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Sexually assaulted daughter

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Sexually assaulted daughter

We recently found out that our daughter was sexually assaulted around 1 year ago when she was 14. We have taken her to the police and she made a video statement but has now lost all her friends at school. She is really struggling and hasnt wanted to leave the house. She has kept up with her sports (which he plays the same sport) but nobody talks to her at school. She came home today and said that people told her she should die. I don’t know what to say or how to help her. She has been to counselling but didn’t like it and my husband went to his parents and told him what happened but nothing seems to have changed for him. In fact he has gotten more friends from this situation. She was already shy to start with and I am terrified that she is going to harm herself. We live in a rural area and everyone knows everyone.
Any advice would be so much help.

Re: Sexually assaulted daughter

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Hey @Theformermissm 

Thank you for sharing your experience with us, I'm so sorry you and your family have had to go through all of this, what a horrible experience and so incredibly disappointing to hear about how this has been responded to by his family and people at school. It's truly disgusting that she has lost so many friends and he gained friendships, my heart goes out to your family, you do not deserve any of this. 

Would you feel comfortable to tell us a bit more about the response from the school? Are they aware of what happened and the bullying that is going on? The school has a responsibility to intervene when students are unsafe, do you feel they are responding?

In terms of supports for your daughter, do you think she might be interested in seeing a different counsellor/psychologist? There are also online/phone services she could try for 1 on 1 support including Kids Helpline and eheadspace that could be worth looking into if she might be more comfortable with that. Its such an awful feeling, worrying that your child might harm themself, its great you are wanting to get support for her and being proactive about her wellbeing - she is lucky to have you looking out for her. I'll also pop link just here from our website that contains a list of services for people who have experienced sexual assault, or are supporting someone who has, if you think more specific support might be helpful.

You could also let her know about our Youth Forums, these are for young people 14-25 and are moderated between 9am-11pm. They can be a great way for young people to connect with each other and talk about how they're feeling in a safe, supported and anonymous environment. 

Please let us know if there is anything you want to chat through or would like more information on, thinking of you and your family Heart


Parent/Carer Community Champion

Re: Sexually assaulted daughter

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Hey @Theformermissm ,

So sorry to hear about what happened to your daughter and the aftermath. While we don't live in a rural town, we're outside Sydney and live in a fishbowl where there are no secrets and people remember what happened when you were three and could still hold it against you at 20. 

I agree that talking to the school would be a good idea. In my experience, the teachers are very compassionate and they work hard to sort out complex situations like this everyday and in my experience do a great job. You get this pack mentality at school and kids can turn on someone very quickly and do a lot of damage. A girl "cheated" on one of my son's friends and that group of boys shunned the girl. I didn't know exactly what happened but I let a teacher know when we were talking about something else because I was concerned about her wellbeing. 

Who knows what the boy has been saying to people and I know from what I hear from my kids no one likes a "snitch". 

The response your daughter has had naturally concerns me as a woman because we want women to come forward and if they get ostracized and treated in this way by their peers, they're going to keep quiet. 

As an aside and as a mother of a 16 year old son and 14 year old daughter, I wonder if enough is being done to educate our young people about initiating and restraining physical contact and making sure signals are clear and either the guy or girl can put on the brakes and stop physical contact and get away. I haven't discussed this in much detail to my son, although I have talked about it with our daughter mainly because she's going to parties and has been undertaking risky behaviours. It's not a gender based decision as our son is mostly on his computer. I spoke to my Great Aunt who is in her 80s and she told me how she and her friends used to manage guys with "wandering hands" back in her day. They were pretty cluey. I was out of my depth as a young person and we didn't have the Internet back then for better or worse. There was just Dolly Doctor. 

In the meantime, it sounds like you're doing a great job encouraging your daughter and being there 200% for her. Have people in town reacted to you at all or said anything to you directly? 

Lastly, perhaps encouraging your daughter to find a new group of friends. I don't know how isolated you are where you live, but perhaps she could venture further afield at least for awhile to get a breather. It sounds pretty intense where she is at the moment and building up her confidence away from all these people with a fresh start might be a good thing.

I hope this helps and I hope you don't mind me extending this topic, but I thought it might help other people out there to address some of the broader issues. 

Best wishes,