Never in a million years could we have ever imagined the secrets she was being made to keep, the threats that were made, and the hurt she was feeling all at the hands of someone we all love and trusted. We were going to do this "right". Our kids would stay with grandparents because if you can't trust a grandparent- who can you trust? You watch the news and hear of children being sexually abused and raped and you always think, "that poor child.. Imagine the home they live in and the people they have been around."
Then one day, you wake up and realize that your family is in the middle of the same nightmare. That child is now your child. You realize that the "safe places" and "safe people" you trusted- weren't safe at all. When the secrets finally come out to counselors and teachers and the calls and visits to DHS, doctors, and investigators start filling up your calendar; it all becomes a blur. "Is this really happening?" Your little girl's anxiety continues to increase, the feelings that you have let her down and failed to protect her start creeping in, and you feel like the whole world is upside down.
We won't call it "child sexual abuse". We won't call it "molestation". We will call it what it is: Rape. It's such a harsh word. One that makes people cringe. But it's a word that people need to hear. We don't care if you get upset that we discuss it. We don't care if you get mad and say it is causing her more harm than good to go through with charges against her abuser.
We will see this through until the end. She will know that she is believed and she will know that we fought for justice. She's our "Songbird". She makes up songs, writes them in journals, sings to the top of her lungs, listens to music constantly, and is a joy to everyone who knows her. She's an awesome little softball player who loves Jesus & her family. She is not a victim- she's a warrior, and our hero.
We're a Mama Bear AND a Papa Bear of a brave little "Songbird". She has a little brother "Hunter" (his B.A.C.A name) who is standing beside her all the way too. They may only be 8 and 6... but their strength surpasses many of those years older than them. When we asked what they thought everyone should know about child abuse, they were able to sum it up in three words: Listen. Believe. Support.
Potential Plea Date for the offender pending.
You can send a card of encouragement and support to:
Songbird & Hunter
PO Box 118
Batesville, MS 38606