As a small girl from the age of 5 until I was 16, I was raped and molested by 7 different boys. My first encounters with the molestation were very simple and there was no sense of wrong. When I was 12 the first full rape took place in a woodshed on a hard plank by my first cousin. He was in his upper teens to early 20’s and as he finished he asked me how it felt. My reply was “Nasty”. He could not understand why I did not like the act nor at the time did I. From that day on I hated sex, and to an extent I still do.
Another of my offenders was one of my brothers who eventually was incarcerated for molesting our niece. He plead guilty and was sentenced to only 5 months in prison. Some may think that the time was just too short a sentence, but in reality that 5 months has led to 13 years of disgrace for our entire family not just the offender. Many people think that only the offender suffers for being placed in prison but the truth is everyone suffers. What about the children of the offender? Are they not considered to need the parent that has offended? I remember wanting my father to be at a picnic with me but he never showed. I caught my first fish but my Dad was not there. It may seem simple to you but to a hurting child who needs their parent it can be devastating.
You might say that had someone done something about my molestations that it would never have happened to my niece, there I must disagree. You see it has been documented that for every known sex offense there are at least 7 unknown offenses committed. In my family that proved to be true. Now don’t blame my parents they had no idea what was going on. They never knew what had happened to me until my brother was caught and I began to get some emotional help. There is no way that I can fully express what I have been through but to one that is there they would understand. My family has suffered for may years and at this present time we rarely even talk or visit each other.
Before John’s incarceration our family was very close and we had family dinners every holiday. It was always a big day with lots of fun had by all. Those days have long since been gone. Now only a few will show up and then stay for only for a short time leaving before the festivities actually begin. I for one want those days back. I miss the freedom felt by my family’s love and comfort. Will it ever return? I do not know. There will be many steps necessary and the first and most important will be forgiveness. Forgiveness is not for the offender but for the victim. Unless we as victims are willing to forgive (not forget) then the offenders have beaten us by destroying our love and hope for a blessed future.