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Mother and daughters rebuilding after sex abuse

Editor’s note: Light One Candle is an annual series sponsored by the Mail Tribune that focuses on an individual, group or agency who could use a helping hand during the holiday season. Once that need is filled, donations may be distributed to others in need.

A family vacation suddenly became this mother’s desperate escape from her husband after their daughters revealed he had sexually abused them.

Staying with relatives in Jackson County, this family decided never to return to their home state once the father confessed to the crimes, including abusing his wife. Although the holidays promise a newfound peace, this mother and her three daughters have very few material comforts.

Her car was the greatest asset that this 47-year-old mother was forced to leave behind, along with the majority of the family’s clothing, personal items and even their pets. The woman must borrow her extended family’s cars to drive her girls to school, treatment and to look for work. She misses taking the family to movies, bowling, restaurants and Starbucks. She also lacks money to help pay for gas.

A few gifts for the girls — ages 12, 15 and 18 — would help to restore a sense of normalcy to their lives. The middle daughter wishes for bikes for herself and her 12-year-old sister, so they can ride together like they used to. All three girls love art and crafts, making Craft Warehouse a favorite destination. The middle daughter also adores books. Enjoying puzzles, the oldest girl hopes for an iPod or some device that isn’t a phone for listening to music.

The family are clients of Children’s Advocacy Center of Jackson County, which provides forensic interviews, medical evaluations, diagnosis and treatment of child abuse, therapy and advocacy for children who have been abused, neglected or witnessed violent crimes.

To help, call Danae Crawford, Advocacy Center outreach coordinator, at 541-734-5437, ext. 1013. Or email dcrawford@cacjc.org.

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