Sunday, February 8, 2015

St. Lucia's Dirty Little Secret - Victims Speak

Last week's story on child molestation and sexual abuse in St. Lucia exposed the dirty underbelly of what many have considered a pervasive problem back home. It transcends all socioeconomic boundaries and has the same terrible psychological effects on those who are subjected to its nastiness and resultant mental anguish.
Many victims suffer from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) which was associated with military personnel who have been exposed to the ravages of war. In the earlier part of the twentieth century, after World War I,  this was referred to as shell shock.

I knew this was an important topic to cover yet I was shocked by the almost instant messages I received from total strangers regarding their own experiences at the hands of child molesters. These were grown women who had endured the violation on the bodies by family and friends. They have lived with the mental turmoil, shame, fear, nightmares, confusion, lack of trust, along with a host of other symptoms associated with their terrible experiences.

We have heard these anecdotal stories of child molestation for many years indirectly. Maybe it was recounted to us from a friend of a friend, or by our parents and grandparents, but by and large we never heard from the victims. Our recollection of these acts have always been third party accounts.

With the permission of the victims who contacted me during the course of the past week I will post some of their stories the of sexual abuse they suffered. Some of the contents have been edited for clarity, and in some I have left it raw and unedited. No names will be mentioned and locations, if any, have been generalized. 

These are some their stories:

*Name withheld*
Hi I do have a story and would not like my name used. I was abused by my two cousins the first time was at the tender age of seven I cannot remember the first time all I remember is the blood that was on my panty. But I can recall the other times just not the first time. I was being sexually abused at night. I use to be afraid to sleep cause the monster cousin would come to use and abuse me. I was helpless, my mom was not living in st.lucia at the time. He would play with my Virginia with his fingers and he would stroke his pennis all around my Virginia up and down I had no idea why he was doing that to me but it happened all the time. One day I told my female cousin what he was doing to me she spoke to my aunty and grandma about it but nothing happened. 

He went on and on and on until i was 12 years old. Up to now nothing happened. They were like 15 to 20 years older than me. My mother cries up to now about what has happened but she did not go to the police. She has confronted them but up to now they have not said sorry and yes this has had a huge impact on my life. I did not care about school I am paranoid when it comes to my kids, and in relationships I cannot show affection. I don't know why but it has been a problem for me. I also cannot ask my boyfriend for sex I don't know how and I also have a hard time believing a man loves me for me I think it's all about sex. I am all grown up now but this remains. I see a therapist once every week. I am a grown woman now but i still don't think and behave my age it's like am still a child because my innocence was taken away from me and this is  part of my scars. I just wish this would stop. I don't wish this on my worst enemy. I believe if their names are exposed it will cool down.


 Name:  CC

Mr Williams.... I just want to say thank you.
I have publicly shared some of my experiences and what troubles me is still seeing these ppl walk the streets. My incidents happened with a doctor, a friend of a teacher, a man who said he was a scouting models, and other incidents.

Imagine being a 15yr old secondary student, my mom went away, my dad stops giving me money for school because I have a "boyfriend" Even if  I am not sexually active...and I seek help from a friend of a teacher who frequents the school. This man helps me out financially and still being a bit naive, I never expected one day he would take me to his house to collect a typewriter he was sorting out for me, that he would tell me to relax and put his mouth on me..... In my mind, it is not normal but I didn't even know what oral sex was at the time... Fast forward 12 yrs later, I shared this with my mom who had been absent and an older sister who expressed that they too had been victims of sexual assault before they were even 10 yrs old.... SIGH!!!! This is just one of my experiences. I will share the story about the doctor some other time.

You are a blessing in disguise to many ppl who want to keep quiet. The more I talk about it....the lighter I feel.

I am doing some soul searching. 


*Name withheld* Current age 30s

The abuse began when I was 8 or 9 and went on for a few years. My stepfather was the abuser. He would come into my room late at night and stand in the shadows looking at me. I would pretend that I was sleeping. He would place his hands between my legs and I would squirm on the bed. Anytime I moved he would step back in the darkness and wait. I guess he was waiting for me to doze off again. This went on many times over these years. Over time he went further and further. I remember waking up one night to an intense pain between my legs. I had been sound asleep and did not know he was in the room that night. I pushed down with my hands to get whatever it was away from me. I realized that he was laying on top of me resting on his hands. When I pushed I felt something down there. This is the first time I realized that a man's thing could get hard. I ran into the bathroom and locked the door. He used to be extra nice to me all that time and I was confused whether I should tell on him or protect the person who was being nice to me. I now have a child and it is very difficult for me to trust anyone around my child because I know what happened to me. I have lost faith in everyone because all I see is that the person who was supposed to protect me is the one who took my innocence. I hate what was done to me. I have been to therapy. I have anxiety attacks. I cannot trust. I sometimes have to take drugs. Parents need to watch their kids close when anyone is around them. 



