Child Abuse, My Father and a Family in Denial

by Susie
(Chittenango, New York, USA)

I start out this child abuse article on a piece of painful abuse. My daughter is 9 years old. She recently told me about some abuse going on for at least 8 months. You see, I am a devoted daughter to my parents. But, out of the course of my life my father has some mental illness. He has never been diagnosed. He refuses to think he has any kind of problem.

He has been sexually abusing my daughter for awhile now. She has been told to not tell anyone and especially her mother. I have been a protective mom. Nonetheless, try to teach my children to be careful of men and women and strangers.

I feel betrayed. I am now an outcast from the rest of the family because I spoke up. And to their disappointment, to the law. They all felt I should have discussed this with them. But, I did the right thing and went to the law.

Now it has been 3 months. And the loss of my family has been devastating. My father denies everything. But, my daughter is sure of everything he has done to her is true. I now face the future of both of my parents hating me. I only protected my daughter. My father has a history of lies, and making up stories that aren't true. My mother and I had been close forever.

I am 45 years old. The law and counceling says I did the right thing. I know I did the right thing. I am on this earth to protect my child. Please readers, believe your children. Always ask questions if a relative seems to have special interest in your children. I thought he was just playing a game down in the bedroom. No, I guess not. He was playing a game with my daughter's innocence. It hurts, but she is away from that monster who tried to steal her youth away from her. He needs help. I hope the law will prosecute him to full extent. He has been arrested for sexual abuse, first degree of sexual abuse and first degree on child endangerment. Please let me know if anyone has some input on healing.

A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: The volume of contributor submissions has now made it impossible for me to comment personally (especially in great detail) on each and every contribution. If I haven't left you a comment or one that is in-depth, please do not take my lack of a personal response as a slight, or as a statement that your story is somehow unworthy of my time. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, could be further from the truth. If there was a way for me to respond to all of you at length, I would.

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Feb 24, 2009
Part 1: Healing is a process...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Susie, I'm so sorry you and your daughter are dealing with this vile situation and the circumstances that have followed.

Without question, you most certainly did the right thing! On a logical level, you know and understand that. But on an emotional level, you are now dealing with the betrayal and abandonment of your family; a family that you trusted and were close to; a family you thought you could trust to do the right thing, only to find that they would side with a child molester. And you now have to mourn the loss of your family. Sadly, what you are dealing with here is typical behaviour for family members.

But of primary concern is what your daughter is now living through. The repercussions of the criminal acts committed against her by her grandfather, a man she loved and trusted, must be at the forefront here. She needs counselling, and needs to know her mother is there for her. You did mention counselling...I hope you continue to go for sessions. And I hope your daughter is in sessions as well; she needs professional help in order to deal with all that has happened and all that is happening now that she has disclosed.

Healing takes time. It's a lengthy process, especially when you are battling family members over choices you had to make in the best interest of your daughter; right choices, Susie, absolutely right choices. Keep the routine as normal as possible at home for her, keep loving her, and hug her when she wants and needs it. You are her rock right now, her soft place to fall, as difficult as that may be for you during this terrible time. And don't forget to take good care of her mother, Susie; that's one of the best gifts you can give your daughter. Your family can't be relied upon, but perhaps you have a close friend you can talk to about how this is affecting you.

See Part 2: Some links on this site to go to for information... below.

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Feb 24, 2009
Part 2: Some links on this site to go to for information...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Susie, I've written comments to several other contributors on this site that share some of what you are dealing with or come very close to it in one way or another. The list below are links to some of the replies I've already provided to some of these other contributors that you might find helpful. Please note though, Susie, that I can no longer answer questions from my visitors, much as I would like to.Another link I'm providing here will take you to a story on this site that is not the same situation as you are facing, but there is much there that I believe you'll find helpful: Twins Suffer Child Abuse: A Mother Speaks Outs.

Thank you, Susie, for sharing yours and your daughter's situation with my visitors and me. I wish you and your daughter all the best.

