Wednesday, December 28

Long Time No Post!

Wow I did not realize that it has been so long since I posted. I receive posts from you all for our different posts so I know that you are reading. It is update time. Nicki is putting together wonderful Girlthrive packages for all our members, with our T- Shirts, Mary Fahey Krause my most active Board Member is making beautiful scented candles, and Nicki is making bracelets. So expect your healing thriving packages this April being Sex Abuse Awareness month! I applied for a grant specifically for  for Girlthrive Scholarships and WE GOT IT!! So put your thinking caps on and think about ways to heal, ways to expand, ways to be creative and think about applying for a Girlthrive Scholarship. Some of the Scholarships recently have been for a guitar, a netbook, funds toward a flight to a dear friend, vet bills for doggies, manicures and pedicures, funds for nursing books.   We have some extra funds now, so please feel free to apply! Just email me at  xoxox dr. p


Anonymous said...

Hi I have a question. My daughter's friend has told her about some inappropriate touching that her mom's boyfriend has done.I tried talking with her and even purchased your book for her and she does not want to tell anyone including her mom. she says she loves her mom's boyfriend and he doesn't do it anymore and I am going to ruin her life if I talk to her mom or the school. I had abuse in my life by my stepdad so I understand what she is going through. What should I do? I don't know fully what he has done but am in fear it is more than what she has said. She is only 14 so I am sure she is afraid of what will happen and I dont want to hurt her anymore than she already has been. I not really sure what happens when the school is contacted. Do they arrest him? Do they contact Cps? I think she will deny it all from the sounds of it only problem is is that he touched one of her friends too. Part of me feels that I have given her an opportunity to come forward and she doesn't want to is it causing more harm turning him in? What do I do?!

Dr Patti said...

Dear Anonymous,
I am so glad you posted this on the blog. I am going to email some of the gals that i personally know so that they too can give you feedback. I am so pleased with your daughter. Please tell her how proud of her I am - as I am sure so many other girls are proud of your daughter. She has stopped a cycle of an abuser. It is clear that if your daughter's friend told her about the abuse, then she does want help. She knows it is wrong and now she is so scared about what could happen. It is also quite possible that he somehow is suspecting that she has told someone and he could be threatening her by really pressuring her to understand "it won't happen again - he really loves her, she really loves him" blah blah blah blah... YUCK! What a creep. KEEP YOUR DAUGHTER AWAY FROM THIS CREEP!!

So what I would do first is make sure that the girl has a place to stay when you do tell- It is clear that he has to be reported if he also has started to touch her friend. There are so many ways to report anonymously - You can call hotlines in your area- you can go online- no-one has to know who reported him. In the mean time keep talking with the girl. Tell her that it is so important that she talk about this. Encourage her to write me an email, to blog etc. She can do this anonymously - I am guessing that the abuse is still going on. I am also guessing that the reason she is so scared is because she knows her mother will reject her. Is there any way that you can open your home to this girl? Is there any way she can stay with you? If not could there be kind of a safe haven for her with different friends and relatives? Can you find out if she has others in the neighborhood who can take her in? This is all assuming that her mother will reject her. As far as your question about school. Yes legally schools have to call the police. So in the mean time tell her to wear layers when she goes to sleep, to never be alone with him- to sleep over friends houses when he is sleeping over. I will reach out via email to some other gals and see what they have to say. You can also email me at xxxxx p

Erika said...

Dear Anonymous,

YIKES... that story is like a replica of mine and I know both sides of the fence. The one your daughters friend is on, and the side after telling. And life can be beautiful again. I was 18 when I told, 22 now.

First to answer your questions.. You said she is 14 therefore telling anyone means it will be reported to social services and become an open case that will be looked in to. Sounds scary but it needs to be done. Technically because you are an adult and are aware of the "inappropriate touching" you are bound by the law to tell the correct people. Yes, seems scary but it is the best thing that will happen to that girl.

For the girl the hardest part will be having her mom find out and it seems that she is already sensing that. So maybe going to the mom is not a good place to start. This may also cause an issue of the mom saying "thank you for the info, I will take care of it"... and nothing really being done because she loves the boyfriend.

From personal experience and looking back, I am happy that my school was the first to know. One of my friends tipped of a teacher who pulled me aside and asked me if it was true. Of course I denied it at first, I was scared, and your daughters friend may do the same thing. BUT because she is 14 that teacher will have to report it, giving the girl time to think about and realize how important this is, maybe you can coax her a bit and remind her it is the correct thing.

Additionally, having the school know is already creating a safe place. This is where she spends more than half her day, I am sure there is a certain academic teacher, or extra curricular staff that she is closer to, or even just guidance office personal, but she already has a team of people at her school that can look out for her after.

You questioned if you were causing her harm by turning him in. NO... you are not causing harm, NOT AT ALL.. you are saving her. Will she be mad? - I would guess she will be, but she is 14 she will have 8,000 emotions and she is going to need someone to be there to catch her.

My suggestion is to have her over for sleepover ON A SCHOOL NIGHT. This is so that you can talk to her the night before and go to school the next morning and report it. You tell her you have researched and you as an adult can't let this continue. That you love her like your own daughter and don't want to see her being harmed. Then you tell her you are going to inform personnel. Ask the girl if she is more comfortable with a certain teacher or someone at school, and then you tell that teacher. She may be mad at you, but you need to do the best you can to explain to her why you have to tell. You are a mom, you will know why you have to tell..

