I need closure. I hate stories that don’t have an ending, that leave me hanging with questions. For instance, the famous sexual abuse case of Truddi Chase (an alias for the actual woman), was so horrific that it is known worldwide. I wanted her to seek revenge, not the pretend revenge at the conclusion of the story (the Christmas present to the little ones). I wanted the sonuvabitch stepfather to be forced into the public eye, to be forced to answer for his heinous actions, to be forced to acknowledge how hated he is by anyone who knows Truddi’s strory. I was frustrated when the mother died as the book went to press. She had a helluva lot of answering to do herself. Maybe she willed herself to death before her evil secret was revealed to the world. In the end, evil remained elusive. It isn’t fair. I want the monsters who raised this child to be placed on trial. It didn’t happen. As of this writing, I believe the stepfather is still alive, although Truddi isn’t. Had Truddi insisted on a lawsuit against her parents, the stepfather and the mother would indeed have been forced into civil court. Whether or not you believe in DID, the noose that could have tightened around the abusive parents’ necks would have been quite satisfying to the general public and certainly to me. I hate that they got away with it. I pray there really is a hell.
land woman filed a lawsuit over abuse she suffered at a foster home on a Cape Breton reserve about 40 years ago. The aboriginal woman is suing the Nova Scotia and federal governments, the Eskasoni First Nation and Edmund and Charles Francis, biological children of the foster parents. She is seeking damages for sexual, physical and emotional abuse, neglect and forcible confinement she endured between 1969 and 1974, when she was in the care of foster parents Noel and Helen Francis.While she was between the ages of seven and twelve, she was abused by all the members of the Francis family. She was:
- forced to perform oral sex
- fondled through a hole in the wall
- denied the necessities of life
- forced to live with lice
In addition to having issues with alcohol and substance abuse, chronic consequences from the abuse include:
- post-traumatic stress
- chronic dysthymic disorder
- query dissociative disorder
The lawsuit states that Edmund and Charles Francis “are liable for the assault, battery, intentional infliction of mental suffering and mental distress.” The woman sought general, special, punitive and aggravated damages, interest, costs of the action and any other relief deemed just by the court. Hearing about the allegationsfrom an aboriginal woman confirms in my mind that she was indeed abused. Aboriginal children in the foster system in Canadareceive horrendous care. They are frequently physically and sexually abused, starved, confined and denied an education. Of course they can’t be sent to school due to the signs of physical abuse and their general physical state. I pray this woman wins.
One aboriginal man details his sad experience in a foster home where he befriended another aboriginal boy in the same home. For some reason, this boy bore the brunt of the foster father’s extreme anger. The child was often whipped with the buckle of the man’s belt. One night, this foster parent beat the boy so badly, that the boy suffered open gashes on his back. All he could do was lie on the floor that served as his bed and cry while his friend held his hand in an effort to comfort him. Their abusers are the people I want to see placed on trial; force them out from hiding and into the spotlight. I want the victims to gain punitive damages, to have the community and foster family acknowledge what happenedduring the tormented, younger years of a helpless child. Some would argue that seeking legal recourse in later years opens old wounds needlessly but I disagree with that perspective. The wounds are always open; they are far from healed and they never will heal. Abuse that takes place during a person’s formative years damages self-esteem, ethics and a sense of safety in one’s community. Meanwhile, the foster family that sorely abused the child continues to foster and abuse more children, and suffers no consequences for their actions.
None of this is about fair. There will be no evening the score ,or levelling the playing field. Weeks, months, years, even one episode of abuse changes an individual, and scars that person forever. When confronted with their wrongdoing, the abuser is insulated against feelings of guilt, and so lacking in morality, there will never be remorse. That shit only happens (occasionally) in the movies. Ergo, even when the victim wins in court, s/he loses. But this isn’t the abuser’s journey. This is the victim’s journey. This is the person who needs and deserves an answer. This is the “why” the victim has the right to confront his/her tormentor, so long as this is done without any expectations. The abuser isn’t simply going to admit to this dreadful experience. She or he will simply deny it (“it didn’t happen“), or worse, will blame it on the victim (“you wanted it”). Abusive people seldom react the way the victim imagines.
Going in prepared is essential: the victim needs solid advice about handling the situation. And certainly physical safety is crucial. Meeting in public is the safest, easiest venue. One piece of advice from the previous linked video is to establish a time boundary, where the victim insists that the confrontation will occur for a specific amount of minutes (probably not hours), or the whole dysfunctional cycle can slowly rear its ugly head again.
Gathering evidence and seeing a lawyer to prepare for a lawsuit is another avenue of confrontation entirely. This one has better odds against the abuser. If the victim can speak publicly about what happened to him/her, this may in itself be a type of healing. And when hopefully the abuser is found guilty (condemned) there will be punishment. That is the one harm that seems to goad those types of people. In Truddi Chase’s words the abuser would rather “kick down doors” than to admit guilt.
The public acknowledgement could do a lot of things against the abuser and for the victim:
- isolate the abuser from friends (if any) and other family
- give a type of closure to the victim
- suffer consequences (punishment)
We knew of a man whom we suspected maybe, kinda, sorta could be a little “off” with teenage boys but he seemed like a decent person. He was frequently around our house because he was in the same profession as my father and they had lots to talk about. He took an unusual interest in my brother, who frequented his home and swam with his friends in the pool. My father wasn’t a foolish man. He looked into his background and inquired of a woman who knew him well if he was trustworthy. She assured him he was (years later she was criminally charged with fraud against her corporation and fired). One weekend, this family friend invited my brother up to his cottage with some other youngsters. My father said no. My brother was pissed. My father couldn’t voice his suspicions to a 13-year-old kid. Years later, this creep was charged with sexual assault against a minor and other sicko charges. He became alienated from all the people he once knew who used to like him. He died alone and unwanted at a fairly young age. Perhaps, like Truddi Chase’s mother, he willed himself to die.
Every victim should see their ordeal end this way, with the abuser made into a pariah by his or her own actions. Justice served. Sort of.