***TRIGGER WARNING: Some of the content in this post may be difficult for some readers because it is a story of sexual abuse. Please be mindful of your well-being.***
“This is the story of my daughter.
“She was 12. It was summertime. She was outside with her baby sister playing as kids do. Our neighbor’s father (who lived with them at the time) asked my then 6 year if she wanted to play on the swing at in the backyard. My baby was excited and ran through the house to the backyard. My oldest daughter followed her because she had a bad feeling and knew they shouldn’t be there. At that time, he grabbed my 12-year-old and took her into the kitchen where he sat her on his lap, stuck his hand up her shirt and down her pants. He also pulled out his penis.
“I truly believe she had angels with her because she told him she heard her dad calling her, grabbed her little sister and got out of the house. She was deeply embarrassed. She stayed in the house for weeks. She told her little brother not to let the baby sister outside alone. He was very good at watching out for her. She also told her sister (one year younger) that she needed someone with her if she was ever asked to go outside for any reason. She did not tell us, her parents.
“Once school started she told a friend what had happened. The friend told her mother. The mother called the school. The school called the police. The police talked to her with a school counselor. Then they called us and told us they believed her and thought we should press charges.
“I felt like the worst mother in the world. I was lost and broken. We had a little meeting in our bedroom (my husband, me and my daughter) She told us how embarrassed she felt about it. We cried together and I hugged her close. The next day was Sunday. My husband and I made an appointment with our bishop after church. He listened with an open heart. He paid our rent so I could take time off to just be with my family. He offered counseling to my daughter. He gave her a blessing which gave my heart peace. I’m
still so grateful to him to this day.
“I can’t explain the hurt I felt. I thought “This is my fault. I somehow put her in this position.” I’ve since learned that I was not the one exposing myself to a twelve-year-old. I was not the one that thought he could get away with touching a twelve-year-old. I am the one that taught her to listen to the spirit. I am the one who took her to court. I am the one who told her she’s still beautiful. I am the one that taught her again and again that she’s a child of God. I am still a good mother because I taught her how to act without me telling her. This is her story but it’s part of mine too. As a parent I know that I don’t judge her or blame her. I love her. I’m proud of her. It’s hard to believe it but our Heavenly Father doesn’t judge us or blame us either. He helps and teaches and loves us. NO MATTER WHAT! I hope this helps someone.”
Thank you for your strength and bravery in sharing your story.
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