Monday, November 7, 2011

Texas Judge Videotaped Beating Daughter- Surviving a Scandal

If you haven't yet seen the disturbing video of a Rockport Family Court Judge whipping his daughter - don't. It is disturbing on many levels, but confusing on none. There is no doubt what the world witnesses on that tape- child abuse. But the worst part was still to come, an unrepentant abuser.

"No, in my mind I haven't done anything wrong other than discipline my child after she was caught stealing. And I did lose my temper, but I've since apologized," Judge William Adams told KZTV Wednesday after the video went viral on the internet.

Hillary Adams, the daughter who is seen being beaten in the video, secretly recorded the beating seven years ago and recently uploaded it to YouTube Oct. 27. The video was then posted on Reddit, a link-sharing website, where it racked up millions of views and incited anger among viewers.

"I just wanted somebody to see it and tell me, 'no, Hillary this wasn't right and I'm glad you were able to grow up and move on past this' and 'no, your Dad wasn't right,'" Hillary Adams said How should the judge or anyone caught on tape breaking the law handle the inevitable fallout? Here are the top three things that must be done immediately.
  1. Understand completely the motivations of the accuser. This will help you anticipate their next move.
  2. If guilty, admit your mistake. People will forgive those who take responsibility for their actions. Those who attempt to cover it up or justify obviously incorrect behavior will only prolong the negative attention.
  3. Work hard to solve the underlying problem. This is two-fold, work on the issue that caused the accuser to come out against you in the first place, and do something proactive and tangible to show the public you really have learned form your mistake and are taking the difficult steps necessary to make sure it never happens again.
In the judge's case, he should have called his daughter and made the attempt to understand her anger and motivations. Then, the judge should have granted one exclusive interview where he takes all the blame, explains what he has learned about himself in the process but NEVER attempts to rationalize the behavior.

Finally, the judge should make a proactive move to defuse the situation privately with his daughter, have a heart to heart and apologize again. Then publicly by making a huge contribution to a child abuse charity or embark on a speaking tour where he shares what he learned about the experience in the hopes of helping other parents struggling with the same problems.

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