Stephan watched in front of the school as the young mother kissed her four children goodbye. My mother was oblivious to his plotting and scheming to become a part of her existence. Every day he found ways to make contact with her. A seemingly accidental meeting got them on speaking terms and consistently crossing paths made it feel natural to stop and have a chat for a moment.
Feeling confident that he had established a rapport with the young mother, he blatantly followed her home one day. Sophia, my mother noticed him, stopped, and playfully teased him about following her. He continued to walk her home as they joked about him being a stalker.
My name is Toni, and I was seven years old, the day my mother invited Stephan into our home. It was the beginning of my nightmare. Through my eyes, I want to bring to your attention a man that watched, stalked and preyed on my family and many other families. It was his intentions all along to violate the sanctity of our family for his own self-gratification.
After you have read my story, you will grab your children and cover them with a blanket of protection because just when you thought he was a part of a childish fairytale, you find out the boogey man does exist……… #childsexualabuseawarenessmonth #book #ebook #amazon #blackwomenexpo #chicago #533
MOTHERS WE GOT TO DO BETTER
Once I was in a crowded barbershop waiting to get my haircut, I decided to ask the men a question. After I made sure that they fully understood under no shape, form or fashion was I accusing any of them of being a pedophile; I asked, “Combine all the relationships you’ve been in, all the females you were casually involved with and female acquaintances. How many of their children, could you have gotten a hold to? Every person in the barbershop agreed and said, “All of them”. SAD! #childsexualabuseawarenessmonth #book #amazon #ebook #paperback #mustread #mother #prevention #protectmecampaign #pleaseshare
I remember the day my life changed from what I considered normal. It was a Sunday night and my two-year-old daughter had just returned home with Stephan. After giving her a bath I laid her on the bed and started to lotion her down when she said to me “Daddy put his poo in Katie poo and put his poo in my poo”. Katie was one of the little girls that came over to visit regularly that I found to be one of Stephan’s victims. As the blood rushed to my feet, I walked into the living room and told her father what she told me. Instantly he denied it and tried to explain to me that she just loves her daddy and that sometimes a little girl will fantasize about their daddy in a romantic way. Did I mention she was two at the time?
At that point, I realized that these were my babies and it was my job to protect them from the man that had his way with me and controlled my life for fourteen years. I tossed and turned all night thinking of a plan to protect my daughter. The next day I was in school crying when a voice in my head said “KILL HIM!” I went home with vengeance in my heart, never taking into consideration that if I had killed him and went to jail I would not have anyone to care for my babies. I was 18 years old and I did not have the maturity or experience that it took for me to examine the situation or think about the consequences of my actions.
I walked into the house and he was asleep on the couch. I had not decided on my weapon of choice yet but I remembered thinking of getting a butcher knife and stabbing him. Before I could finish my thought there was a knock on the door. I opened the door and a heavyset dark skinned person with big pink lips asked “Is Stephan here?” I walked into the living room and told Stephan someone was at the door for him. He asked me who was at the door and I responded, “I have no idea”. As he got up off the couch and walked to the door half, asleep I became annoyed that my plan to cut his penis off and watch him bleed to death was ruined. I had already pictured giving myself up willingly to the police with a smirk on my face. I turned to see what was going on at the door and all I saw were white socks being snatched out of the door. This huge guy grabbed Stephan by his neck, snatched him out the door, and dragged him down the stairs into a waiting car. Another guy that was just as big as the guy that knocked on the door was standing next to the car. Stephan was shoved into the car and sandwiched in between both men. Without knowing, but knowing, I knew exactly why that drama just went down……………
“Pay attention to the man that comes right in trying to get really friendly with your kids”
You should never allow your kids to get too friendly with any of your friends without monitoring that relationship. Your child lacks the maturity and experience to know what is right and wrong. In those days, a child had no voice. If an adult told you to do something, you did it or there were consequences. They whooped you and then took you home and your mama whooped you again. My mother had her own rules that she lived by and we suffered the consequences when she broke all of them and allowed this man into our lives.
Rule # 1: Just because someone was, her friend did not make them our friend. If we saw her friends on the street, we were not allowed to talk to them and her friends were told that they were not allowed to approach us if they saw us because we were not going to speak.
Rule #2: We were not allowed to answer the door for anyone when she was not home even if it was an aunt or an uncle and she made that clear to them as well.
Rule #3: No one was allowed in the house when she was not there.
Rule #4: We played with kids not adults.
Rule #5: We were not allowed to accept anything from anybody. If she had a friend over and they wanted to give us, a quarter we had to be clear it with her first.
She broke all her rules when she met Stephan who in our minds made him okay and family.
