Woman locked in her basement by own family shares her story to help others
GOSHEN, Ind. — A Goshen woman is sharing her horrifying story of being locked in her own basement by her family. She’s hoping it could help others find help who are in a similar situation.
It’s estimated that one in nine seniors are victims of abuse, neglect and exploitation — often times at the hands of their family. In Kim Pike’s case, she invited her foster sister, her niece and her niece’s boyfriend into her home to help them out and that is where her nightmare began.
For close to 10 years, Pike walked down a steep flight of steps to her basement bedroom. It had just one window, a tiny twin bed and a few decorations to make it feel more like home.
Pike has lived in her Goshen home for a good part of her life, She inherited it from her parents when they died. When her foster sister needed a place to stay she welcomed her and her daughter in.
“I have nothing against my sister,” said Pike. “I love her to death, but what she did to me is what I hate.”
Pike says, what she did was basically terrorize her for eight years, taking over her home, spending all her money and trashing her house.
“There was cat poop over the carpet. It was sticking to the carpets,” said Pike. “Paper all over the floor. Dirty dishes laying around and clothes laying all piled up and cats in the closet pooping all over the clothes. It was nasty”
They even locked her in her basement bedroom by tying a rope to the doorknob.
“I was scared,” Pike recalled. “I couldn’t get out. It was very tight. I had to get a pair of scissors and try to open it a little bit so I could cut the rope to get out, but it didn’t work so I had to climb out the window.”
She ran next door to call police, but no report was filed and the abuse continued even turning physical at times.
“Turned around and grabbed me by my arm and pulled me downstairs so she could calm me down,” said Pike.
Eventually, Pike’s home health care provider notified Adult Protective Services and that’s when attorney Jessica Brock got involved.
She works for Indiana Legal Services’ LAVA Project. It stands for Legal Assistance for Victimized Adults.
“We filed with the court to get protection orders against the mother and the daughter,” said Brock. “We also filed with the court to have all three individuals evicted from the home and seeking reimbursement for damage they did to the property.”
The court granted the protective order and the eviction and also ordered her family to pay 6,000 dollars in damages.
“I moved back upstairs and I feel very happy now and I feel safe and I love it up here,” said Pike.
Now she wants others to hear her story.
“I don’t want someone else going through what I went through,” said Pike. “That’s why I want to tell people how I feel.”
Unfortunately, Brock says, in many cases where family are the abusers the victims are afraid to seek help.
“Oftentimes our clients are seniors with severe medical needs and they rely on these family members oftentimes their only child the one doing the abuse for their medical care to get them to the grocery store,” said Brock.