No rug to hide under
Argus Managing Editor
Below is a portion of an email I received last week and my response. Rest assured, it is legitimate and deals with a topic most people would prefer to keep under the rug. It is only through education, publication and support that we, as a society, can address this heinous issue. The names in this letter have been changed to protect the victim.
We are writing to you today with a whole hearted plea for your support through prayer.
In the last week of June of 2010, we discovered that our beautiful daughter had been sexually assaulted. The alleged assailant, when initially investigated, apologized for his wrong doings. Eighteen months later, with an attorney at his side, he plead “not guilty.” This means that Sabrina will be testifying before a jury on July 24 and 25.
Sabrina is 15-years-old.
We believe everything our daughter has testified to during police investigations and a preliminary hearing. We believe that she kept this a secret to protect her family unit. We believe that her assailant lead her to feel ashamed and threatened for her well being. We believe that until there was distance between her and the assailant she did not feel safe telling anyone, including her mother.
In the last two years since the discovery of this horrible crime, we have seen our daughter bloom. She has been released of the sole burden of her secret. We are daily seeing leaps of recovery, forgiveness and strength in her that we will never begin to comprehend.
We are asking the people who helped to positively shape this beautiful young woman to support her in prayer.
My letter to the victim:
I know you have some pretty big things coming up here in July. Sometimes it’s hard for adults to know what to say to a young lady who is demonstrating such courage. I want you to know I have always loved you, and I pray for you and think of you all the time. You’re an amazing person. Life is hard, and most children are protected from that a bit longer than you were. But, as you see and the rest of the world sees, your star is just as bright – if not brighter – than any other star in the sky. Shine on, Sabrina, shine on!
If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault seek the assistance of the police or call Bluff Country Family Resources 24-hour, toll-free crisis line at 1-866-367-4297.