I was a victim of childhood sexual assault by a perpetrator who absolutely knew it was wrong……my oldest male sibling.
I cannot give him the title brother as he’s never played that role and I know that good brothers do exist as I have two that have been an enormous support to me.
It took me over 40 years to find the courage to disclose my abuse to my best friend who I’ve known for all those 40 years. Following my disclosure, I attempted suicide (Not I might add for the first time) I was so ashamed my secret was out. It took me a further four weeks after my initial disclosure to take the matter to the Police.
The support I had firstly from Gwent Police & subsequently South Wales Police was outstanding, taking my allegation seriously, they were kind and compassionate. They maintained regular contact either via email or telephone and I truly felt they were championing my case. Unfortunately, my case did not make it through the enormous hoops that have to be navigated to get the CPS to take it into Court. The Police Officer who was tasked with delivering this piece of news was genuinely disappointed she felt sure it would make it. The main comfort I take from this, is that at least he’s never been found not guilty. I’m a firm believer however in Karma and one day that train will arrive in his station.
I was referred initially by the Police to New Pathways and used the services of the SARC (Sexual Assault Referral Centre) I was appointed an ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) to support me through the Police investigation. I also attended six weeks of one to one counselling through New Pathways.
Once my case was complete, I came into the services at Horizon SVS. I completed 20 weeks of one to one counselling with the opportunity for more if required. The counselling gave me the answers to all the questions that had kept me awake for many nights. I dealt with the trapped inner child and learned to self sooth without guilt. I gave the guilt and shame I held to the person it belonged to, my perpetrator! I was finally free! I was invited at the end of my counselling to complete The Sexual Violence Recovery Tool Kit a 12-week programme, which I did. The tool kit was and still is a vital part of my life. I’ve gained a file full of sound advice and practice tools, I’ve made some lifelong invaluable friends who inspire me with their own progress.
The strength I have today comes from the hard work and commitment of the staff and counsellors at Horizon SVS and my own hard work and determination to not allow the next 40 years of my life to be driven by my history. (See I’m now even optimistic that I’m going to happily live until my 90’s!)
I am now a Volunteer with Horizon SVS helping support other survivors traumatised by events in their lives.
“Do not do unto others that which is hateful unto thee”