How do I help my daughter who is suffering from depression because she was raped?

Annalee - posted on 10/06/2009 ( 19 moms have responded )

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I am so saddened my 16 yr old daughter is suffering fron depression because she was raped, She went from this out going girl who was a cheerleader, got excellent grades, happy ,to crying all the time, poor grades and Im having trouble even getting her to go to school. Any mother experienced this? I could use someone to talk too.

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Lynn - posted on 01/14/2010

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Maybe there is an online support group she can chat in. I was date raped at my Jr. prom, although back in 1980, no one called it that. I just thought it was my fault for drinking and making out with him and then wanting him to stop at a certain point but he wouldn't. After that I felt justified in being promiscuous b/c afterall I wasn't a virgin anymore. Many years later, when I finally did talk about it, I found out rape happens all the time and not just from strangers. That helped a lot to know I wasn't alone. And to understand why I was acting the way I was. As a mentor to teen girls now, I know that group therapy sometimes works best. I saw the relief on one girls face when, after talking about being sexually active, we said something like, just b/c you've already done it with your boyfriend doesn't mean you have to keep doing it. You can decide for yourself, you don't owe it to your boyfriend. Rape often means blaming yourself, and being ashamed, so maybe talking online anonymously in a chat room would be easier.

Christine - posted on 10/14/2009

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We did not go through this subject exactly but still something hard happend with saddness about other things and once I got her to a counselor, I parked in the parking lot and asked her to try 2 times and that was it, then she realized it was a good thing. Took me meeting 3 different ones on my own first before I found one I thought she would like...she actually is a therapist, working under a psychitrist. The one I picked is younger than me about 8 years or so, she does not see her as a Mom. She is happier and told me she is glad I made her. Best of luck and prayers for ya'll.

[deleted account]

Hi there,firstly this is terrible for your daughter to go through and also you to have to see her that way must be awful.

what i would do if it was one of my daughters is always reasure her that im there for her to talk to or just cry too when ever she feels like or needs it...

I wouldnt give up with the counciling because she cant just hold this in ,it will do her damage in her future years and change the person she can be,she can beat it with some help

she just needs to find the right person to open up too thats the hard part,you may need to go through few different counilers for her to feel comfortable to open up,just keep trying,take her out for hot chocolates and movies so she can feel comfortable to open up to you when she wants to,

you cant force people to talk but she will eventually have to ...i wish you all the very best with this and i hope she can be happy again..:-)

Germaine Yvonne - posted on 04/28/2013

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my sixteen year old grandaughter was raped months ago, and I have only just found out by her boy friend, who was sworn to secracy as she didn't want to tell anyone or have anyone know. She is mostly angry, bitter, distrustful and finding fault with her boyfriend. She keeps her personal issues to herself of friend. its almost impossible to get her to open up to any of us, my self or parents who sincerely do all the can to be informed, loving and there for her. lost and bewildered. I was told this in strict confidence, so how do I deal with this aspect of the situation. Break the confidence or keep silent until IF or WHEN she MAY or MAY NOT OPEN UP ABOUT THE RAPE??????

Jessica - posted on 01/15/2010

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I agree with Lynn. I was raped as a young child and still deal with it everyday. I was promiscuous also and felt in order for someone to truly LOVE me I had to give them my body. At 14 I had gotten Pregnant, and today my daughter is 14. Now I have to start protecting my 14 yr. old from the same type of people who hurt me. Just keep reminding her that it isn't her fault. Let her know it is okay to feel the way she is feeling, and that there are people out there to talk to YOU don't have to know anything unless SHE wants to tell you! My mother pushed me and still to this day doesn't believe me about the rape as a young child. I had to do it alone find someone to talk to and get medication and feel comfortable enough to fall in love and trust him to protect me and not use me. Love me for me and not just my body.
I also agree with finding someone who is either younger and NOT a Psychiatrist. We also found a Therapist the works under a Psychiatrist, for my daughter who was also dealing with depression and anxiety.and within a month and low dose medication, lots of support and convincing that just try it a few times and if it doesn't work well find something else. She was getting better and returning to her self.

I tell you about both of us so maybe you can pass on to you daughter our story not only did the rape of me mess with my life but my daughter had depression because the way I was dealing with it for so many years. PLEASE keep up with trying to get her help now so she can find herself again, and live a full life.

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19 Comments

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Elaine - posted on 01/12/2014

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Annalee, I am so sorry that happened to your daughter. She didn't deserve that to happen. And you don't deserve to feel sad. I imagine you feel powerless, but you have to remain strong around her so she knows that you are there for her to lean on and you are her protector. When I read your post, it sounded as if you were describing my daughter. I just found out that she was raped a few months ago. She is also 16, a cheerleader, good girl, outgoing and good grades. I am very sad as well, worried for her future. Aside from encouraging her to see a therapist, my advice is to just continue to let your daughter know that you are there for her whenever she needs to talk about it. I have seen a positive difference in my daughter's behavior since it was brought out in the open. She speaks very freely about it, and I am so glad she understands that I will not punish her for what happened.

