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How Far Do You Go to Help?

 
 
Reply Sun 10 Jun, 2007 08:19 pm
I could really use some advice. I am rather at a loss about what to do for someone. Let me explain the situation and hopefully someone will have the right advice.

I have a young (24 year old) female friend. She is more like a daughter to me than anything. When she was nine and her brother was ten a young boy of seventeen began sexually molesting them. I am not going into any detail, as I feel that is not the issue of my question. This person repeatedly over the years would threaten to kill her family in front of her if she ever told anyone what happened. That fear is still deep within her.

It is still happening. She came to stay with me for about a month to get away from the situation and I honestly thought she had gained enough strength to go through with getting a restraining order against him, at the very least. She did have the papers filled out but is reluctant to carry through. It seems, and I say seems because I don't know her real intent, that she will do just enough to appear to be doing something about it so that those she is confiding in will not be upset at her. I don't know if I explained that right. I hope you understand what I mean.

She confides in me and one other woman. The other woman is at her wits' end with this. She is now angry that my friend won't go through with the restraining order. I can see her point because lsitening to the tales of the abuse is not easy to do. We both love her dearly and it hurts to even hear these things. The other lady may even be ceasing to talk about it because it hurts her to know our friend is hurt. Or it could be she's tired of hearing it, giving advice, and nothing is changing.

My question is this: how far do I go to help? I can't force her to press charges. I can't force her to do anything. But I also, in all good conscience, cannot just sit here and let her continaully relate this abuse because I am afraid of actually enabling that behavior.

If anyone has any suggestions, PLEASE, I could use them.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 1,784 • Replies: 34
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snood
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jun, 2007 08:32 pm
Can't you report the bastard to the authorities?
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Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jun, 2007 08:42 pm
That's part of my problem. The girl is 24 now. I only have her word for it. I have no firsthand knowledge of it. I was hoping maybe Debra Law might be able to advise on that part.

And, if she is not calling the police when he shows up, will they do anything? I know there has to be a solution here. Her fear of him killing her family seems to be as real now as it was when she was nine.

Good to see you snood!
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jun, 2007 08:46 pm
I don't know the answer - await comments from someone more knowledgeable.
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Ticomaya
 
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Reply Sun 10 Jun, 2007 08:53 pm
Hmm. Were I you, I would probably report the situation to the exploited and missing children's unit of the local police department, assuming there is such a unit. Otherwise, report to the sex crimes detectives division. They will probably contact your 24 year old friend to investigate the matter further. If you do, you should probably let her know what your plans are. She could be seeking your intervention, because she lacks the courage to do it herself. She has been a victim for 14 years, she may not have what it takes to rescue herself.

And good to see you, MA.
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Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jun, 2007 08:56 pm
- Call the police and ask them what to do.
- Call family services (or whatever you have there) and ask them what to do.
- Call legal aid (or whatever you have there) and ask them what to do.
- Call all the other support groups for rape and family problems and ask them what to do.
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Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jun, 2007 08:58 pm
Tico!

Thank you so much. I have been wanting to report the guy. I will have to find out his last name but I honestly believe she will tell me that. I agree, I will tell her I am going to do this. Oh, I did find out that in Missouri there is no statute of limitations on this crime, which she was kind of afraid of. I know that doesn't make a lot of sense but she does seem to understand that as a child she couldn't stop this but now that she is an adult she should be able to. You are probably right, she is looking for intervention.

Thank you so much! Always great to see you!
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Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jun, 2007 09:00 pm
Chumly wrote:
- Call the police and ask them what to do.
- Call family services (or whatever you have there) and ask them what to do.
- Call legal aid (or whatever you have there) and ask them what to do.
- Call all the other support groups for rape and family problems and ask them what to do.


Will do!

I guess, in a way, I was looking for "permission" to intervene. Not sure if that's a good thing (me looking for permission, I mean)

Good to see ya Chumly
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Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jun, 2007 09:01 pm
Just don't tell the victims or the perpetrators until you find out what you need to know.
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Montana
 
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Reply Sun 10 Jun, 2007 09:10 pm
What a terrible situation! You've already gotten some great advice and all I can say is good luck to you with helping your friend. she sure needs it.
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Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jun, 2007 09:38 pm
No worries there Chumly. I'm not going to jump into anything here. I know how serious this is. I won't tell her a thing until I can lay it all out for her. I realize I run the risk of her being angry but if it stops the abuse I can deal with the anger.

Montana! Great to see you as always! Still have that gorgeous smile I see!
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jun, 2007 09:45 pm
It's great to see you too Arella and thank you :-D

I can only imagine how hard this is for you to do and I hope everything turns out ok for this poor girl who obviously needs outside help. After all these years of abuse, I can't even imagine what she's living with inside herself.
I can only assume that even if she does get angry with you now, she'll thank you later.

This is such a good thing you're doing for her.
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Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jun, 2007 10:00 pm
Up until recently she would not accept it wasn't her fault. I explained how abusers always make the victim feel like it is their fault. It was compounded for her because her brother's life was threatened. She felt she did not protect her brother because he was abused too. I told her that she obviously kept him alive (according to what the abuser was threatening) and that seemed to help her somewhat.

