Two therapists told me there are "red flags of abuse"...tell me what you think. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 143 Old 01-15-2012, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm asking this community because most of you are fair, you don't jump to conclusions of wrong doing.  I'm physically shaking and reaching out for opinions.  I posted on an "S.A. message board" and i posted on a mainstream "mommy" board and everyone told me that they would be concerned.  I spoke to 2 therapists and they said they are concerned and advised that I discontinue my daughter to visit with her dad.  Give me YOUR opinion and insight.  I'm at a loss of what to think. 

 

**Edited to add:  Daughter's age is 4.5**

 

One week ago (Sunday 8th), my daughter told me that she was alone with her teenage brothers and they pulled her pants down.  She said she hid in the closet until her dad arrived.  Her dad denies this ever happened.  (He's a pathological liar and I believe my daughter long before him).  Our (non legal) visitation agreement was that she NOT be left alone with her teenage brothers--only him or his mother should be her caretaker. 

 

Monday, Daughter had a doctor appointment to discuss her bad behavior lately and to get a referral to a therapist.  I told the doctor about all of daughter's bad behavior and weird "quirks" she's developed and I told her about the "lies" daughter has been telling--about the brothers pulling her pants down and some other things...

 

Doctor picked up on the "lies" about brothers and seemed concerned.  She asked us (Daughter's dad was present at doctor), "what has changed lately to cause the bad behavior?  Something had to have triggered this.  Someone move?  Die?  What's new?"  Her dad and I shrugged our shoulders and said we couldn't think of anything new. The doctor inquired about the brothers and how often they were alone with her and why they pulled her pants down.  Daughter's dad said she's lying.  I think the doctor was "onto" something. 

 

Around Christmas, Daughter started digitally penetrating herself in the tub.  I privately talked to her and told her, "Honey, I noticed what you were doing [she immediately stopped] and it's okay.  It's perfectly okay that you're doing that but you shouldn't do that in front of mommy and daddy."  I thought it was normal but the therapists this week said it's "rare" for her age group to penetrate.  They said that rubbing and external stimulation IS normal...but not internal. 

 

Both therapists said with Daughter's "bath time behavior" coupled with her bad behavior, lies, and weird quirks that there are red flags going up.  They advised me not to allow her to her dad's until she's been thru therapy and we figure out what's going on.  I told the therapists the time line of occurances: (This is so long, I"m sorry). 

 

Jan 1, 2011: Daughter started her first over night visit with her dad and has progressed throughout the year. 

 

March 25 '11:  I picked up daughter after her dad had her for 4 days.  We were in the ER that night.  Daughter was screaming in pain (blood curdling screams) with her FIRST UTI.  I didn't think much of this...I just thought she was dirty from not being bathed.  She was stinky between her legs and there was visible crud.  I let her soak in a bath, hoping to help (but later the pain grew to be severe). 

 

Middle of June 2011:  Her behavior shifted from good kid to defiant kid.  People told me, "Welcome to age 4.  Have fun!"  I didn't think much of it. 

 

July 2011:  Daughter started clearing her throat.  A lot.  Drove me crazy.  Cleared her throat all. the. time.  We thought it was an annoying habit she picked up. 

 

August 2011:  We took her to the doctor for clearing her throat.  We thought she may have an allergy or something that wasn't going away.  Doctor diagnosed her with having a "nervous tic".  She advised us to ignore the tic and it would go away.  We ignored and it did go away, but has surfaced here-and-there. 

 

October/November 2011:  Daughter started refusing to wear jeans that I had just bought.  I had JUST bought them.  She wore them a couple times.  But then decided they were "too tight".  She tugged at the crotch area, saying they were too tight in the crotch area.  She cried and begged me not to make her wear them.  I got rid of the jeans and she wore comfy sweats.

 

November 2011:  The (baggy) sweats that were once okay were "too tight".  The only thing she would wear were some soft fleece pants/shirts.  Extra big.  She started refusing to wear underwear.  Even the the underwear was big, she tugged at the crotch area and said they were too tight.  We did research and found something called "sensory processing disorder".  We didn't think we needed to involve the doctor at this point. 

 

December 2011:  The fleece clothes began to feel too tight.  Stuff she wore last week, were all of a sudden tight.  She started trying on 4 outfits (of the exact same clothes) before she found something that wasn't tight. 

 

She started the penetration in the tub.  At this point, I still hadn't thought anything was "wrong", other than my daughter is "different"...with all her quirks and behavior. 

 

After Christmas:  She told me that she cries at her dad's house and he won't let her call me.  I bought her a cell phone.  Last Tuesday she called me at midnight.  Her dad was watching "The Untouchables" (a very graphic movie not intended for a 4 year old).  I read her a story over the phone while her dad refused to turn the movie off  (she asked him if they could watch something else).  She hung up.  She called me at 1AM and said her dad was asleep and she was scared.  She ended up falling asleep while on the phone with me.  Before she fell asleep, she cried and said, "I wish I could come to your job and see you..." 

 

I didn't think "something" was up until my daughter told me her brothers pulled her pants down.  She told me of a couple more (specific) incidents when she was alone with them too. 

