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Author Topic: Desperately seeking resources, pregnancy resulting from rape
4guyzand3galz
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I am in desperate need of resources to effectively grab attention of those who may want to help my daughter and make others aware of her legal plight.
My daughter was 16 at the time and being treated with medication for depression. My husband's friend befriended her and at the time we thought his "concern" was genuine but in the end after everything came to surface my daughters pregnancy was a result of a gross misconduct on his part.
I am not really sure where to start because at the time we tried reporting this as rape when we found at only to find that in Maryland 16 is the age of legal consent and nothing was done and no one cared that this 36 year old man gave her alcohol and drugs..raped her, stalked her and threatened her with no help in sight. Rape was too hard to prove.
Now here we are 3 years later and the courts are granting him visitation with not so much as a home study.
I am so sad that no one cares about the facts. That the system will strip my daughter's son away and hand him to this monster that caused my daughter pain simply because she has no money for a good attorney.
She has been in counseling for two years trying to cope with what happened. She has been jailed for denying him visitation.
Can anyone please offer us support and guidance?
This is why so few women report these acts because they are scared and denied protection from the system that is there to protect yet fails.

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4guyzand3galz
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Right now I am working on writing a letter to the editor but must be so very careful of the angle in which to approach and wording...I thought protesting in front of the court house could be effective.
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Heather
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I'm so sorry to hear about what your daughter has been through, but so glad to hear she's got you in her corner.

Can you fill me in on what support/advocacy organizations you've already worked with or tired to get help from so I have an idea of where to start in terms of suggesting help?

Sadly, there are going to be limits per what can be done if she had a child with someone who does not yet have any kind of criminal record, including for the crime he committed against her, because of legal parental rights. But that certainly doesn't usually mean nothing can be done here. Let's see who we can perhaps get you connected with who may be able to help who you haven't connected with yet.

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4guyzand3galz
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I am so broken and angry. We thought this man would just go away and it has been nothing short of fear every single day.
We live in Allegany County, Maryland.
My daughter is just a shell of the person she once was. She receives counseling from Family Crisis and just last week I left message with an organization called Sally. Other than that, it's all we have.
My daughter did not do all the things that should have been done initially because of her state of mind and she is still very fragile emotionally and physically.

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4guyzand3galz
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We tried getting a protective order after he assaulted my husband during an attempt to take the child. Again, denied with even with photos and a police report.
The photos were actually take by a stranger in the neighborhood and my husband was aided by neighbors during the attack.
Its been one brick wall after the other.

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Heather
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Have you yet made any contact with any of your state or local victim's rights, women's rights or rape crisis advocacy organizations?

If not, do you mind sharing your zip code so I can help you find them and get you that contact information?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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4guyzand3galz
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Sally is the only one which I have not heard back from yet. The zip code for this area is 21502. There is not much here.
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Heather
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I'm sorry, I'm feeling confused.

I don't know who Sally is, and are you saying you have already contacted EVERY organization or group like that already, and heard back, except but from one?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Heather
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(Also, do you mean SALI?)

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4guyzand3galz
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Yes, you are correct. SALI
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Heather
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Okay. Let me go do some digging and I'll come back with a list of contacts for you.

I'll also add some advice of what to make sure to say/disclose when seeking help. Some, or even all, of what I suggest may be things you've tried or done already, but I figure it can't hurt to put that all out there, just in case.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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4guyzand3galz
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Please forgive me, I myself am exhausted and just spinning trying to find my voice. There was only one other organization as far as legal help and it was Allegany Family Law in which she waited too long to receive help from them.
No other organizations have been contacted. Other than Sheriffs Department and Allegany County Police.

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4guyzand3galz
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My sincerest thanks for simply taking the time. Any advice is appreciated. I'm going to picket the courthouse this week. It's the only thing I can think to do to ruffle feathers.
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Heather
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Okay.

By all means, keep up with SALI. If they haven't called you back in the last week, I'd say to keep trying again.

I'd also suggest going to your local YWCA, which is likely this one: http://www.ywcacarlisle.org/

If that's not the closest, you can use your yellow pages to find the branch that is. The Y often has a HOST of services for women, particularly around violence, and they are also often excellent at helping to find resources.

If she hasn't already connected with one of your state rape crisis centers, I would do that, too: http://www.mcasa.org/for-survivors/maryland-rape-crisis-and-recovery-centers-5/

This also looks like a good resource to try tapping, too:
Family Crisis Resource Center, Inc.
153 Baltimore Street, Floor 3
Cumberland, MD 21502
(301) 759-9244 (Hotline)

Your local legal aid organization would be another: http://www.mdlab.org/

When you talk -- or, ideally, she talks -- to any of these organizations, I'd make sure you make several things clear:

• This pregnancy/child was the result of a drug-facilitated assault. Even if this was not a statutory rape, drug-facilitated assault isn't lawful for people of any age.
• If she ever had any rape kits or toxicology done at all, I'd be sure and mention that.
• She was stalked by this person. This is another piece where anything you have to support that should be brought along and shared. I'd try again to file for an order of protection from this person, and I'd suggest you talk to any of these agencies about doing so. Between you, your husband, your neighbors, and her counselor, as well as her own words, I'd say she likely has more than enough witnesses and supporting evidence to do that by now.
• Whatever you can do to document, or collect documents for, the stonewalling that's happened here, I'd do that and bring all of that to anyone you talk to.

In the meantime, can I ask how YOU are doing? By all means, your daughter has been the victim here, with the harm most done to her, but it sounds like you've been working hard to support her and that can obviously take a toll. Are you also set up to get the care and support you need? How about how the rest of your family is doing?

