some of the comments here are frightening. is it fear of seeing your story in hers? if you haven't been in her shoes, you don't know WHAT you would do or WHO you would be. it's obvious that this woman knows no other life and has been severely abused--probably long before the age of 16.
more women than you know have been raped, abused, and molested. please believe it. even if this letter isn't true, this is the voice of thousands.
she needs professional therapy for her AND her daughters, and a ticket to the other side of the country (wherever she's from), away from this "uncle", whoever he is.
i mean no disrespect, but if jesus/the bible keeps y'all from seeing the obvious in this woman's story, then i hope she runs from THAT understanding of god as far & fast as she runs from the "uncle". peace.
i should also note that some more measured responses made their way to the fore later in the day, some blasting earlier comments better than i could.
unfortunately--on fire as i was--i ran out of time and, later, out of steam. so instead of a long, drawn out rant, i'll just do some quick notes:
yes, she's sick. because her uncle--whoever the hell he is--has been pimping her out for over half her life. note that it would be a miracle if this woman has a formal education beyond high school.
i don't even have time to deal with the fool who suggested making the "uncle" pay for college.
and how the hell are you going to make blanket judgments about what's "useless" to discuss? this is one of the things i can't stand about the "holier than thou" crew: all that "we're in good w/ jesus!" stuff makes "us vs. them" far too easy--part of the reason christianity was taught to the masses the way it was. how are we supposed to work together for the good of all if we're all too caught up playing scripture jeopardy and rushing to die and collect our "reward"?
i saw a lot of "why didn't she just tell someone..."
because rapists threaten to kill you if you tell. it takes years to tell. i understand that it can be difficult for some folks to comprehend the lengths abusers will go to to isolate the target of their abuse.
maybe she was adopted and/or raised in the foster system herself, making her vulnerable to this sort of manipulation. this "uncle" may not have been a biological relative, and we have no idea how much sway he holds over this woman and her family, or how long he's had this power. jumping to jacked up conclusions like she has "no one to blame but herself" are silly at best and dangerous at worst.
if you just up and quit your job, would you have a legal, legitimate means to support yourself, or are you leaning on the everlasting arms of the man, pushing paper like most of the rest of us?
if you could support yourself, you're fortunate.
if not, you have no right to judge her.
self pitying? really? no thought to what she and her children need to heal, just "man up."
pardon, your self righteousness is showing...
again, this is her job. like it or not. it's reality.
i was grateful for a later comment stating that when someone comes from this sort of lifestyle, many churches can feel more like inquisitions than sanctuaries. they also are not always set up to help people facing real life shit.
initially, she's probably far better off finding the nearest battered women's shelter, rape support group, or community therapy clinic than walking in anybody's church. they'll take care of her spiritually after/while tending to the basics (food, shelter, clothing).
she doesn't need to testify or to be forced through a litany of her "sins"; she needs a way out. now.
god/dess helps those who help themselves. there needs to be an understanding of the psychological and physical ramifications of this, first and foremost. this kind of response, on its own, comes off as naive, immature, and out of touch.
all this just goes to show how much work really needs to be done around sexism, patriarchy and other oppressive paradigms, power dynamics and the psychology of abuse.