Women and children disrespected in Delaware

October 19, 2021

When I was ready to start undergraduate school, I told my dad I was going to major in psychology. 

He literally begged me not to major in psychology saying, “It’s like trying to empty the sea a spoonful at a time.”  Even though my father was a well-read and wise man, in my naivety, I thought he was being cynical.

Shortly after graduating and moving to the D.C. area, I had the opportunity to work for the department of psychiatry sexual assault center in the ER of a hospital. In order to work there you could not have ever been sexually abused or raped, because the job was traumatic enough. It was indescribably difficult to see the destruction created by the sexual abuse of children and the rape of women. Fortunately, the two female psychologists who started and ran the program were continually providing us with education and support. We also had the support of the doctors, the police and detectives with whom we worked.  Although it was difficult to be a witness to such horrific behavior, I felt something was being done.

After completing graduate school, I saw a position advertised in the Washington Post here in Delaware. Here in Delaware, I continually saw women and children treated with disrespect, raped, and abused with no regard for their welfare.

Nothing was done even if the abuse or assault was reported. Many of you probably saw the brave young women reporting the disregard they experienced when they attempted to report the sexual assault by Nassar. One young woman said after describing her experience to an FBI agent, he said to her, “Is that all?’’  That statement gave me chills because it was so familiar.

Shortly after moving to Delaware and witnessing the disrespect of women and children, I asked a colleague, “What is in the water around here?” For a trauma victim not to be believed compounds the trauma. This is a form of gaslighting, which is a form of abuse used by people to discredit a person, often leaving them questioning their own sense of reality. Also, I have repeatedly seen trauma victims misdiagnosed as schizophrenic, bipolar, etc.

Delaware can call itself a trauma-informed state (and that just occurred recently), but there are many people who have the power to do something to help with these situations of abuse and rape, but do nothing. I have seen this over and over in Delaware in the 40 years of living here. It is demoralizing.

When I read that Timothy Delp received one year of house arrest for sexually abusing a 6-year-old child, I could not believe it!  After Delaware tolerated the behavior of the the pediatrician Bradley in Lewes for so many years, I thought Delaware may have learned something. 

Apparently there are people in the legal/judicial system who do not know jack about trauma. Who are the judges making these obscene decisions? Is Delaware still living in the dark ages in which women and children are simply the property of men to do with as they wish?

The sea is not only made up of the predators and the pedophiles, but the people who allow this behavior to continue.

Judy Bradford, MSW
  • A letter to the editor expresses a reader's opinion and, as such, is not reflective of the editorial opinions of this newspaper.

    To submit a letter to the editor for publishing, send an email to Letters must be signed and include a telephone number for verification. Please keep letters to 650 words or fewer.  We reserve the right to edit for content and length.

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter