Mother of a sexually abused child

"I am her body, mind and soul... and her voice will be heard!"

You hear it on the news all the time, over the radio, sometimes reading it in magazines, all over social media. The kind of story you hear or read makes you feel like you don't ever want anything like that to happen to your children. But when it happened to my own child, my heart shattered into millions of pieces. I saw myself as a parent who failed. I did not prepare for this,. No one does.

In the Hmong community, rape, molestation, sexual assault, domestic violence, etc. were kept within the family, and within the community. When I reached out and confronted the perpetrator's family, they immediately shun me and made me feel like it was my fault for leaving my daughter with him. "Their" way of resolving this was paying me money upfront to keep my mouth shut from the law. Even a few family members, beg me to not make any reports. With the lack of help, and feeling alone and betrayed by those around me... I took steps to try and fight for my daughter's rights.

First signs of sexual abuse: Before finding out, Prior first 2 weeks; She was super clingy, she did not want me to leave her alone. Every time I left the house, she cried and begged for me to stay. Not knowing anything, I left her in her own fears. She didn't want to be alone with the babysitter. The maximum time I was gone for was about 1-2 hours long. Every time I walked in from the door, she would say "Mommy, I hate BOB." My girl was only 3 years old. She expressed how much she hated him, she didn't want to be in the same room with him, or riding in the same car.

Listen to her, Believe her: One day while she was expressing about how she hated him, and I finally asked her why. My daughter said she didn't like that he was putting his private part in hers. My jaws dropped, eyes wide open. I took the time to really understand where all this was coming from. I knelt down, eye to eye and calmly asked her what had happened and where. I explained to her that I wasn't going to get upset and I really needed her to be brave and speak up. She knew exactly where it happened, how it was done. I believe her! Because a 3 yr old child does not make these kind of things up. She was so specific and detailed and yes, I believe her. I held her in my chest and cried. She confusingly stared at me and asked why I was crying. She does not understand the kind of hurt I was going through. I felt like I had failed her as her mother.

Seeking for support: In the Hmong community, everyone likes to keep everything a secret, And the lack of support I received devastated me. Bob was a close relative to us, and because of the closeness, my in-laws (now ex-in laws) did not support us pressing charges. But I still continued on realizing that i am my daughter's voice and I will stand up and seek for justice, despite how the Hmong community may look down upon me. After filing a report with the police, and speaking to an investigator,. the case was close because my daughter at the time was scared to speak and no one wanted to support the case. The most important part is that I stood up and I went as far as I can to fight for her.

Bonding: Years has passed, and we both have grown and accepted the past as the past. She is aware of what has happened and we talk about it. Her school does a very good job at teaching them about good touch and bad touch. I believe and feel that it is very important to teach our children at a young age about their bodies, and what is appropriate and unappropriated. Also, being in a environment that is supporting. Teaching her about moral values, self respect and building her self esteem, I believe one day she will make a difference. I will make a difference. She will always be my beautiful baby.

So don't ignore those small little signs, take the time to listen to your child and believe in her/him. Listen to yourself as a parent. I know for me, it took me a while to heal and trust again, Don't be afraid, don't keep your voice in silent. Abusers are those who are closest to us...

"Knowing that she knew that I will always stand up for her was the most important thing that I wanted her to see and know. Because to me it matters that much."





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Comments 16 comments

Brittamama profile image

Brittamama 5 years ago from internet space

I am so sorry this happened. So heart breaking. Your daughter is a brave girl for telling the truth and for coming to you. This shows what kind of mama you are. Always leave the door open for her to come to you. As time goes on she will need you more. This may come back up later in life. You are amazing for believing her. and validating her. I see so many people who don't validate their children in these situations. You did the right thing.


shekatie profile image

shekatie 5 years ago from Somewhere in the East Coast Author

Thank you so much for your comment!


Christine P Ann profile image

Christine P Ann 4 years ago from Australia

Brittamama is right, you do have a very brave girl and the bond you both obviously share means she trusts you to protect her. It might come back to her, however just the fact that you believed her and did something about it may be enough for her to rise above it. You absolutely did the right thing. It is a shame he was not punished, but at least he is not able to hurt her and he knows he has been uncovered for the slime that he is. Stay strong shekatie and thank you for sharing.