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Feb 24, 2009
by: undisclosed8

this is coming from a young woman who was in a similar situation to your daughter (my disclosure is somewhere on this site if you want to find it Child Abuse Story From Name Undisclosed8). I am so glad you found help for your daughter before things got worse, you really did do the best thing for her. No matter the pain it has caused you now, the benefits will last her whole life, and you will be spared a lot of pain as she grows up. I too showed signs of abuse and my Mother was unsure of what was going wrong, she even questioned me on occasions but I was not strong enough to tell her and she was not strong enough to seek other help.

Don't second guess yourself, you are a devoted strong mother and anyone who tries to cover up the truth is not useful to you now anyway.

I hope this helps in some way.
Sorry I can't leave my name here.

Feb 24, 2009
by: Linda

You are a very courageous and loving mother. Putting your child first is the most unselfish act of love a mother can give. Don't beat yourself up for turning that man in. He would have gone on and did the same perverted act on some other little girl. I hope he gets what he deserves. Your other relatives will get over it in time and realize you were right. Pediphiles have to be stopped! And taken out of society, away from little innocent children. I wish that I had a mother like you to tell on my molester, when I was a little girl of nine. My mother knew what was going on and turned a blind Eye to it. Or she just didn't care. I hope for the best for you and your daughter in the future. Please don't falter......

Feb 25, 2009
i wish
by: Anonymous

i wish that my mom would be like you, mine doesnt believe what i tried to tell her... your daughter is lucky to have you as a mom xxx

Nov 10, 2009
to Susie
by: Anonymous

I was sexually abused as a young teenager by my mother's boyfriend (now husband). No matter who I told and ran to for help, no one wanted to get involved (including my own mother who is a victim of child molestation). They are either in denial because of the pain in accepting or just simply do not want their boats to be rocked (in this case sunk).
The most painful aspect of all of this is trying to hold on to my mother knowing that she will never come around and that her husband is and will forever stay in the picture.
My perfect world would consist of my mother's actions to be like yours. To DO THE RIGHT THING, to believe her own daughter and to stand up for her. There is a huge distanced that has been built between me and my family (all members extended and close). They are all waiting for me to get over it and move on. But I say to hell with it and them, I will live with what happened to me forever, and with the fact that the one person who was suppose to protect me didn't and still won't.
You are a wonderful mother. You are doing the right thing. Your daughter is extremely lucky to have you by her side. You will always be someone she can trust and count on. And she is learning to not keep secrets and to not be ashamed. There will be no need to sweep anything under the rug, because you showed her that it is not an option. Good for you.
-I wish the best for you and your daughter. Stay strong. You already are.

Jan 11, 2010
Sister-in-Law in denial re daughter's sexual abuse
by: Anonymous

My Husband's niece made allegations 2 years ago of being abused sexually by her Father from the age of 6 to 16. She is now 31. This man also abused her Aunt, his wife's sister from the age of 11 to 16. She is now 45. The Aunt, as soon as she learned of her niece's abuse, finally went to the authorities and made a statement. His daughter has not done anything to incriminate him legally other than to finally tell her secret.
The problem is his daughter is alienated from her family for the last 2 years, they believing instead that she is doing a "copy-cat" of her Aunt's story. Because of the abuse she was a difficult teenager/adult, i.e. prescribed drug abuse, (drugs were for depression), several suicide attempts, history of lying, attention seeking etc. Her Husband is a Garda (Irish for Policeman)and has gathered evidence, going back to when she was 16, to support her claims.
Her Father admitted to both accusations initially but has since retracted his admission of the daughter's abuse. (He had no option but to admit to her Aunt's abuse).
My problem is her Mother, she is in complete denial. Recently she agreed to meet with her daughter, after 2 years, but expected her to prove herself. Neither the daughter's Psychiatrist or Councellor would agree to this. They say until the Mother has had counselling herself and admits to her own wrongdoing in this sorry sordid affair should that happen. The night the daughter finally brought the abuse out into the open, under the influence of drink and drugs, she was severely beaten by her Father. Her Mother was present but did not participate, however she denies any wrongdoing by either herself or her Husband and says her daughter is lying. She fabricated a huge story of that night, portraying herself and her Husband in the best possible light. I believe the daughter, furthermore she has proof as the Doctor took photos. The Mother or Father does not know these photos exist.
They subsequently put out rumours that their daughter was mentally ill and making dreadful accusations, was evil and wanted to hurt them. As soon as it became clear to me and my family that she was, in fact, telling the truth (I had been fed loads of lies) I put tremenduous pressure on the Mother to restore her daughter's good name. This never happened, and at present she
has now distanced herself from my Husband and myself, worse still, betrayed her daughter even more. I can't get through to her that her daughter is still being abused. My Husband's family are split in two, The victim's family are all against her and we are waiting to see if the Dept. of Public Prosecution will take on this case that the other victim has brought against him.

