Contributed | Courtesy Photo of Rusty Strait

Rusty Strait | Senior Reporter

Local writer, Jacqueline Martin has written a compelling story of childhood mental, physical and sexual abuse. Despite the fact that it would have been better written by a more professional writer, it is a compelling story. According to the author, her mother was also a victim of sexual molestation. It was almost as though Jacqueline inherited the role of victim.

She spent a scant amount of her childhood with an alcoholic and heroin-addicted mother who, unable to handle her own life, much less that of a young child, abandoned her to the child protective services which all too often is a one-way ticket to hell called “foster care..”

Being passed along from one household molester to another, she became withdrawn, frighted and ashamed. Filled with guilt and sorrow, Jacqueline withdrew into herself, not understanding why she was always blamed when a husband in the current home she was assigned to was caught by his wife in the act of sexually assaulting the child.

Schoolmates scorned and mocked her. The child protective officials, who should have been protecting the young girl, always blamed her for the situation. She says that they never investigated any of the numerous sexual assaults.

“All they did was move me on to the next abusive home, always telling me what a bad girl I was. I never was given the opportunity to tell my side of the story. According to them, it was my fault and that was that,” she says.

The crimes against her were compounded by the fact that none of these molesters or abusers were never held accountable for their hideous crimes.

Finally, at one foster home, she thought maybe she would be with a family that could give her something she never had. Love! What started out with promise, turned out to be her worst nightmare. “Mama,” beat her and dragged her around by the hair on her head. “Papa” not only raped, but also impregnated her. The so-called mother discovered her secret and almost beat her to death. One of the stomach punches brought about a miscarriage. She was only fourteen. She shared her secret with Susan, her best friend, who promised never to reveal it. When “Mama” suddenly died from cancer, Susan decided to tell the school counselor.

Finally, Jacqueline was confronted with what the counselor knew, and was assured nothing was her fault and she would not be punished. How could that be true, she thought. She had always been blamed by everyone. Now she was suddenly not guilty? Feeling free at last, she blurted out the whole story.

She was immediately placed in a safe house, where she lived until she turned eighteen. She doesn’t reveal anything about what happened to the rapist’s father. Perhaps she never knew.

Throughout all of these horrible episodes, she says there was a man who would come and sit with her or be near her. He always made her feel better. This is the redeeming factor in her story. “It was Jesus. He was with me all the way.”

The only obstacle, if it is, in this otherwise compelling story, is that at the end of every chapter, she seems to impose her Christian beliefs on the reader. Not everyone is of the Christian faith. She quotes bible verses, followed by a list of questions and suggestions to the reader about the Christian faith and how to use her particular religious beliefs to help them in their own situations. Not everyone will appreciate that.

Nevertheless, she has a story worth telling and should be told more often. It is a condemnation of so many foster homes and Child Protective Services in particular. I once had a juvenile judge inform me that “Child Protective Services, more often than not, do more harm than help in molestation of minor cases.”

I was emotionally moved by the story. I think maybe you will be, too. Just sayin’


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