Astra Nomik profile image

Astra Nomik 3 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

Oh wow, what an amazing story. I was so sad to see this happened to a child so young. That is horrible. As things turn for a parent, there is the just believing it happened thing. Then the what-do-we-do-about-this-now part. That is the hard part. Parents have to be with their kids and they have to be aware and always remember that it does happen.

Some of my friends have been abused by people by they know. Some are victims of members from their own families. It is a secret crime and the shame is terrible because the kids who have it happen to them are ashamed to tell anyone.

When one of my best friends told me her Dad had done something horrible... I couldn't even look at him anymore. he just seemed so... "normal".

The person who is abused has to be made to feel that they have not done anything wrong, or did a bad thing. it is not just parents who should protect their kids. Friends have to protect each other. And no one should be singled out or ostracized from a group or gang. I agree about validating. Support is so important for the person who was wronged. That child needs friends and support so much.

Thank you for being so brave and telling this in this hub. Props to you for having the courage for doing this. Let the Abusers know that they can't hide, and kids should know that they have a Voice and many ways to express themselves. They need to know that life can carry on and life goes on and just get up and keep moving forward.


Astra Nomik profile image

Astra Nomik 3 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

I find it odd that there are not more comments here. Anyway, I just tweeted this hub. It deserves more reading and comments.


shekatie profile image

shekatie 3 years ago from Somewhere in the East Coast Author

Thank you, Astra Nomik! From the bottom of my heart


mathira profile image

mathira 3 years ago from chennai

It was heart rending to read it shekatie. How can people behave like an animal . Be courageous and I am sure your daughter will recover from this trauma.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada

You are so brave to charge this man, despite all of the opposition that you received. I am sorry that you and your daughter went through this, but I am so glad that she has you, who has honoured and cherished your daughter by taking her story seriously. Blessings to you.


shekatie profile image

shekatie 2 years ago from Somewhere in the East Coast Author

Thank you! ;)


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 22 months ago from Home Sweet Home

i am sorry too what had happened. i realized that we as parents should open our ears to our kids when they are afraid, there must be a reason behind it. Thanks very much


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 22 months ago from Somewhere in the West

Hi this is very sad and disgusting at the same time. I try over and over to comprehend how a big man can do such a nasty thing to a child. You not only damage them emotionally, but mentally, physically and psychologically. Right this moment i am so upset just hearing about this... This things should never happen but we live in a sick world that even have laws to shelter these bastards.

I am very sorry to hear this I am happy that you listened to your daughter and took serious measures. Many times parents see and hear and ignore the signs and just brush it off, because they are afraid the sicko will leave them or they will feel embarrassed.

What they need to bring to mind is while you are shading your pride you're killing your child slowly but surely and eventually they will hate and blame you.

You did the RIGHT THING!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 22 months ago from sunny Florida

Your child is so blessed that YOU listened. What a tragic nightmare for her to go through which would have been worse had you not listened and believed.

Angels and blessings are on the way to you and to her ps


Sulabha profile image

Sulabha 22 months ago from Indore, India

I am pained. As a mother I can to some extent feel what you experienced while writing this down.

It's good that neither you nor your daughter accepted this as an ultimate defeat.

There lies your victory.


Julie Daniels profile image

Julie Daniels 22 months ago from Yorkville, IL

Supporting our children through this journey is painful all the way around. Keep loving your daughter and listening to her. It is a long journey.


Amy 18 months ago

Reading this made me tear up, how could anyone do something so disgusting to an innocent child. Now it makes me fear for my daughter for when she comes out. Your daughter is so brave and so are you. I'm very happy you're standing up for her, because like you said, in the Hmong community, everyone keeps it on the down low but that would of made your daughter angry in the future. And obviously in the Hmong community it's the "girls" fault and the women is always at fault for some dumb reason


shekatie profile image

shekatie 4 months ago from Somewhere in the East Coast Author

Thanks AMY, yes, we need to stand up for all little girls and women out there. It doesnt matter. We need to prove that WE have a voice! Thanks for reading! - Kia

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