Nancy - posted on 04/30/2013

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These posts have been helpful. I am sorry to say that the protective agencies and the advocate groups have not been there for me and my 13 yr old god daughter. We live in a small town area yet I would have thought it was liberal enough to be more helpful.
My god daughter was raped , a virgin and got pregnant. Living with relatives as the parents live out of the country she came to me. I have done my best. It is getting in the way of my relationship with my man and so be it at this point. She is angry even at me although I obliged her and found a 'judicial bypass' to have an abortion she wanted without the relatives knowing. She refuses counseling at this time. I was going to give her some written words to help her know the information out there - the emotions and statistics. Does this seem appropriate? Know of any pamphlets /books?
We all need to take a stand as women and be clear and firm together to ever end this abuse. Thank you all for being there.

Germaine Yvonne - posted on 04/28/2013

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when she doesn't know that you know she has been raped. told in confidence by her boyfriend. What to do? Break the silence and the confidentiality or NOT?

Lisa - posted on 10/25/2012

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my daughter still wont talk about it she just said to me (this happened 9days ago) her period is late. I have just been giving her space & being supportive & trying not to say anything that might upset her & keeping her busy doing fun things she likes to do which seems to help. when shes ready she will talk hang in there!

Lisa - posted on 10/25/2012

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my daughter who is 19 and was a virgin was raped by her "best friend" and she just found out she might be pregnant she two weeks late & shes in shock & she doesnt know what to do because she doesnt believe in abortion. I am trying to help her & be supportive of whatever her decision is & I hope that is enough. I am not great on advice but I know as a mom and that i am a rape victim i know how she feels you feel depressed & that you did something wrong & wonder why this happened to you. I am trying to be strong for her I want her to be happy in her life & wish she didnt have this happen she is such a good girl she wanted to wait until she got married. i dont have anyone to talk to who understands how i feel & her family blames her which makes it even more upsetting & painful for her. I will continue to help her she has finally agreed to see a dr and get pregnancy test done & i am going to try to convince her to go to a group for victims of rape or a counselor who can help her. god bless my daughter I love her dearly.

Sherri - posted on 06/24/2010

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I have been one of those unlucky moms. My oldest daughter now 19 was raped at a sleep over, She too was a great kid until all that happened. I had no idea where to turn or what to do and honestly I did everything wrong. On Mothers day this year my 14 year old daughter was abducted by an older boy and taken out of state. We went through hell to get her back.She also was raped everyday that she was gone. 9 out every 10 girls will be raped before they turn 18. Sad truth. This time I contacted out victims advocates and got her counselling and therapy for myself there too. They have already helped me soo much to learn more healthy ways to deal with both of my girls. They have groups for survivors and my daughter already says things like she refuses to be his victim she will be her own survivor. If you already have therapy for your daughter look into something for you. It will help you learn to help her and remember when something like this happens it happens to the family so it is completely normal for you to be hurt and angry Good luck

Anne Marie - posted on 06/23/2010

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Yes do make sure she realizes this is not her fault. Keep reminding her that she can go to support groups and or counsellors. I know someone in a similar situation and held it in for years. I am dealing with similar issues with my daughter only she has not admitted to me she was raped or molested, I only suspect she was. Your daughter has taken the first step in talking to you about it. You could also go see counsellor to know what the right approach to take is. If this was someone she knew then tell her she may have trusted the wrong person but most people have trusted the wrong person at some point & time in thier lives. Love her, hug her, and let her know it is not her fault and you are there for her. Even if she resists you now she may want you later. The counselling sessions should be consistently offered, every month or so, she may not want to now but will later.

Ginny - posted on 01/21/2010

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First I am so sorry this happen to her, I cant even imagine what she or you are going though, I could just tell you to hug and love her all you can, and tell her by no means that it is her fault, because it is not, it is that jerks fault that did this to her, he should go to jail and stay there for the rest of his life, she needs to get help and talk to someone and also be there for her if she is ready to talk to you, good luck and give her my love also, I will pray for the both of you. Love Ginny

Tammy - posted on 01/18/2010

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I have no experience what so ever with this. I just know when I read your post I got cold chills. I am so sorry this happened to your daughter and your family. And it sickens me that someone would still a young ladys innocence and life like that. The only thing I know is a friend of my was raped and it almost took her life. Get your daughter into counseling with othjer girls like her. Don't force her. She needs to understand this is not her fault and shes done absoluetly nothing wrong. Don't let her give up on herself and what she beleives in. Tell her that her story could actually help another girl like her to gain the courage to come forward and seek help. And look for some one with her story that can maybe help her. Again I am so sorry this has happened. I hope theres someone on here who can help you and your daughter. My heart and prayers go out to all of you. God Bless You!

Mary - posted on 11/04/2009

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I'm praying that things are going well. I have my hands full with my own now.
I pray that everything works out and that healing and good relationship and happiness come to you all. :O)

[deleted account]

You are very welcome I hope you do get a break through,i think if you just keep trying it will happen,i wish you all the very best ,you sound like a lovely mum which is there for her girl she is very lucky..:-)

Annalee - posted on 10/10/2009

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Tanya thank you so much it is nice to know that someone else feels the same way I do. I cant force her but it is hard to watch this destroy her in the mean time. Im doing what you suggested already and waiting for a break through. thanks Annalee

Annalee - posted on 10/07/2009

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Hi mary thanks for responding. Yes from the very beginning I have had that option available but she wont talk about it. Its eating at her and destroying her life. Ahat do you do when they wont talk about it?

Mary - posted on 10/06/2009

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I am so sorry this has happened to your child.

Have you been to any counseling? Are charges being brought against the attacker?

You do have some options. Rape counseling is free in most communities, for life if needed.

She needs professional help.



Best of luck and prayers being sent up for you both,

Mary~

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