Saturday, February 15, 2014

Prayers For The Stolen

What I'm about to write about is a touchy subject and not for those that would rather not think about what could happen to a child.  With that said I apologize if I trigger memories of anyone's prior abuse as a child.

Children are a blessing so I've been told but what happens when a child is born to a parent that would rather not have that child just because of their gender?  Oh I'm sure some would love to have a little girl, I know I would, but what if having that little girl meant that she would have a life of hardship?  A life where she might get raped?

Where I grew up girls were treated much like boys unless you had parents that decided one gender was better than the other just because it has genitals that are on the outside of the body.  At times I grew up wishing I were a boy just to please my parents.  Later when I was an adult I often wished I were a boy just because fewer boys get raped.

As a young girl I would dress in jeans and t-shirts just like my brother did and more often than not they were his hand-me-downs.  Why would I wear a dress to swing from a pine tree only to have it ruined by pine sap?  I wouldn't so I didn't care how I dressed when I went out to play with the boys in the neighborhood.

For me I didn't have to worry about making myself ugly as I was usually covered in dirt and smelled like one of the boys.  I was protected enough until I went to school and had to wash up and don a dress.  It was then that I became vulnerable to those that prey on children.

I was just four years old the first time I was molested.  Yes, I was wearing a dress.  No I didn't tell my parents for fear of being hurt by the much older teenage boys who attacked me.

The second incident was just three years later when I was seven years old.  I was playing outside with my brother and a babysitter's son.  I was dressed as a boy and we were throwing dirt and rocks in our little war.  I got hit in the chest.  At age seven I was already developing breasts.  The older boy told me to remove my shirt of which I didn't think anything of and he began to feel me up.  I was mortified.  I was upset.  Again I didn't tell my parents.  Later, many months later, the molestation culminated in me being forced to perform oral sex on the boy that had felt me up.

It didn't matter in the book and it sure as heck didn't matter in my real life how I dressed.  If someone wants to take something from you and is determined to do it at all costs it doesn't matter how it is dressed up.

This post was inspired by the novel Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement.  Ladydi was grew up in rural Mexico, where being a girl is a dangerous thing.She and other girls were “made ugly” to keep protect them from drug traffickers and criminal groups. Join From Left to Write on February 18 we discuss Prayers for the Stolen. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


  1. Rebecca, I know this must have been challenge to share. It's never because of how a girl (or woman) is dressed. We never "ask" for it.

  2. You are so courageous to share this painful piece of your history. There's never a way to think of the molestation of a child as anything but horrendous, but I'm guessing it has shaped you, and given you a sensitivity to the plight of the powerless in ways that those who are fortunate enough to have never shared your pain could never really understand.

  3. Words can't express how sorry I am to read this. It just isn't right. You are very brave to share this.

  4. Hugs. You are very brave for sharing! In college I spoke about my childhood abuse and it felt like a weight was lifted. I'm sorry you had to go through this. I agree with Kim- we never ask for it.

  5. Thank you for sharing your story - I am so sorry you had to go through that, but hopefully by talking about it we can start to challenge the system that allows it to keep happening.


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