Nov. 19, 2019

SEXUAL ABUSE OF THE DISABLED IS FAR-TOO-COMMON.

 

We shared the same last name—Miller-- but we had nothing in common. Allen Miller's father was a bank president; his mother, Helen, was proper and elegant; his older sister, Jane, was beautiful and smart…until she reached five years of age. Suddenly, Spinal Meningitis attacked her young body and left her mind permanently-locked in the world of five year olds.

 I worked at Emmaus Home for Adults with Disabilities, part-time, while completing my communications degree at Lindenwood University.  It didn’t take long for Jane Miller to become my friend and favorite resident.  

Emmaus was located on a small hill outside St. Charles, Missouri. It was a horribly-depressing place and, in my opinion, the administrators and its board ignored the residents that lived there. Emmaus was located on a site once-called: The Insane Asylum. From my observation, nothing about the place had ever changed—except for its name.

Jane’s attractiveness, nice clothes, and traditional manners set her apart from the other residents. After meeting her mother, Helen, and her younger brother, Allen, and learning about their background, I understood why. Shortly after our meeting, Jane's mother became seriously ill.  Jane's brother Allen-- the only responsible family member left-- placed Helen in an assisted living facility where, after several months, she died.

Jane could walk, feed herself, and was able to use the bathroom alone, but, she needed help showering and with her personal grooming. Jane seemed to identify with me and, overtime, the home’s supervisor-- who considered Jane a spoiled and difficult resident---assigned me to work with Jane, exclusively.

I enjoyed reading to Jane, taking her for short walks, sitting with her in church, and helping her with small chores. What perplexed me was Jane’s inability to talk well or to be understood. And, I was beginning to feel uneasy about Allen, Jane’s brother.  Since her mother’s death, Jane kept repeating one name--“Allen”—again and again, day and night. Allen called her on the phone at least once-- every day. Then, one day, it happened.  And it continued to happen each time her brother called.  Jane would pick up the phone to talk with Allen and immediately, put her hand inside her pants.

From the beginning of my employment at Emmaus, I was told that, as an attendant, I was to ignore those residents who insisted on masturbating in full view of others.  Attendants could suggest a resident return to their room but…were not allowed to interrupt them, physically or forcefully. Attendants were told about the rights of every resident and that each resident could, fundamentally, do what they wanted—when they wanted---and where they wanted.

 I had an underlying fear that Jane was being sexually abused by her brother so I spoke with Emmaus Supervisors and Administrators about my suspicions. When I wrote my daily reports, I detailed Jane’s obsession with masturbating all day and night… each time she spent a weekend with her brother. I also wrote, in detail, about the afternoon I arrived at work and found Jane (completely naked),  in bed with a very-old black resident.

I worked at Emmaus because I needed money. I worked there until the day I received my college degree in Communications, accepted China’s invitation to teach at their Broadcasting Institute, and quickly left America.

Years later, after leaving China and returning to America, I was surprised to suddenly find an email message from Allen Miller. He had retired from Banking and wondered where I was living. He mentioned Jane was still at Emmaus but visited him almost every weekend.

 Allen mentioned that Jane kept asking “Where’s Sally?” He insisted I send him my phone number so he and Jane could call me. His request seemed harmless enough so I sent my phone number.

Several nights later, I received a call from Allen. Apparently, he’d been drinking and wanted to express himself. No, Jane wasn’t with him and soon… I learned the reason for his call.

I listened as Allen began describing how he undressed his sister every weekend--- insisting that she wear nothing; how he showered with Jane and personally-cleaned her body; how he taught Jane to “service” him at night so he could sleep like a baby; how he experimented with her, exploring every sexual position imaginable. Allen finished his shocking report of sexual dominance by announcing with pride---that he and his sister made perfect lovers.

Yes, Allen graphically-detailed to me, exactly how he enjoyed raping his disabled sister.   After reaching complete gratification, Allen quickly hung up the phone.

The next day, I changed my phone number and created a new email account.  Never doubt your instincts.

Sally Miller