There’s nothing more important to a parent than protecting their child. So when something happens to them, it’s understandable if you feel like you didn’t do enough or were too late. But there are times when you simply can’t prepare yourself, which is exactly what happened to a Colorado mother and her daughter.
Catherine St. Germain posted a video on Facebook with the caption: “Many of you know what Hell the last year has been for my family. I ask that you share this short video. I believe we must not remain silent, and instead shine a light [on] this dark subject.” Her message has been heard loud and clear, with the video garnering nearly 50 million views so far.
Catherine doesn’t speak in the video; rather, she lets simple white cards do the talking. She tells us that she is a 34-year-old living in Loveland, Colo. Her daughter, Alyssa, is almost 17. She then adds photos, particularly when she tells us about her love life.
She started dating a man who she’s known for 20 years. Aaron Tyrell Scott has three kids of his own, he’s a U.S. Navy veteran, worked as a police officer, and everyone loved him. They eventually got married and she thought he was the ONE.
Then the fateful day — April 23, 2015 — arrived. The police called to tell Catherine that her daughter, then 15-year-old Alyssa, had been sexually assaulted the night before … by Aaron.
Catherine kicked him out, their divorce was finalized on Sept. 1, but throughout that time, Aaron maintained his innocence — until DNA evidence came back positive and he was forced to take a plea bargain. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail and eight years of sex offender probation.
“‘Stranger Danger’ is a joke,” Catherine writes. “MONSTERS look and act NORMAL. They are very good at hiding who they REALLY ARE. They are the people we trust with our kids EVERY DAY.”
She advises that parents should check the National Sex Offender Registry because you never know who’s lurking right in front of you.
“I don’t want this to happen to anyone else. I want moms to know what grooming signs look like,” she told 9 News.
“I keep saying I didn’t do anything brave, my kid did. My kid did the bravest thing,” St. Germain added. “She spoke out against the person who sexually assaulted her within 24 hours.”
Now, Catherine is shedding light on this devastating subject, encouraging parents (especially single moms) to learn more about the behaviour of abusers, letting us know this can happen to anyone, by anyone.