 

A couple nights ago, she was telling me a "secret" about being alone with her brothers.  While she was telling me, she was dragging her finger on my legs.  She then dragged her finger over my private area, twice.  I asked her, "Why are you touching my private area?  We're not supposed to touch people there."  She said "I don't know."   WHY would she do that while telling me about her brothers?  She has NEVER touched me there.  Why would she do that at all?  Maybe it's normal. 

 

My head is spinning.  I don't know what to think.  I have stopped visits at her dad's house.  He is furious.   I would be doing my daughter an injustice if I didn't listen to the advice of 2 professionals.  What would you think of all of this?  I'm shaking and my stomach is in knots.  I'm just at a loss.  Would you be concerned?  If not, WHY not? 

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#2 of 143 Old 01-15-2012, 04:16 PM
 
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I truthfully would be concerned. I'm not necessarily concerned that she is being sexually harmed, though I wouldn't rule that out and would seek a specialist to look over that area and see if there is any trauma. I'm more concerned with what seems to be a lack of supervision when she is with her father and a lack of proper parenting. A 4 year old should be tucked safely in bed at midnight and have no idea what her father is watching. A 4 year old whom is away from her mother should never be denied a phone call and need a cell phone in order to solve that problem. I definitely would discontinue visits and seek therapy for your daughter. Or I would allow visitations for short periods in public places with the teenage brothers not present. It is hard to say what is normal or not. The clothing issue could be sensory precessing disorder (my daughter has it), but i would have thought there would have been signs of it before age 4 and that is why I am questioning it. The nervous tic seems most likely to be cause by some sort of internal stress. I'm all over the place in my response, but in short look for therapist that deals with sexual abuse and make sure your daughter is safe at all times even if that means limited visitation with dad and none with brothers until this is all figured out.

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#3 of 143 Old 01-15-2012, 05:51 PM
 
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Yes I would absolutely be concerned. I would immediately discontinue visitation and seek both legal and medical/emotional help. Best of luck to you. Listen to your DD take your own feelings and her feelings seriously,

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#4 of 143 Old 01-15-2012, 06:04 PM
 
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It's possible that she's lying, and it's possible that all these 'red flags' could have completely unrelated causes. But if she is being abused and you didn't believe her & continued to put her in that situation, the harm will be even greater, she won't bother telling anyone if/when things get worse, and the pain will be that much greater because mama knew and did nothing (in her eyes). I would take her word & not have her visit her dad's until things are sorted out. Maybe you can arrange supervised visitation if you are concerned about her not seeing her father for a length of time (and are certain he's not directly involved in the abuse, of course). I would also question her dad's judgement in allowing a 4yo to watch a graphic movie -- particularly because she was clearly scared & not enjoying it -- and allowing teens to be alone with her if you'd previously agreed not to... I'm assuming there was some reason for that agreement? Why did you guys choose to not allow her brothers to be alone with her in the first place?

Surely some of these things can be explained away, sensory issues aren't uncommon, maybe she's growing quickly... My own DS had a tic for a while & he hasn't be abused. I don't think many of those things in isolation would be 'red flags' to me, but together they are, and the fact that she has outright stated some things is the biggest flag of all & should lead to the most cautious approach IMO.

One thing I've always heard is to avoid questioning her yourself in case you inadvertently 'lead' her answers in one direction or the other. Let the professionals question her & try to sort things out...

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#5 of 143 Old 01-15-2012, 06:15 PM
 
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The tight clothing, eh, I now a little girl who at about age 4 started this same kind of thing, and there is absolutely no possibility this child was being abused in any way. Also, I have notice over years of being around friends children that 4 yo girls tend to be horrid (sorry, just my opinion). That being said, everything else in your post is VERY concerning and I think stopping visitation and persuing therapy and possible legal action (certainly in to establish safe visitation, if such is possible) is what your daughter needs.


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#6 of 143 Old 01-15-2012, 07:39 PM
 
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Holy smokes! With those kind of red flags I would never allow unsupervised visits with him again.

How do you know they are "lies" and not the truth? I'd be real concerned about someone insisting my child is lying.

Your therapists are correct, you need to work with them and heed their advice. Man I'd be steaming mad and pressing charges by now if it were me.

 

 

... crying at dad's house? not being allowed to call home? dad refusing to turn off graphic / inappropriate movie at your request at midnight ??  That alone would be enough for me to cut the ties.  The other stuff would have me calling the cops.  Thank God it sounds like you have decent therapists.

 

 

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#7 of 143 Old 01-15-2012, 07:46 PM
 
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so what is the legal situation with your dd's father? is there anything written legally? parenting plan? or custody?

 

which state are you in?

 

what are you doing legally now that you have stopped the visits.

 

do you have anything on paper - from ER visit or anything else that shows perhaps abuse.

 

do you have support to get you through this. emotional support?

 

do you have $$$s?

 

you will need to get yourself a good lawyer. the best you can buy who has dealt with child abuse cases AND parent alientation syndrome (esp. if you live in a state where that is rampant). there are far too many parents who lose their child to their abuser. esp. if he is super smart.

 

if your dd is going to therapy check with the therapists credentials. make sure he or she is one of the best known and well respected in the field. if not find out that is so. 

 

the ball is in your court now. you have to get proactive now and get yourself a plan going.

