I was sexually abused by my step-father


March 24, 2016

Dear Pastor,

I am a frequent reader of your column in THE STAR, which I read mostly to see people's experiences. I never thought I would one day be writing to you. For some time, I have been having a problem which I will summarise to you.

I am 23 years old and living with my stepfather, mother and little sister. We do not share the same father. I have an older brother and we share the same father. Since my stepfather entered our lives, it has been nothing but hell for me. He started molesting me from the age of 13.

My mother and father were involved in a common-law relationship but eventually went their separate ways when I was 12 years old. My brother was living with us at the time. After the separation, my world started to crumble. I loved my dad endlessly! He took care of his family and ensured we were all happy.

After the break-up, my mother took us to live with my stepfather in a rented house. My stepdad started to make his moves on me from that time. I would say that he was trying to 'tame' me as he would make his move when no one was around. He would buy me gifts and food, which I never took to mean anything. As time progressed he started to touch me in an inappropriate manner. I told my mother about it and she spoke to him, but he continued his behaviour soon afterwards.

Pastor, if I never stopped this man from molesting me I would have ended up pregnant. Because of what he did to me, I totally despise him!

My father passed away while I was taking my CXC subjects at age 17. He died at the age of 64. Despite his death, I was successful in my exams and passed seven subjects, except for mathematics.

There is a lot more to tell and I am anxiously awaiting your advice on how to move on from what happened to me years ago. I was scarred by the situation and it is still affecting my life.


Dear N.R.,

First of all, I want to congratulate you for doing well in your examinations. You were very wise to inform your mother about your stepfather's conduct. Many girls who have been abused by their fathers and stepfathers have remained quiet. Many have done so out of fears, and many of those who have reported these men have been called liars and told that it is because they do not like the men. Evidently, your mother believed but did not go far enough. She should have reported him to the police and put him out if the house had belonged to her or leave him. No woman should remain with a man who attempts to have sex with her daughter.

Evidently, you have never sought professional help concerning this matter. You know what happened - this man robbed you of your dignity. Such a man should have been arrested, tried and sent to prison. It is not too late to seek help. You need therapy. You see, my dear, God is able to help you to overcome your feeling of depression which you may be undergoing from time to time. Perhaps you see all men as wicked, but I want to assure you that not every man is an abuser. If you undergo therapy, you may be able to help other women who have suffered the same fate as you. So call a family counsellor and make an appointment to see him or her.


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