‘There must have been blood’, my friend said sadly. ‘My mother must have known her boyfriend raped me when I was five. She did nothing’.
Her mother is not the only woman I’ve heard of who has enabled a paedophile to sexually abuse her own children. Sometimes the enabling is by commission, sometimes by omission. In my own family, the theme is all too familiar.
When my cousin was just four years old, she came to my uncle (her father) and was very upset. Her step-father, she communicated in her baby talk, had touched her inappropriately. My uncle fetched a dolly and, in the presence of witnesses, she indeed pointed to the genital area of the doll.
Like the good man he is, my uncle took her testimony and witnesses to the court. They threw him out.
The worst part of the story is the behavior of my ex-aunt. You would expect that a mother would support, defend and protect her daughter at all expense. Instead, she denied everything. She supported her new husband instead of her daughter. Her betrayal hit a new low when she brainwashed her daughter, convincing her that ‘nothing happened’. To this day, that little girl’s exists in the nightmarish home and at the mercy of a paedophile who knows his wife and the court will both facilitate his depravity.
Unfortunately, she’s not the only mother to so betray her own child. My husband’s grandmother turned a blind eye while her husband raped their daughter for seven years. When the abuse was brought to light, she refused to believe it.
I refuse to believe she didn’t know it was happening.
Surely a mother would notice a change, a dramatic change, in the demeanor of a five year old who had been raped. Fear. Anger. Avoidance. Some variety of acting out.
Blood on the sheets.
Instead she ignored all the signs, all the clues and when her daughter finally revealed the abuse when she reached puberty in fear her father would impregnate her, the final betrayal occurred: her mother refused to believe a single word.
Again, I refused to believe she didn’t know. Oh, she knew. She preferred for her husband to find his sexual ‘satisfaction’ with her daughter rather than having to satisfy him herself.
Why do I share these stories with you? So no mother or father will ever gain betray their child by ignoring the clues and, worst of all, by denying, shaming and refusing to believe their child when she (or he) says, ‘Mam, he (she) touched me’.
No relationship, no romance is more important than the well-being and mental health of your child.