My daughter is a happy, intelligent, kind, and beautiful person. In fact, the best I can tell–she is a lot like the woman who saved her life.

Never mind that this woman lived a very, very long time ago.

She and my daughter share a great deal in common.

Starting with: they were both raped by people they trusted in their family. In fact, they were both raped by “a brother.”

The woman is Tamar. She was violated by her half-brother Amnon–older than her, a truly evil character.

No one confronted Amnon. No one punished or reprimanded or banished or in any way dealt with the great evil he brought on his sister and their family.

As a christian I knew Tamar’s story. In fact I had studied it and pulled it apart like the crime drama it is.

And here is what I found:

David is a weenie. He has the power to deal with his son but no moral authority to do so. He also had the option of handing Amnon over to another authority. Instead he did nothing.

David’s inaction is a result of his own moral failure.

It leads to more tragedy:

Absalom (Tamar’s full brother) takes the law into his own hands and kills Amnon then rebels against David.

Tamar’s life is ruined.

She loses her one sure “advocate.”. She loses her trust in her father, her mother, her community. The entire country should have demanded justice for Tamar, but only Absalom shows any sign of the brutality of what had happened to his sister. And he makes a lot of terrible things worse.

So when I had to face the same situation that David did, I learned from his mistakes–

I demanded and fought for legal redress.

I got my daughter help.

I fought for her.

I protected her.

And I gave her a safe place to tell her story and grieve.

Every survivor of sexual assault deserves these basic remedies.

Few get them.