The Facebook Predator
The young lady was brought by her father because things had changed in her life. He felt as if his daughter was no longer reachable. She seemed angry, withdrawn and not wanting to communicate with him. She was an A student, that was, until the last 4 months or so. This father was concerned and wanted to get his daughter back. Privately, he and I talked about what may have happened to cause this change. He said she wasn't taking drugs. She had a boyfriend but the father wouldn't let her go to his house. They would only meet at school and at the father's house. The father had taken the daughter to her physician and tests were run. A drug screen and a pregnancy screen came back negative. Physically, everything looked normal. Hence, the physician recommended that she see me for some counseling.
Just before the session, the father and daughter had a major disagreement. You could tell that both of them were still fuming. As we discussed the disagreement, all of a sudden, the daughter said, "stop! I want my dad to leave. I need to tell you something." So, the father excused himself to the waiting room. The daughter started with her story. "About six months ago, I met this new friend online. We had some of the same Facebook friends, so I figured this new friend was safe. she seemed like a nice person. We had the same interests and even lived in the same town. So, eventually we decided to meet up. She said I was to meet her at the mall at a certain time and we would get to know each other, face-to-face." Now this young lady telling the story was getting agitated. I knew that she was getting to something really important. I had an idea but wasn't quite sure what was she was going to say.
The young lady continued,"when I got there, there was this guy who said he was her friend. We talked a little bit and he knew so much about me because he and my friend had talked about me. He said that my friend couldn't make it so he would take me to her place." Then the young girl stopped. She started hyperventilating. She said,"I'm about to throw up." I got her an emesis basin and she continued her story. "Well, this guy took me way out of town, about an hour. I didn't know where we were. He took me into his house and he raped me. I did some very disgusting things. I did anything he said because I wanted to get out of there." She was so serious when she said this. It was as if she was dropping a huge weight off her shoulders.
I felt like I had just been punched in the stomach. I was stunned. What I felt was just a fraction of what this young girl felt. She said that he took her back to the mall and dropped her off. She rode the bus home in tears and went to her room that nite, in a heap of regret.
Later, some detectives came to her school to interview some girls that had been friends with this girl on Facebook. This young lady stated,"My dad was called in during the interview and I told them nothing happened to me. Ever since then, my dad has been saying, "You're so lucky that nothing happened to you!" If he would just stop saying that, I could forget what happened to me!! I don't have the courage to tell him that something did happen. He will hate me for lying to him, lying to the police and for being so stupid! My dad told me that this man went to prison so he cannot find me to try and do something to me. So, I don't feel like I need to tell the police what happened."
The young lady was just sitting there in a puddle of tears, hyperventilating, having the dry heaves, she was just a mess. I said, to her, "I wonder if your dad really knows. Maybe that's why he keeps saying that to you. To get you to tell him." The young lady said,"get my dad back in here." So, I went to get dad and on the way back to the room, I told him, "you're daughter has something really important to tell you."
The young lady told her story. I was surprised at the first thing that came out of the father's mouth...
He said, "You had sex with that man?!"
I stopped him right there and said,"It wasn't sex. It was rape. Your daughter did what she had to do to get out of that situation alive. She had crimes committed against her."
The father's demeanor instantly changed and he burst into tears and went to his daughter and hugged her. They sat on the couch hugging each other for quite a while, crying and the father consoled her.
This family has a lot more work to do...we are off to a good start.