 

i am sorry if i sound like gloom and doom. but keeping your dd away from her father without any legal action to back it up means nothing. your dd is still not safe. it just might be a temporary situation. you have to realise you are calling his son a child molester and might be 'ruining' his reputation for the rest of his life. his dad is not going to take this lightly - so you have to be really prepared. 

 

if it turns out it is NOT sexual abuse, i am sure it is still big and i hope you can find the answers to help your little girl. 

 

please make sure you yourself have support to help you through this time. you will need it. 


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#8 of 143 Old 01-15-2012, 07:54 PM
 
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I would absolutely stop visits, and I am surprised that the therapists have not suggest a forensic interview.  When I worked as a Child Protective Services worker, anytime we had a suspision of sexual abuse (which includes inappropriate contact with an adult or older child, them exposing themselves or forcing her to expose herself, etc. It's still sexual abuse even if they didn't actually get to the point of molestation.)   A forensic interview is set up with trained professionals who work with kids and the interview is video taped in case it is needed in a court case.  If you suspect something happened always ask open ended question, such as "what happened then?" etc.  Don't give suggestions as to what happened, as then a child can become confused and it's harder to figure out what actually happened. 

 

I am so sorry that you are going through this, it is incredibly stressful for the parent and child.  Always err on the side of protecting your child. 

 

Best of luck to you.

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#9 of 143 Old 01-15-2012, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone.  I will try to respond to all questions.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

so what is the legal situation with your dd's father? is there anything written legally? parenting plan? or custody?

 

which state are you in?

 

what are you doing legally now that you have stopped the visits.

 

do you have anything on paper - from ER visit or anything else that shows perhaps abuse.

 

do you have support to get you through this. emotional support?

 

do you have $$$s?

 

you will need to get yourself a good lawyer. the best you can buy who has dealt with child abuse cases AND parent alientation syndrome (esp. if you live in a state where that is rampant). there are far too many parents who lose their child to their abuser. esp. if he is super smart.

 

if your dd is going to therapy check with the therapists credentials. make sure he or she is one of the best known and well respected in the field. if not find out that is so. 

 

the ball is in your court now. you have to get proactive now and get yourself a plan going.

 

i am sorry if i sound like gloom and doom. but keeping your dd away from her father without any legal action to back it up means nothing. your dd is still not safe. it just might be a temporary situation. you have to realise you are calling his son a child molester and might be 'ruining' his reputation for the rest of his life. his dad is not going to take this lightly - so you have to be really prepared. 

 

if it turns out it is NOT sexual abuse, i am sure it is still big and i hope you can find the answers to help your little girl. 

 

please make sure you yourself have support to help you through this time. you will need it. 


We live in Illinois. 
 

He hasn't even signed her birth certificate.  In the eyes of the law, he has no legal rights.  I carry a certified copy of her birth cert. in my wallet for proof, if he'd ever take her without my consent he would be arrested.  So, I have the right to discontinue visits right now, according to the law.  I told him, that in Daughter's best interest, I think she needs a break from her house (due to her behavior).  Daughter called him today and he said he was getting ready to come get her.  I started shaking.  I text him and told him not to come to my house and cause a scene.  I was prepared to call 911 if he showed up.  He had words with me on the phone...accused me of being crazy, withholding his daughter from him, etc.  (He's an emotional abuser).  I remained calm and told him Daughter needed a break from his house.  (He does NOT know that I spoke to therapists.  He does NOT know what we're suspecting.  He ONLY knows about Daughter's extreme behavior and that her doctor referred us to a therapist.  Daughter has not seen therapist yet). 

 

Everything medically is documented.  I called daughters old pediatrician to ask them if they documened a specific incident (they didn't...I had called about daughter bleeding from the rectum.  Back then, they told me it was probly a hemoroid.  Back then, I didn't think anything was going on).  The receptionist told me, the last 3 times you were here (in 2010), you were here for "discoloration in the pubic area, a bruise on her inner thigh, and her having potty accidents."  As she told me that, my heart sank.  Back then, I didn't suspect anything.  Nothing.  I didn't suspect anything until this Sunday when daughter told me she was alone with brothers and they pulled her pants down.  Other things have slowly surfaced and I'm really concerned.  The doctor, back then, diagnosed daughters "discoloration" as "something", I can't remember.  It looked like a caulus..like she was riding her wooden rocking horse or something.  We couldn't figure out what it was from.  It's since gone, no discoloration anymore. 

 

The ER visit with UTI is documented.  But the doctor did not physically examine her.  There may be proof that she was with her dad for 4 days before that occuring, I'll have to dig. 

 

I have access to money.  I have a grandma who will spend her life savings protecting our baby.  I'm on the phone with her right now and she's assuring me we will hire the best lawyer if need be.  She is also my emotional support.  She is keeping Daughter. 

 

I will check on the credibility of her therapist.  I mentioned the name to MY therapist and she said she was good...but I will check into it, thank you. 

 

The past 3 nights, daughter has been "accidently" touching my private area while we're laying in bed having pillow talk (we co-sleep and wrestle/play in bed before turning the lights off).  Friday night she stood up and told me, "Hey!  Did you know that if you do this [and she rubbed her private outside of her clothes] that it tickles?"  I said, "Oh yea?  Well that's cool (not knowing what else to say)".    She insisted that I try it.  I told her I didn't want to.  She lifted up my hand and made me touch myself and said, "See?  It tickles!"  Subject was changed. 
 

