I’m a 10-year-old girl. I’m supposed to be in the fourth grade, learning my multiplication tables
Why Didn’t ABQ Care When Victoria Was Still Alive
BY DAN KLEIN
My mom’s boyfriend tried to kiss me. I was scared. I don’t want to be touched liked that. Somehow, I fought him off. Maybe I told an adult, or maybe a grown-up saw it. Either way, I did what I was supposed to do. Someone called the state people to report it. This is how it’s supposed to work, right?
When I watch cartoons on Saturday, I see commercials saying that grown-ups will protect me if someone is touching me and I don’t like it. The commercial says to tell a grown-up. They’ll protect me. Will they?
My teachers tell me to say something if an adult does something to me that I don’t like. Grown-ups will protect me. Well, I did, and no came. No one protected me.
I’m a 10-year-old girl. I’m supposed to be in the fourth grade, learning my multiplication tables. I’m supposed to be playing house with my friends and swinging on the swing. I’m supposed to feel love and be happy. That’s what I’m supposed to be.
But my life is a living hell. I know I’m not supposed to use that word, but my mom sells me to her drug friends and they do things to me that I don’t like. They give me things that make me feel sick and sleepy. When I wake up, I hurt in places where I shouldn’t hurt. Sometimes I bleed from my private places, and it scares me.
I tell my mom, and she tells me to be quiet and not to tell anyone, that if I really love her and my brother, I won’t say anything. If I do, police will come and break us apart. I’m scared. I hate myself.
After mom’s boyfriend tried to kiss me, I was hoping the policemen would come and take me away. I waited, but they never came. I did what I was supposed to do; why didn’t anyone protect me?
Right before my birthday, I was drugged, beaten, strangled, raped and murdered. My mom and her two friends killed me. But I wonder if a community that didn’t care until I was dead killed me, too.
The lady at the police department who is paid to say nice things about the police told a reporter that my mom’s boyfriend didn’t commit a crime. But what if he did that to her? Would that be a crime? Or to her little girl? Would that be a crime? I’m too little to protect myself. Why didn’t you protect me?
Police said they investigated my mom’s boyfriend. Did they? If they really did, maybe I would be alive.
If policemen talked to me, where’s the report? The video? After Omaree died, the police chief and the mayor made a rule that police have to write a report in cases like mine. Where’s my report?
My teachers tell me that you have to play by the rules, that you have to tell the truth, always. Why isn’t the police chief playing by the rules? If policemen were never sent to help me, why not just admit it? I was the one who was raped and murdered. How bad could it be for you to admit I fell through the cracks?
I don’t want your flowers, balloons, teddy bears or candlelight vigils. You can keep them all if you’ll just let me be a kid again. I want adults to care about me. If I ask for help, I want someone to come and protect me, even if it’s from my own mom. I want to live in a place that loves me before I am dead. I don’t need balloons. Teddy bears do me no good now.
When I got to heaven, the first person I saw was Omaree. He hugged me and told me the pain was gone. I asked him why things hadn’t changed for little kids in Albuquerque after he died. He said that until the grown-ups truly care, nothing will change.
Remember me. My name is Victoria.
Dan Klein is a retired Albuquerque police sergeant. Reach him through Facebook.