When a young child or a teen-ager is raped or sexually molested, some of these children are brave enough to tell; maybe not right away, it may take weeks, months, or even years for some children to come forth. They are scared, devastated and confused. Their whole life has been turned upside down. They may never be the same. It’s not easy for these young people to just come out and say “I was raped or I was molested.”
For many other children, they don’t tell verbally. But their actions do tell. We as parents, grandparents and guardians need to recognize the symptoms. When a child is molested or raped there is usually a dramatic change in that child’s behavior. Children may become withdrawn or afraid. They may shut themselves off from the family. They may become depressed. There may be changes in the way they dress. Recurring nightmares are a very good clue that something is very wrong. Some children especially boys may act out at home and at school.
These symptoms could very well be signs of other serious problems but regardless of what the problem is; when children show signs that they are in trouble, parents or guardians need to intervene. It is not easy for children to tell when they have been molested or raped.
I will never forget this one, brave, little girl who did have the courage to tell only to face more pain and frustrations. Can you imagine the devastation a child faces when he or she tells and the parent don’t believe or just don’t want to believe? Blair was only nine years old when she was molested by her mother’s boy friend, in her mother’s bedroom, while her mother was just down stairs in the living room. Blair was a very brave little girl, even though Nash, her mother’s boyfriend, warned her not to tell; when the molester let her go, Blair ran to her mother and told her mother that Nash touched her private part and touched her in other places where she didn’t want to be touched and it made her feel very uncomfortable and scared.
The child was shaking all over and crying hysterically as she stood before her mother. She desperately needed her mother to hold her, to comfort her. It didn’t happen. Her mother only stared at her in disbelief.
Nash rushed down the stairs behind the child.
“That’s not true , she’s lying. She was being bad, getting into my things, I only spanked her. She has to learn not to touch my stuff.” Nash defended himself.
“I didn’t touch his things; he sat me on his lap and he touched my private part,” Blair cried, “I told him to stop, I told him that I wanted you, mom. He wouldn’t listen. He said if I screamed, he would hurt me really bad, then he said he would kill you and he would kill my dad and he would kill my dad’s mother and father.”
“Now you know it didn’t happen that way. You were messing with my stuff and I spanked you,” Nash lashed out.
Lisa, immediately, made the conscious decision to believe her boyfriend over her nine year old child.
“Why are you lying?” Lisa yelled at the child, “You know Nash wouldn’t do anything to hurt you.”
“Mom, I’m telling the truth,” Blair cried, “He hurt me.”
After Lisa left Blair’s room; Blair picked up her teddy and ran to her eleven year old brother’s room. Todd’s room was next door to Blair’s room.
Todd had ear plugs in his ears; listening to his CD player and playing a video game at the same time.Blair let herself in and asked Todd if she could sleep in his room. When Todd saw her, he pulled the ear plugs out of his ears and yelled, “Get out of my room, Blair.”
“Please, let me sleep in your room, Todd,” Blair sobbed.
Todd, not knowing what had happened, became irritated with her and said, “No girls sleeping in my room, not ever, especially, not with that stupid teddy bear you’re holding.”
Blair started crying harder and begged her brother to let her sleep in his room. She said something bad was going to happen to her, because a monster was in her room. Todd replied. “There’s no such thing as a monster, Blair, you know that.”
“Yes, there is, and if you don’t let me sleep in your room, I’m telling mom how you stay up very late, every night, playing those dumb games.”
“So, tell, see if I care,” Todd was calling her bluff.
“Mom!” Blair yelled.
Todd quickly clasped his hand over her mouth.
“Okay, Okay, you can sleep in here. But you better not tell mom I’m playing video games every night, or I’m kicking you out.”
“Can I sleep in your room every night?”
“Only until your make believe monster leaves.”
“He’s not make believe, Todd, he’s real,” Blair insisted, “and he’s not leaving. Now, can I sleep in your room every night?
“Yeah, I guess so, come on let’s get your stuff.”
