SEXUAL ABUSE OF THE DISABLED.
Allen and I shared the same last name—MILLER-- but we had nothing else in common. Allen's father was a bank president, he had an elegant and proper mother, and, his older sister, Jane, was beautiful and smart until---a sudden attack of spinal meningitis left her forever-trapped in the mind of a five year old. When I began working part-time at Emmaus, Jane Miller--a permanent resident—was one of my first clients. Emmaus, a home for adults with disabilities, was located on a small hill near the outskirts of St. Charles, Missouri. I write about Emmaus in my book because it was a horribly-depressing environment and, in my opinion, the administrators and its board ignored the basic needs of most residents living there. Emmaus was located on a site once-called: The Insane Asylum. From my experience, nothing about the place had changed...only its name.
Jane’s attractiveness, nice clothes, and obvious manners set her apart from the other residents. After meeting her mother and her younger brother, Allen, and learning of their background, I understood why. Shortly after our meeting, Jane's mother became seriously ill. Allen, the only responsible family member left, placed his mother in an expensive 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 personal grooming. Jane seemed to identify with me and, overtime--- the home’s supervisor---who considered Jane a spoiled and difficult brat---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, to be understood. And, I was beginning to feel uneasy about 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; I wrote, in detail, about Jane’s obsession with masturbating all day and night after spending almost every weekend with her brother. I also wrote, in detail, about the afternoon Jane removed her clothes and got in bed with a very-old black resident. In return, I was placed on two weeks suspension. 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, I was surprised to receive an email from Allen. He had retired from Banking and wondered where I was living. He mentioned Jane was still at Emmaus but continued to visit him on weekends. Allen said Jane often asked “Where’s Sally?” He wanted me to send my phone number so they could call me. His request seemed harmless enough so I sent my phone number. Several nights later, I heard from Allen. Apparently, he’d been drinking and wanted to express himself. Jane wasn’t with him and soon, I learned the real reason for his call.
I listened as Allen described how he undressed his sister, insisting she wear nothing on her weekend visits; how he showered with Jane, and carefully cleaned every part of her; how he'd taught Jane to “service” him at night so he could sleep like a baby; how he experimented with her, using every sexual position imaginable. Allen finished his report of sexual dominance by announcing with pride, that he and his sister were lovers. Yes, Allen graphically detailed how he repeatedly raped his disabled sister until he reached complete gratification.... then hung up the phone. The next day, I changed my phone number and created a new email account.
Never doubt your instincts.