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Child Safety Situation #19

Girl, 17 years old; assaulted by a sexual predator after she went to his home to discuss a part-time job offer.

17-year-old Cindy* knew her grades were good enough for college, and she wanted to go. "Mom and Dad said they could scrape together enough for tuition," she thought, "but how am I going to come up with the money needed for books, transportation, and all the other things? I can't make anywhere near enough from babysitting and selling fruit at our stand."

When Cindy spotted the ad in the paper for a young girl to clean house at $10.00 an hour, she called and arranged to drop by the next day after school so he could show her what was required.

Cindy didn't tell her folks about applying for a part-time job for the rest of the school year, thinking, "If he doesn't hire me, I don't want them to be disappointed. Anyway, I'm not sure they'll like the idea of my cleaning a stranger's home."

When she arrived, Dave* introduced himself and offered her a beer to drink while they walked around and he showed her what needed to be done. After she finished her beer, Cindy suddenly felt woozy.

Dave pushed Cindy down and covered her mouth with tape. She was too weak to push him off, and he quickly raped her.

After that he took all her clothes off. Cindy was not sure how long he took pictures of her, and she tried not to remember what he made her do to him after he set up the video camera. She cried almost the whole time, but her tears and pleas seemed to excite him more than stop him.

Finally, he told her he was through and for her to get out and never come back. He said, "if you tell anyone, I'll kidnap your little sister and give her a lot worse." Cindy was so frightened and ashamed she didn't tell her parents, and she would not explain why she stayed in bed all the time and would not go to school.

Luckily for Cindy, it was only a week before Dave was caught as part of a pornography ring. At first, Cindy did not feel all that lucky when her nude pictures led the police to her door. But her parents encouraged her to go back to school and finish her senior year. After Cindy learned Dave had tricked a lot of young women into his lair, she agreed to testify against him to make sure he was locked up for a long time.

What can you learn from this story to make you more predator resistant?

May I Visit?:
Never go into anyone's house, even a neighbor's or a relative's, without getting your parent's permission or at least letting them know where you are going. Cindy's parents probably would have insisted on accompanying her to the job interview at least. If you make it clear that your parents know where you are, this may cause some molesters to back off.

Say "No":
If someone offers you a soft drink or beer, it's best to say "no thanks," unless you are there when the drink is opened and poured. Never drink from any drink you have left unattended. Don't set yourself up for rape by letting someone slip a date-rape drug into your drink.

If you are raped, tell someone you trust, and call the police immediately. Insist that you are physically examined, and any hair, saliva, semen, or blood on you is preserved to convict your rapist. Be brave enough to testify against your rapist, so that he will be locked up and not be able to prey on you or others. If the police had not found Cindy, she might have been afraid the rest of her life, and it is doubtful she would have gone to college. Remember, even if you get yourself in a fix because you used bad judgment, you can still show your worth by pulling yourself up and going on with your life.

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*Names changed to protect privacy; information presented for educational purposes only. Reprinted with permission from The Jimmy Ryce Center.

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