My sister and I became victims of childhood sexual abuse when we were around the ages of 6 and 7.  The predator, which will be named Phil, was your normal friendly neighbor that was always willing to lend a helping hand and was extremely nice.  Sometimes our parents would even invite him over to our house.  Little did we know how different his other side of his personality and aggressiveness was until he started molesting us.

To put this in perspective, my sister and I were around the age that “normal” kids were learning how to read, write and learn how to build trusting relationships with adults and friends.  Needless to say, this was extremely difficult to do when faced with a neighbor that lived two doors down and would threaten us that if we were to tell “our little secret” that we [my sister and I] would get into a lot of trouble for something that was NOT OUR FAULT AT ALL!  Our childhood innocence was ripped away and stolen by this man and we were faced with a “grown-up lifestyle” once our parents found out.  Meaning that we had to somehow find trust when we didn’t have any, struggle to gain courage to stand up for ourselves and face years of counseling to be on the road to recovery from this horrific part of our lives; some things that children normally don’t have to do until they grow up.

The night our parents found out was insane.  We couldn’t really recall how long he molested us because of how young we were.  It seemed like years but it may have been months and the days seemed to just mesh together at that time.  My sister and I got into a huge fight “that night” and she had threatened me that she was going to tell “mommy and daddy” about what she saw Phil doing to me that very day.  That day, he not only fondled my body as he normally did but he made me look at porn and performed oral sex on me, a 6 YEAR OLD!  THANK GOD, my sister walked in when she did because he had just said to me that he wanted me to touch his “private part”.  The image of this is still VERY clear in my mind.  Our mom overheard my sister when she threatened to “tell on me” and had to sit us down.  She [our mom] said it took hours for us to confess what happened and what was happening to us.  I personally remember feeling so dirty but SO relieved that mommy and daddy FINALLY knew about “the little secret” that no longer was a secret.

Thankfully, our parents reacted swiftly and reported Phil to the police.  My sister and I had to talk to the police and tell our story.  Our parents also confronted Phil while we weren’t home and to even think what happened is beyond my imagination.  Also to think what our parents went through, let alone what we went through.  THANK GOD we had loving parents that put us into counseling at NOVA, because there were other girls there, just like us that went through similar things at a similar age; it was comforting.  We had such a huge support system not only with our family but with the police force, school administrators, teachers AND Megan’s Law.  We even had our teachers at the time come to court with us the day that we were going to testify!

The support is so overwhelming and the understanding that people show is so heartwarming.  The trust that needs to be built with each and every single person that we meet is so important because of the life we had when we started this life and the things that Phil ruined for us like trust and courage.  They say things happen for a reason and we don’t wish this on ANYONE but my sister, I and my family are strong to this day and every day because of what we went through and overcame.