“What do we tell our children?” Our clients and community have been asking us this question and trying to understand its meaning after the unanticipated results of our national election. Many members of our community — women; immigrants; people of color; Muslims, Jews, and other religious minorities; LGBTQ people; people with disabilities — felt directly threatened by the words spoken during this election season. Fear exists of what might happen now.
This article is cross-posted from Olive Grove.
Maria was in second grade when her grandfather was arrested for forcing her to have sex with him almost daily in a bathroom at a neighborhood playground. After enduring months of abuse, she was brave enough to tell her teacher. Her teacher called child protective service and a social worker came to talk with Maria. She was then taken to the police station where she told her story again; then to the hospital where a doctor examined her and she told her story once more. Then, the district attorney interviewed her; then a therapist; then a case manager; the list continues. Maria told her story 10 times to 10 different adults. Each time, she was forced to re-live this real-life nightmare. Each time, Maria revealed less of her story, making it difficult to gather evidence needed to prosecute her grandfather.