Child Abuse Poem From Tammy

by Tammy

See that little girl over there

She looks so lost and alone
Looking for herself
Somehow she lost her way again
Can u take her hand for a moment
Tell her it's all right
Hold her heart for a second
And let it see the light
Cuz I know you can do that
You always seem to have a way
to give her what she needs
All she has to do is lift her head
But it's not so easy to do
When she's so busy searching
for the love that she can't seem to find
Got mixed up in her misery
and left herself behind
If she could only find the strength
to look into your eyes
She'd see just what she needed
Right there in your eyes
A reflection of herself
I know she's in there somewhere
Hiding from her shame
I hear her calling me sometimes
Whispering my name
Take care of her while she's still there
underneath your skin
She's there because she needs you
and doesn't know where to begin




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse: When Family Sides With Molester

by Tammy
(Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada)

A "Safe" Family: 
My story opens in the present-although that was not the "beginning". Recently my 14-year-old daughter disclosed her sexual abuse at the hands of my brother-in-law. My husband and I were very shocked and taken off guard when a social worker and police officer showed up at our home and told us she had disclosed at school, and our other 3 children were at that moment being interviewed at school by Social Services. I immediately broke down crying-feeling so betrayed by my brother-in-law and also a growing fear of what would happen next. Would my husband's family fall apart over this? Would they believe it? Would they place blame elsewhere? Is my daughter ok? Wasn't this supposed to be a safe family-(his parents have 3 biological as well as long-time foster parents, and adoptive parents of 8 children.) All these thoughts raced through my head as the police officer explained procedures of the investigation and asked me questions about my husband's family as well as our family. Later that night our daughter shared the entire story with me. My brother-in-law lived at his parents' farm and they had adopted children there-as well as foster. She had spent the night a few times to visit the kids, and he had manipulated her into having intercourse with him.

I was sad but I supported her as best I could-so did my husband. She also revealed my husband's adopted sister (age 14) was also being sexually abused by this person. The 2 girls had supported each other in this secret for a year.

We were asked by police not to call anyone in the family until the investigation was complete-and even then maybe keep distance. It wasn't long before the calls from different family members poured in-it was hard not to answer them and we answered one finally. His family was upset-all the children in the (in-laws) home had been taken into temporary custody of child protection and all foster children removed. They wanted answers and wanted them now. We couldn't oblige and the blaming began.

It's been 4 months since disclosure-the abuser has been charged and we are awaiting court dates-it's 7 more months away. In the meantime he is under conditional release and ordered to stay away from us, his mom's farm, and any children under 16, as well as alcohol and liquor-lisenced establishments. He was seen in a bar recently and we reported it-that is a breach and he is charged with that too. He denies it all and is still walking free until his breach hearing-3 months away. We will be subpoenaed to testify against him-identifying him on video.

At this time we as a family feel so betrayed-first by the abuser, then by his family,(they hired him a lawyer) and also by the drawn-out legal matters. He and his family refuse to acknowledge the abuse even happened. There have been a few calls from family members berating us for defying the "family" and shaming and guilting us for standing ground beside our daughter-as well as theirs. Their daughter remains in foster care as she was not supported by her family and feels pressure to recant. We support her fully and my mother-in-law even tried to stop all contact between us and her daughter. It didn't work. They are no longer fighting to get her home and she will become a permanent ward of Social Services because she won't recant. They want it to "go away".

All of this was very difficult for me at first-being a survivor of sexual abuse in my teens by numerous people. I feel like a failure even though it wasn't my fault.

My daughter and I continue to see a counsellor and she is so brave-but angry. Angry at her abuser, at the situation, the family and even herself. What she has told me is he made her believe they had a relationship and they are not "blood" related so it's not as bad.

Well he was 23 and she was 13-that's abuse. Illegal. Immoral. Inexcusable. More and more I educate myself on this subject and my anger comes forth all over again-for my abuse and hers. Even for the emotional torture his family has and continues to put us through. I know we need to deal and move on past it (at least past the family's unrealistic expectations to forgive and forget) but it's hard. The anger just keeps coming. I am afraid actually that one day it may spiral out of control if the justice system fails us. Or even if it doesn't-what happens next? Forgiveness doesn't seem like an option. I don't know how to move past the anger inside. I thought I brought my children into a "safe" family.

I welcome any help or comments. Thank you for reading my story. I hope it helps someone else.

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Child Abuse Part 2: Determined Mom

Last April my life changed forever. I was informed that my 23 year old brother in law had been sexually abusing my 13 year old daughter, as well as his 13 year old adopted sister in his parent's home. Authorities had been notified and a court case began, as well as the destruction of the relationship of our family with my extended family.

Since then there has been so much anger and feelings of betrayal. Court is such a long process and sometimes I wish it was over -instead of just beginning. The rage I feel toward the abuser as well as the family is unimaginable. The fact they seem to want it to be swept under the rug and be a family again is unfathomable to me. No support, no caring, no acknowledgement that the abuser is guilty. In fact it was completely the opposite.

As the court date for the preliminary hearing approaches I am finding it harder and harder to keep that anger in check. I have learned through educating myself this past year on the court system that it is designed around the rights of the accused, not the victim. I find this sad and very infuriating. My daughter had and has rights too. She had the right to tell someone what had happened, she had the right to say no, she had the right to feel safe and the right to protection. Instead she was taken advantage of, intimidated, guilted and blamed by the abuser and his family for a sick adult's crimes.

She and the other girl who was victimized will absolutely always have our support and love and protection, but it still hurts and outrages me this was not the case within the other side of the family, considering they were a foster home and another family member is a child protection worker herself.

With every fiber of my being I strongly believe we will never be a family again with them, there will never be trust or true support ever again.

Even though the crown prosecutor in our case has said she is very confident in a conviction, she has also said its a long frustrating process and expects deals to be made instead of a full trial. I am not fully sure what that means but as of now the accused has walked free for the past year as well as a year before it was disclosed. Sure, he has a conditional release at present but how well is that REALLY monitored? Not well I am guessing as he continues to get away with breaking those conditions and putting off court dates.

And through it all my daughter must endure the heartbreak of being abused, dealing with the feelings caused by this as well as the pain it has caused all of us. We have lost so much out of this and to be ignored and shamed by the family hurts more than ever. We are planning to move away from this city and eventually back to my hometown, but that is a long process as well. Right now we must endure the isolation from family, court proceedings and preparation for potential let-down in the justice system. My question is, how do I ever stop raging?

Thank you for reading.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Part 3 - Determined Mom

by Tammy
(Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada)

Continuing from previous posts... 
We went to court for my daughter's preliminary hearing against my brother-in-law. She and the other victim did great I was so proud of them both.

It was decided the case will go to trial and they tacked on 2 more charges - one for each girl. They did not disclose what the charges were as I was not allowed in the court room due to a publication ban and I may be a witness for the trial. Our counsellor went in with her. We had a lot of support and felt very safe.

The other side of the "family" sat in the hall supporting the accused- SAD SAD SAD.

We continue to stand behind the victims here and have kept our no contact decision with his family – it's just not worth it.

I hope one day they will realize how blind they are, but not expecting miracles there. Needless to say - we stand firm.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

I hope you'll follow me on:


Email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses AND website/blog URLs in submissions and visitor comments are STRICTLY prohibited. Please don't include them, as they will be removed.

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