This was a very heartrending moment for little Blair. She sat on the side of her bed clenching to a teddy bear; tears rolling down her cheeks. She was so confused. She didn't know what to do. She couldn't figure out why her mom didn't believe her. Her mom always said to her, "Blair, you can tell me anything." No matter what or how bad it seemed; her mother said she would always be there for her.
Blair sat on the side of her bed crying for her dad. She knew her dad would believe her. He would take her in his arm and make it alright. Blair became overwhelmed with fear when her bedroom door opened. Nash promised he would hurt her very badly and kill her parents and grandparents if she told.
Maybe he was coming to get her first or maybe he already killed her mom and was coming to get her. Blair was too scared to move, she just sat there in fear, staring at the door. She was somewhat relieved when her mother entered the room. Lisa sat on the bed next to her daughter. Blair put her arms around her mother and wept.
“Mom, I knew you would believe me. I didn’t make it up; I‘m telling the truth,” Blair spoke between snivels.
“Sit up and look at me, Blair,” Lisa began, “Come on, sit up straight.”
Blair sat up, wiping tears from her, red, swollen, eyes. She laid her teddy on the bed.
“Blair, mom love you,” Lisa said, “But, you can’t make up lies on Nash, who put you up to this?”
“Then, why are you doing this to me and Nash, why are you telling lies on Nash?”
“Mom, I’m not making it up, he’s not telling the truth. I didn’t make it up”
“Why would Nash lie, Blair?”
“I don’t know.”
"He said you were in his things, after he told you to leave them alone, but you wouldn’t listen to him. He spanked you because you wouldn’t listen.”
“I wasn’t in his things. He didn’t spank me. He hurt me, mom,” Blair cried, “And dad said, Nash is not allowed to spank me.”
“I make the rules in this house.”
“I want my dad, now!”
“Don’t you say anything about this to your dad.”
“Why not?” Blair cried.
“Because, he will call the police and they will put Nash in jail,” Lisa said, “I don’t want him to go to jail. You don’t want your mother to be sad, do you?”
“No, but, I don’t want him touching me, mom.”
“He won’t touch you again. I won’t allow him to spank you ever, again. But you can’t touch his things.”
“Why won’t you believe me, he made it all up, I didn’t touch his things.” Blair was so frustrated.
“Nash wouldn’t touch a child,” Lisa said to Blair, “He’s willing to forget the whole thing if it end now, the lies have to end now.”
“He touched me, mom,”
“You owe Nash an apology,” Lisa insisted.
Blair refused to apologize to Nash. Her dad and her grandmother taught her to apologize only if she was wrong. If anyone did her wrong, she didn’t owe them an apology; they owed her an apology.
Blair was a good child but on the other hand, she could be very stubborn, if she believed she was right, so, no way was she going to apologize to Nash.
“Call my dad to pick me up,” Blair pleaded.
“I’m not going to call your dad and neither are you.”
“But, why? I want my dad.”
“You’re not going to your dad’s house tonight.”
“I want my dad, now!” Blair cried.
“Stop, it Blair, you’re staying here.”
“I don’t want to stay here, what if he touches me again? What if he sneaks in my room tonight and kill me?” Blair cried, “Then you will believe me, then you will be sorry.”
“Nobody’s going to touch you, Blair,” Lisa was furious, “and nobody’s going to kill you. I want you to stop talking like that. You know that Nash wouldn’t hurt you.”
“Mom, he said he would, and he meant it, mom,” Blair sobbed.
“Stop this non-sense, right now!” Lisa was very annoyed, “I’m going to find out who put you up to this!”
“Nobody put me up to this, I’m telling the truth.” Blair hesitated. “Mom, can you sleep in here with me tonight?”
“You are a big girl, Blair, you don’t need anybody sleeping in here with you.” Lisa stood up, “Now, go to bed and forget all this nonsense.”
“Mom, please!” Blair was hysterical.
“No, Blair,” Lisa replied, “I’m not giving in to this nonsense. And you don’t mention this craziness to your brother, either. Nash and I will find out if you do.”