She was my best friend for almost 20 years. Her son (12) groped my daughter (11) in my home, only 20 feet from where she and I both sat. This happened 2 weeks ago. I am more angry than I have ever been and I will never “get over it.”
My daughter told me the next day. He admitted everything to his mother. He guilted my daughter. He told her he was mad at her and he would continue to be angry with her until she let him feel her breasts. She deflected, tried to negotiate another way so that he would not be mad and so he would still want to play with her. She relented. He touched her while she stood there feeling humiliated. He is popular at their school, she is not. She looked up to him, she loved him. Until she didn’t.
My now ex best friend and her family think it wasn’t a big deal. It wasn’t violent. She “let” him do it, after all. She’ll be fine, and boys will be boys. They say she isn’t normal. They blame her. This, my friends, is NOT consent. Yes does not always mean yes. HOW you get to that “yes” matters. Did you guilt, threaten, withhold, or hold power over in some way? Then it isn’t a real yes. This is sexual battery.
I told her that her son needed help. Get him some counseling as I had already signed my daughter up for therapy. I said goodbye to her forever. I failed in my job protecting my child. She was brave enough to tell me. She was well aware of what consent means. But I did not inoculate her against emotional blackmail.
While I give her space to heal, I will do my best to help her navigate her feelings. She is angry. So am I.