My SIL has two little girls, ages 11 and 12. They live in Canada and we live in the midwest, so we see each other only rarely. Our philosophies are very different, and I have even talked to my SIL before about the fact that I do not feel she is truly dedicated to her children. For instance, the last time we visited, she spent most of her time on the computer, barely acknowledging her girls when they came home. For most of their lives, she and the girls have lived with my In-laws. They, not she, have done most of the parenting of the girls. About a year ago, my SIL re-united with the girls' father after about ten years of separation. Because they were so young when their parents separated, the girls did not know their father at all. He had no desire to be in their lives and they had never even met him. We were all flabbergasted when they reunited as it came out of the blue and we had no idea that they had been in any kind of contact. We were very concerned as well, for his history was not a good one. He had been involved in drugs-even doing jail time for selling some. My In-laws noticed that he was very friendly with the girls in church even within the first few weeks he came to live with them: holding their hands, sitting very close and etc. My SIL became very offended when my in-laws expressed their concern that his touch might be inappropriate. It created, in fact, such a rift that they all ceased to speak with each other. It's been a year, and we just found out Friday that he has been molesting the girls, especially the 11 year-old. He is in jail, and the police are continuing to build a case against him by investigating a couple other families he lived with. I am furious with my SIL for her stupidity in re-uniting with a scuzzy loser guy that she was far better off without. She chose his companionship over the safety of her children and the price is a horrible one. I have been sick to my stomach about this since Friday, I just can't stop thinking about it. I simply cannot comprehend how a man can repeatedly rape a child, especially his own daughter. If you have personally experienced something like this or you are a social worker with experience regarding child abuse, I would appreciate your input. I would like to send the girls a package with some gifts and perhaps a book that might be helpful to help the girls heal. If anyone has suggestions along these lines, I'd appreciate it. If you're a praying person, I'd appreciate that as well. Thanks so much.
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