Posted by: joshjasper | August 4, 2011

Do You See What I See?

In order to get to our lobby, you must walk right by my office.  Because the hallway is L shaped and I’m at the corner, I face the survivors as they leave for the day.

Two four-year old boys walked by a bit ago.  I can hear them playing in our lobby with the train set, arguing over who gets to play with the “choo-choo.”  I don’t know these boys personally and I don’t know the specific reason why they are here today, but I do know a few things to be true about the people we serve.  I know that 95% of the children in our counseling program were raped by an immediate family member, usually their father.  We serve so many kids.  I’ve been in this work for a long time and I’m nowhere near making sense of how this is true.  Who rapes their son or daughter?

Before my lunch break today a teenage girl and her guardian walked by my office to meet with the girl’s counselor.  The teen has developmental disabilities and was raped by a few of her classmates.  Individuals with disabilities have the highest risk of being raped.  More than 90% of people will developmental disabilities will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.

I can’t remember the last time that I walked by our lobby during the day and didn’t see someone on one of the couches or chairs waiting to meet with someone.  The strongest and most courageous people I have ever met sit 20 feet from my office day in and day out.  At some point in their lives, someone made a decision to hurt them more than anyone may ever fully understand.  I am so very thankful that we are able to be here for them.

One of the four-year old boys is getting ready to leave now.  He just came out of the play therapy room and is running toward his mom wearing a Superman cape.  “Look mom, I’m a superhero!”  The bad guys can’t hurt me anymore!”  His mom doesn’t say a word, but she doesn’t have to, I can see it in her face.  Her heart is melting and I can feel it from here.

As they make it past my office I find myself fighting back tears.  It’s hard for me to make eye contact.  I look up from my laptop, tell them to have a good night, and hope that we did everything we could do to help.



  1. Your staff has helped so many in so many ways. My heart aches for those who are living in a nightmare of sexual assault. It is a scar we carry with us always, but your staff and their expertise can help and do help the healing process. I applaud you and your sensitivity. Thank You Riverview Center.

  2. Thank you for the kind words, Janet. I must say, I feel very fortunate to work with so many incredibly talented and passionate team members. They are an amazing group of people.

  3. tears in my eyes….you are doing good for all, thanks!

  4. Thanks, Kristie! Your support of our work is GREATLY appreciated by everyone.

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