My Daughter was Sexually Abused

by Rebecca B.
(United Kingdom)

What do you do when you have no knowledge of sexual abuse? What do you do when you feel that people aren't there to help you and direct you in life? What does one do when an ordinary day turns into the worst one of your life?


My daughter who's six tells me that a trusted man who we have known over number of years has been touching her in her private places and that it has been over a period of months. I felt sick and still do to this day. The police were called in and Social Services. After a lot of questioning to my daughter they confirmed that it was true. They questioned him, yet no action was taken as there was not enough evidence. I was then left in limbo. I can't sleep. I feel sick. I don't know anyone who's been in the same boat as me. I feel angry that he lives on the same street as me. Sometimes I feel so mad.

My mind just keeps replaying that day, over and over again. I can't move on. Please someone reply, even to offer advice. I don't know what to feel or expect. My worst nightmare came true.

Darlene's comments to this Child Abuse Commentary "My Daughter was Sexually Abused" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Comments for My Daughter was Sexually Abused

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Oct 02, 2008
Your daughter needs you more now than she ever has...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Rebecca, your daughter needs to know that you aren't having a breakdown; because if you are, so will she; but she'll do so in much different ways than you. She is too young to articulate and understand what has happened to her, so regression such as temper tantrums, bed-wetting and thumb-sucking are to be expected. Her coping skills will manifest in various ways. She will try to self-comfort, in ways that you may find disturbing. But you must realize that her regressive behaviour will worsen if she has the added burden of feeling as though the person she relies on the most is not capable of coping with what's happened. Children have built-in radar for this sort of thing. They can read body language and emotion in a parent better than anything known to mankind. Your daughter needs normalcy in her life. She needs to know that Mummy will be there to hug her and tell her she loves her. She needs to know that her world is not falling apart. She needs to know that she can rely on Mummy to read her a bedtime story and tuck her in at night. That Mummy will make her breakfast in the morning, and make her a lunch for school and that dinner will be on the table at six o'clock every night of the week (if that's what is normal). She needs to know that her homework has to be done each and every day.

I strongly recommend some form of counselling for both you and your daughter. Art therapy is tremendously beneficial for young children. I don't recommend questioning her yourself about what she went through. Be there as a listener. When she feels unsafe, hug her and tell her you are there to ensure she is safe. If she exhibits fear, in a very calm manner, encourage her in age appropriate ways: Ask her if she'd like to draw you a picture of what she's feeling, and then say, "Tell me about your picture" and then paraphrase what she is telling you. It is so important that you remain calm during such times, Rebecca, but if you are incapable of doing so because the emotions are too strong, be honest with your daughter about feelings. "Mummy is crying right now because I'm sad" gives her permission to cry when she's sad. If you try to bottle up what you're feeling, you'll teach her to do the same. Just keep things simple. It isn't necessary to go into detail about why you're sad; the statement is enough. Being strong does not mean lacking emotion; it means teaching your daughter that all emotions are okay and that they will pass. You might be surprised at the positive outcome with your daughter.

Find a support system for yourself, Rebecca. Contact Social Services and any other victim services organizations in your area to determine if there are resources available to you. And remember, your daughter is still alive and with you. If it were otherwise, THAT would have been the worst nightmare.

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

Nov 12, 2008
me too
by: Anonymous

my 3 year old daughter came home from a visit with her legal father (not biologial)and said "he hurts my coolie"! what do i do i called child abuse hotline ,the police!to no evail. i went tothe local county court and got emergengy coustody! yeah for me i can protect her for now!
i took her to mental health, doctors,and she stills says he "hurts my coolie!"but since she is only 3 they cant take her word for it so guess what? she goes back to him overnight for 3 days with no supervision! And now they are telling me that i am going to lose all contact with her because the court is sick of hearing from me! What do i do she is so afraid to go with him and now the court sends her back again!I need help someone to listen to my daughter!!!!

please respond with any info if you have any
i a mom about to lose my mind because i cant protect my daughter because the legal system wont let me!

From Darlene: Brandy, you've done what you can. There isn't anything I can offer for advice; all I can do is offer you space to vent.




Feb 14, 2009
Trying to be a strong mother for my children
by: Tara

***With permission, comments moved***

See Twins Suffer Child Abuse: A Mother Speaks Out

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Feb 14, 2009
To Tara:
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

I would like your permission to move your comment from here to its own page, Tara. Doing so would give it more exposure and may help other visitors in a similar situation. Whatever your decision, I thank you for sharing with my visitors and me.

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir


Feb 16, 2009
A mother trying to be strong for her children
by: Tara

Darlene - if you feel that my comments would better benefit in a different area, then please feel free to move.
Thanks - Tara

From Darlene: Tara, thank you for getting back to me. I will move you post, but I ask for your patience as I currently have a dozen submissions in queue, all awaiting my attention.

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir


May 17, 2009
I feel for you
by: Anonymous

I know exactly how you feel, this is what happened to my 3 year old and it was her father who did this to her. I did it all the right way and made appropriate reports, but as she is to small they can not prosecute him. I am going through family matter at the moment and only hope that justice will be served. He has access to her at the moment but only supervised, but I feel that its damaging her even more as she has to see him and remember of what this horrible person did to her.
It?s a very scary and unfair world out there. My heart goes out to you.

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