I remember the summer before the abuse began — running through the fields of golden rod and phlox behind our house. I used to run through the fields and put the flowers in my hair — my Mom used to say that I was so beautiful, even though she was allergic to them. She did not care about her allergies because she adored the way I looked with the flowers in my hair. This was the innocence of my childhood. I was almost nine when the abuse started. I didn’t view things the same nor did I run through the fields anymore, or feel beautiful like I did before the abuse.
I saw a psychologist when I was 14 and I disclosed to her about the abuse, and she told me that I was doing the right thing by telling someone about what I had endured. I kept that in mind after it was leaked out into the community and the school district. I kept that close to my heart when I was called a liar, when my head was smashed into lockers, when my hair was pulled out of my head and when I was spat at. By the time I was 15, I threatened to commit suicide. When this failed to get the help that I needed so desperately, I finally did try to commit suicide during school hours. I was almost 16. My abuser only served three months for the 4-1/2 years of abuse that he inflicted on me. He now, no longer, has to register as a sex offender.
I feel that justice did not prevail when I was younger. Being that I was a minor the court records were sealed. I was not allowed to be present during the trial, and I am angry that I am unable to read the court records to find out what was said in the court room in my defense. I have no one that wants to speak to me about the abuse or what happened to me when I was younger. I hear that I should just leave it in the past and not open a new can of worms — but now I am beyond that! I want to know the truth. I want to put this behind me and move forward through helping others that have suffered like I have.
I want to find ways to change laws because sexual abuse is a premeditated act. Sexual predators seek out their victims in advance to build a comfortable and trusting relationship. I believe that the laws regarding sexual crimes should be stiffer. The whole reason I needed to find a place like Vera House is because I needed to speak. I needed to break the silence and bring this matter to the forefront. I intend to help society understand this very serious crime happens all too often.
I was a victim for many years of my life but today I proclaim, I am NO LONGER a victim, I am a SURVIVOR!