Posted by: Ask Arden | October 11, 2009

Sexual Assault

About two months ago I received an e-mail from a 14 year old young lady about a segment I did for Parents.tv On Preparing Your Daughter For Her Period. After the 3rd e-mail she shared that she was raped one month ago by her Uncle, her mothers  brother while staying with her extended family in Jamaica. I was blown away and felt so sad for her. We spoke on the phone and she shared her harrowing experience. It was your worst nightmare that you could possibly have for your child, especially your daughter.

When she shared this with her Mom, back in the States, Mom put her head in the sand and did not want to respond or do anything about this.  So here we had this young teenager who was terribly unsupported by her Mom. Luckily for her she had and still has a BFF, age 15, who told her to go to a local gynecologist for treatment. She saved her underwear knowing that there was a DNA sample of her Uncles semen. I was so appreciative that this doctor had a record of the rape.

This intelligent,  sweet,  hurting,  angry teen became very attached to me, refered to me as “Auntie Arden,” and listened to my advice which was “No matter what,  your Uncle deserves to be prosecuted, held accountable for what he did to you and  put in jail. I said to her “You are doing this for yourself, for those that came before you and for those girls and teens that he would be bound to rape in the future.

She connected to her Auntie, her Moms sister, in Jamaica who obtained the report and she told her to go to the Police. Auntie did just that and before you knew it my little “angel” pointed him out in a line up and a few weeks later testified in Court.

Quite an amazing young lady. The road to recovery just begins for her! Her Mom has since come to terms with what happened, asked to be forgiven and has thanked me via her daughter.

This uncle will serve 27 years in jail! I remember saying to her “Never Again,” as she shared the great news that justice was served! 

When I was asked what would I like to talk about for a Health segment I would be doing for WGN TV Channel 9 in Chicago I felt I needed to tie my experience with this lovely teenager to reaching out and helping others. So talk about  there are no coincidences, there was an article in USA TODAY entitled, DNA is behind decline in rape reports. What a wonderful tie in.

On October 9th my segment focused on ” How  can we be more proactive and protective of our girls, teens and ourselves when it comes to sexual predators?

I spoke that as Moms we need to educate our daughters about safety and awareness  that  predators can be some one you know and trust. What an awful thing to share with your child but it’s a must! A favorite Uncle, Parent, sibling, cousin, friend could take advantage, especially if left alone in their care.

Queen Latifah, at the age of 5, was sexually molested by her male babysitter! After 20 years she shared this with her parents and the world.  Sharing your experience is the key to recovery and putting the perp hopefully behind bars.

A perp can be prosecuted now solely based on his or her DNA and there is no time limit. It could literally be well over 15 years later. The laws have changed, thank goodness.

Police are now more trusting, helpful and trained to believe the victim. There are now rape kits at hospitals and trained professionals to comfort you and hear your story.

So much heaviness  to share with our young children that it hurts my heart, but as women we need to be so aware, careful and proactive!

The statistics have gone down somewhat with reported rapes. I suppose  some of that has to do with prosecution and jail as a deterrent.

Still many females and males have not come forward to report that they have been raped. Why do you think that is so?

I will answer tomorrow. So sleep on it and share!

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Responses

  1. This is a very important topic to discuss. Girls must know that “trusted” family members and boyfriends can turn out to be sexual predators.

    Many grown women still carry the guilt and pain of sexual abuse because it was not reported and not resolved when they were young. We develop eating disorders and other diseases to cope with our perceived guilt and our fear around the situation. At the age of 50 I have finally released my trauma of things that happened many years ago. Let’s protect our girls and educate our parents. This violence must stop.

    • Liz I so appreciate your feedback. You are so spot on dear. We really do need to educate our daughters and help them to be both proactive and protective of themselves .

  2. Dear Liz,

    Thank you so much for your intelligent heart felt response. Please read my next posting in Sexual Assault, if you have not already.
    I am so very sorry that you had a traumatic experience, but knowing you, you have certainly pressed forward in a big way with your life.
    Being proactive as a Mom to educate and protect our daughters and children is a major step to their self empowerment.
    It’s hard when a teen looks at you like you got to be kidding. You and I know that they just don’t get it quite yet and we need not to be discouraged from impacting them with our knowledge from a loving place.

    Blessings dear.

  3. thank you auntie arden, its your angle

    • Hi sweet angel Anna Kay,

      So nice to hear from you today and that you read my postings on Sexual Assault.
      You will always be my bravest 14 year old who stood tall and strong and said in your actions and voice, NEVER AGAIN!
      I am and will always be so very proud of you.
      “Auntie Arden”

      • Anna Kay stood up to her Uncle to right a terrible wrong. She is an inspiration to all females.


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