Dear Technically Legal girl,
Within days of our move into the area I knew something was wrong. My husband knew something was wrong. We were shocked that something like this would be happening at our new Christian place of employment.
How could this go unnoticed!
Then we realized it wasn’t going unnoticed – that most people knew something was wrong (besides the totally clueless people). We all knew something was wrong… we never (and still don’t) have any idea how wrong it was.
I grew up very sheltered, I might have had my own messed up family and my own hurts but your situation was so totally foreign to me. If I would have known more, been more mature myself, had more guts, I would have done more.
I wish I had done more. I’m so sorry.
We all saw the inappropriate way he was treating you and you were just eating it up. You spent so much time with him (from now on referred to as ‘com’ creepy old man) that those of us who cared didn’t know how to reach you. No matter what you thought of yourself, or what you thought you had to do to be loved or get attention I wanted you to know (and still want you to know) that you were/are very valuable and that people cared and were worried about you.
Seeing something wrong going on and caring is not enough,
I look back upset at myself for not doing more about the whole situation.
I want you to know that from my (and my husbands) side we did try very hard to fight for you. We turned in (repeatedly) reports to com’s boss and were told it would be taken care of. When it was obvious that nothing was being taken care of and nothing was done we took those same ‘written’ and documented complaints to com’s bosses boss. I know we weren’t the only one who tried to go through the proper channels and get this to stop. We were met with ‘com is untouchable in this organization’,‘things like this don’t happen in the church’, ‘we are dealing with it’, silence, and they even threatened to fire my husband because we kept bringing it up.
I’m so sorry because I look back now wishing
I would have done more….
but still so unsure of what we could have done. We didn’t really know what was going on we just knew something was wrong in the picture. … for pity’s sake, com’s wife hated you and wouldn’t speak your name.
I just didn’t know what else to do. I knew you were caught in his web and I was afraid if we called the authorities we wouldn’t have enough to tell them, and you would deny everything. I would like to think that if I was in that situation now I would have the courage to turn it in anyways, but I still am not sure that would have been the best. I didn’t want you to become a victim of the situation any more than you already were.
If I remember right you were technically legal by the time we met you,
but what had been going on had started long before … it was obvious. After you left the area we could see the same thing begin with another girl.
I have no idea what actually was going on, but I know it was wrong and I am so sorry. I don’t know where you are now, but I pray you are ok. … You and who knows how many girls that were hurt.
After you left and we couldn’t see any other way to fix the situation we did all we could to close the whole company down. …. sure there were other reasons for the final close, but I want you to know that
we fought for it for you and any other future girl.
The company closed and we moved out of town to find other work but it still haunts me that I wasn’t able to find another way to help you. I never had a chance to get to know you, I wanted to, but I don’t know what I would have said if I had the chance.
If it helps at all I want you to know that I am learning as much as I can about this issue and am passionate to stop it. You are valuable. Whatever was going on was WRONG.
The fact that so many of us knew and didn’t do anything else is sick.
I lived out the saying “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” and I pray I will never do it again.
I can feel your heart aching in this letter. It is a travesty when we see in hindsight something that we should have done differently or been bolder about. I love that you continue to pray for her and that passion has risen within your to make a difference in other areas, as well. May we all be brave going forth to spot the injustices being done and speak them out to reveal the corruption. You bless me!
Have you ever missed an opportunity to step out and help another? Can you feel the heaviness of missing such an opportunity?
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