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

Category: For Dads, For Moms, For Survivors, Uncategorized | 2 comments

  • Sarah M. says:

    This was difficult to read as I remember the moment I told my mother about my childhood sexual abuse. It occured ten years ago while taking drum lessons and all I can rember her saying, and it breaks my heart, “I just wanted to give you every opportunity in life.” She felt guilty for putting me in the lessons, I never wanted her to feel responsible…

    • kathyb says:

      Hi Sarah…
      Thank you for sharing. As a mom, I can tell you firsthand that parents carry a lot of guilt. It’s seems like a natural response because it is our job to keep our children safe. However, as we have learned, predators are crafty and calculating, and in many cases, parents wouldn’t suspect the predator to be an abuser. I think that’s part of why it cuts parents so deep when disclosure is made; you feel like such a fool and a failure for not seeing the predator for who they were and keeping your child safe.

      On the flip side, we, as parents, don’t want you all to carry the burden of our struggles with it all. We want you all to get the help that you need to heal. Granted, we need help as well, but our needs are secondary to yours. That said, we want you all to feel free to journey through the healing process and not feel that you have to handle us with kid gloves…that’s asking too much of you and it’s not fair given what you already dealing with.

      I pray that you’ve begun the healing process. Counseling can be helpful and therapeutic. Additionally, this forum is for you, and all those who need a safe place to talk, remember, vent etc. Please feel free to come back again and again to share, interact, and offer support to others. This is a healing community founded on the premise that through our shared experiences, we can journey to healing together.

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