Jun 12, 2010
How Do I Help My Granddaughter?
by: MeMe Cathy

I'm a 53 yr. old grandmother in North Syracuse, NY. MeMe is what my granddaughter chose to name me. A year ago, when she turned age 3, my daughter met a married man in a bar & moved him immediately into their home. Within 2 months, the child was bedwetting, seeming intrigued with the word 'sex', rubbing tubby-toys onto her genitals, crying when she had to go home with Mommy & (new) boyfriend, and then at the end of month # 5 the child told me of 'sex-play' incidences between herself & Mom's boyfriend! Shocked is putting my emotions mildly, however I didn't react 'crazily'. I nervously told my daughter of these allegations; she immediately defended the boyfriend's honor, without letting me finish. She then said "she's 3, Mom, all 3 yr. olds make-up stories". She said her daughter "is a brat when she's around me". She then accused me of making it all up, threatening me not to call Child Protective or I'd never see her again. She manipulated her child's mind just before CPS got involved; thus unfounded! Now we're in Family Court as I seek Visitation & she's seeking an Order of Protection against me.Any suggestions? My daughter is in extreme Denial.

Jun 25, 2010
sexually abused by my fathe
by: Teresa Blevins

I can relate to this so much, my father was an alcoholic and sexually and verbally abusive..He no longer belongs in this world!

Jun 28, 2010
Children are Afraid to TELL!
by: MeMeCathy

Susie, I don't have answers for your daughter's healing; I think it will stay with her forever, at her age. You sound like a devoted Mom and you did the right thing to prosecute your own father. I am 53, I had to take my 29 yr. old daughter to Court to visit my 4 yr. old granddaughter. She told me Mom's new boyfriend was touching her and "don't you talk to Mommy about this". My daughter denied that her new (married, cheating) boyfriend could possibly do anything to her daughter! My daughter shut her child up before the Child Protective Interview. I have to live with that; I should have called them before I told my daughter what her baby had told me. Too Late! 8 months later, I got my first legal visit! My granddaughter is clearly submissive, yet I didn't even ask her if Mom's boyfriend is continuing to 'play' with her. I pray next visit maybe she will again tell me of any abuse. stay in touch. MeMe Cathy.

Aug 25, 2010
My family abandond me.....
by: Anonymous


Congrats to you for believing and protecting your daughter, and tell her every time it comes up how proud you are of her for telling. It needs to be talked about!!!! My father molested me, and I told and my family expected me to act as if nothing happened. I am almost 45. I told my children, my husband has always known, but my brother keeps calling me to "reprimand" me for talking about it. He is terrified that I will tell his daughter, which I find very odd. Wouldnt you think as a father he would want to protect his daughter? So I am somewhat in your place, as my family hasnt talked to me in a year, but you are awesome for standing by your daughter!!!!! Probobly the hardest thing for me to deal with is that my mom knows what my dad did, and she still stayed with him! Please be strong and continue to stay with your daughter, if your family cannot support the victim, thats there hell!

