It’s All Her Fault!

While shopping Thursday I heard a store clerk tell a customer that Elizabeth Thomas, the 15-year-old TN girl abducted by school teacher Tad Cummins, was found with Cummins in a cabin in northern California. Then the clerk commented that of course Elizabeth went willingly.

et amber
This child who has been repeatedly victimized throughout her life is being blamed for having left with a 50 year old man.
I am flabbergasted that so many people see nothing wrong here. They say things like she went willingly, or she was in love.

Elizabeth is a 15-year-old girl. Tad Cummins is a 50 year old man.

What if I told you that last year Elizabeth’s mother was charged with abusing Elizabeth and her siblings? It’s true, and the kids were removed and placed with their father. Elizabeth was home-schooled while in her mother’s care so she didn’t have a lot of contact with the outside world. Now she was attending public school. Add all that to the chaos of puberty and even the most heartless bastard would have to admit this kid was vulnerable.

Tad Cummins saw she was ripe for the picking.

He groomed her. He took her to church. He treated her differently than the other students. He allowed her to come to his classroom at any time to talk. He listened and pretended to care.

Screenshot taken from Walmart surveillance video. See, she didn’t leave, so she must have wanted to be there (insert eye roll here).
All the while Cummins searched online for places where he could marry a teenage girl. After placed on leave when it was learned he was having contact with the child despite being told not to, he took out a quick loan of $4000, obtained 2 refills of Cialis, took his wife’s vehicle (leaving her his manual transmission jeep that she could not drive) and convinced Elizabeth to leave with him.

An Amber Alert was issued, but many people didn’t take it seriously. We found out that the school administration didn’t take it seriously when a student claimed to have seen Cummins kiss Elizabeth.

It seems law enforcement didn’t take the case seriously either, because it was only after Elizabeth’s father had his attorney petition the court for permission to depose witnesses in the case that law enforcement began to share more information with the public.

And some in the media had to describe her demeanor when found. She didn’t SEEM to be forced to be there.

Many people decided Elizabeth went willingly, so what’s the big deal? Or worse, they painted the child as seductress that led her godly teacher astray.

Elizabeth isn’t the only female to have been vilified this week.

Last Sunday Steve Stephens walked up to Robert Godwin Sr. and told him to say Joy Lane. He then shot and killed Mr. Godwin. Stephens videotaped the murder and posted it to Facebook. Three days later he committed suicide after he was spotted by police.

photo of Ms. Lane meeting with news media
Even though Ms. Lane had nothing to do with the murder, she has become the target of internet cruelty. People have commented that she should have been killed instead of Mr. Godwin. Comments have been made about her looks. Her body size. Some have even made death threats against Ms. Lane.

It’s so unbelievable.

Stephens was reportedly cruel to animals. He had a gambling addiction. Ranted about Ms. Lane not calling him. Blamed a cold-blooded murder on her. But was it Ms. Lane’s fault he killed Mr. Godwin? Uh….. no.

But wait, there’s more!

It was learned this week that Utah judge Thomas Low said of a man who had just been convicted of molesting and raping two young women, “The court has no doubt that Mr. Vallejo is an extraordinarily good man…. But great men sometimes do bad things.” Judge Low then allowed the convicted man to walk out of the courtroom a free man while awaiting sentencing.

And in Memphis, defense attorney Steve Farese Sr. told a jury of 9 women and 3 men that his wealthy client, businessman Mark Giannini, was not guilty of rape and that the victim was lying. Said Farese, “Women can be especially good at it (lying) because they’re the weaker sex and we … and we want to protect them and not have anybody take advantage of them, at least I do.”

Doesn’t look like he gives a shit about protecting women from where I sit.

So what’s the moral of my angry rant? That no matter how cruel a man’s behavior, it will always somehow be a woman’s fault.

Even if that woman is really a 15-year-old girl.

40 thoughts on “It’s All Her Fault!

  1. We’ve had a similar (but different) case up here where foster children complained about a family abusing kids. It wasn’t taken seriously because the foster mom was a caseworker. She and her husband killed a young girl in a sexual fantasy. Breaks my heart.

  2. Those boys hang together. When I heard Elizabeth’s story I knew it would be blamed on her. I just didn’t know how much ignorance allowed it to happen, her case and the others. You’d think in this day and age we’d at least get this right, but the boys’ club is always a factor.

    1. She has been victimized for much of her life and will continue to be. Her father seems to be a caring man and has been instrumental in keeping the public aware of his missing daughter. He’s said she will get all the help she needs.

  3. The kind of post that takes all my words away. Wondering about the best steps I can take to empower more women and girls. Because we obviously can’t rely on the men in leadership to protect anyone except themselves.

    1. She asked for it. She shouldn’t have been wearing that. She shouldn’t have been with him. We love to blame the victim, don’t we? But in the process we let the perpetrator off the hook.