 

Later when she put her pull up on, she wanted me to "press the pull-up".  She was naked, legs apart with the pull-up just setting in front of her crotch.  I asked her why, told her I didn't want to.  She said it's fun, just press.  She took my hand and put it on her pull up.  She mumbled something about "press the pull-up game..."  

 

Last night, I asked her if she had any secrets.  She said "Yeah! I do!"  She told me the story of waking her brother up when her dad was at the store (the exact story she told me before).  While she was telling me, she dragged her finger on my legs and over my private area, twice.  I asked her, "Why did you touch my private area?"  She replied, "I don't know".  Let me just say that we have an open communication.  I answer any questions she has about her body, I've never shamed her body.  However, she has NEVER...and I mean NEVER...touched my private area like that.  Ever.  And why would she touch me there while telling me the story she was telling me?  I don't know what is going on...but some weird stuff IS going on. 

 

I have everything on audio record.  All of our bedtime talks are recorded.  It's obvious that I'm NOT coaching her.  She tells me things on her own free will.  And I have proof, if he or anyone else says I'm trying to coach her.  I started recording Daughter a month or two ago, as she started telling me "lies" and what not.  I just wanted to have proof and not forget what she told me. 

 

I saw Daughter inserting toys in herself in the tub yesterday.  That, I've been told, is not normal at all for her age.

 

I just don't know what to think.  I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.  I don't want this to be true.  But right now, I don't *know* and my loyalty belongs to my daughter and I have to protect her.
 

 

 

 

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#10 of 143 Old 01-15-2012, 08:41 PM
 
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I tend to think (as a survivor of sexual abuse myself, for what it's worth) that the pendulum has tilted a little too far and that we, as a society are hyper-aware of red flags, to the point that we're seeing them where they don't exist.

 

There are red flags all over the place here. The fact that he simply said, "she's lying" about her brothers, when it's already obvious that he doens't look after her properly...the thing with the movie (I see no excuse for making a child watch such a thing...especially when the child has requested that it be turned off)...the lack of hygiene (I have four children, and have never had one of them with genitals icky sounding as you describe your daughters after the one visit)...the self-penetration...the touching your private area while talking about her brothers. This is a mess.

 

I'd absolutely stop the visits, take your daughter to a therapist, and consult a lawyer to ensure that he can't wedge himself back into the situation.

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#11 of 143 Old 01-15-2012, 08:46 PM
 
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This may open a can of worms you can't escape from, but consider a call to Child Protective Services. The problem with calling them is that it can always be turned around on you that you were just trying to victimize dad with false accusations. A bulldog lawyer sound totally necessary. Do not go with a nice lawyer, go with someone with a successful reputation. It also sounds like, at some point, your daughter might need a pelvic exam. I don't know if that's appropriate or not for a 4 year old (and talk about traumatic,) but it's something you should ask about.

 

I would stop asking her "Why did you touch my privates?" If you are audio recording and you want documentation, a simple, "Please don't touch my privates," is enough. Constantly asking her "why" could be considered leading AND she doesn't know why she's doing it so I'd say it's more harmful than helpful to her.

 

 


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#12 of 143 Old 01-15-2012, 08:48 PM
 
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The only thing about your story that strikes me as "normal" is the preference for soft, loose clothing.  Everything else raises red flags for me too.

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#13 of 143 Old 01-15-2012, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't have much time to respond.  I will tomorrow. 

 

I just wanted to say thanks to all of you. 

 

I'm a SA survivor, too, and i worry if I'm being oversensitive.  I've rationalized all behavior, the UTI, etc.  I've refrained from jumping to conclusions.  But the lies about her brothers pulling her pants down was the first time I heard an "alarm" so to speak.  Thinking over the occurances over the last year, they're all falling into place.  Each occurance, alone, is nothing.  But together it really worries me.  Maybe each occurance is an unfortunate coincidence.  Maybe it's nothing.  Maybe it's something.  I just don't know :( 

 

I am still scared and worried. But your responses have made me feel better about my decision to not allow her at his house for awhile. 

 

He told me today that his grandma is dying.  "Today may be the last time Daughter can see my grandma before she dies.  I hope you feel happy with yourself..."  I didn't.  I felt sick.  I felt terrible.  But I have to protect my daughter. 

 

More tomorrow.  Thank you all so much. 

 

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#14 of 143 Old 01-15-2012, 09:02 PM
 
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Keep her away.  Even if you are wrong, she needs to know you will protect her.  As far as his grandma, sorry it's happening, but your child's safety is most important and she needs to stay away from them until this is figured out at the very least.  And while I hope it is nothing, it all together sounds like too much to be a pure coincidence.  I have a little girl who just turned 5...she barely knows what a 'private part' is.  I mean, yes, I've told her what the parts of her body are called, but other than that and a couple mentions in her life that it itches, it's just not something that comes up in conversations.  The "pat the pull up" game would concern me too, that sounds like something she has learned, and it would worry me.


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#15 of 143 Old 01-15-2012, 09:25 PM
 
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It doesn't mean you can't do some supervised visits with her dad, or even go see grandma with her.

