I wish people really realized the effects of child rape! Absolutely life-altering for the child - and if you think life just bounces back to normal for the victim let me tell you behind the smile they try to show on the exterior - inside is confusion, self-blame, anger, and despair . . . a darkness no parent wants to see. To add to the victim's hopelessness, creating doubt they CAN make it through the experience, we live in a society where teens think it acceptable to further torment a victim as if they somehow deserved being raped by adults. Bullying is traumatic enough without having to suffer being bullied after such a traumatic event.
If you think rape only affects the victim . . . let me let you in on something. Rape affects every facet of the family core - the victim suffers emotional and psychological trauma, fear, lack of trust, and potential self-harm, just to name a few. As parents it is our instinct to protect. Attempting to keep the family core stabilized in the aftermath of crime is made more difficult by magnified external pressures and speaking as a single parent we don't have the resources or buffer that allows us one bit of wiggle room. We are forced to focus on maintaining stability and a safe place to come home to because bills don't allow you a leave of absence to deal with trauma - but if you can't focus on the healing of the victim you may not have a child who will be coming home. I don't wish this experience on anyone.
To the State of Arizona, you bring tears to my eyes. You not only abandoned us when we needed crime victim relocation when I BEGGED that my child's life be protected from adult perpetrators who just so happen to be affiliated with a dangerous group on the FBI GANG list . . . and why? Because some well-paid employee of the state has FAILED to pass the resolution that sits on someone's desk that already INCLUDES crime victim relocation costs!
Now, you fail to help me as a single parent in the aftermath. Loss of work is also an impact of crime (especially in a single parent household). I can't afford to lose more work . . . but when your child is suffering, a parent doesn't have any choice but to take whatever time and effort necessary to save their child's life! Life doesn't simply go back to normal or I wouldn't be exhausted and up at 4:00AM. Bills could care less if you are on watch because the pain your child is experiencing is too much to bear.
You know what? I'm sure many crime victims would agree we wouldn't care if we had to pay the state back for crime victim benefits to maintain the basic stability we had before the crime so we don't risk losing our child's life to the sick predators who already tried to murder their soul! Yes I'm pissed!!
Kym L. Pasqualini
Nation's Missing Children Organization, Inc. & National Center for Missing Adults
Recipient of the 2005 Arizona Attorney General Award for Distinguished Service to Crime Victims and Leadership