Stepfather showering with toddler: Is she being sexually abused?

by Name Withheld
(USA)

I have a 2 1/2-year-old stepdaughter who told me the other day that her and her stepdad take showers together. Is there something wrong with this? My husband (her father) is very angry about it and the stepfather has admitted he has been taking showers with her for the past year and half. The mother and him just married less than 2 months ago, and he wasn't supposed to be staying in the home until they were married. I feel there is something wrong with this. This person is VERY sexually active and is involved in the swingers community. He enjoys pornography as well.

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Comments for Stepfather showering with toddler: Is she being sexually abused?

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Jul 16, 2008
Not necessarily being sexually abused...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Although showering with a small child does not necessarily mean the child is being sexually abused, I'd be concerned about this too. To me this is inappropriate, even though there are families who are very open about their nakedness, and are not adverse to showering/bathing with their very small children. However, even in these families—and these are usually biological families—this nakedness is halted either when the child becomes aware of his/her body, or the child is no longer comfortable with the situation; typically at around age 3, sometimes younger, sometimes older.

The fact that this stepfather has been open about the practice is a good sign, but certainly not enough of a good sign to let it go, especially since her biological father is so opposed to what this man is doing. This is an issue that needs to be addressed between your husband and the child's mother. If it cannot be resolved in this way, then I would report this man to the authorities and Child Protective Services.

Just to ease your mind somewhat, the fact that the stepfather is very sexually active or that he engages in activities with swingers or that he enjoys pornography does not necessarily mean that he is a child molester. However, if your husband feels the need to go to the authorities and CPS over this man's behaviour with his daughter, then I personally would disclose this information to them.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Jul 16, 2008
Reply back to Darlene
by: Anonymous

Well here is where we run into issues and I didn't disclose all the information. This woman the BM is very conservative (well was) She never has talked like this and also was offended when my husband the Bio dad wore a shirt that had a beer logo on it. Then two days after that even I went to put lotion on her after her bath and she wanted some so I gave her some she immediately went to put it on her "downstairs". Then she stated she needed some for her breasts. I asked her what? She said I need some for my breast and nipples. then today my 5 year old son was in the bathroom (behind closed doors) she went in there and wanted to touch him in his parts my son said no and she said my mommy and daddy blah blah watch me all the time.... I understand them watching her pee and I can understand her wanting to put lotion on, but in her household those terms were never used also the fact that she wanted to touch my son....
The step dad was also not open about this. He wouldn't answer for the longest time he said it was complicated and wouuldn't give us an answer then he finally after asking aboyt 19 times said yes and that it has been going on for over a year.

Jul 16, 2008
another note
by: Anonymous

He talked to the ex-wife. She told him to quit harassing them and that what goes on in their home is none of his business. I do have to disagree with that because it has to do with their daughter together and he has every right to object to a man taking a shower with his daughter....

Jul 16, 2008
Report what you know...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Given the updated information you've provided, I would advise you to immediately report what you have disclosed to me (just the facts) to CPS. Do not interview or in any way try to get information from your stepdaughter. Let CPS investigate.

And I am very impressed with the way your 5-year-old son handled the situation; you must be doing a great job teaching him about appropriate and inappropriate touching. Well done!

And yes, I believe your husband has every right to
object to his daughter's stepfather showering with her. Just a warning here, though, things have already gotten ugly between your husband and his ex; don't be surprised if this gets uglier and becomes a battleground for custody issues. Other than to say that your husband MUST remain adult and stay away from arguing, fighting, name-calling and other inappropriate behaviour with his ex and her new husband, I can offer you no other advice on this. I'm certainly not suggesting that he has engaged in inappropriate behaviour; I'm only offering the benefit of my experience.

I wish you and your family all the best during this very difficult time.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Dec 31, 2008
Keep your child safe in your own home
by: Anonymous

My daughter used to take showers with my husband which was her stepfather. It started to happen when she was 6 years old. I thought it was okay but now after eight years my daughter has told me that my ex husband sexually abused my daughter for so many years and she states it started with the little innocent showers. I feel so terrible and I do not recommended any step father to take shower with any children if I would have listened to my parents this would have never happened. Please to all the mother's out there please go with your gut feelings. My daughter was raped in my own home and I was not able to stop something I did not know about. Please keep your children safe in your own home....

Oct 12, 2009
Would he? Has he?
by: Anonymous

My two year old daughter's father used to insist on taking showers with her-that it boosts girls hormone levels. He calls his other daughter sexy. And one time he buckled ou daughter into her car seat, the buckle between her legs and asked her if she liked it! I have been processing all of this. I always had a funny feeling about him, but was unsure. All of this put together though...I have moved out of fear for our safety- he is pushing for visitation and custody-he's a manipulator. I need to get really clear and stay strong to protect my daughter and to know the truth about him. Is it possible that despite all of this and his drug problem, that my daughter could be safe alone with him?

Jan 07, 2010
In The Least
by: Paul

It would seem in the least to have her checked out by a doctor to she if her hymen is still in tact. I was engaged to a woman who had been seriously sexually molested in about every ugly way possible by her step dad from the time she was only 3 until the time when she was 9 in which her mother finally found out, having the physical evidence to prove it.

Keep in mind that things are not always what they seem but at the same time its always good to do research and put preventative boundaries in place. I think in this day and age opposite sex showering, especially without direct relation is placing your step daughter in a precarious situation.

Good for your husband for not taking it lying down. Be care with CPS though, sometimes both parents won't get the child and the child gets placed in foster care in which often abuse can be even worse.

Blessings on protecting this child.

Aug 26, 2010
X-wife B/F showers and sleeps in the same bed with my son.
by: Anonymous

I called CPS and told them I had a concern about my X-wife boyfriend shower and sleeping with my 4 yr old son...they did and will not do anything about it...I dont know this guy nor have I ever met him, but for some reason I've been told I'm the only person that has a problem with this....Am I?

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