OrilliaMatters received the following letter to the 'angels in the community' from a mother and daughter who recently endured a horrific ordeal. Typically, we don’t publish anonymous letters, but we decided to make an exception in this case.
Last month, my 10-year-old daughter somehow managed to find the strength that most adults could only dream of having and told her teacher and vice-principal that my live-in partner of five years had been going in her bedroom at night and sexually assaulting her while I slept.
I know that is very blunt and straight forward but with a very heavy heart, I have to say, that is our reality.
I received a phone call from a Children’s Aid worker who informed me of my daughter's heartbreaking confession and asked that I bring her to the Children’s Advocacy Centre in town immediately to meet with not only her, but an OPP officer and detective as well.
I called my mother and asked her to come because I don't think any human brain is equipped to deal with this alone and my daughter also needed the support too.
After a very gruelling and gut-wrenching couple of hours, the next step was to take my daughter to Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) for proper testing. She was so brave and just incredible. I was proud of her for being so tough even though she was terrified and exhausted.
My reason for telling something so terrible and upsetting is so that I can acknowledge all the people who came together to help us in our most desperate time and to let other people/parents know there is help and you're not alone. As sickening as this topic is, all these people gave me the encouragement to be the strong, unshakeable force that my daughter needed.
I am so thankful to my daughter’s school for being so diligent, and taking such incredible, quick action in dealing with the matter, immediately getting the help my daughter needed.
The Children’s Aid case worker was just incredible. She was very soft-spoken, gentle and really heard my daughter out. She genuinely cared and never once made us uncomfortable.
The two OPP officers who conducted an interview with my daughter and myself were very patient, calm and never doubted my daughter for a moment. They even did a house call to save me a trip to sign paperwork.
The nurse and doctor at OSMH were beyond what I could even imagine. They explained everything thoroughly, asked questions in a very delicate manner and explained everything in such a way my daughter truly understood. They were open and honest with us, answered every single question we had. They even gave my daughter a pop once the appointment was complete which to her, was like gold in that moment.
The board at the Co-Op housing who immediately took my daughter and I in when they heard our desperate situation were so caring. They said 'Dont cry, we will take care of you'.
The ladies at Children's Advocacy Center and Green Haven Woman's Shelter are so knowledgeable, thoughtful and just amazing people. They were and still are my glue. I confide in them, ask questions when I need to and any time I have or do ask for information in regards to anything, from housing to tutoring, they have stopped what they're doing just to find the answers as quick as possible.
Green Haven was kind enough to give us one of their turkeys they had donated, some sheets and food. Children's Advocacy Centre also helped in a big way. They helped my daughter and I with some lunch snacks, gas and grocery cards.
These people are the backbone in our community that we do not see every day and do not give enough recognition to. I have thanked all of them personally and they simply say 'our job is to help' but I don't think they truly realize what that means to us on this side of the situation. What incredible human beings you all are.
I do not doubt for a second that our life is not the only one blessed enough to have you all in it. Even if people don't say it, they are grateful. As much as I wish I could have met you all under different circumstances, I am indescribably grateful from the bottom of my heart to all of you for kindness, thoughtfulness, understanding, generosity and the respect you have not only shown my daughter but myself as well. You all kept us together and didn't let us fall apart. You truly are angels on earth. Thank you for showing us that there are good people who have the best of intentions.
And to anyone reading this or who may have been or are in a terrible situation, please don't ever be afraid to stand up and say something. Again, you're never alone. This is proof of that.
My daughter and I have since moved, are beginning therapy and although it's going to be a long road of healing, at least we have been set in the right direction thanks to these outstanding individuals.
Thank you OrilliaMatters for agreeing to publish this anonymously. This means a lot to me as some people behind the scenes never really get the chance in the spotlight. They are so deserving and my heart will never be the same. Thank you
From a grateful mother and her daughter