Rich got to know all parents’ nightmare when his daughter Charlen was raped by two friends at the age of 16. Now this father and daughter are working together to prevent other families from going through the same.
Rich is sitting in the car at a bus stop. It feels like time has stopped. The words that came from his son Eirik (14 years) are echoing in the head.
“Dad, Charlen has been raped.”
He doesn’t know when the daughter is coming. So he waits. A bus is stopping in front of him, letting the passengers out, driving away. What should he say? What should he do? Another bus. There she is. His beautiful 16-years old girl. She sits in daddy’s car. She closes the door.
Rich starts the car, drives into the dark. Charlen starts to talk.
– The event is bad in itself, but that’s not the worst part. It’s what comes after that, that what it brings with it, says Charlen. I felt guilty and shameful, started with self-harm, depression and thoughts of committing suicide….
That’s an experience a father and daughter share.
– I felt great sorrow. Knowing that I couldn’t prevent that from happening to my daughter, was very hard, says Rich today.
– I used to say that the worst thing that could happen to a parent was that his or her child dies. The second worst thing, I believe, is that your child gets raped, says Rich.
Charlen was glad that her dad got to hear what had happened to her. She was in doubt if she should ever would say that, or if she could say that.
– This has become our mission. If we would be able to prevent at least one rape, we wouldn’t help only the victim, we would also help to the whole family, save them from many worries and pain, in many years that come. We will provide an app that can help prevent pain, self-harm, anxiety, depression and suicide among your girls and boys.
Charlen has found a boyfriend and she goes to college as a private candidate, likes to train and spend time with her friends. She is doing well now.
– Time has been my best friend. Now, I am ready to help other girls and boys and tell my story to prevent rape from happen and have proves in cases it already has happened.