I decided to report the abuse I had suffered for a number of reasons. First of all, I had just started a new relationship with a woman. She felt that if I went to the police it would bring me closure. It would make me feel stronger and would be a step in the right direction for my recovery. She was so certain that I should go to the police and I started to bear her opinion in mind.
The second reason was that a programme called The Abused was on the BBC in 2015 or 2016 . It made me think about all that I had been through, it showed other victims of sexual abuse and their journey. It made me feel like if I went to the police, I would be supported.
These were the main reasons that led me to go and walk into the police station, with my partner ,and tell the police what had happened to me and tell them about child sexual abuse I had been through.
The process of going to the police was difficult as I still felt in part guilty of what happened to me. Like it was my fault. I felt like going to the police was something that I shouldn’t do, because it would put another human in prison. But on the other hand, what he did to me has changed my life. Now, every day I take a high dose of antidepressants. That is not the way I saw my life. Living with depression, anxiety and difficult flashbacks.
It was hard, knowing that he could go to jail. It was hard in other ways too. The process was long. From going to the police, to the police finding him, him being taken to court and me also having to give evidence in court took a while. About 2 years or more.
But in the end I think the process was helped by the fact I had advocate, an independent domestic violence advocate (IDVA) who helped me along the way from a charity called Galop.
She was amazing and helped me so much. She came to meetings with the police with me. She came to the police station when I had to listen to my audio evidence. She came to court and sat behind me to give me extra support. So the process was altogether an experience that wasn’t as hard as I first imagined due to the fact I had an advocate and also the detective police officers were so respectful and understanding and they always listened and helped me along the way. I couldn’t praise them enough there were amazing police officers.
The detective police officers also told me there were other female victims. I felt a little bit heart broken at first when the Male detective told me there were other victims. But I had my advocate by my side and she put her arm round me and told me, I was so brave. I just looked at her and I knew that I had to stay strong. Even though, in a way I felt like my heart had been ripped out, because I believed from the age of 10years old that he loved me and only me. He had groomed me and abused me up until I was 16, then I even went to live with him in London until I was 21, I was that brainwashed.
I thought that he adored me and that I was his one and only. I didn’t ever realised whilst I was being abused that he had done this before. It never even crossed my mind that he had touched other young girls. So to hear it plain as day from the officers in front of me, I was shocked. But also really shaken by it. I just remember staring infront of me at the blue walls of the police station and thinking ..WHY ME.
I couldn’t understand how he could have done this to other girls aswell. It just seemed too much.
Yet in the end im happy they told me before I went into court because otherwise at the end of the trial when he was being sentenced I would have looked around and seen other women and not known the reason they were there. So the police made the right move on telling me there was other victims as well, so that i could prepare my mind and understand what was happening in the case.