Montana, I've never had kids but this girl couldn't be more my daughter if I had given birth to her. It is hard to listen to but I know she needs someone to tell these things to. She's carried this for so long by herself. This abuser is a family friend and she has tried to tell her mother about this but she refuses to listen. Her brother flat out will not discuss this with anyone.

That is why I'm trying to be so cautious about what I do do concerning this. There are so many lives involved here.
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OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jun, 2007 10:51 pm
I don't know about your State; but in Wisconsin; the State presses all charges once the D.A. is convinced there is a case. It wouldn't matter if she wanted charges pressed or not; unless she perjured herself to protect him. The State would compel her to testify, and the monster would be removed from society before he hurts someone else.

If the police can't or won't do anything without her cooperation in your State; consider calling the local television stations. Get the word out on this pr*ck and force him to live under a microscope, so the next time he steps out of line he gets slammed. Unless he's a total psycho; once he knows he can't get away with anything else; he probably won't try.

Once it's on record that she has good reason to fear him; I would think she should feel free to put a bullet in his head the next time he shows up uninvited. Tico?
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jun, 2007 11:26 pm
(((((Arella)))))

She is so lucky to have you!
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snood
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jun, 2007 03:45 am
OCCOM BILL wrote:
I don't know about your State; but in Wisconsin; the State presses all charges once the D.A. is convinced there is a case. It wouldn't matter if she wanted charges pressed or not; unless she perjured herself to protect him. The State would compel her to testify, and the monster would be removed from society before he hurts someone else.

If the police can't or won't do anything without her cooperation in your State; consider calling the local television stations. Get the word out on this pr*ck and force him to live under a microscope, so the next time he steps out of line he gets slammed. Unless he's a total psycho; once he knows he can't get away with anything else; he probably won't try.

Once it's on record that she has good reason to fear him; I would think she should feel free to put a bullet in his head the next time he shows up uninvited. Tico?


What the f*ck is up with you and your wanting to off people like you're in the wild west or something? Isn't that why we have laws and stuff like that?
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Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jun, 2007 08:15 am
Certainly report the crime to the police, and they will investigate. If they can build a case, they will take it to the DA for prosecution. If the case is strong enough, the DA will act to get an indictment and try the case. That may put the criminal in jail, but that isn't a certainty. There may not be enough evidence for an arrest, the DA may decide not to prosecute or will accept a plea bargain. If the case does come to trial, your friend will have to testify and the jury may not convict. This is about the criminal and his offenses against the People of the State.

Probably more important to your friend is to seek professional treatment. She's carrying around a heap of guilt, shame, and probably reluctance to enter into relationships. These feelings won't probably go away even if the SOB is convicted. Apparently the criminal continues to coerce sex from your friend, and that too is a crime. However, the real problem it seems to me, is that the victim continues to let it happen. What would happen if your friend said "no more" and stuck to her guns? Would that result in a more physical coercion? With treatment, she may be able to find the inner strength to put an end to the exploitation. The important thing for your friend is to overcome the terrible effects of this predator's crimes, and be able to resume a more or less normal life.

BTW, restraining orders are generally only effective for law abiding citizens. Dedicated bad people find ways of violating them that are difficult to prove. If someone is determined to harm you, they will do it and damn the consequences. Police agencies seldom have the manpower to really enforce restraining orders.
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Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jun, 2007 09:49 am
Asherman,

You touched on a part of this that does bother me and the other lady she confides in. Yes, in a way, she is letting this happen because she hasn't done anything. I can understand why but am having trouble reconciling it.

I found out this morning that this man was recently arrested for molesting his daughter! He is currently out on bond. Now, I am having trouble keeping my anger out of it because if my friend doesn't do something this guy is going to continue until he is stopped.

I am making phone calls as suggested and making sure I have names and all the info I need to carry through.

I appreciate everyone's input so much. But I gotta tell ya Bill, though your anger is understandable, I wouldn't want the man to be hunted down and shot. The law will take care of it and if they don't his reputation will surely be shot and maybe he will move away. That, of course, would help my friend, but then he would only have a new hunting ground.
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OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jun, 2007 10:24 am
Arella Mae wrote:
I found out this morning that this man was recently arrested for molesting his daughter!
Sad This is the predictable spreading of this piece of sh!t's disease and the reason for both my anger and avocation of permanent solutions. This makes it even more imperative that you go to the authorities with what you know. The two cases will strengthen each other and make it even more likely he will be removed from society¬Ö hopefully to have some old fashion justice served after he begins his sentence.
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jun, 2007 11:00 am
I'm glad to hear that this man was already accused by someone else (not glad he did this to others, but you know what I mean). This will make things more believable in the eyes of the law and this will eventually get this guy thrown in the slammer, where he truly belongs.
Sounds like he has many victims and I'm thinking this must be some scary dude to have gotten away with it this long.
Either way, this scum bag needs to be put in jail so he can't hurt anyone else.

Since he's out on bond right now, it sounds like the best time to get the ball rolling.
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