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Mar 15, 2012

‘Family Secrets;’ The True Story of the Sexual Abuse of a Girl

The true story of the sexual abuse of a young girl has been captured in a book entitled Family Secrets. Written by US author, Dr Billie Jean Young, the book was launched this morning at the Leo Bradley Library. Young, who lived in Belize for several years, tells the gripping story from the perspective of the child’s mother who knew of the incestuous relationship but accepted the father’s explanation. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Family secrets, we all have them. Most are untold stories of things we want to keep hush-hush. But the life story of a child in unremitting abuse, since the age of six, is not something that Dr Billie Jean Young wants to keep hidden. Fittingly titled, her book, ‘Family Secrets’ tells the tale of a family’s struggle of the sexual exploitation a young child; it is a true story:

Dr. Billie Jean Young, Author

Billie Jean Young

“This was an intervention; we saw a woman in distress; a woman who needed help and so we decided to do something about it. This book is written in the mother’s voice, because the mother, after her escape, knew that mothers were always blamed for the incestuous behaviors of their husbands. While you are thinking, think about this, you have known about this for a year. God has been good to you, you are being offered help, if you don’t accept now what is being offered, God may lift his protective arms from around you. You have waited almost a month and that is a menstrual cycle. If God abandons you now, you may find yourself a grandmother to your husband’s child.”

Young’s exploration the family’s story is captured in the book’s cover; a chain with a lock; a story so ugly, it is tucked way in the furthest recess of the mind. Excerpts of the publication shares elements that may influence the opening of that lock;

Dr. Billie Jean Young

“Better let it lie, that is the decision she made, of course when she said that to me, I said, ‘let it lie? Let it lie? What do you mean, let it lie?’ He said he would never do it again. Doesn’t matter what he said. It will happen again, it has happened again. And there were times when she was irresolute, even after having decided to run away. She said, ‘I stifled the impulse to give up; to tell my husband what I am doing; to seek reconciliation. It is too much, too hard to break a twenty –two year old habit. What of Yalow, she is the main reason; what will she say? Will she resent me? Refuse to go; what will I do if she refuses to go? Force her? Tie back to the plane? Will she try to run away, back to her father? She loves him so and she is stubborn, opinionated. Will I be able to stand up against her; this miniature of her father’s creation?”

‘Family Secrets,’ chronicles the family’s journey from Belize to Canada, a route taken to escape the lock of incest and abuse. The outside world is blind to it; steeped in a culture where it’s considered almost taboo:

Dr. Billie Jean Young

“She moved quickly to me and says ‘he knows nothing, tell him what to do.’ Now, my taxi driver didn’t know what he was doing, you understand. First there was no name to put on what was happening in Jaye Peay’s house. There was not even a way to talk about it in the culture. It was just ‘gial got what she deserved; woman mess up; somebody enticed the man, you understand. So we knew that even to go to the police would be to mess up this man’s family, so we couldn’t do that, and we couldn’t tell the taxi driver.”

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington says he hopes that publications like ‘Family Secrets,’ provide inspiration, particularly to women who have experienced similar exploitations:

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, Friend of the Author

“I think it would be an excellent initiative if in fact works of this type can be bought and read together with women who really live the experiences, that on a daily basis you’re going to find her writing about. It will help them to understand that really, they are not isolated; this is not a problem that is peculiar to them and these are things that need to be made public and wrongly condemn and must change.”

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

Family Secrets is available for sixty dollars in Belize. This recent publication, along with Young’s two other works, ‘Fear not the fall’ and ‘Now How You Do? A Memoir,’ are available online at Amazon.com and Barnes And Noble.

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1 Response for “‘Family Secrets;’ The True Story of the Sexual Abuse of a Girl”

  1. Hope says:

    The people that should read this book probably won’t and even if they do they will not see their secret in it, because some mother’s would prefer to alienate their daughter than admit they put them in an abusive situation. Thanks for writing it.

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