Wish I could give you and e-mail. Peace and Love to you and your daughter!!

Sep 09, 2010
Your Children are your life
by: Nick

I am a male and father. If this happened to me I am sure I would have not handled as well. I would be in jail and my child would be without me. That is the price I would pay to make sure no child ever felt that way again. I love my children they are my life, if anyone harmed them that intern would end their life. So I say good job and stay strong. She is a 3D copy of you and you do whatever you need to to keep her safe. Best of Luck

Nov 12, 2010
Protecting my girls
by: Anonymous

My 14 year old daughter was writing letters for months back and forth to her friend at school about my husband her natural birth father was having sex with her and she thought she might be pregnant..I also have 3 other daughters who confirm her story and also have been malested... He still has not been arrested and no other interviews have been done the detective on the case says they have to wait on forensic interviews from social services and they say they are backed up and cant get them in right he goes free...still residing as a youth minister at our home church we can no longer attend because Im not taking the girls around him..I totally believe them his whole family have issues with this..and anothe family member has also came forward about my husband and I dont know what to do...any ideas??? He needs to be in we can get on with our lives!!! SOme one please help!!

Nov 23, 2010
I was abused too...
by: Poetry Chic

My father has been abusing me for 2 years and he told me not to tell anyone. Just a month ago I was painful. My entire family has abandoned me, they didn't believe me. I was thrown out of the house and I am now in foster care...

Dec 08, 2010
my mother was not such a good Mother
by: Anonymous


You DID the right thing never doubt that. My mother sided with my abuser who at the time was her husband and also plead guilty. She was not there for me and sat behind him in court, bailed him out of jail and the list goes on. My mother and I will never have a good relationship because of her decision not to be there for me. Your daughters mental health depended on you being strong enough to stand up to your family for her. Your an amazing mom and your daughter is so lucky to have you!!!

Mar 15, 2011
You did the right thing!
by: J

I hope that you and your daughter are doing well. I absolutely believe that you did the right thing.

When I told my parents about the sexual abuse by my grandma's "friend", they didn't do anything. When it came up over the years, they never stepped up to report it to police, let alone rid him from our family. For the next dozen or so years (until my Grandma died) he was still there for Christmas, and I'd have to go and visit on vacations, and I hated it. I hated having to see him, and it made me resent my parents. After nearly 25 years since my parents first ignored the truth, I've decided to remove them from my life for their dismissive behaviour that has been on display in a variety of ways over the years; likely all because they didn't want to rock the boat.

When it's not easy for you, just remember that you absolutely did the right thing. Absolutely. Too bad my parents didn't have the will, or the courage to do what you did.

Take care.

Jun 20, 2011
by: Anonymous

I had my daughter in the tub tonight she told me Daddy put his finger inside because I bad behave"
I am shocked. I know she is innocent. Help please

Oct 03, 2011
by: Anonymous

Don't let ANYONE,tell you or your 9 year old daughter you are the bad guys,those people are sick and liars on every level,you handled this like a Saint,God Bless you both,as for me I only wish I was half the person you are,I've read the Old Testament too much,an eye for an eye,that is my justice always,those people deserve swift justice and I don't mean the police or lazy crooked judges, this world was better 200 years ago when people actually had morals and a conscience.As for your weak mom and sissy brothers etc.they are all COWARDS,lower than any earthworm,they shouldn't have blinked an eye and stood shoulder to shoulder w you! They do not ever deserve you or your daughter in their life! Sincerely,Single dad of a 5 yr old girl,Son of a dad who molested my Sister,and Son of a mom who stayed w him!!

