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  • J.L. Whitehead

The third abuser

Updated: Dec 29, 2021

There’s a story connected to my last abuser that I wanted to share with you. He was what I would consider to be the worst offender of the three because his actions culminated in outright rape. He would meet me after school every day and walk me to the subway. It was in doing this that he maintained and cultivated my friendship and trust.


Having someone waiting for me after school made me feel special…and he knew it. He knew that I had the kind of personality that warranted protecting. I knew that if I was with him, I was safe.


In retrospect, safety was an issue for me. The memory of being targeted by boys older and bigger than me had always been an issue. My latest abuser took those fears and tossed them into the trash can.


Pay attention to your child if they come home showing signs of being accosted by someone in the street. This is not your normal street fight. A regular street fight is to parties that are equal in size and strength. Being bullied is not normal and may require your intervention because a bully is most times a person that is larger than your child.


The hardest part of being a parent is knowing when to intercede on your child’s behalf. You may not feel you have the time to take the appropriate action, but this is part of being a parent. Part of your responsibility to your child is to keep them safe…in school and out.

What happened with my last assailant is that he met me at school after a day trip with my classmates. It was a great day, and I was tired after the days festivities. He had proposed that I could get home quicker if he called a cab for me. He said that I could go back to his house and wait for the cab to come. It would take me home and I could make it by the time the streetlights came on. It wasn’t until later that night that my last assailant decided that it was time to take advantage of me…and he did.


I woke up the next morning in a panic. I woke up realizing that not only did I not make it home before the streetlights came on, I never made it home at all. I had never been out all night long without my mother’s permission. My heartbeat like a slow bass drum inside of my chest as I road the train and bus home. When I arrived, I was met with anger and nothing that I could have said could have made the situation any better.


My parents dealt punishment quickly and severely. No one asked where I was or who I was with. Knowing who I was and the fear that I was in, I would have lied about the whole matter which would have made it worst.


For parents, if your child uncharacteristically stays out all night, that should be a red flag to you. This is when you must temper your anger and find out where they were and who they were with. If they tell you who they were with, you may have to follow up with the police because it is possible that the crime of statutory rape may have been committed.


Look, I know that this isn’t easy. It takes a brave person to be able to identify their abuser to a trusted family member.


I don’t know if I would have been that brave when I was thirteen.


Please see the resources listed at the bottom of this op-ed.


~ J.L Whitehead



NSPCC:

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-is-child-abuse/types-of-abuse/child-sexual-exploitation/

RAINN:

https://rainn.org/about-national-sexual-assault-telephone-hotline?_ga=2.240221962.861000743.1640361097-1532355136.1536776325

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