You tell me you believe me…
But no actions have been taken that show me you do…
Don’t feel bad though, for it is not your crime.
It was his crime… This is my truth.
I was me, I sang with the birds.
I was everything I could imagine:
A ninja, a president, a fierce amazon warrior.
I could slay any dragon.
But the dream I held onto
Was a life lived with no scars.
I used to think I could just reach up,
And rearrange the stars…
Then disaster would strike-
I wouldn’t believe it myself,
If it weren’t fact.
The stars engraved in my eyes,
Shined no more.
I was a lone soldier,
In a silent war.
I don’t know why…
But my dad wanted my stars for his own satisfaction.
So, he would take them,
Not an ounce of compassion-
As if it were nothing,
That he had just brutally raped my 6 year old body.
I would wake up the next morning,
My memory foggy.
I would look in the mirror,
And not believe what I saw.
There was a little girl in front of me,
That I didn’t recognize at all.
She looked just like me…
Her hands, hair, and smile were mine.
But her eyes,
There were no stars that shined.
Her eyes scared me.
Colors of blue, cold as ice.
I wouldn’t be surprised to find out,
The rest of her was as frozen as her eyes.
Only, I was alive.
Lungs barely breathing, heart barely beating.
It was like I was asleep.
My will to live retreating.
My dad told me it was normal.
That all daddies play with their little girls the way he did.
It didn’t feel normal… It hurt.
But what did I know? I was a kid.
And kids trust their daddies.
So, I trusted mine.
I kept letting him play his game.
It didn’t feel fine.
I got mad at myself,
When I felt like objecting.
It clearly made him happy,
And it was what he came into my bedroom, expecting.
After noticing the trauma, without knowing the cause,
My mother bravely got a divorce.
Out of endless pain, and emotional abuse,
A No-Contact order was enforced…
I was 15 in high school when the memories came,
And so did annual meetings with school counselors.
She was very interested in my father,
And in what used to happen under the covers.
She asked the exact right question,
And a floodgate opened in my brain.
All of a sudden I realized his “playing” was rape.
I told her about all the pain.
A few days later,
I went to a Child Advocacy Center.
I didn’t know what to expect
Before I saw the comfy room I entered.
After waiting, I followed a long hallway-
It felt like a walk of shame.
I’m sure that this was not their aim,
But it was dreadful all the same.
In the mirrored interview room,
They told me they were videotaping my reporting.
What I didn’t know was that my father,
Would get a copy of this recording… and my home address…
Afterwards, the interviewer came to talk to me.
She said the way we “played” wasn’t normal.
I started to cry, I knew it wasn’t right.
But couldn’t stand calling my dad immoral.
They put paint on my hand,
And I put my handprint on the wall.
This whole scenario seemed bizarre,
I didn’t like it at all.
They said “You put your handprint here to show that you got your voice back”.
It sounded rehearsed.
Back then, I thought getting my voice back,
Meant getting justice first.
Soon, I learned my case wasn’t a case at all.
They said there wasn’t enough evidence to believe me…
What evidence did they need? I was there, I was hurt.
My last chances at justice were fleeting.
After months of counseling
I still didn’t want to talk.
No matter how much they tried to convince me otherwise,
I still believed my pain was my fault.
One day I was told they sent a letter to my father,
Stating I was accusing him of rape and sexual assault.
They gave him a chance to disagree- he disagreed.
My journey to justice came screeching to a halt.
I knew I was not lying,
So I agreed to go to the hearing.
But I learned some facts.
It wasn’t as safe as it was appearing.
The room would be small,
My dad would’ve been close enough to touch me.
No security would’ve been on guard,
There was no guaranteed safety.
The administrative judge would be over phone,
He wouldn’t even see how my father was acting.
He wouldn’t see if my dad hurt me again,
My word against his is, not very impacting… I’ve learned.
I was hurt…
Now they expected me to do this?
When everything has shown me,
Honesty is dismissed.
All that this traumatizing hearing would prove,
Is that I am not a liar.
I knew I was not one, so I chose not to go.
We didn’t get the outcome we desired.
The judge decided I was lying,
That my accusations had been misguided.
The judge decided my father was a good, innocent man.
The judge decided.
I started thinking I was the liar,
Because I believed what the judge said.
I was the terrible person.
I hated myself instead.
I would tell myself, NO MORE LIES.
Everyday was a struggle.
I hated the girl I had become,
One who enjoys getting people in trouble.
Weeks of my counselor telling me I wasn’t a liar,
And I finally believed her.
Yet somehow, records say I was never hurt…
This whole process has been a blur.
I was raped, I told.
I was interviewed and believed.
Then I was told I was a liar,
Zero progress has been achieved.
Now tell me…
Why would I lie?
Why would I put myself through this tiring process,
Please, tell me why.
I know, I know.
You need evidence to believe me.
I am truly sorry I could not deliver that to you,
But you see…
I have a rather horrifically,
In my opinion,
We need more education.
1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys
Is a victim of child sexual abuse.
80% of these abusers were parents,
And only 4-8% of all child sexual abuse criminals were wrongfully accused.
Only about a fourth of all reports
Even get an arrest.
These are definitely statistics
We need to protest.
Another fact is that abusers are smart.
They know how to get away with their crimes.
They know how to fool those around them.
Criminals know how to commit crimes.
For there to be
Enough evidence to prosecute my case,
My father, my abuser,
Should have left a trace.
He should not have twisted his words to make me believe it was normal.
My abuser should have told me what he was doing was wrong.
My abuser should have been easy to get away from.
My abuser should not have been so strong.
My abuser should have raped me in front of witnesses.
My abuser should not have done it in the dark.
My abuser should have thought less.
My abuser should not have been so careful and instead, left a mark.
My abuser should not have charmed other adults,
And manipulated them into taking his side instead of mine.
My abuser should have confessed. But he didn’t.
Because criminals know how to commit crimes.
My name is Sarah Wilde.
I am 18 years old.
My soul did not deserve to be crushed.
My heart did not deserve to be turned cold.
My body did not deserve to be penetrated.
My brain did not deserve to be manipulated.
My heart did not deserve to die…
Yet it did… All of it did…
I realized a few years ago that I had been raped and abused
Sexually and emotionally my whole childhood by my father……
I was one of the lucky ones.
As I no longer see my father.
Now, the CAC has been supportive,
And has believed me since day one.
But according to records, my father is an innocent man,
You may be thinking, “This is the way it is.
Nothing is going to change.”
You’re absolutely right, this is the way it is,
But it is NOT the way it must remain…
You may now be wondering,
“How can I make a change?”
You can start by listening and believing the survivor,
When they tell you their abuser’s name.
Just by believing,
You support a survivor’s journey.
You help themselves believe,
That they are worthy,
Of all things good in the world,
And of justice for their case.
You give them enough courage,
To face the healing that awaits.
I can tell you,
My healing would have been much less like hell,
If my abuser had been put behind bars,
So he could not hurt another child as well.
This is the way it is, but it is NOT the way it must remain…
If you believe the child,
You believe the truth.
Do not invalidate the feelings of kids,
But rather empower our youths.
You tell me you believe me,
But no actions have been taken that show me you do.
Don’t feel bad though, for it is not your crime,
It was his crime. So, what are you going to do?