 *Name withheld* Current age 37

I was 8 yrs when i raped not by a stranger, but an acquaintance . I've been waiting to heal for the pass 29 years and no I am not healed ... to make it worse the law did nothing to the guy. I had to live and see this man in my face every day and sometimes he called me by my name when I was passing ... some of our St Lucian ppl love judging the victims its time this nonsense stop... I had nightmares getting up at night.. My mom tried her best until one day she try taking the law in her own hands .. Keep the good words alive there are many ppl like myself up to day who still too afraid to speak out about their encounter.

Just writing this now has me in tears.


*Name withheld*

I saw the places...I smell scents, and yes, I felt yr words.  Am writing about my experiences to bring awareness. My poem "For No Reason" tells my story.


This poem is written for all those who have been through sexual abuse, including myself. I have recuperated very well. I am now in my late forties and my aim is to bring healing to my immediate family and friends who have been hurt by these sexual predators. A new dawn have arrived-the listening ears of those who care are here to help, you are not alone.

Yesterday, while on an errand I stole some time to play
I didn’t think of time and space, I only wanted the day
I skipped over wild flowers, small rocks, even dodged wild dogs
Paused for moments to watch hogs digging
To find a way through the murkiness of logs
I greeted the neighbor, and was summoned inside
Never occurred that I was sentence to be chide
The fat old man’s shadow covered the wall
Creating a blanket for my great fall
There he was sitting in his chair
‘Chile come over here’
And with no hesitation held me forever
As my blood dripped upon his massive finger
Shock and in pain, fear flooded my spine
Who can I tell of this ordeal of mine?
For no reason I couldn’t tell father nor mother
I dried my tears and promised to stay away from
the monster upstairs
I heard no whisper
Only quiet and silence
And when I wish that the anguish would wash away
With every hurricane or flood lifting it from the quay
Another greeted me with charm;
No sense to alarm
All the while scrutinizing my ripe age;
My innocence now trapped in a cage
Every other night while mama worked hard
My dearest gently spread my legs out wide
Pierced me with his sword, then gave me candy for my reward
He kept on drawing from a cistern that didn’t belong to him
I became the song of grim
No good hymn could soothe my soul
As the heavy breathe of alcohol streamed down my neck
Dead to the smoke which blinded my perception:
‘Mama didn’t care’
And from deep within the whisper came, ‘don’t cry’
Quiet. Silence.
Tears forming the first creases on the corner of my eyes
Where are you God of whom mama speaks about
Yet, I have not abandon you my Lord
Maybe you have a cause for what I can’t describe
‘Cause for no reason the sun still shone on me every morning
And if there was no sun; the moon guided me
Out of the ‘valley of Baca’
Out of a name that doesn’t belong to me
O, how I wished that the angels took me to be cleanse
In pure waters, ever flowing waters,
To wash away the guilt which stained me for no reason
Today the trees didn’t move, the grass didn’t sway,
The clouds stood still
I wanted to die, for another came by
Was there a spell cast on me?
Was there an attachment to the imps, the devils which ravished
The young who cries daily for a savior?
‘Don’t cry’, the whisper said
Quiet. Silence
And the tears flooded the corner of my eyes
The darkness seemed endless, when will light come.
Yet the more I longed for the light; darkness approached with its
Peeping Toms-timing and watching my every move-
Like outlaws, fugitives, they cast shadows behind back doors
Longing to touch; measuring, drooling, and in the madness of their minds
Locked me within
Then for no reason the anger for getting no answers
For my sexual mishaps drew me to conclude:
That the sons of my mother’s womb might not be brothers after all
Uncles whom I should have embraced are devils in disguise
Or fathers of any kind pasting floors,
while lusting, sweating for their kin
The constant hitting of my ankles against the small rocks
My thoughts couldn’t keep up with my steps
So I started running: running from their grips
Running from under their dark clouds
Ah love, my questions are endless
I see whom my soul loves
‘Don’t cry’, the whisper said
Quiet. Silence
For no reason I was taken away
To heal my self of the deep hidden concoction of their sexual exploitations
And from beyond I have seen that they can no longer hide
Behind the veil of deception
Ah,  thoughtless, never saw tomorrow coming
How blind to have planted seeds of your corruption,
But I killed your corrupt trees before they produced
I spoke life to my womb, I spoke life to my mind
I ask Him who is ever merciful, to have mercy on your soul
Then I rest my last question, ‘why such excruciating pain?’
Why my love?
Again, the whisper came
Quiet. Silence.


