Was this the right choice?

TW Sexual Assault

The baby is born and has been for a little bit. When I got the call my stomach sank and I was so scared. Due to covid protocols only the father was able to see her which also made me feel really sick (the baby’s father has sexually assaulted me many times if you want details read my other posts). I don’t think he has done anything to her but I don’t live with them so I wouldn’t know. The last time my aunt was over I gave her a note. In the note it basically told her that he will most likely do the same to her. I also mentioned things that he did to me and said that it very well could happen to her. At the end of the note I wrote that I would tell my other family members if she does not do anything about the situation. I wrote that I would wait a bit and hope that he isn’t sick enough to hurt a child. I told her that if the child were to get hurt that would be her fault. Was this wrong? She originally was supposed to come over to my house again this weekend but for some reason she isn’t coming because her friends don’t drive on the freeway or some lame excuse like that. Do you think she’s mad at me? Should I have not given the note? I am so scared she’s going to confront me and I don’t know what to do. I honestly cannot mentally handle in person or verbal confrontation in general. I honestly don’t even know if I can physically tell another family member. What if they don’t believe me? I’m just so scared. I just need to know what to do.

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I don’t know. This is a hard situation you are in. Sorry I don’t have anything to encourage you.

Hey @lemon,

First off: thank you so much for caring about this child the way you do. They don’t realize it yet, but you truly are a guardian angel to them. It breaks my heart that you had to go through the pain of being sexually assaulted. Yet in the present time, you have the strength to do the right thing and try to protect someone. It’s incredibly inspiring, courageous. You have all my respect for daring to step in and use your voice to serve something that is right.

Regarding your aunt, it’s very possible that she’s mad at you. However, I don’t think this should push you to question what motivates you to send this note at first. I’d have second thoughts as well, but, if you try to see things from her side, you can easily understand that this note might have been a shock to her, and she might need to be on her own to process. It’s violent to learn about someone’s awful behavior, someone we know and trust. And it’s also terrible to realize that the story might happen again, and we have a role to play in it.

At this point, she might confront you. Or she could also ignore you and stay in some kind of denial. Those are common ways to react in face of an intense discomfort and hurt. My own mom didn’t believe me the first time I reached out to her, as a kid, to explain with my own words that I was sexually abused by someone. Instead, she put the blame on me and accused me to lie. I wasn’t equipped to understand her reaction, and it has put me in a corner of shame, guilt, and silence.

I want to encourage you to keep in mind that NONE of this is your fault. You are NOT guilty of anything. This situation is not caused by you. It is the result of this man’s behavior and what he did to you. You, on your end, are only trying to figure out what is the right thing to do in a very complex situation. Using your voice is an incredible power and strength that you own. For this kid. For you. It is never a mistake to share about a personal trauma, and it’s never a mistake to share about genuine concerns for someone’s safety, especially someone who is vulnerable because of their age or situation.

Through all of this, you need to protect yourself as well and preserve your own emotional safety. Not only the situation brings a lot of stress, but this is also about some deep wounds that you’ve suffered too. You too have a heart to take care of. It’s okay to be scared and anxious. I mean, it absolutely makes sense. Anytime I had to use my voice about this topic for one reason or another, I was so afraid of the outcomes, of being hated, left alone, accused to be a liar or to be seen diferently. Sexual assaults are a painful reality that most people are not ready to face. And unfortunately, survivors are more often than not the ones who have to raise their voice in order to do what is right, which is truly unfair.

The current circumstances are objectively heavy. But you are not alone, okay? You have us right here to encourage you, even if we are not physically there with you.

Is there anyone in your life who is aware of the situation? Someone you could rely one during this difficult time? Just to have a space to speak, share your heart, your fears, your concerns. If not, it might be good to consider seeing a counselor as well, if you’d be okay with it. Just to have a safe space that is yours entirely, and times to reflect on your option with the help of someone, on a regular basis.

You are not alone. You are doing the right thing. You’ll be okay and you are safe right now. If chaos there is, then it wouldn’t be the result of your actions. And we’ll keep reminding it to you as long as you need.

I’m rooting for you. :hrtlegolove:

Thank you for the kind words. I mean I understand her being upset and distraught but i’ve told her before. I told her in 2019 about the things her husband would do and she said she would help but ultimately did not do anything. She started to act if I told her nothing of importance and started to actually kind of indirectly make fun of me. I have told a close friend as she has been in some kind of the same situation but I’m not all comfortable with telling another person at the moment. I do talk to her about what I’m feeling about the situation although I do not really like opening up much. Everything you said really helped and most of it is what I’m feeling so thank you I really appreciate it.

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I’m so sorry that she reacted that way before. It’s already hard to gather the strength that is required to open up about this, and it can certainly feel like a second wound once someone behaves as if such conversation never happened. People are generally worried about the outcomes and don’t want to cause any trouble. But doing like nothing happened is not right, and truly unfair. You are the victim, and suddenly you become the scapegoat. I wish she would have reacted differently, and I hope with all my heart that this new note you’ve sent will find her at a time when she’ll actually be ready to face the reality of this situation.

Unfortunately, you can’t control her reaction. Though you can find some comfort in knowing that you’ve been doing what you can, on your end. Still there is the future of this child that questions and worries. I just want to encourage you, in a situation where it’s hard to get a sense of control, to really acknowledge what you’ve done, how courageous that is, and something you never had any obligation to do, but yet you did it. It displays such a strong and loving character. I respect you a lot.

I also totally understand the discomfort of opening up to someone else. I was only asking to know if you have someone “irl” at least to talk about it. All in all, you’re not alone. You definitely have friends right here and we’ll get through this together. :hrtlegolove: If that’s okay for you, let us know how it goes in times to come with your aunt/the situation itself.

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