Ten Year Old Girl Speaks Up To Keep Her Sisters Safe


In Davenport, Iowa, two years of sexual molestation committed against three young girls have been brought to an end by the courageous actions of a ten year old girl. Twenty-five year old Jaymie Souder pled guilty to the molestation of his girlfriend’s three young daughters in November. The girls, ages 6, 7, and 10 made numerous attempts to disclose the abuse to their twenty-nine year old mother, who repeatedly ignored the girls’ cry for help.

"Several times, she told her mom, but her mom wouldn't do anything about it," said Christie Rimkus, the girl's aunt.

Ready to be heard, the oldest sister took a different course of action. One afternoon, as the girls began to board the school bus home, this brave ten-year-old girl made the existence of her abuse public by refusing to get on the bus home that day.

"She wouldn't allow her sister to get on the bus, either. She said, 'No, we're not going home.' She knew he would be there," said Rimkus.

After reporting the abuse to a teacher, the police were called and both mother and boyfriend were arrested. The girls are now in the care of their aunt where they can enjoy a Christmas they deserve, full of love and free from abuse.

The actions of a ten year old girl who spoke up not only to save her own life but the lives of her sisters, make us all reevaluate our perception of a hero. It does not matter how small the voice, or how little the hands are, when a person speaks out and reaches out to help another or herself from an abusive situation, they are not only saving a life, but sending a message: No one deserves to be treated this way, and everyone can make a difference.

Everyone includes the assistance of the community. If not for the involvement of the teachers, law enforcement, and even relatives, these little girls’ prayers may have gone unanswered. Ignored by their mother, who sided with the abuser, these children relied on members of the community they could trust, to listen, and to help. Ending child abuse is not something that can be cured on an individual basis, it takes all of us.

And unfortunately stories like this remind us of all the abuse that goes on behind closed doors. Children all over the country struggle each day with the same ongoing undisclosed abuse. While much of Childhelp’s efforts go into treating the aftermath of child abuse victims, we also strive to prevent abuse from ever happening, with our abuse prevention education curriculum, Speak Up Be Safe.

Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe is a research based, comprehensive primary prevention education curriculum that equips children in Grades 1-6 and their adult community with skills they need to play a significant role in the prevention or interruption of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse and neglect.

Speak Up Be SafeTo find out motre about this revoluionary primary prevention curriculum and to order Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe for your school, visit www.childhelp.org/SpeakUpBeSafe

Speak Up Now.


The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD is staffed 24/7 by certified counselors offering crisis intervention, information, literature, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls are anonymous and confidential. 

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