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May 26, 2009
Part 1: Fault lies with your stepdad...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Although 5 1/2 years seems like a slap on the hand for such heinous criminal acts against you and your sister, at least he had to face the criminal justice system. You can feel some sense of comfort that for those years he has been unable to sexually assault any other children. And it was because of your bravery that he was ultimately convicted. He will now be labeled a sex offender for the rest of his life. That means he will always have that attached to him: when he applies for a job, when he wants to move into a house or apartment, when he has a relationship with some. His actions against you and your sister (and quite likely others too) will haunt him for the rest of his life because of that appropriate label. Pat yourself on the back for having such courage, Victoria.

You told when you felt safe to tell. Please don't ever beat yourself up for not telling sooner. Your stepdad played on your fears. He took advantage of your youth and vulnerabilities. He manipulated and controlled you. All of this is HIS fault, not yours. None of what happened was your fault. NONE OF IT! You shoulder NO blame here. Try not to put adult values on choices you made as a little girl—you were a little girl, for goodness sake! It's difficult for you to understand now because you are an adult with more mature values. Values that you are pitting against the undeveloped mind of a child. A child with no ability to protect herself. A child living in fear. What you must understand is that there was a dynamic present between you and your stepdad, one that he used in order to sexually molest you and keep power over you.

See Part 2: Your sister and healing... below.

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 26, 2009
Part 2: Your sister and healing...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Victoria, although you didn't say that you feel anger or resentment toward your sister for not telling before you and your mother and stepdad left for Illinois, I can understand if you do feel that way toward her. What I will also say is that she didn't tell because of fear and the fact that she was still a child. When children don't tell it is almost always because of fear. It would have been different if your sister was a grown up. But you were BOTH children; yes, teenagers are still children. Try not to lose sight of that. You said your sister is haunted by her decision not to tell even to this day. Perhaps there is a way for the two of you to heal together. She is no more responsible for the sexual and physical abuse this sick excuse for a human being inflicted than you are. HE molested you, and HE molested her.

I'm delighted that when you told, your mother believed you and took steps to keep you safe from further harm, and that she stood by you during the most difficult times to follow. I do wonder why she was so oblivious to the fact that BOTH her daughters were being molested by her husband over the course of years, and that she needed you, her second-to-be-molested daughter, to disclose before she clued in. It wasn't enough that she was at work during abusive; there would have been signs that she should have seen and then acted upon.

Victoria, the counselling sessions you had with your school counsellor may not be enough. You may find that as you move through your life, there might be issues and fears that re-surface. If this happens, I hope you will consider seeking more counselling.

Thank you for sharing your story 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


May 26, 2009
I'm so glad you told
by: Tiffany

Victoria, I am so sorry that you had to go through all that. I hope you and your sister are doing much better now. I am so glad you had the courage to speak up in court - and I'm glad your stepdad is paying a price (even if just 5 1/2 years) for what he did. how anyone could hurt a child so bad physically or sexually I just don't understand. get support now if you need. you are not alone! :)

Jun 02, 2009
good mothers are precious and special
by: maurice

Thankfully 90% of mothers are good mothers. the protection and safety of their beautiful children from danger and harm is paramount for all them. Your Mom is one of those Victoria. Taking you away from the hands of that wicked man (father) of yours. He certainly received a very light sentence for what he did to you and your sister. Darlene has given you very re-assuring words for you to work with with you Mom. Also with a little more courage you may get your school counsellor to seek more help. Think about Darlene's words to you in that area. She cares alot about your future life and happiness. Always believe in yourself. Begin to really like and love the beautiful me in the Mirror. talk nice things to that beautiful you person Victoria. It might seem a bit silly now but I can assure you after a day or two You will really begin to see yourself in a different light. I can do it, I will do it, I must do it for me. live well. laugh alot and LOVE much Victoria

Jun 03, 2009
You are very courageous
by: Judy

Hello Victoria - There really isn't much I can add to the wonderful advice that you have received from visitors and Darlene. Please take care of yourself, love yourself -- put you first and everything else will fall into place. What you did was very courageous and I applaud you. God bless you! Judy

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