Ashley could not bring herself to hurt her mom in the way she thought her secret might.
Ashley’s stepdad had been sexually abusing her since she was 6 years old. At age 10, she was experiencing migraines and unexplainable anger. Ashley could not hold this secret in anymore. Knowing her stepdad was the one who bought their food and paid their bills, she was terrified to think about what life would be like without his financial help.
At school one day, Ashley decided to tell her friend Lily. Lily got scared and told their teacher, who made the proper report. Ashley was then brought to the CAC by CPS and law enforcement for a forensic interview. She and her mom were reluctant to open up when they first arrived. In Ashley’s interview she tearfully shared details about the abuse. By the end of the interview, Ashley appeared relieved to be listened to and believed.
Both Ashley and her mom felt supported, informed, and hopeful about the next steps in moving forward in their healing process. Ashley started coming to the CAC for weekly therapy services. She and her mom were able to express over time, that the advocacy and support, along with the CAC’s therapy services, were a key component for them in transitioning from victims to survivors.
Ashley’s story is a composite of factual stories of real children served at out Center in order to protect their confidentiality.