 

Just tell him, that until you have checked with some doctors, you aren't letting him be alone with her, but, hopefully it will all be resolved soon.

 

If he's smart, he would be very afraid right now.  

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#16 of 143 Old 01-15-2012, 09:29 PM
 
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Thank goodness you are taking this seriously.  Keep your daughter away from her dad and older brothers, don't trust them alone with her.  Ever.  Do have her medically examined to specifically look for abuse and make sure she has the support and therapy she needs. 

 

So sorry you and your daughter are going through this.  Please do listen to her, don't dismiss these things.  I've taken care of many children over the years, and in my opinion her behaviors point very strongly to abuse.

 

I'm also a SA survivor, and I still remember the few times that I tried to clue my parents in, they dismissed it.  I lost my trust in their ability to understand and protect me, and suffered the abuse for years, because they could not handle the truth of the situation.  I'm not saying you are like this, but do listen to your instincts to protect your daughter, and don't dismiss the signs.  Hopefully they are merely suspicions and nothing wrong is going on, but you have to in every way behave as though it's possible and do what you can to protect her. 

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#17 of 143 Old 01-15-2012, 10:28 PM
 
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Even if there isn't any sexual abuse, it sounds like her dad is a real jerk. If you're not legally required to send her to him, definitely don't.

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#18 of 143 Old 01-15-2012, 10:53 PM
 
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I see red flags too and I agree you should get CPS involved. And I wouldn't let him have unsupervised visitation until the case is investigated and resolved.

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#19 of 143 Old 01-16-2012, 06:10 AM
 
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I would see if you can find out what hospital Grandma is at and take DD to go see her yourself (as long as there's no chance SHE is involved in any abuse, that is).

I would also second (third? fifth?) the lawyer recommendations, even if legally you aren't obligated to allow visitation, it seems like a tricky situation and a lawyer definitely needs to be involved.

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#20 of 143 Old 01-16-2012, 06:45 AM
 
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Yes I would be very concerned. Huge red flags. Good luck and much love to you and your dd.

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#21 of 143 Old 01-16-2012, 06:57 AM
 
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I would absolutely take this seriously (and it sounds like you are) there is nothing worse for a child to be crying for help outwardly and having it be dismissed.

 

I think her telling you they pulled down her pants and her physically touching you while talking about them is extremely brave of her and absolutely should be taken at face value. It is SO hard for anyone, especially a child to verbally express what happened and who knows what her brothers told her would happen if she told....

 

Also agree that your talking about it and asking questions could be "leading" and that you should have her evaluated immediately.


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#22 of 143 Old 01-16-2012, 10:06 AM
 
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Just another voice to say I agree that you should take it seriously. All of the things you describe may not be related to anything at all, but I would definitely err on the side of caution. I would personally have reservations about directly involving CPS, they are likely to get involved anyway if it turns out therapists and doctors think she is being abused. I would just try to get her into therapy and definitely keep her away from her dad right now. I'm so sorry that you have to go through this and I hope things turn out for the best.

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#23 of 143 Old 01-16-2012, 11:06 AM
 
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that poor little girl- oh my goodness- those are beyond clear signs- those are crystal clear signs of sexual abuse. Please absolutely stop any visits with the Dad and brothers- that is just so sad to hear- the whole story just breaks my heart, please protect your daughter- I am sorry if this is harsh- I know you said you yourself are a victim of SA- but please break the cycle for your little girl- that is so scary and sad.

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#24 of 143 Old 01-16-2012, 12:37 PM
 
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Also if you have any dirty clothes from her dads house keep them dirty b.c they can evaluate them for fluids and things...


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#25 of 143 Old 01-16-2012, 01:20 PM
 
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I know this is meant to give advice but this just made me so sick.  Yes it's something that she should do, but as a parent it's something you don't want to ever have to do.  My head is spinning thinking about this.  As an SA survivor... I just wish I was listened to.  
 

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Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post

Also if you have any dirty clothes from her dads house keep them dirty b.c they can evaluate them for fluids and things...



Good luck mama and fight!

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#26 of 143 Old 01-16-2012, 01:44 PM
 
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I am a Rape Crisis Counselor and have been doing this work for 4 years- I go to court and sit on the stand with little angels who have had very bad things happen to them-

 

1.  I am so very sorry you are having to go through this- you care and trust me that is a LOT more than some mothers out there.

 

2.  I agree with your doctor the penetration is unusual for that age range. 

 

3.  Most of what you outlined are red flags.  Get CPS involved and see if you can get a PEDI SART or SANE exam- they are called different things in different states- the state should pay for it - insurance can also pay for it.  They can have professionals talk with her and exam her.  I can seem like a scary process however the doctors are great and really know how to talk with kids.  I have seen several cases where the child will disclose to the doctor but not the parent- because they know the parent will be sad. 

 

I hope everything works out- call your local rape crisis center- there are amazing skilled professionals out there who can help you through every step- no matter the outcome

 

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#27 of 143 Old 01-16-2012, 01:53 PM
 
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Your daughter has clearly told you that she has been abused. I'm not sure why you didn't believe her straight away. You are the only one who can protect her. Do not send her back to that house again.
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#28 of 143 Old 01-16-2012, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so very much for your input.  No new updates, nothing happened last night or today. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newmum35 View Post

Holy smokes! With those kind of red flags I would never allow unsupervised visits with him again.

