Comments for Child Abuse Story From Rick

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Mar 07, 2008
A matter of perception
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Rick, trying to make sense of nonsense is crazy-making. You can't help the way you feel about what your witnessed and what you know to be true. However, when you change the way you think, you change the way you feel.

The first thing I want to say is that none of what happened was your fault, Rick, NONE of it. You were powerless to protect those girls. It wasn't your fault. It will never BE your fault. The fault lies squarely on the shoulders of your uncle, AND your aunt who KNOWINGLY enabled the sexual abuse to continue. They were BOTH criminally responsible.

You described witnessing "...his daughters having sex with him for favors, his middle daughter having her underwear cut off while she was sleeping, and his oldest daughter willingly having sex with him."

The dynamic between an offender--especially when the offender is the child's parent--and the victim is way too complex to detail within the limited space of this comments page. What must be understood is that your uncle had virtually all the power; his daughters had none.

As an adult, your uncle knew the vulnerabilities of his daughters and he used those vulnerabilities against them. His eldest did not "willingly" have sex with her father; he took complete advantage of her. She was not in a position to consent. When we place adult values on choices that children and youth make, we shift the blame from where it belongs; with the adults in their lives, in this case, their father. He was the adult; they were the children. They were not to blame, Rick, any more than you were.

As for the glowing statements that came from the adult daughters of your now-deceased uncle: There are some pages on my site that you might find helpful. Pages that may shine some light on what was really going on with the daughters, even now:Rick, you were forced to witness sexual abuse, which in and of itself IS abuse, emotional abuse. You felt utterly helpless. You experienced rage, fear, hostility, powerlessness, frustration, a host of emotions that are still wrapped inside of you; these stem from being terrorized. You had no choices then, Rick, but as an adult, you do have choices. You can choose to NOT let what happened continue to control you and what you do. You and your counsellor can work together with this goal in mind.

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

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stories on this site are true. While I cannot guarantee
this, I do try to balance the need for the submitter to be
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