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I am the father of three beautiful daughters and am having a very hard time dealing with the facts that I will now reveal. Some time in December my youngest Kelly was raped by a friend of a friend. She is only fourteen years old . She had been grounded for a month and was finally able to go out on a weekend (the story facts are still sketchy because she finds it hard to talk to me about it) she had been at girlfriend's house with a few other people her age and older teens. When the party broke up a boy seventeen said he would give her a ride home. They had all been drinking beer including Kelly. Sometime during the ride home he drove to a back road and raped my baby. I have such hate for this and him. My daughter refused to give up this fact because she had been drinking. My wife and I just learned of this within the last two weeks and are try to be as supportive as we can and since it happened so long ago there is no evidence. Kelly at first refused to give up this bastard's name but I have found out who he is and am having a hard time not hunting him down and hurting him badly. I need to know what are the steps I need to take to heal this wound in her soul (as I was a victim of sexual abuse as a child I know how long things like this affect you and how long it takes to heal). If you can help my baby and family to heal please let me know as I find it harder every day nothing is done. Thank you, Nick

Thanks for much for your note to FEMINIST.COM--and for listening to your daughter. The latter may sound odd, but because I receive many notes from "daughters" who have been raped I know that often times they live in shame without wanting to tell their parents or feeling like they can tell them in the first place. So I sense that your family is already a few steps ahead in the healing/recovering process.

As for what to do. First and foremost your daughter needs to decide what she wants to do. Does she want to report it? Does she want to confront him? Does she want to keep it within the family only? Any repercussions are going to go in her direction, so she needs to be the one making the decision. If she decides to report it, she should go to the police station and report it. This is likely to cause her pain--but hopefully eventually some comfort. Pain, because, unfortunately, she is wrongly going to feel quilty and embarassed--though she has absolutely no reason to. Comfort, because she will not let him get away with this, not let him endanger other people, and because I'm a firm believer in the fact that in order to heal from pain in our life, we have to first confront the pain and acknowledge it. The next step is to decide what she personally is going to do. Given my last point, some of the healing may come from what she decides to do.

However, she should also have an outlet to talk to someone, most likely professionally, about this. I have seen too many people who never have this outlet and suffer--internally and including not being able to be sexually involved with anyone. (To help with the above you should see our directory of women's services. As her parents, I think the best thing you can do is listen to her and help her decide what she needs to do. Also, I don't know if she knows that you are a victim of sexual abuse, but sometimes sharing this will help lessen the stigma she is feeling.

I hope that helps and mostly I hope she is okay. Please feel free to write back if you want me to clarify any of the above.


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