'Tiger, Tiger' Author Shocks With Memoir of Affair With Pedophile

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"One of the real problems is when these pedophiles are good and able to empathize with kids at some level," said Finkelhor, author of the 2009 book "Child Victimization." "Some of it is genuine and there is the sexual part that's evil and monstrous."

Children Can Love Their Sex Abusers

"I don't think it's outlandish to see that some victims have a tremendous level of love and affection and allegiance to their abusers," he said.

Such was the case with Fragoso, who described her relationship with Curran as a "drug high." [He] can make the child's world ... ecstatic somehow."

Years later, after suffering from post-traumatic stress, she learned that she was not the only one: Curran had molested his own sons and foster children.

An estimated 93 percent of all juvenile sexual-assault victims knew their attacker and about 34 percent are family members, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN). Survivors like Fragoso are six times more likely to suffer post-traumatic stress and three times more likely to have depression. They are also more prone to suicide.

As distasteful as Fragoso's memories are to readers, they can provide insight for people who work with survivors, said to Jennifer Wilson Marsh, RAINN's hotline director.

"They can see the type of grooming that can take place and the tools that perpetrators and offenders use; how they pick out a particular victim that seems vulnerable and easy to isolate," Marsh said. "The most powerful tool is the attention and affection. … They are exerting power over the victim."

Pedophiles can also convince their victims that they won't be believed. "They say you'll be portrayed as just as sick or ill as me," Marsh said. "They instill guilt, shame and fear."

When Curran is afraid he might lose Fragoso, he cries and tightens his grip on her emotions. Fragoso numbs herself with Kurt Cobain music and alcohol, eventually attempting suicide.

In the book's afterword, Fragoso laments that her mother, who had been abused herself, could not save her.

"My mother had no idea how to recognize trouble or shield me from it," she writes. "Secrets are what allowed Peter to flourish. Silence and denial are exactly the forces that all pedophiles rely on so their true motives can remain hidden."

Kathryn Harrison, who reviewed "Tiger, Tiger" for the New York Times, had a similar four-year sexual affair with her father. She calls the book at once "appalling" and "beautifully written."

"We need to bear witness to the victims of abuse -- to the fact that it happens -– and become vigilant and protective, picking up on the clues and pursuing them rather than allowing taboo, and the attendant refusal to contemplate pedophila and incest, to afford sex criminals a measure of protection," Harrison writes.

Harrison wrote about her own consensual relationship in the controversial memoir, "The Kiss". Like Fragoso, she was starved for affection when her estranged preacher father returned on the scene when she was 20.

She, too, was lambasted for the incest, as well as the notion that a child and a molester and his victim could feel love and attraction for each other.

Sex Abusers Are 'Masterful' Manipulators

"Our sexual taboos are so strong that we shy away from acknowledging evidence of them being broken," said Harrison, now 49, who endured years of therapy after the relationship dissolved. "We are allowing taboos to shield sex criminals and by denying it."

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