In my silence
Deep within,
I heard the voice of whom my soul loves.
I answered the call with much difficulties,
Without understanding the path laid out for me,
I simply trust.
I trust the Master’s plan
To take me to the promise of my deliberation.
I do not force myself to remember my past,
For it follows me like a shadow
Coming and going as it pleases.
Staying longer when the sun shines
In every crevice of my being
Measuring against my present
Stalking everywhere I set foot.
Then a stillness steps in
To rid the shadow monstrous in nature
Too stubborn to let loose of its hoovering
Sometimes, I hide.
Not a hiding of a coward;  but one who waits
Till the calamities be overpass
Sometimes, I face it with a force.
A force, a strength, which is completely supernatural–
Connecting me with the Source.

Thanks for the courage to write. To help our people who have kept quiet for too long!


* Name withheld* Current Age 30s

This is my story. I didn't have the best growing up. I remember being fondled from as early as 7 by a neighbour who tell me it was a game, a secret game back them it was mother was always drunk. She would come home with different men to drink and to entertain her clients. They would then pick on me fingering away as I lay next to them on the floor... The woman next day couldn't even remember if she had a Jim or Jack at home...she then dumped me at my siblings home where they lived with their father and other family members....I now had a bigger target on my back. My sister's father used cocaine and he would get high and wake up early in the morning to play with his new toy. What puzzled me at the time was that he also had a 12 yr old niece living with them. When I told her she said don't worry. I would assume she was also his victim ....

First the fondling then he took it a step further tried penetrating me at nine years. I can still remember the morning he tried penetrating me I couldn't even pee cus I was really sore. After weeks of this I confided in my father's wife who had my father pick me up...

My mother instead of doing the right thing beat me with tamarind weep [sic] saying I'm wicked and that I don't like the man. Even kicking me in her drunken rage...I was saved by my father but the abuse has already done all the damage cus sex was my new hobbie [sic

I started rebelling until I ran away....went to good school cus the abuse never affected me academically ...finally on my way home one day I was pulled into a vehicle. Guess what, I was raped and got pregnant that same day...I've been used to the abuse. I just went home and was afraid of meeting the rapist again since he was a well known bad boy....the life.

I don't talk about this thing. I try to just fight all my demons. And u kno how the story goes. Sex my new drug, the downfall of my relationships. And the monkey on my back. Always feeling for that sadistic. Craving the pain.

I use sex for revenge. I bite and scratch remembering what was done to me as a child.

I'm damaged to the last degree. It give me some sick satisfaction. That was the first real pain I ever experienced. U wouldn't understand. The more sadistic the sex the more I enjoy. The beating the biting. I just get a high from the abuse.
U think I'm normal?

I still see my sister's father, his nephew, and my long time neighbour walking in town. They all raped me.


 What can we learn from these stories? What are the signs and symptoms of a sexually abused child? There seems to be a very common thread in most of these child molestation stories when it come to the ages of the children. For some reason these child molesters seem to like children around the age of 8 years. This is when the grooming and molestation begins to occur. What is it about that age? 

Please view this music video by JSON called "SECRETS" which I consider to be one of the most powerful messages for shedding light on the torment and anguish that too many face on a daily basis in the aftermath of child molestation and sexual abuse. This story can be applied to almost every victim. Listen to the words carefully as they are very revealing.

(View in full screen for best effect)

Please see these other videos which can help us all understand what victims feel and the signs to look for in our children, and most importantly the red flags which can alert us to the predators waiting to pounce. 


What is grooming and how do child molesters groom children?

Support the efforts of Zandoli Foundation for a sex offender registry in St. Lucia. 
Please sign the petition.

Zandoli International Foundation petition for sex offender registry