If she can stay with you whenever she needs to her, please make sure she knows that. If not help to find her other safe havens, as she is probably scared of being taken out of her home and put in general care.

Also tell her about the blog spot and the website and that she can reach out to the other girls if she wants to. Maybe she didn't read the book, and ask her to give some thought to reading it.

Tell her to reach out to Dr. Patti and the blog. The girls on here are amazing. I can truly call them my own friends. We have reached out to each other in sadness and are always willing to lend some advice. But we have also become real friends and laugh and have fun and even skype and facebook each other..
And well Dr. Patti, words can't describe her. She never gives up and will do all she can to help. You can't find a better resource then her. Use her, use us.. we will all work together.

the best thing you can do for this girl is tell. Help her to break her silence. She reached out to you, clearly she feels comfortable with you. But by her reaching out that means she thinks the touching isn't right either... she has grasped that concept on some level.

Feel free to write back. BUT you telling is the right thing to do. You need to believe that.

Anonymous said...

thank you so much ladies for your advice. Isn't it crazy that these pediphiles make you second guess yourself and make you feel guilty even though I didn't do anything. I suppose that is how they get away it. My daughter's friend will not talk to me. I have tried to contact her, have written her a letter with encouragement, offered her to stay at my house and I also bought her Dr. Patti's book. She called and left me a voice mail that said I am ruining her life and leave her alone and once again it is crazy that I am left feeling guilty. I don't want to her hurt her anymore than she already has been but I know that he won't stop unless someone makes him! I am going to do the right thing and tell the school. I will let you guys know what happened and I can't tell you how much your words have encouraged me. god bless

Erika said...

She will be mad... That the only reaction that can come out at first. Her tears are behind that anger and will come out. You are not ruining her life, you are helping it.. more saving it. Be confident in your decision to tell the school, as that is the right thing to do. She can be mad at you because she trusts you. and down the road she may need more than ever before. Be waiting with open arms.

Also, if you still have the voicemail from her.. DO NOT DELTE IT.. I repeat.. DON'T delete it.. If someone were to question or say anything you have a message from her.. KEEP IT.

We will always be here for you, and her, if she decides to reach out.

Please know you are doing the right thing. Do not feel obligated to tell us how it goes, though I do know we will be thinking of you!

Stay strong, you are doing the right thing.

Priscilla said...

I'm so glad Erika was able to weigh in on this right away. She & Dr. Patti have said it all, but I just want to reiterate: you are not hurting her by telling. The ONLY person responsible for hurting her is her abuser.

I was abused by my older brother for years, and I no longer speak to my family because of the abuse and how they chose to (not) handle it. But when I was 14, if anyone had tried to ask me what was going on or tell someone that something was wrong, I would have sworn up and down that I loved my brother & my family & they loved me & everything was fine. It wasn't true, not by a long shot, but I had convinced myself of it, because the abuse was too much to deal with. Abusers are brain-washers, and sometimes survival means trying to normalize the abuse, but that does NOT mean your daughter's friend will be better off pretending everything's fine.

I'm a high school teacher now, and I have to see students' home lives be dealt with in school fairly often. Erika's absolutely right when she says that your daughter's friend will be angry. She'll be very angry. She probably won't talk to you for awhile, and she may distance herself from your daughter. None of that is as important as reporting the abuse. I can tell just by reading your posts that you're a great mom and that you love and care about your daughter, so just be there for her and be honest with her throughout this process, because she will need you, too.

Your daughter's friend won't be angry forever, but remember that no matter who gets angry with you - this girl, her mother, the boyfriend, whoever - you are doing what is right; you are speaking up for someone whose voice has been taken away by people she should be able to trust; you are showing your daughter and her friend and the girls who read this blog and yourself that it is not ok when someone hurts us. Like Dr. Patti said, I'm so proud of you and your daughter.

If you feel up to keeping us posted, please do. But if not, you're in my thoughts & heart. Just remember that we're here!

Veronica said...

It is totally awesome of you to step in for this girl and try to help her-regardless of whether she will accept your help or not.
I think it probably varies from state to state but school personnel are mandated reporters, so legally they will have to contact DCFS or CPS (whatever it is for you!) and make a report.
Being completely outside of this situation and not personally experiencing any of this, my advice is to tell the school or make a report to DCFS yourself. She may be mad, things may get a lot worse for her, but her healing can't begin until her abuse stops. She doesn't know that now, but she will one day. Even though her life may seem to turn upside down after a disclosure is made, it's the beginning of her not being a victim anymore. It doesn't sound like this is something she can provide for herself (which we all understand), it sounds like she needs someone to step in and care about her and show her that what he is doing is not okay. I hope this helps. I will pray for you and for this sweet girl.

About "Invisible Girls"

United States
"Invisible Girls" tells the truth about sexual abuse as no other book has! Rather than me telling you how the book is touching girls around the world, I will tell you what they are saying! Now in 2009 we have our new and revised edition of "Invisible Girls" - we have added 100 pages, a chapter about prostituion as sex abuse, a chapter filled with emails recieved over the past 5 years- Please check out our 2nd edition! xo dr. p "Invisible Girls has saved my life. I was afraid that I was the only girl keeping these secrets, and when I read "Invisible Girls" I starting telling about my abuse, and suddenly I knew I could be alright"- Sue 18 years old "Invisible Girls" is short of a miracle- I read it whenever I feel alone. It helps me to deal and grow and go on."- Tamar 17 years old "Until I read "Invisible Girls" I was afraid to tell what happened to me. Now my mum is supportive and I know I can heal" Britney 14 years old