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29 Jun 2005

Molestation - Should I tell?
Dear CS, the 14-year old daughter of my friend who passed away last week, told me last night that her late mother's brothers molested her 8 years ago. The one uncle touched her breasts on one occasions, but the other uncle touched her all over on a few occasions. This uncle also phoned her recently to have "phone sex" asking if she's naked and saying that he was masturbating. She put the phone down. She has never told anybody about this, but the same uncle was going to sleep over at their house last night and she was scared, asking me for advice. I told her to keep her bedroom door locked and she promised me that if he tried anything again, she will tell her dad immediately. She doesn't want to tell her dad about the incidents of years ago, for fear of the family breaking up.

I made a promise to this girl not to tell anybody, but am not sure how to handle it. One part of me feels obliged to keep my promise to her, thinking it happened many years ago, just let it go. But another part of me feels this child needs some kind of counselling and that it's my duty to inform her father. There was an incident where she behaved promiscuously with one of the family's friends' son (he asked her to perform oral sex on him, which she did, he said they love each other so she should), she told her mother (on my daughter's insistence) long afterwards, and the ties were broken with these friends. My other concern is maybe this incident with her uncle caused her to act this way with this boy, and that she might continue on this path, becoming "easy" and getting herself into real trouble, especially with her mom not being around anymore. Please tell me what to do?
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Your first decision was right --- that she should have locked her bedroom door, and promise to tell her parents if any of those uncles EVER try anything with her again. Indeed, maybe she should speak to the creepy phone-sex one, and tell him that --- ANY further attempts and she tells parents and police. The incident of her being sexually precocious with the other boy could indeed be related to her earlier experiences of being molested by the uncles. One of the lies molesters try to teach their victims is that love is sex and sex is love, so "if you love me you'll have sex with me" and they need to know that this is not so. Another of the lies is to suggest to them that if they tell thei parents all hell witll break loose and the family will collapse in ruins and it will all be her fault. The usual result is not such a disaster, and it is NEVEr her fault, only the fault of the molesters.
Probably your best approach will be to keep contact with her, and gradually encourage her to tell her father.
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