The Meddler

The truth about Tiahleigh’s foster ‘family’

Just when we thought the story of Tiahleigh Palmer’s life and death couldn’t get any more tragic, we get hit with the breaking news of the involvement of her foster ‘family’ in her passing.

In case you haven’t caught up: her foster ‘father’ has been arrested over her murder.

His alleged motive: to protect his 19-year-old son, who had been raping Tiahleigh for almost a year. Not only was Tiahleigh’s short life snuffed out in the most brutal way possible, but in her final months she was subject to ongoing abuse.


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From the very people who were meant to protect her. Her ‘family’.

I refuse to type those words outside of quotation marks because her foster ‘family’ failed her in the worst possible way – and they don’t deserve even the slightest modicum of respect when reporting on this story.

This whole story is horrific and heartbreaking.

But as I write this, there’s another thought that makes my stomach turn.

And it’s this. The truth about Tiahleigh’s foster ‘family’ is that they are not all that uncommon. Child predators are more prevalent than we like to admit. They are everywhere and they are sneaky. They are parents, teachers, sports coaches, pastors, siblings, cousins and other caregivers. These are people who we as a society trust to keep children safe and protected.

It’s quite likely that you know someone who seems perfectly normal to the outside world, but who watches kiddie porn or abuses their kids in their own homes.

You may know dozens of them.

You, reading this right now, may be an abuser yourself. Do you ever think about the child? Do you ever think about the impact you’re having on their soul?

Or are you so focused on your own corrupted desires that any thought about the impact on your victims goes ignored?

We need to talk about this. We need to talk about abusers and their motivations and thoughts in an open way, because pretending that this doesn’t exist doesn’t help anyone.

Keeping these things secret leads to more deceit and mistrust and devastation. It leads to tragedy.

Of course, no amount of talking is going to change what happened to beautiful Tiahleigh. Rest in peace, little one. I’m so sorry we failed you so.