30 years ago a sad, lonely, depressed, fragile 13-year old girl announced to a living room holding a few of her closest relatives in it that she was molested by two people. Actually, it was three, but since the first one was a teenager she didn’t know that he counted as well. That 13-year-old [...]
That 13-year-old was me.
I just got that word from a television movie called, “Something about Amelia.” Actually the movie came on t.v. the year prior.
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I always thought that people who molest children were bad people. I hated the people who molested me so they certainly qualified as bad. But, I also blamed myself. So, I thought I was bad too. So maybe I deserved it.
But when, “Something about Amelia”, aired in 1984, they cast Ted Danson as the sexually abusive father. That was brilliant! I didn’t think of him as a bad person. The fun dude from “Cheers”? No, wasn’t he the one always helping people solve problems or something?
The fun dude from “Cheers”? No, wasn’t he the one always helping people solve problems or something?
I really didn’t know. I was still a kid. Still watching, “Different Strokes,” and“The Facts of Life.” You know, trying to get my hair to look cute like Tootie’s and Willis’ girlfriend, Janet Jackson. Shrug.
But you get it right? He seemed nice. But he wasn’t he was molesting the his oldest daughter.
She loved her father, but she wanted him to stop “molesting” her. Didn’t seem like a whole lot to ask.
So brave Roxanne Zal told someone.
There was a big investigation. Social worker came to monitor the home and everything.
The mama hated Ted’s character.
Then she hated the victimized daugher.
The little sister joined the hate festival.
Whew! This was waaaay bigger than my afterschool special stuff.
In fact, if my mom didn’t just happen to be out that night. I would never have been able to watch it.
In that year, I was suffering. Man, I was dying. Or at least constantly trying to figure how to do it. Luckily I wasn’t very good at it.
It’s Through the Fire
And that is when I figured out that there was no way out of this fire but through it. So I stood in the living room…..and my whole life… flipped over.
So What Have We Learned?
I don’t think that I ever would have made the connection but for, “Something about Amelia”. Specifically the genius casting of Ted Danson as the father.
People who commit acts of sexual violence may be very likable. In fact, they usually are. This is out of necessity.
It’s a mask y’all. A person who abuses children can appear to be a person with a very good character. They can even appear to love children.
Don’t we love those people? People who seem to be good with children?
Keep in mind, it could be a setup.
I’m not asking you to believe everything that you hear but at least stay curious and open minded.
Don’t fall for the con.
CTA: Donate to organizations. Volunteer to help.
LEARN what you can do in your community to help victims & Survivors of violence and abuse.
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“We’ve been there, experienced that. Trauma, Pain, Abuse & Rape. These are the lessons that we brought back.”
–Tonya GJ Prince has been a leading subject matter expert (SME) in domestic violence and sexual violence.
For over 25 years she has helped people heal, prevent, and overcome domestic and sexual violence.
In order to accomplish this mission, she founded several diverse & inclusive platforms designed to allow Survivors to use their own voices including;
WESurviveAbuse.com, SurvivorAffirmations.com, & BraidtheLadder.org.
Tonya is an author, activist, advocate, Survivor, speaker, counselor, & mentor.
B.S. Organizational Management & Development/Bluefield College
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