Dear Dr. Laura,
I believe I could write a book on this subject! In the interest of time, I have greatly condensed our story, so I apologize if some of it seems unclear. We have had first-hand experience with people who deny and turn the other way on victims of child abuse. My niece, who is now in my husband's and my custody, was physically, emotionally and sexually abused by her dad (my brother). After turning to my mother and sister for support and help in making sense of all of this, my husband and I were completely blind sided by not only their denial their granddaughter/niece was being abused, but they went so far as to side with the sick abusive bastard, and write defamatory lies in court documents about my husband and me to prevent us from getting custody of my niece. (Fortunately, we ended up getting custody!) We later learned not only did my mother (the grandmother) witness the abuse and do nothing, but my niece's mother (my sister-in-law) would stand by and watch my niece being beaten with a belt among other horrific acts. When my niece told her mom about the sexual abuse, her mother scoffed at her. Further, my sister and brother-in-law believe since they didn't see the abuse, it didn't happen. We have since cut off all communication with them for obvious reasons. My brother, the abuser, was never prosecuted for his crimes and has since fled the country.
Despite all of this, my husband and I have stood firmly on our moral grounds and believe it is our duty to protect an innocent child. My niece has been in therapy for the past year and a half, and with the help of an amazing trauma therapist, we are making great strides in her recovery. This has been the hardest, most challenging period of our lives - from the loss of family members, to attacks on us by our own family, to now raising a child who is emotionally crippled and behaviorally challenged from the years of abuse and suffers with learning disabilities. Everyday is a challenge, but I hold firmly onto the belief doing the right thing is usually the hardest thing. I know my niece will be helped through God's power and love.
Thank you for taking the time to bring this to light on your program. We also thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your commitment to doing the right thing, for protecting innocent children, and for your encouraging words to those of us who are trying to do the same.