It’s not too late to help daughter recover

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar

Creators Syndicate Inc.

DEAR ANNIE: I recently found out that when my daughter was 7 years old, she was raped at least three times by her 13-year-old cousin. She had been holding this in and finally had an emotional meltdown. The timing of these incidents happened when her father and I were going through a separation.

The cousin who did this is now 24. His mother spoke with him, and he said he recalled one of the instances, but not all three. The mother then told me, "We don’t know who might be lying." She also stated they were both "only kids" when it happened and he didn’t mean to hurt her. She wants us all to discuss it together.

I am infuriated by his mother’s suggestion that we just sit down and talk. She is trying to minimize the rape.


Other relatives are being supportive and I have suggested counseling, but she hasn’t taken me up on the offer. What can I do for her — and what do I do about this cousin? — Heartbroken

DEAR HEARTBROKEN: We’re not sure what you can do about the cousin, since he was only 13 and it was 11 years ago. But it’s not too late for your daughter. Please contact the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network ( at 1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673), and ask how you can help her through this difficult time.

DEAR ANNIE: My husband’s mother moved in with us five years ago, when both our children were young. I wasn’t wild about the idea, but I wanted to please my husband. We have a small three-bedroom house, and at the time, our kids were sharing a room, so there was a spare.

My oldest son now wants his own room. My husband’s sister has a larger house with a spare room, but she hasn’t offered to take Mom and my husband refuses to ask her.

Besides not doing anything around the house to help out, which drives me mad, the situation is putting a strain on our marriage. — At Wits’ End in Washington

DEAR WASHINGTON: Is Mom capable of living independently? Call the Eldercare Locator ( at 1-800-677-1116 to see what resources are available in your area.

It is a loving gesture to allow a parent to live with you, but if it undermines your marriage and Mom is able to live elsewhere, we see no reason to continue this arrangement.

What To Read Next
Get Local