My Daughter Was Raped

Hello Everyone,

I am a father to three beautiful children - a biological infant son and two adoptive teenage daughters. I love them all very much, but have an especially close relationship to one of my teenage daughters, let us call her Ashley ( not her real name ). Ashley has been a bit of a 'wild child' since she turned into a teenager, frequently getting into trouble both at home and in school, and generally being a difficult child to deal with, quite unlike my other daughter who has never been in any trouble at all.
A few weeks ago Ashley came home in a very distressed state, and, upon pressing her what had happened, she broke down completely and confided to me that she had been attacked and raped in broad daylight by a stranger while walking to a friend's house when she was in First Year in Secondary School. She would have been only 12 years old when it happened. She didn't disclose to me until three years later.
This news has completely devastated me. I cannot believe that this happened to my daughter, whom I love more than anything else in this world. I understand now why she has been acting up so bad the last few years, it was a cry for help, and I didn't hear it.
I just do not know how to deal with this, I am blaming myself for not having been able to protect her, for not having been there for her that one moment when she really needed me. And above all I cannot believe that she carried this pain inside of her for THREE YEARS, and I never suspected a thing. I do not deserve to be called her father. I failed her in the worst way possible.
The guilt I am feeling now is destroying me inside, is eating me up, is poisoning me. I asked for help and went for counselling, but it does not seem to get better. I just cannot forgive myself.
Ashley herself says she is alright, but is it obvious to me that there is huge pain inside of her. She does not wish to see a counsellor, nor does she want to go and report it to the police. I think she blames herself too.
I want to be there for her now and help her as much as I can, but I am finding it very hard. The stress is really getting to me now, and is making me physically sick.
I think all I can do right now is be there for her, and show her how much I love her, again and again, every day.

wanderingwolf wanderingwolf
31-35, M
3 Responses Apr 16, 2011

Well, I wonder who needs help more -- you or your daughter.<br />
Speaking about your problem -- you're absolutely right, the only thing you should do is show how you love her. The assault was a significant, painful and disgusting experience, so she feels herself dirty and worthless. Try to show her your love and provide her with your care.<br />
And a couple of words to add... There are several groups here with girls of different age suffered assault and abuse. Help them! Talk to them, let them change, don't let them cut themselves (lots of victims practice it), don't let them blame themselves! Do just anything for them! You will feel yourself better at last.<br />
And speaking about your daughter... Every case of abuse should be followed by therapy or counseling. I hope you've managed to find the counselor for her... And she should be able to trust you to say about similar problems in future.

all she needs is your love and compassion. i regret not going to counsaling. im very nervous when im around men im not close with. i wish i had trusted my dad enough to tell him when i was her age. you must have an insanely close relationship. its the hardest thing ive ever had to tell of luck

its not your fault. i was raped by an 18 year<br />
old when i was 13. hid it from my wonderful parents for over 5 years. they felt the same way. reality is you couldnt have known. just talk to her and distract from her pain until she begins to heal.