the status of non-human.
First, let’s discuss the fact that this took place over the course of several months without any of the six parents of the three teenagers involved noticing. I find that disturbing. One of the teenage girls who abused the autistic boy was only 15 years old. The girl in the picture, Laura Bush, is only 17. Where were the six parents of these three teenagers while this was going on? Was anyone even paying attention to these girls? I’m not excusing what was done, but this seems indicative of a kind of neglect that has become familiar with today’s parents. That they video taped the acts they committed speaks to an intention to draw attention to themselves. They wanted what they did to be known and seen. When children, whether those children are 3 or 18, cannot find a way to get your attention through their positive behavior, they will often resort to negative behaviors in order to get the attention they need. I would say this definitely qualifies as negative behavior.
The second thing that draws my attention is that this girl forced the boy to perform acts of bestiality with the family pet. What that tells me is that at least one of these girls has been exposed to pornography – and not the mild sort, either, but the hard core kind. She’s been sexually assaulted by someone – if not physically, then at least mentally. It’s likely been going on for years. Children who are being targeted by a child molester will often lead them to viewing pornography as a way of grooming them to accept sexual advances. Now, it’s possible that she’s been exposed to this kind of pornography by classmates, but again this leads me to question where the parents were in the midst of all of this. Why weren’t they watching over what their daughter was viewing on the internet? Sexual molestation and assault victims often have radical, abrupt changes in personality and behavior. They often do to others what has been done to them, and if it has been done to them long enough they don’t even see how wrong it is. Did the parents notice something was wrong but were in denial about how bad it was?
The third thing that draws my attention is that these girls chose someone who was autistic. They choose someone, in other words, who was imperfect and powerless. I think that’s no accident. I think it highly likely that
at least one of these girls lives with a parent who is a perfectionist. This girl is constantly held up to a standard she cannot meet. She took all of the anger and rage and helplessness she feels about her situation and targeted it at the person who most closely embodies the imperfection she sees in herself. Of course, that’s armchair psychology and you can take it with a grain of salt as I may be completely off base. However, what I think we are looking at is at least one of these girls having been severely neglected, possibly sexually assaulted for years, and taking out her anger on a boy who embodies what she hates most about herself – her imperfections. It may not be an accident that he’s male, either. If she’s being abused by a man she’s powerless to fight against, it would make sense for her to unleash all that pent-up anger on a boy who couldn’t fight back.
Am I saying she’s right? Am I condoning what happened? Absolutely not. It’s a monstrous crime. I’m simply pointing out that before we brand her a monster and pack her away for life, we might want to stop and examine the situation a little more closely.
There are plenty of unanswered questions – questions that are unanswered because nobody seems to care about asking them. There are clues that this abuse of an autistic boy is just the tip of a very large iceberg.
I want to seize this opportunity to plead with parents to be vigilant with their kids. Proverbs 29:15 – “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother” sums it all.
Brandy M. Miller is an author and artist who lives in Elko, Nevada with her husband. It is Christ who led them to Elko and Christ who has encouraged them to begin taking in the homeless in an effort to change the world, One Life at a Time. You can learn more or support their ministry by visiting http://www.gofundme.com/9fkhmk.