I remember from the beginning that Stephan focused mainly on me. If we were playing two squares in the street and I missed the ball and got out he would say something like “Awww, my baby got out”, and convinced the other kids not to put me out of the game and to give me another chance because I was so small. Eventually he began calling me his little girlfriend that meant I got special treatment. He would hold my hand when we went places and put me on his shoulders if I was tired of walking. He would always defend me when I got into arguments with my sisters. He even lied to my mother when it was my fault so my mom would not whoop me.
As the days, weeks and months went by this man became a part of our existence. He came over every day to eat dinner with us and he was there bright and early the next day to have breakfast with us. We were very happy to see him and my mom loved him. She even started calling him her little brother, so of course we started introducing him as our uncle. He bought us ice cream when the ice cream truck came by and he was really goofy. He would bump his head then pretend that he became a zombie and chased us. He was not like any other adult that really did not give children the time of day.
There were a lot of times when I did not want to be bothered with Stephan. I would be playing outside with my friends and when he came down the street he expected me to stop playing with my friends and run up to him to acknowledge his presence. I wanted him to go upstairs and talk to my Mom like other adults. I started feeling a sense of obligation to him because he called me his little girlfriend and that is how he wanted me to act. He would expect me to sit on his lap and interact with him the whole time he was there. Thankfully, my mother was the type that did not have adult conversations around kids. My mom would send me back outside scolding me, saying that I was sitting under him. I pretended to pout like it really mattered to me but I was really happy as hell. I could count on good ‘ole mom to get me back outside with my sisters and brother.
I felt like he had a crush on me like the little boys at school. I would get treated special and could get what I wanted out of them, like candy and second chances at games. I even became bossy and demanding because I knew he would give me my way, just like I did with the other seven-year-old boys. Sometimes I would get an attitude and be mean to get my way because he was so eager to please me. However, sometimes I was being mean because I did not want to be bothered with him because he was always in my face. After spending some time in the house with my mom, he would find some reason to come outside to play with us. Later he would find some way to say we had to rest so I could sit on his lap. I would think to myself, “I’m seven years old, I don’t need to rest!” When my mom did not see me playing, she would come to find me. I was blamed again for being on his lap. She would say to him: “Stop spoiling her!” I was accustomed to my mom being straightforward. I was waiting for the day that she would tell him not to put me on his lap anymore. However, she never did. I was not even allowed to sit on my uncle’s or auntie’s lap. She allowed this man to constantly put me on his lap even though I did not like it. He was an adult, I was a kid, and I was not allowed to speak my mind.
I really did not like sitting on his lap because he was interfering with what I really wanted to do and that was playing outside with all the other kids. However, he made me feel obligated because to him I was his little girlfriend.
(Excerpt from Through A Child’s Eyes)
Do not ever call your child a liar in front of this person. It makes a child with limited verbal skills defend themselves against a mature, socially skilled, intelligent adult. You pull that child off to the side and calmly let him or her explain the situation. To scold your child or call them a liar in front of this person just shows that you do not listen to your child so now he can do as he pleases. You also just let your child know who you are more loyal to. By pulling your child away privately, you show a united front. This person sees that you have a relationship and dialogue with your child and you will investigate to the fullest. #book #ebook #amazon #mustread #childsexualabuseawareness #protection #prevention #protectmecampaign
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
(Excerpt from Through A Child’s Eyes)
MOTHERS, EDUCATE YOUR CHILD! All I knew about sex was the story of the birds and the bees which was very confusing. I remember thinking, “Birds and bees do it to each other? What does that baby look like?” Talk to your child about bad touches and good touches. Parents have a problem with talking about sex to their kids. Even though we all know, knowledge is power we refuse to enlighten our children. THIS IS A BIG MISTAKE! I can honestly say I did not know to tell it. By the time I knew I was so far in it, my mother was under his control and I was stuck. . #book #blogger #mustread #childsexualabuseawarenessmonth #amazon #ebook #reader
APRIL IS CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE AWARENESS MONTH
Through A Child’s Eyes #book #mystory #amazon #ebook #csa #childsexualabuse #mustread
While we were away, he had joined the army. We did not have a problem with him coming to live with us and my mom was relieved because now someone would be there with us while she was at both of her jobs. At this time, Gennifer was 14, Jadon was 12, I was 10, and my brother was 7.
Stephan was a really good cook. He would cook for us, kept the house clean, and made sure my mother did not have anything to do when she got home. However, things were not perfect. Within a matter of days, he started on me again. I would get an attitude because he would find ways to keep me in the house. Whenever he tried to do anything like kiss or hug on me, we would fight like we were both kids. My mom would come home fussing asking me what we fought about. I would tell my mother it was because he always had some reason for me to come in the house and I wanted to stay outside and play. Stephan claimed I was in the house for acting up outside and he made me come in the house. Coming home so many times to Stephan and I fighting my mother began to allow Stephan to discipline us. BIG MISTAKE!
