No longer afraid
For two years, no one listened.
Isa Lin* spoke up to everyone who might stop the abuse but her father's words were more persuasive.
He had convinced everyone, including Isa's own mother, that her stories were made up.
As a master of manipulation, he used control and lies to hide his secrets. He kept his daughter isolated, away from school and peers.
But Isa Lin was brave. She kept telling safe people in her life until finally someone listened. It was a friend who finally told a teacher and that teacher called us.
Our team was on the case immediately and reported the sexual abuse to our province's social welfare department and the local police. It was a dangerous accusation for Isa Lin and the schoolteacher to make, so we had to be extremely cautious as we advocated for the arrest of the father.
We knew we needed to remove the abuser from the community to protect Isa Lin and the other children living there.
The police listened and on the day they arrested the father, we took Isa Lin for a full medical evaluation. The report provided the physical evidence needed to prosecute her father and also helped convince the mother that Isa Lin was telling the truth. Because the mother had been manipulated for so long, it was extremely difficult for her to accept that her husband had abused their own daughter in such a way.
Relationship proved to be invaluable in this situation. Our community team spent countless hours engaging the mother until she finally began to trust us. It was only then that she could fully believe what her daughter had gone through. Her perspective completely changed and she recognized how much Isa Lin needed her support. The mother began working with our team and fully cooperated with the police for the entire court procedure.
Ultimately, her husband was sentenced to 16 years in prison for abusing their daughter.
Our team helped restore a loving, supportive relationship between Isa Lin and her mother. Three months after the father was convicted, the family was able to live together in peace, without fear.
The story is not over for Isa Lin but healing finally had a place to start.
*Name has been changed to protect the individual.