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My 6 yo old daughter told me her 12 yo female cousin forced her to kiss her and touch her privates. She told my daughter that my daughter would be in

I praised my daughter for telling me. I told her how proud of her I am and that she can always tell me anything! She is my top concern! But so much is going through my head... Not sure where to start!

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MotherOfSix43

Asked by MotherOfSix43 at 2:21 AM on Oct. 16, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 3 (18 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • I think I would have a confab with the family (adults first) If this cousin is touching or coercing one she is probably doing the same to others
    Dardenella

    Answer by Dardenella at 3:05 AM on Oct. 16, 2013

  • Start with the parents or caretakers of this female cousin, and in the meantime, don't let her be alone with your kids.
    Ballad

    Answer by Ballad at 3:14 AM on Oct. 16, 2013

  • I agree, confront her parents/caregivers first!
    Star_Vega87

    Answer by Star_Vega87 at 4:15 AM on Oct. 16, 2013

  • Confront the parents of the other child first.
    2autisticsmom

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 8:20 AM on Oct. 16, 2013

  • Police.

    None of this should, for 4 seconds, 'stay in the family' --the odds of that 12yo being a sexual abuse victim are nearly 100%. She needs to be rescued. Now.
    LindaClement

    Answer by LindaClement at 3:33 PM on Oct. 16, 2013

  • I am not so sure about the suggestions to "confront." My thought was to contact family services about the situation. Tell a social worker what your daughter disclosed to you, and the cousin's identity. There is something to be explored here and this step will help to ensure that those who need help will get appropriate services & action. It will also help YOU to provide what your daughter may need, and to receive support yourself in knowing what that is & ensuring that happens. You also could tell the cousin's parents what your daughter said, so that they know, but I would not for a minute assume that that is "sufficient." Keep in mind that children act out the issues that are troubling them (they signal through behavior that they need help), and the kind of behavior this 12 year old was exhibiting is such a signal. Also keep in mind that with sexual abuse, the majority of perpetrators are known & trusted (frequently family.)
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 4:47 PM on Oct. 16, 2013

  • I spoke to a psychologist and pediatrician first thing this am. The psychologist had concerns about confronting her parents. The probability of the cousin being sexually abused is very high... This is not normal 12 yo behavior. There is no way of knowing who abused or is abusing her. If the cousins perpetrator gets the heads up they may intimate her in to not telling. My nieces well being is important to me but bottom line my first priority is MY daughter. Getting my daughter help is first and foremost. There is no way I can "sweep thus under the rug!" I am getting my daughter referred to a psychologist. I am hoping they can also guide us.
    MotherOfSix43

    Comment by MotherOfSix43 (original poster) at 10:59 PM on Oct. 16, 2013

  • The professionals are mandatory reporters. It gets the right wheels in motion. Consulting a therapist about your daughter is as valid as contacting protective services (family services.) Of course, the therapist will report to protective services (so would the police.) So the same thing happens regardless. But you get direct contact, some support & perspective.

    No, it's not normal behavior (but it is normal for children to act out, so it is "normal" behavior for a child who has something bothering her.) The behavior doesn't make clear the issue, just that there IS some issue. Somewhere she has been exposed to something that has troubled & confused her. It may have been another child's confusion & trauma (a playmate, neighbor, cousin etc. could have engaged in that kind of victimizing "acting out" play with her, leaving her with feelings that prompted her behavior with your young daughter.) She may be a victim of sexual abuse.
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:02 AM on Oct. 17, 2013

  • And protective services are very experienced in evaluating situations & interviewing victims. The child advocates who interview children where abuse is suspected or alleged understand the complex dynamics, including the fact that many victims wish to protect their perpetrators or not get them "in trouble," and the fact that some have been intimidated or pressured, threatened.

    12 years ago, my best friend went through something similar (it didn't go as far as your daughter's situation, but similar dynamics.) It happened in front of her (she was dozing) and her niece was an older teen. My friend had a newborn, and had invited the niece over to play with her 4yo. She questioned her 4yo privately, who disclosed it with relief but reluctance (she didn't want her cousin to be in trouble.) My friend spoke to her niece (who confirmed it & cried) & called her SIL. She then reported it, getting help for their family in processing it.
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:19 AM on Oct. 17, 2013

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