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My daughter was raped by a relative but she won't go to the police

Girl Talk By Mirror
sex assault

 Dear Coleen

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I’m so worried for my daughter who is in her late 30s and a heavy drinker.

She was raped by one of my close relatives some years ago and told me about it two years after it happened.

I didn’t believe her at first because I adored this person. But she’d gone to the doctor at the time and he had logged it on his computer. I was deeply shocked.

I tried to encourage her to report it to the police, but she said it would be too much for her.

I never spoke to her attacker again, and things went quiet for a while until recently when there was a family party.

My daughter got drunk and started telling everyone there about the rape.

She was behaving like a mad woman. Even strangers at the party called the police because they were so worried.

She is usually such a kind girl and tries to please everyone. The following day, I advised her again to go to the police, but she says she still can’t face it.

To make matters worse, my husband is ill and he just agrees with her all the time and shouts at me about my family.

I have told my husband and daughter that I will never speak to my family again because of what’s happened.

I’m very angry with them because they pretend they don’t know what’s gone on. What can I do to help my daughter?

Coleen says

It was time bomb waiting to go off and totally understandably so.

It’s never to late to report it to the police, but I’m afraid it has to be your daughter’s decision. It’s got to be when she feels ready.

That might be in a few months’ time or it might be never.

You will have to accept that, as hard as that is for you. Of course you’d like justice to be done and for your daughter to get some kind of closure which may help her to move on.

But until she reaches that decision just reassure her that you will be with her every step of the way, whatever she decides.

It’s wonderful that she has both you and your husband there for support, but I think that you need to suggest professional counselling to help her cope with her feelings.


By repressing her emotions all these years, they’ve erupted in a major way, but they won’t go away until she deals with the trauma and her anger.

Her doctor has a record of the rape and she can talk to him about a referral to a counsellor.

If she doesn’t want to contact them, then speak to them yourself.

As far as the rest of your family is concerned, who cares what they think?

You believe your daughter and you are supporting her as best you can – that’s what counts.

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