Sexual abuse is physically and emotionally painful, sadistic and humiliating. For many of us who have survived our trauma discover that when abuse is repeated when we are young and most vulnerable, we can be left with a deep sense of toxic poisoning that can interfere with our lives for years. It can alter relationships such as not being able to trust the motives of others, and distrust and and suspiciousness which can lead to isolation
It is a lonely journey to find help, hope and healing within a safe, non judgmental environment. But it is possible. As a survivor I am well aware that many people, including those in sports clubs and associations, school and even in religious institutions and the faith community have trouble understanding why we don’t ‘just get over it. Let it go.’ ‘Just forgive.” They fail to understand that there is no set time to ‘get over it’ and in fact we never ‘get over it’ but rather we learn coping skills to embrace our brokenness and restructure our lives. The trauma can live on for years at multiple levels and can be complex. The crime against us is not about whether or not we forgive the perpetrator but it is about holding people accountable for their actions. To break the cycle of what perpetrators do, they must be held accountable.
As a survivor it is disconcerting that people still have difficulty understanding the delayed onset of trauma. To the survivor it is never just an historical event – it was a crime done against us.
As a survivor, I still vividly remember what my neighbor did to me. I was 11 years old.
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Part of my healing process was to find answers that only a court could give me. I was told that I would have to seek a warrant to access my medical and childrens aid file that contained all the answers to the reasons I was left in a home with my father whom I reported to my mother, and she reported to police.
When 26 years later I reported my abuse to the police, it was explained that because I was a minor my mother would have had to consent to the police and children's aid to interview me. She denied access to everyone...except a doctor who completed a full exam on my tiny 7 yr old body.
He concluded that I was abused.
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