Jennifer was 15 when her mom noticed a drastic change in her behavior. She began cutting, became suicidal and was hospitalized. During her hospitalization, Jennifer disclosed that her stepfather had been sexually assaulting her for several years. Law enforcement launched an investigation. A Forensic interview was set up at our Ft Lupton Child Advocacy Center.

A forensic interview is a guided conversation a trained interviewer has with a child about something that may have happened to them or they saw happen to someone else. Jennifer met with the Child Advocacy Center’s forensic interviewer and started the very challenging task of telling her story in graphic detail from start to finish. The interview was difficult for Jennifer. She was ashamed and humiliated and thought that her mom would hate her. For two hours she painfully described the horrible acts her stepfather perpetrated on her. She could barely get the words out. The family advocate provided mom with support services and referrals. When Jennifer’s mom found out about the assaults, she immediately removed her husband from the home even though it meant that the family would struggle financially. They lost their house and had to move in with family.

The family advocate kept in contact with mom and during a follow up call, learned that mom had no money to buy Christmas presents for Jennifer and her younger brother. Donors from Life Stories provided gifts for Jennifer and her brother. During the investigation, Jennifer was still struggling, attempted suicide and had to be hospitalized again. The case was filed with the Weld County District Attorney’s Office. Jennifer’s stepfather pled guilty, which saved Jennifer from having to face him in court and testify about the sex assaults. Jennifer continues with her counseling and though she has had some emotional setbacks, is continuing on the road to healing.