Dec 05, 2011
You ABSOLUTELY did the right thing!
by: Cassie

Unfortunately we are in the almost the same place you are. My step father in law molested my sister in law when she was 11 (17 years ago) my mother in law took him back and remained married, after my husband and I got married we had our first daughter whom I left willingly with my in laws, until she was 4 months old and I found out about the molestation. My husband had forgotten the event over time as he was young at the time as well, we told his family that my father in law was no longer to be around my children and we too have been disowned. they maintain it was an accident and that we are "ridiculous" and "closed minded" and we are making a big deal out of nothing. I feel your pain as this has been hard, especially for my husband, but they have tried for 4 years now to bully, threaten and harass us into just agreeing with them but we won't budge. We have tried to allow everyone BUT my step father in law into our lives but they are not happy with that, it is all or nothing and i cannot allow my daughters to be around this man. Hold on to your values, they are what keep your daughter protected. Denial only furthers abuse and the toxic nature of the situation. BE STRONG!

Jul 12, 2013
by: Anonymous

Oh my god. My family mum auntie and myself are going through the same. My vulgar grandad died years ago, after abusing my mum all her life. And later onto a couple of us grandchildren. My mum and hr sister are now black sheep. Yet my uncle who sends pictures of his penis to family members I.e sister, nieces, is the blue eyed boy. Even after the truth comes out. There is something seriously not right in some families. You are safer not being part of them. It might be their child next time. This is just part of our family story. I could write a book its that long

Jul 15, 2013
I completely understand
by: Nellie

My daughter is six.
In April of this year she told me that her daddy kissed her on the lips, and she doesnt like it, and he gets her to kiss his penis.
She drew graphic pictures and cried when left alone with my husband.
I planned my escape and reported it to the authorities.
It is still under police investigation.
My husband told all my friends and family that I am paranoid and mentally ill.
My family all wrote statements to the lawyers and police saying how unstable I am, and that he must have custody.
My husband is staying with my twin sister.
He is so manipulative it is heartbreaking.
No one believes me.
My daughter is happy now.
I saved her.
Despite being broke and homeless, I am free from such a wicked man.
I will eventually rebuild my life, and my daughter is safe
What an emotional mess, and so many loses on so many levels.
My husband had been isolating me for years.
He hacked my emails and removed the ones from family members etc.
He took my bank cards, and my address book.
Stay focused those of you going through hell
Protect your children, and remember there are some wicked people out there, and vulnerable ones who believe them, at the expense of our dear children.

Aug 26, 2013
by: Anonymous

You are such an amazing mother, i wish so so much my mother would of done the same for me, i always thought she would. It was my dad and she chose him, I've been in a psychiatric hospital numerous of times before i disclosed as i couldn't deal with what had happened and when i finally told, because i didn't want to suffer anymore, she let me leave and him stay. My family no longer talk to me either and I've just turned 20 but honestly i miss the mum i thought i had. I'm out by myself now in the big bad world, the world can be a very bad place. You are a good good person protecting your daughter, i hope she continues to get help, i don't think the pain ever leaves you completely.
I'm so glad she has you, it is totally right what you did. I hope you see this, your daughter will thank you for saving her one day x

Jun 30, 2014
I have a question a need guidance.
by: Concerned Boyfriend

Father is a pediphile and is in prison, teen son doesn't really know the whole story why his father is in prison, 9 yr. old son has no clue where his father is, just talks to him on the phone. He molested the step daughter. I don't know what to do, the mom seems to be in denial if they were my kids I wouldn't allow them to speak to them and tell them that there father is a bad man. I've been a father to these kids for the past couple of years and the mother still allows it because she says the court stated she must do so. It angers me to no end. I want to tell both kids flat out and let them decide. The brothers both love there sister very much. But it seems like everyone in the family has there head in the sand. This being said, this woman is a brave person, I can see how family can be first hand, denial denial denial. She done it for her daughter and that is a stand up person. I applauded you.

From Darlene - Webmaster: You're a very caring and compassionate person, and I understand your reasoning. But their mother has to make the choice. Furthermore, it is not in the interest of the child to him that one of his parents is a "bad" person or denigrate the parent in any way. When you do, children believe they are the ones who are bad. That's innate in children. And no amount of telling them different will change that. Discuss with your girlfriend your concerns and continue to be an upstanding father figure in their lives. But the decision is up to her.

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