How do you know they are "lies" and not the truth? I'd be real concerned about someone insisting my child is lying.

Your therapists are correct, you need to work with them and heed their advice. Man I'd be steaming mad and pressing charges by now if it were me.

 

 

... crying at dad's house? not being allowed to call home? dad refusing to turn off graphic / inappropriate movie at your request at midnight ??  That alone would be enough for me to cut the ties.  The other stuff would have me calling the cops.  Thank God it sounds like you have decent therapists.

 

 


They are "lies" according to him.  I believe my daughter.  Her dad went with us to the pediatrician's office (to get a referral to a behavior therapist).  Her dad was with me.  I was afraid to tell the doctor about the "lie" with him present but I had to find a way. I wrote DD's symptoms on paper (1.5 pages).  I snuck her "lies" in at the end like this: "Symptom 10.)  DD has been telling lies.  For example, she lied about being alone with her teenage brothers and they pulled her pants down.  Her dad says it never happened...." 

 

The doctor came in the room after reading 1.5 pages of symptoms. The thing she narrowed in on? The first thing she asked? "When did her brothers pull her pants down? Are they alone with her often?". I thought I was going to die, afraid of her dad's reaction. I told the doctor, "She just told me this last night...but it's just a lie and I guess it has to do with her behavior disorder....". I believe my daughter 100% but I'm playing dumb in front of her dad.  I'm afraid of him. 

I'm so relieved that the doctor picked up on that. The doctor said, "What has happened recently to cause the change in behavior? Are there new people? Did someone move or die? Something has triggered her behavior...."  We both shook our heads, "no", nothing has changed. I was so relieved to hear the doctor tell us that, but so afraid of her dad fighting with me afterwards. She referred us to a counselor and possibly to a psychiatrist (but I'm NOT going to medicate my daughter).

 

Also, the doctor asked us, "Does Child tell lies often?"  I shrugged my shoulders and shook my head and said, "Not really, I don't think...."  I looked over at her dad.  He remained silent but grimaced his face and nodded his head, indicating that our daughter is nothing but a liar.  (I'm hoping that the doctor noticed his immediate defensiveness and saw the difference in our reactions).  He's nothing but a liar and his lies are about to come to an end.

 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by yellow73 View Post

I would absolutely stop visits, and I am surprised that the therapists have not suggest a forensic interview.  When I worked as a Child Protective Services worker, anytime we had a suspision of sexual abuse (which includes inappropriate contact with an adult or older child, them exposing themselves or forcing her to expose herself, etc. It's still sexual abuse even if they didn't actually get to the point of molestation.)   A forensic interview is set up with trained professionals who work with kids and the interview is video taped in case it is needed in a court case.  If you suspect something happened always ask open ended question, such as "what happened then?" etc.  Don't give suggestions as to what happened, as then a child can become confused and it's harder to figure out what actually happened. 

 

I am so sorry that you are going through this, it is incredibly stressful for the parent and child.  Always err on the side of protecting your child. 

 

Best of luck to you.


MY S.A. therapist told me that DD's therapist has to get her to "crack" first.  Once (if) DD says "the magic words", THEN (and apparently, ONLY then), will her therapist schedule the forensic interview, call CPS, etc. 
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

I tend to think (as a survivor of sexual abuse myself, for what it's worth) that the pendulum has tilted a little too far and that we, as a society are hyper-aware of red flags, to the point that we're seeing them where they don't exist.

 

There are red flags all over the place here. The fact that he simply said, "she's lying" about her brothers, when it's already obvious that he doens't look after her properly...the thing with the movie (I see no excuse for making a child watch such a thing...especially when the child has requested that it be turned off)...the lack of hygiene (I have four children, and have never had one of them with genitals icky sounding as you describe your daughters after the one visit)...the self-penetration...the touching your private area while talking about her brothers. This is a mess.

 

I'd absolutely stop the visits, take your daughter to a therapist, and consult a lawyer to ensure that he can't wedge himself back into the situation.



You know, I agree.  I've had to calm myself down through the years and tell myself "this is normal"--bleeding from the rectum was a hemmoroid (and it only happend ONE time otherwise I would have freaked), bruising on inner thighs (my first instinct was to freak out...but I remained calm and thought she was riding her wooden horse or something and bruised herself....kids are active, after all), etc....

 

Never in my wildest nightmare would I have ever thought she was possibly being hurt until she told me her brothers pulled her pants down.  It was THEN, that I searched my memory for occurances that have happened over the past year.  It's like my therapist said, "If the 'lie' was the ONLY thing, I wouldn't be too concerned.  But with everything else over the past year, this is very alarming."  Each little thing isn't a big deal, but together it's terrifying. 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by SundayCrepes View Post

This may open a can of worms you can't escape from, but consider a call to Child Protective Services. The problem with calling them is that it can always be turned around on you that you were just trying to victimize dad with false accusations. A bulldog lawyer sound totally necessary. Do not go with a nice lawyer, go with someone with a successful reputation. It also sounds like, at some point, your daughter might need a pelvic exam. I don't know if that's appropriate or not for a 4 year old (and talk about traumatic,) but it's something you should ask about.

