Will she ask about it? What to say?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-01-2009
Will she ask about it? What to say?
Wed, 12-02-2009 - 8:19pm

My step-daughter was sexually abused when she was 5 years old. Her BM's boyfriend at the time...touched & did other things to her 'downstairs'. Thankfully, she was not raped.

She asked about it occasionally over the next 3 months or so after it happened but then never mentioned it again. We did not have her go to therapy only because she seemed very unaffected and we didn't want therapy to really 'press' the issue that this bad thing happened to her, etc. All of the doctors said it was ok to opt out of therapy.

If she ends up asking about it when she gets older...what is the appropriate thing for her father & I to tell her? (Her mother is not really in her life anymore...only calls 1 time a year, etc). If she doesn't ask about it - should we tell her?

What have you guys done in this scenario?


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2008
Wed, 12-02-2009 - 9:07pm

Children can be resilient but things can have an effect in ways that might not be readily apparent.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2004
Thu, 12-03-2009 - 12:04am

Hi there.

I was a little younger than your daughter when my abuse started, but the real horrifying stuff happened when I was 5 as well (and continued for a few years after that).

I always remembered in an abstract sort of way, but the true memories didn't come back until I was 17. My mother tried to dismiss it away as no big deal, and I was left to deal with things mostly on my own with help from my school counselor and the occasional therapist after that.

If she asks about it, please don't 'dismiss' it. It might mean she needs help...be honest and talk/ask about what is bothering her about the abuse.

If she doesn't ask about it, I honestly don't know whether to tell her or not. I hope this kind of helps.



iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-2006
Thu, 12-03-2009 - 9:28am

My abuse began when I was 8 years old and continued for many years.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-18-2008
Thu, 12-03-2009 - 9:06pm

Hi welcome to the board. My name is Brenda and I am the cl here.

Like several have mentioned if she does ask be truthful and supportive.

As for if you should tell her or not is a difficult question. You said this happened when she was 5 but didn't say how old she is now.

My abuse started with one incident when I was 3 and many more over the years, I have some very clear memories of some of it but others are just vague feelings. I can tell you though that even that very first incident left a lasting impression on my life. I repressed it for a long time. It was there but at the back of my mind and I didn't think about it. I certainly didn't realize how it was affecting my life. Thirty something years later those memories came to the forefront when I started therapy for depression. I was lucky in the fact that the therapist was trained in treating victims of SA. Three years later I am finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak but I may be a rarity among survivors. I do know though that I learn something new every day that helps me with my healing process.

Any way what I am getting at is that it is very likely that some time down the road she will remember and ask about it. Hopefully she feels safe enough with you that she will come to you. Many of us have had the misfortune to have families who didn't believe us, blamed us, and just generally did not support us, so trust and support are a very big thing for us.

I hope some of this helps. Feel free to ask more questions.




iVillage Member
Registered: 12-01-2009
Thu, 12-03-2009 - 11:31pm

Hi thanks for everyone's input.

My SD is 8 now...she is doing very well and never asks about it anymore.

I forgot to mention also that this was a 1 occurance type of thing. Just one bad day.

Sadly we found out the following day which happened to be Father's Day. Her Father is the one who is suffering the most from this. For the rest of his life, 'Father's Day' will be a