Community Success Stories “Terrified that something was going to happen to her mother, the child never told a soul…”

MS was referred to SAHC by a Child Advocacy Center. She is the mother of a child victim of sexual abuse and the CAC encouraged MS to seek services for herself while moving through the process of healing with her daughter.

Her daughter is a victim of sexual abuse by her step-father. The child was sexually abused for years by him but never reported it. He would make threats about killing her mother and convinced her that she took part in the activities and would be in trouble if anyone ever found out. Terrified that something was going to happen to her mother, the child never told a soul until their divorce was final. Once the child felt safer with distance between her family and him, she told her teacher. The step-father disappeared from the community. Her mother was told about this through the school and it was reported to CPS and Law Enforcement. The child went to the CAC to obtain a forensic interview where the investigating officer told her that “something might have happened, but there isn’t enough evidence to go forward with an investigation.” After hearing this, MS and her daughter were devastated. Her daughter started seeing a therapist which she didn’t like and her mother saw a SAHC Advocate bi­monthly. The child continued down a path of destruction and ended up suicidal and in a residential crisis treatment center. The child also started becoming involved with boys through social media sharing nude photos.

MS continued to seek help through SAHC and the advocate would provide options to her in regards to her self-care, parenting, and how to help her daughter heal. MS felt that the therapist her daughter was seeing was not helpful and the SAHC advocate recommended supportive counseling with SAHC’s child advocate. During the transition, the daughter seemed to connect with the advocate much better and started to work on her healing journey. MS’s advocate helped her file the victim’s compensation fund and other applications to help her and her daughter.

Over a year later, MS and her daughter still came to SAHC for supportive counseling and started to get the feeling that the criminal justice system was not going to ever investigate the case further. Finally, there was a· shift in investigators and another law enforcement agency caught the step-father for a different crime. This investigator obtained the offender, charged him with sexual abuse by a custodian and placed him in jail. They gave him a polygraph test which he failed and then confessed to the crime s in which the child originally reported.

He currently is spending time in jail while he waits for his trial. The child has spoken to the investigator after a year to share her story. She feels a sense of safety now that he is in jail and hopes that he will “go away” for many years. The child still seeks supportive counseling through SAHC. MS is still going to supportive counseling with SAHC’s advocate as well. SAHC’s advocates will continue to attend any relevant proceedings alongside of the family.


-Sexual Assault Help Center