 

I would stop asking her "Why did you touch my privates?" If you are audio recording and you want documentation, a simple, "Please don't touch my privates," is enough. Constantly asking her "why" could be considered leading AND she doesn't know why she's doing it so I'd say it's more harmful than helpful to her.

 

 



I have a friend who works at CPS.  I called her Friday and left a message for her to call.  I'm going to ask her, off the record, what she recommends I do next. 

 

 

Thank you about the "why" versus "don't touch".  The thing is, a couple nights ago (I believe Thursday, I'd have to look in my records) we were in bed playing, talking, ,etc.   She accidentally (really, an accident) laid her hand on my private area while she was leaning on me.  I took the opportunity and told her, "Whoops!  That's my private area and we shouldn't touch people there."  She said, "Oh, I'm sorry."  She quickly removed her hand.  We talked for a bit.  She jumped up and said, "Hey!  Did you know that if you do this [and she rubbed herself] that it tickles?"  I said, "Oh, yeah?  Well that's cool".  (I had no idea WHAT to say!)  She insisted that I try it.  I told her I didn't want to.  She lifted up my hand and made me touch myself and said, "See?  It tickles!"  Subject was changed. That WAS Thursday, I just checked...

 

Saturday was the night she purposely touched my private area while telling me the story of her brothers.  That's why I asked "why" as opposed to "please don't"...because we had just had that conversation.  But I will keep reminding her "don't" if it happens again, thank you. 
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by peaceful_mama View Post

Keep her away.  Even if you are wrong, she needs to know you will protect her.  As far as his grandma, sorry it's happening, but your child's safety is most important and she needs to stay away from them until this is figured out at the very least.  And while I hope it is nothing, it all together sounds like too much to be a pure coincidence.  I have a little girl who just turned 5...she barely knows what a 'private part' is.  I mean, yes, I've told her what the parts of her body are called, but other than that and a couple mentions in her life that it itches, it's just not something that comes up in conversations.  The "pat the pull up" game would concern me too, that sounds like something she has learned, and it would worry me.



I feel absolutely sick about his grandma.  I feel so terrible and rotten.  I thought about offering to TAKE daughter to his grandma's and stay with her while they visit.  But I know he'd say "no"...he doesn't want me around his family.  Everything at his house/his family is a secret and he keeps me away. 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by rush2ady View Post

Thank goodness you are taking this seriously.  Keep your daughter away from her dad and older brothers, don't trust them alone with her.  Ever.  Do have her medically examined to specifically look for abuse and make sure she has the support and therapy she needs. 

 

So sorry you and your daughter are going through this.  Please do listen to her, don't dismiss these things.  I've taken care of many children over the years, and in my opinion her behaviors point very strongly to abuse.

 

I'm also a SA survivor, and I still remember the few times that I tried to clue my parents in, they dismissed it.  I lost my trust in their ability to understand and protect me, and suffered the abuse for years, because they could not handle the truth of the situation.  I'm not saying you are like this, but do listen to your instincts to protect your daughter, and don't dismiss the signs.  Hopefully they are merely suspicions and nothing wrong is going on, but you have to in every way behave as though it's possible and do what you can to protect her. 



I'm relunctant to get her examined.  When I was a small child, the medical "stuff" was the most damaging to me.  I remember doctors and nurses holding me down and...it was terrible.  I will consent to her being examined, as long as she is NOT held down or forced.  But at this point, she hasn't been with her dad since Tuesday night/Wednesday day.  Since then, I've seen her digitally penetrate, as well as penetrate with objects.  I've read that unless you get an exam immediately after occurance, there is very little proof of any wrong doing. 

 

Also, DD's pediatrician is also his son's doctor.  I switched from our old pediatrician to the one he takes his boys to, because he raved about the doctor.  So, I worry about how much of a relationship DD's dad has with the doctor.  If I call the ped. and tell her what my therapist said...will she disclose that info to him?  I will call tomorrow to either find a new doctor or see if DD's old doctor will take her back and let them know what is going on. 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyllya View Post

Even if there isn't any sexual abuse, it sounds like her dad is a real jerk. If you're not legally required to send her to him, definitely don't.



 

Right?  He is.  He's always disrespected everything I've asked for our child.  Everything.  A good example is, we took DD to the doctor a couple years ago for belly problems/gas.  The doctor asked us what she drinks.  I replied "milk and water only".  I didn't allow juice, sugar, etc...ONLY water and milk.  He "agreed with me fully" and promised not to give her anything other than milk and water...

 

So, the doctor told us that DD must have a milk intolerance and to eliminate dairy for her diet.  I did.  I got rid of all dairy and put her on soy milk, etc.  Her belly problems continued.  So then the doctor says, "If elimating the dairy doesn't help the belly we'll have to look at other causes cuch as gluten...."  THEN he pipes up and says he's been giving her Sunny D.  He stopped the Sunny D...and her belly problems went away.  He has a cavemen mentality--he does what he wants, when he wants...and nobody is going to tell him what to do.

 

I've allowed him to disrespect my parenting "wishes" all these years.  If I say I don't want her alone with brothers, he'll say "okay"...and do it anyway.  Then accuse daughter of lying.  He accuses me of being crazy and daughter of lying.  My therapist picked up on this...this is what he does. 

