I am a survivor of sexual abuse which I was subjected to for 26 years. After telling no one about my trauma I had suffered I decided one day enough was enough and since that day I have never looked back. I would not lie and say every day is a bed of roses, it’s not but with the enormous help and support I have had and still get I cope by taking every day as it comes, some are better than others but that is life.
My case never went to court but I was proud at what I had achieved knowing that although my abuser was not in prison the authorities were aware of him. My experience encouraged me to give talks to police detectives letting them know what it was like from a survivor’s point of view. This was very rewarding the feedback was good and I did this for 18 months, only stopping due to cutbacks.
The Rape & Sexual Violence Project are outstanding they have helped not only with counselling but supporting me via their ISVAs (Independent Sexual Violence Advocates.) I have first-hand experience of the ISVA service as unfortunately I had to attend hospital for major gynaecology surgery. I would not have gone through with it without their support attending clinic appointments with me and coming to the hospital on the day of my operations. This made a huge difference to me. The service is without doubt 5 star and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
All survivors must remember people do care and I am hoping to restart my talks with other police forces up and down the country, thus improving things for other survivors that come forward. If I can give help and support to someone wanting to come forward, then I know I have given a little bit back from the help and support I received.