Calling the Police and Reporting the Crime…..

Calling the Police and Reporting the Crime…..

We called the police within a half hour of our daughter disclosing the sexual abuse to us.  The officers arrived within the hour and we explained the reason for the call based on the accounts given by our daughter.  The police officers requested to speak with our daughter privately, which we were later informed is common practice.  The female officer conducted the interview while her male counterpart stepped out of the room to make our daughter more comfortable.  During that time, we remained quarantined in a separate part of the house to ensure that we didn’t coach her in any way.

After my daughter was questioned, we were allowed to return to the room and a report was written up.  We were given a copy of the report, advised that the report would be turned over the the police departments “Special Victims Unit” that dealt primarily with cases involving minors and sex crimes.  There were no guarantees made as far as what we could expect other than contact being made by an investigating officer within a few days.

I called the next morning to determine what the next step would be and we were given the name of the investigating officer who asked questions regarding the whereabouts of the abuser.  We provided as much information as possible and  we were advised that efforts would be made to locate him and question him about my daughter’s accounts of the sexual abuse.  In the meantime, unbeknownst to us, the same detective went to my daughter’s school to question her in an effort to assess whether we, her parents, had any knowledge of the abuse or were complicit in any way. We were livid because she was embarrassed by their presence at her school, and we would have taken her to the police station ourselves if they had simply asked!

With the help of a family member, the abuser was taken into custody for questioning the following day.  After multiple sessions of interrogation over an 18 hour period, he eventually admitted that he had sexually abused her.  His confession was videotaped for documentation purposes.  The detective called us in to inform us of his findings, explained what he would be documenting in his report for the District Attorney to review, and advised us that his confession would be useful, but there were no guarantees of what the outcome might be.


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April 1, 2008 changed our lives.  That was the day our 15 year old daughter told us she had been raped and molested over the course of 3 years.  As a parent hearing my child’s truth for the first time, I was in shock and my emotions were all over the place.  My mind raced trying to answer the question, “How could this happen to my child?” In the moments that followed, I felt everything from rage, extreme sadness, guilt, and physical pain.

We discovered that the person who assaulted her was an older male cousin and all of it occurred after school while in a family member’s care.  Part of our anger was rooted in the fact that we really believed that we had taken every precaution to guard against something like this from happening.  We, like many parents, were always concerned about protecting our children so they were always in the care of family members. However, like many people reading this blog, we quickly learned that while stranger danger is real, often times the real danger can be from “trusted” family and friends.

There is no right or wrong answer in terms of how one responds to their child’s disclosure of sexual abuse.  It is nothing that one can ever prepare for and certainly not something that you ever expect to hear.  Just know that your response will affect your child for the rest of their life.  They NEED you to believe them, support them, protect them, and seek justice for them….

We want to hear from you…..please feel free to ask questions, share your thoughts, comments, or your own personal experience by replying below.


Next week’s topic…..Calling the police and reporting the crime

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