 

The last time she was with him was Tuesday over night (the night she called me at 12 and 1 am)/Wednesday day....

 

Saturday night I told him via text that Daughter wanted to go to grandma's house Sunday (while I work) and asked him if that was okay (I was trying to be nice by asking him)...

He responded with "No, it's not okay. I want to have Daughter Sunday, over night." (She never stays over night with him on Sunday, I always get her after work).

I told him, " I think Daughter needs a break from all the kids at your house for awhile, until we get her behavior figured out and get her in therapy. She complains often that all the kids irritate her. I just think we should try giving her a break. You're welcome to visit her but I'd rather her not spend time at your house for awhile. This is in her best interest, not trying to tick you off."

He never replied back.

Sunday, Daughter called him (I'm not going to deny communication with him). She asked him what he was doing. I heard him on speaker telling her, "I'm getting ready to come see you." I started shaking. I text my friend and asked what I should do. She said to call county police. I desperately tried calling my grandma to have her and her husband come to my house. Daughter hollered to me, "Mommy, leave the door unlocked because daddy is on his way over." I ended up calling grandma 12 times...but she didn't answer, wasn't home from church. I was scared.

I text him while he was talking to Daughter, "Daughter is going to grandma's house today, as I told you last night. Don't come here and make a scene." He told Daughter, "Where is mommy? Let me talk to her." I got on the phone. He wanted to know why I was punishing him, keeping Daughter from me. I repeated what I told him via text, that I thought Daughter needed a break from his house until we get her in therapy and get her behavior figured out. I told him that the kids at his house irritate Daughter and I wanted to give her a break and see if it helps.

He played dumb and said, "What kids? What does she need a break from?" I told him that Daughter comes home angry and irritated over her brothers and the cousin that live with him. He told me I was using Daughter as a pawn, that I must be mad at him and that's why I'm not allowing her over. He said his grandma might be dying and said he wanted her to see Daughter before she dies (I'm really sorry and hate that all of this has surfaced now...but I have to do what's best for my daughter :( )

 

He went on to tell me, "I think you're jealous.  You're jealous that Daughter gives you problems and she doesn't give me any problems.  I never have any problems with her!  I think she needs a break from YOU!"  (It's true.  He claims to never have any problems from her.  I guess she's eager to get dressed and leave his house to see mommy).

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post

I would absolutely take this seriously (and it sounds like you are) there is nothing worse for a child to be crying for help outwardly and having it be dismissed.

 

I think her telling you they pulled down her pants and her physically touching you while talking about them is extremely brave of her and absolutely should be taken at face value. It is SO hard for anyone, especially a child to verbally express what happened and who knows what her brothers told her would happen if she told....

 

Also agree that your talking about it and asking questions could be "leading" and that you should have her evaluated immediately.



I am taking this seriously.  I'm afraid that it IS true.  But I'm also afraid that it's NOT true.  I'm afraid of hurting someone's feelings or accusing/assuming that something is going on...and it turn out to NOT be true.  But there is no fear greater than letting my daughter down.  My loyalty belongs to her.  I am her hero...and forever will be. 

 

I'm not sure what to ask/not ask.  For the most part, she willingly tells me things.  Like, "I was alone with brothers and they pulled my pants down."  That's all she told me.  Nothing more.  I wanted to know more.  So I asked, "What did daddy say?"  and so on. 

 

Her first therapy appointment isn't until the 24th (unless there's a cancellation and we get appt this week).  I try not to ask (what I think are) leading questions.  I don't say bad things about her dad, I use a positive tone of voice when she mentions her dad.  Last night in the car she told me that her oldest brother was bossing her around.  She told him, "You're not the boss of me."  She said he turned around, looked at her mean and said something 'ugly'.  I asked her what he said but she didn't remember.  I said, in a nice tone, "Those brothers sure can be stinkers sometimes, huh?"  But I don't know what to say.  A mother should never have to think about what to say/ask their child over the possibility of abuse. 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapdragon View Post

that poor little girl- oh my goodness- those are beyond clear signs- those are crystal clear signs of sexual abuse. Please absolutely stop any visits with the Dad and brothers- that is just so sad to hear- the whole story just breaks my heart, please protect your daughter- I am sorry if this is harsh- I know you said you yourself are a victim of SA- but please break the cycle for your little girl- that is so scary and sad.


I can't stress enough--visits HAVE stopped.  It was so hard to stand up to her dad but I did.  I will believe and protect my daughter until the day I die. 

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#29 of 143 Old 01-16-2012, 02:05 PM
 
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Why are you scared of her father? Has he been abusive towards you? It's time to call CPS, really.
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#30 of 143 Old 01-16-2012, 02:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

I know this is meant to give advice but this just made me so sick.  Yes it's something that she should do, but as a parent it's something you don't want to ever have to do.  My head is spinning thinking about this.  As an SA survivor... I just wish I was listened to.  
 



Good luck mama and fight!

I know it made me sick writing it but it's true and the reality is that a lot of times these sickos get away with it even if the girl does confess...I was rape victim, my mom was an SA survivor (by her dad for almost 18 years b/c no one did anything) I realize how hard this is trust me I lost my mother to suicide when I was a kid over it...it destroyed her life...
 

 


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