Post # 1
My sister has been struggling with mental health issues since she was about 10 years old. My family and I didn’t really know how badly her issues were until a series of episodes that started while she was in HS. She is now an adult and recently confessed to me that she was raped as a child. A few weeks prior to this my mother and I were talking and my mother asked me if I remember anything happening to my sister as a child that would contribute to her mental health challenges. At that point I didn’t know anything and I said no. When my sister confessed this to me of course I was in shock and wanted to know all the details but I didn’t ask her too much because I didn’t want to pressure her into telling me. She told me that it wasn’t a family member and that she doesn’t know who did it but that she was 10 years old when it happened. She told me not to tell our parents.
Since I learned this my mother has mentioned a few thing to me suggesting that she suspects something of this nature happened to my sister. She told me that we had a neighbor growing up who was a registered sex offender, among other things that really legitimatize my sister’s claims-not that I doubt her in any way or think she’s lying. It all makes sense now.
Last week I was having lunch with my mom and she asked me straight forwardly if I knew anything about my sister. I told her that she should ask my sister. She told me that she has asked her and that my sister told her nothing. My mom told me that she can tell I’m holding something back-not knowing what to do and not wanting to lie I told her that I do know something but that my sister has asked me not to tell anyone and I don’t want to betray that trust.
Legally speaking, I don’t know if there is anything that could be done. This happened over 10 years ago.
I told my mother I would think about it because I don’t know if it’s my place to share this information with her. I’m sharing this anonymously on the internet because I have no one else to turn to. I don’t know what I should do. I have tried to suggest to my sister to share this with her psychiatrist but she doesn’t want to. I have not told my sister about what I recently found out about our sex offender neighbor and I’m not sure that at this point that would be helpful to her.
If my mother knows the only thing she will be able to provide is love and support and sympathy to my sister. She is an adult and we can not force her to share this with her doctors.
I don’t want to betray my sister by telling my mother and I don’t know what good it would do if my mother knew.
I need advice bees.
Post # 3
@Kimber_bee: I would encourage your sister to talk to your mom. Do not go behind her back and do it. She trusted you.
And I’m very sorry to hear that happened to her 🙁
Post # 4
Don’t go to your mom yet, but you can persuahere our sister to tell your mom. And if she hasn’t gotten professional help to deal with these issues, definitely urge Her to do that.
If you fear your sister is a danger to herself, then getting her help is NOT betraying her trust.
Post # 5
I would encourage your sister to tell, but I wouldn’t betray her confidence.
Let me add that legally this probably can be pursued. Certainly in Australia or the UK it could be. In the UK at the moment, a prominent person (Rolf Harris) is being charged for events which allegedly happened in the 1980s.
Post # 6
That’s really unfortunate and I’m sorry to hear it. I can’t imagine what that has meant for her in life, particularly emotionally.
I think you should tell your sister about your conversation’s with your mom. tell her about the sex offender, tell her your mom is suspicious that something happened. But please, DO NOT, go behind your sister’s back and share her secret.
Post # 7
- Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY
@Kimber_bee: I would encourage sis to talk to your mom. I think she needs to in order to properly heal.
One question…How does yuor sister not know who he rapist was?!
Post # 8
@Kimber_bee: Do not betray her trust. As someone who had a similar life (sexual assault at a young age, subsequent mental illness, etc), I’d be horrified if anyone had told my parents. I definitely would have cut off contact with them. I think it’s a terrible thing to betray someone’s trust, especially something that happened years ago. It’s not as though she’s being abused NOW and by telling someone you can change things. All you’d do is satisfy someone else’s curiosity. It doesn’t help her at all.
Post # 9
It’s not your secret to share, but I would encourage your sister to tell your Mother, just because she might have more information that could help your sister heal.
Post # 10
I wouldn’t tell her unless your sister gives you the go ahead. This is her issue and if she wants it to remain private then it should.
I’m not sure what the statute of limitations is (if there is one) on something like that. With what recently went down with Penn State I feel like maybe there isn’t one if it happened when the victim was a child.
Do you think your sister might really know who it is and is afraid to say anything? If this happened as a child who knows what he could have said to her, “don’t tell anyone or I’ll hurt your family” etc etc. Yes she is an adult now, but if she was so traumatized by what happened she could still be hindered by any threats the man may have made.
Post # 11
I sent you a private message. Take care.
Post # 12
@Kimber_bee: I wouldn’t say anything to your mum. I know you feel like you should do something to help her, but the best thing is to keep that trust between you. She came to you in confidence and she doesn’t need the one person she trusts the most to turn their back on her. Maybe let your sister know that your mum has been asking you and suspects that you’re keeping something from her (your mum), and see what she wants to do, if anything.
Post # 13
Please don’t tell your mom behind your sister’s back. I just recently went through a very similar experience where my aunt betrayed my confidence, and that’s not something anyone should experience let alone a survivor coming to grips with things. I think you should tell your sister that your mother is concerned and encourage her (sister) to open up to your mom ONLY IF she is comfortable doing so. Otherwise, stand by her decision and keep it to yourself. If you sister is not ready to talk about it, I would counsel your mother to let your sister deal with it in her own way.
Post # 14
@lealorali: he was a stranger and she was a little girl. She may have not even seen his face. I don’t know, she didn’t share the details.
Post # 15
@Kimber_bee: One thing I learned in domestic violence training that I think might work here is that you telling her secret or forcing her to do someting revictimizies here. Rape, like domestic violence, takes away the person’s power over their body and situation. Whatever decision she makes helps her learn to regain control in life.
Tell her your mother is concern, suspects something is wrong, and that you will honor her wishes to keep her secret.