  4. I’ve often remarked to my sweet husband that misogyny is even more insidious than racism in the American culture. We see evidence of that all around us daily…and ignore it. xoM

  5. its heart breaking and the trouble is I don’t think its going to get any better with your current government in charge its likely to get worse and that is extremely sad,xx Rachel

  6. I couldn’t agree more with your “rant!” The Cleveland stations I watch did not play up the “her fault” aspect of the Easter shooting – in fact some mentioned the trauma it had to be causing the woman. Conversely, I only heard one report on the abusive mother of the girl who “ran off” with the teacher – but several reports of Mama’s tearful plea for her “baby to come home.” Admittedly, I don’t spend hours watching the TV news and even less time on the internet “news!”

  7. After being in education for nearly 40 years and working with children ages 3-22, there is a reason why there are middle schools and why young people cannot enter into contracts under the age of 18. Between middle school–an especially crazy time in a young person’s development, and a little after high school for some there is a lack of frontal lobe development. According to the National Library of medicine, “The frontal lobes, home to key components of the neural circuitry underlying ‘executive functions’ such as planning, working memory, and impulse control, are among the last areas of the brain to mature…” Add a lack of guidance by a responsible adult and you have a troubled child. It is pure evil for someone who understands, or should in our profession, the underdeveloped mind of a teenager to make a conscious decision to take advantage and manipulate that mind rather than give its owner proper guidance. Unfortunately the rape culture supports teenager/older man fantasies on the part of older men and holds that underdeveloped female brain partly responsible for a man’s failure to control his impulses. That is even worse than when males of that ilk hold those of us of age responsible for their lack of self-control.

    1. Excellent points! I agree about the blaming of adult women for a man’s lack of self-control. We’re too demanding. We don’t appreciate them. We let ourselves go. It’s the same logic they use to marry a woman from another country and bring her to the US. And it’s the men and their mindset that’s the problem.

  8. LOVE THIS! I agree with you 100%. Even if she went “willingly”, it does not change the fact that she is 15 years old. The world can be so cruel.

  9. I don’t know how long Tad Cummins thought he was going to get away with this. He is a true pedophile and poses a threat to others. I hadn’t heard anyone say that the girl willingly joined him, but I’m not surprised some believe that. There are no real winners in this case. Even the girl will be scarred forever with memories of this fiasco.

  10. What is happening in our country is very scary. From the picture in Walmart it does look like she was with him willingly. Since I don’t know anything, I’m not judging

  11. We had a very similar case to Elizabeth’s in England. A teacher ran away to France with a 15-year-old vulnerable girl he’d been grooming. Lots of people were sorry for the teacher when the police were hunting for them. When he was caught and sent to prison (not a long sentence) many people said it was all wrong as the girl was “willing” and “in love” with him. He was in his 30s, but, according to them, had been naive and weak. I don’t understand the way some people think.

      1. Yep, there was quite a lot of support for him. The same people also thought the judge was making a mistake in not allowing her to see him in prison. They seemed to think that was cruel, without considering what was best for her.

      2. I was 17, he was 34. Left his wife and kid for me, then talked me into doing something I had serious mental issues about doing. It didn’t end well for anyone, and 27 years later he still stalks me online. Surprised like fuck he hasn’t figured out how to talk shit about me by chasing up the blogs I follow – because yeah, he figured out my anon thing years ago. Block, report, delete. Such fun.

      3. I really don’t get it. It has to be a mental illness, because back when I was 34 there was NO WAY I would marry a 17 year old hot mess of a kid! To still blame me for everything seems so…awfully narcissistic. Especially after so long. I can only guess that I’ve gone on to have a decent life and he still lives with girlfriends in trailers. Jealousy, after this amount of time? Wow I musta been special as hell.

  12. Disgusting, the first one. Even if she was 26 and not 16, it is clear manipulation of someone who is vulnerable. I can’t even begin to imagine the mindset of anyone who thinks this was of her free choice.
    I lived in, and quite liked, Cleveland. I feel so bad for Ms Lane – the hell she must be feeling from his act, and to be abused on top of that? I hope she is as strong as she must already be, to get rid of a man like him to begin this trail of horrors.
    And fuck that guy who thinks we are weaker. Not for one second are we.

  13. He’s a predator and she’s legally a child – so it doesn’t matter what she felt -(Police said the guy sound relieved when they found him. Wonder if she had become difficult as being on the run was less fun than it had sounded when he talked her into it.)
    Her dad sounded like a solid guy.
    The news here never took on the “:It’s her fault” track. Then again Equusearch and Tim Miller are located here, and we also have a big push to uncover and stop human trafficking – so often underage girls.
    All I can say about “her fault” comments is that not long ago 15 ys was old enough to marry in several states. Some cultures here still think that although it’s not legal or encouraged by anyone. It’s a battle to keep those girls in school and moving to better things if the parents are totally fine with it.
    What a muddle
    Glad the kid’s back and hope she and dad are able to sort things out. Publicity makes it harder.

What would you like to add to the conversation? Bark at me in a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s