--------------------
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Heather
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Oh, one more thing: I don't know what the context was around her pregnancy and the choices she made with it, but if there was any reproductive coercion involved in any of this -- with this man's refusal to use contraception, or any coercion to get her to choose to remain pregnancy if she did not want to be -- that's another legal issue here, and another thing that could work in her favor per her rights.

I'd actually, btw, try talking to your rape crisis organization before picketing the courthouse to get their opinion on that action.

I say that because you obviously want to make sure that anything you do is going to make it MORE likely the system serves your daughter, not less, and sometimes ruffling feathers like that can result in getting less help, not more. I can certainly get how angry you must be -- validly so! -- and how much you're probably trying to think of anything and everything you can do, for her, to express that anger, etc. But I'd just advise some caution to be as sure as you can that nothing you do only makes things tougher for all of you, especially for her.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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(By the way, no need to apologize to me for being tired or scattered. I completely understand. Of course you are.)

[ 02-03-2013, 04:22 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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4guyzand3galz
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This situation has been painful for me as it opened old wounds as a survivor of rape and repeated molestation myself. I feel like I failed my daughter as my job is to protect her and I was unable to do so.
I feel just as helpless as I did as a young girl. I should have been fierce and active from the beginning and was not. All I tried to do was get her through the pregnancy and have faith shame would make him disappear.
This feeling of helplessness, fear and isolation takes a grip.
Our entire family has been ripped up over this in so many way not even sure how to describe. All my husband and I do is fight to the point we chose trial separation after 22 years of marriage.
[Frown]
I am ready to be fierce, loud and voice heard.

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Heather
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Oh, I am so sorry to hear that. You're certainly not the first parent in a situation like this, not the first I have heard express the feelings that you are having as a survivor yourself.

Are you also getting counseling for yourself right now? If not, how about making the self-care time for that?

Personally, I am sure you didn't fail your daughter. After all, you weren't the one who assaulted her, and it sounds to me like you have been working very hard to try and support her and care for her now. It would be amazing if parents had the ability to keep their children from every having bad things happening to them, including the very worst of things, like abuse or assault, but unfortunately, that's just not possible.

In the event that you didn't step up as much as you could have right from the start? I'd see what you can't do to let go of any guilt around that. You're working hard NOW, you're doing all you can NOW. You're doing it: that's what matters. If there are any amends to be made with her around what you didn't do, but earnestly could have, I'm sure the two of you will be able to work that out in time.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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4guyzand3galz
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My daughter broke down 5 months ago and explained how he tied her to the bed for two days at some point. The relationship between the two was over the course of two months. All my daughter does is cries and can't talk about it.
There is a police report to collaborate this date as I reported her missing.
In hindsight there were so many red flags and I missed it.

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Heather
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We're just not always going to see them all, and unfortunately, sometimes being a survivor of abuse can mean being more blind to those, not less. Not your fault.

It's also okay that she can't talk about it just yet, or only can with her counselor. As I'm sure you know, it might take a long time for her, and she might need to be way further in her healing process before she can talk more about it, wants to, and before she grieves less.

(Btw, I assume you already did say something about him typing her to the bed for days in your reporting, but if not, I'd make sure to include that when she/you talk to help agencies about this, because that might fall under an additional crime, basically, kidnapping -- which can be about people of any age, not just children.)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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Hey there: just checking in on you today to see how you are and if I can do anything else for you.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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4guyzand3galz
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Good evening Heather,
I am going to contact SALI again tomorrow and my daughter has a custody hearing on Friday. My thoughts are consumed with my grandson's safety as they would have jailed her on Friday again for 60 days with no bond if she did not surrender her son.
[Frown]

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Heather
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Given the hearing coming up, if SALI hasn't gotten back to you, perhaps call back today and let them know this is a crisis with a court date at week's end? Maybe back that up with contact to one of the resources I listed for you up there?

I'm so sorry this is going on and that the justice system seems to keep getting you all stuck in parts of it where it's clear, there are gaps when it comes to serving who it's supposed to be serving well. [Frown]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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By the way, if you decide telling your story to a reporter might be something she and you would like to do, and that seems sound, let me know, and I'd be happy to email a few of my contacts to see if this is something they might want to cover.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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4guyzand3galz
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I spoke to a lady from SALI this evening, they have to speak to my daughter directly so my daughter is going to make contact with them tomorrow.
We are both willing to talk to a reporter and share her story if possible.
Our local paper was not interested, told me he would publish an editorial providing it was written carefully.

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Heather
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Okay, let me put out some feelers and I'll get back to you about that.

I'm really glad your daughter is going to be able to speak to that agency tomorrow: clearly, legal advocacy that is intended to serve victims is something she's very much in need of.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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I haven't heard back yet per media coverage, but was just thinking of you today. I hope the court date goes well for her.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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4guyzand3galz
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Hello Heather,

I wanted to stop in and thank you. Things did not go to well in court. He was granted visitation Sunday and Monday and Tuesday night for 4 months basically because the judge felt the "father" was denied. In the midst of appeal for various reasons.
My daughter is going to go forward with pressing charges and is already being harassed at pick up and drop offs. Overall it is a nightmare. My daughter is scared, her son is already acting out. It brings me to tears for so many reasons. This helplessness I feel.

I did post a letter to the editor as follows...
http://times-news.com/letters2/x2055654921/Law-should-protect-victims-of-rape-who-become-pregnant
I am hoping to create a network in our area. I am not sure how but it was a start.

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Heather
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I'm so tremendously sorry to hear that. I'm sure -- in case you're not -- that how it went certainly wasn't for you own lack of advocacy for her, since you have obviously been working so hard on that front.

I'm also sorry none of my colleagues larger publications bit at this one. [Frown]

How can I help?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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4guyzand3galz
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Advocating and educating feels like the proper path.
I need to educate myself.

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Heather
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Okay.

What do you feel like you need education about?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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