To those who have been faithful readers, you know I've been going through "something" and there are others who know exactly what. It's been a very emotionally draining past few years because we've been dealing with something very delicate...not in our family per se...but with a child from another. This child, who isn't a little child anymore, has become as close to me as one of my own children and has been around our house almost as much.
We have always raised our children to be that one person in the room to extend themselves to others in kindness and to be a voice for others when they have none. More than once my daughter has been the child, sometimes the only child, to tell others to back off when someone is being bullied or picked on. She lives by the motto "A strong person speaks up for himself, but an even stronger one stands up for others." She would tell you it's just a case of right and wrong plain and simple.
My daughter is a very warm, loving person and she attracts some wonderful friends...we really enjoy her friends very much and love having them in our home. Not quite 3 years ago, one of her dear friends let it slip that there was something going on at her house that wasn't right.....it was a brief exchange between my daughter and her friend that only lasted a few moments and then the subject was changed.
My daughter came to me the next day....told me about the exchange...I was stunned to my very core. She knew her friend needed help and to make a long story short....the next opportunity I had I spoke to the child in question and she confirmed our fears....she had endured 11 years of abuse at the hands of her stepfather, starting since the age of 6. I won't go into the details of the abuse...we're all grown-ups here and I know none of you are stupid. The worst part is ladies...the mother knew about it. Not once but twice she went to her mother for help....and got none.
With my support, my daughter reported what she knew, against her friends wishes, because she loved this friend with everything she had and she didn't care if it would end up costing her their friendship...she just wanted to do the right thing.
I am going to skip a huge chunk of info here...I was on the witness stand on my Birthday....a Birthday is just a day afterall....my daughter fared very well....she proved herself to be a very strong young lady. Her friend had to endure 3 days of testimony..which was so difficult for her I know. The trial was unusually long for a trial of this nature, I was told.
I found out there had never been a case where so many family members knew about it and did nothing. Can you imagine that? It took an outsider to bring this ugly truth to light...makes me sick...and so sad.
We got the verdict by phone....guilty on 4 counts...imprisonment until sentencing in December.
I believe God puts people in your life for a reason. God put these two girls together so one could help the other. Through counseling-she has come to terms with what happened and has a new outlook on life...and is thriving...her mother is in complete denial and has abandoned her....I pity this woman.
I beg of you, if you ever think something isn't right..or hear that someone needs help-get involved. Make a difference. Listen to your children, they can teach you a lot.