Stephan started whooping me constantly for not kissing him, cuddling with him, or sitting on his lap. He constantly reminded me of my mother’s words about how I was supposed to do what he said. It was strange because I never respected him as an adult. To me, he was a pesty boyfriend that followed me around and would not leave me alone. If I was over my friend Ciara’s house, he would walk over there and make me come home for absolutely nothing so we would fight. He would try to whoop me but I was not having it so I would become very defiant. I would cuss at him, fall on the floor, and kick him. My mom would come home to another one of our big fights. I would jump up and run to tell her my side of the story and he was right behind me trying to tell his story like my brother and I did when we fought. “Mama I was around Ciara’s house and he came around there bothering me for nothing. He is always finding a reason to keep me in the house withhim. He makes me sick!” He began to lie “I told Toni to do something and she told me she wasn’t going to do it. She went around to Ciara’s house after I told her not to go outside until it was done!” My mother thought I was being hardheaded and she would whoop me, which gave him more power because she would say, “If I come home again and he has any more complaints about you, you are going to get it again!” All I could think was that my mom was making me obey a man who was forcing me to be in a relationship with him and all I wanted to be was a kid and go outside and play.
NEVER GIVE ANYONE PERMISSION TO DISCIPLINE YOUR CHILD
Allowing a person to discipline your children gives them too much power. They will take that and your words and use it against your child. They instill fear in your child because they have your permission to hurt them. My mother never allowed anyone to discipline us, not even our relatives. Once again, she is extending permission to him and broke her rules.
Rule #7: No one is allowed to put their hands on you but me.
If you put this person in an authoritative position with your consent, the child is rendered helpless and has no choice but to obey this person because their mother gave permission.
MY GAME IS TIGHT
Predators are big risk takers, impulsive and they have no boundaries. “Everything done in the dark will come to light” but by then it is often too late. When someone wants to get a hold of your child; if you let them in your circle, they will. We put our kids in this situation and then get mad when it happens. It is amazing how we will not leave our purse and cell phone in the room with a man we just met but will go to work for eight hours and leave a man we barely know in our home alone with our kids. #book #blogger #mustread #childsexualabuseawarenessmonth #amazon #ebook #reader
CUTTING THE APRON STRINGS
(Excerpt from Through A Child’s Eyes)
You have not noticed but this person has broken a bond between you and your child with your help. Yes, you are right, you, and your child used to talk about any and everything. You have talked about another kid hitting them, kids calling them out of their name, things that hurt their feelings, made them mad, and made them uncomfortable. However, if you make your child feel you love this person more and that is where you loyalty lies, the communication is broken between you and your child. Never discuss your child with this person in front of the child. Never agree with negative comments about your child in front of your child. This person can use your words against you. BOND IS BROKEN! You can say what you want but no child tells their mother everything, SO STOP SAYING THAT! A child is easily intimidated; this person looks ten feet tall and scary. They can intimidate your child without putting their hands on them. Harsh words are just as effective. No one should be allowed to say anything to you about your child anyway. I do not care who they are. . #book #blogger #mustread #childsexualabuseawarenessmonth #amazon #ebook #reader
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
(Excerpt from Through A Child’s Eyes)
Mothers do not believe their child if the information is revealed at a later date. UMMMMM! WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING? We act like; as adults, we never hesitated to tell things at first. Sometimes it is because you brushed it off and did not know to tell it until something happens. Sometimes you did not tell it out of fear or how it may be perceived at the time. Sometimes we do not tell because at that time we are not strong enough or are too scared and one day you have the courage to tell it. Sometimes it is very sensitive because of the parties involved (uncle, brother, father, boyfriend, stepfather). Sometimes the child is hesitant because of the way you handle conflict. #book #blogger #mustread #childsexualabuseawarenessmonth #amazon #ebook #reader
Through A Child’s Eyes #book #mustread #childsexualawarenessmonth
At bedtime, my mom slept upstairs and Stephan was allowed to sleep in our general area. He would sleep in my room with me and my brother but slept in my bed. He would feel on me, kiss on me, and lay me on top of him. I would act like I was asleep and laid there like a limp noodle until he just gave up. He knew I was faking, so just like any man, that wants sex from his woman and she would not give into his desires, the next day he really made my life hell. He started bright and early. He started complaining, telling my mother I “got smart” when I did not. He would say he told me to do something and I did not do it. By the time, my mom left for work I would be on punishment. Now that my mother worked two jobs, Stephan had complete access to me and he slept in my bed.
ALLOWING ACCESS TO YOUR CHILD
MOTHERS! Most of the time, this abuse is being done right under your nose under your own roof. In my situation, this was Stephan’s intentions all along. He was waiting to gain my mother’s trust to gain total access to us. He should have never been allowed in our general area. If she was going to rent the basement to him then the door to the basement should have been locked at all times to separate us, especially if she was going to sleep two floors up.
Copyright 2013. Author Phillis T. Forrest. All Rights Reserved.