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Historic child abuse case, urgent advice needed please.(19 Posts)
Hi, I could really use a bit of help. I had a visit from the child protection team in the local police a few weeks ago as I had been named as a potential witness in a abuse case that had been reported to them.
I was abused by my dad for a considerable length of time. It now transpires I was not alone ( 4+).
I have never talked to anyone in detail about the abuse, and as such I have no idea how I can manage to talk in detail to a stranger. Also, another big problem in my head is because it was something that happened to me for a long time, my brain normalises it, and then I start doubting the content of any statement I give
I want to do the right thing and support this individual that has made the report - as I was not believed when I tried to report it as a teenager, and I would hate this witness to feel disbelieved.
So sorry that you went through that op.
Is the person that has made the report someone you know well, that you could talk to about how you're feeling?
I understand what you mean about your brain normalising it, I'm exactly the same. I found counselling very helpful, could that be an option for you?
Hi OP, I have no experience of child abuse, but the thing that screams out to me from reading your post is how very important it is that you support the new victim by disclosing your abuse if you possibly can.
I can’t pretend to understand how difficult this may be for you.
To avoid the normalising thing, you need to keep your words completely factual. Don’t try to add explanations or meanings for what happened. If you state the facts then it is for the listener to decide the meaning of what you are saying.
Is there a chance that it will be easier to talk to the police than someone close to you (because of the lack of emotional involvement)? If not, can you think of the person you will find it easiest to tell?
for you OP. You have been through something terrible.
Firstly so sorry this has happened to you xxx
It's good to consider giving the statement but what about afterwards? And what if they have enough evidence to bring the case to court? It's going to stir everything right up for you. What's your situation in terms of support...husband, friends...and my favourite, a counsellor?
Don't worry hoe you come across at all, just answer their questions. Take breaks where you need them and have some after care support. Expect to have broken sleep, anxiety and all that for a while.
It's not just the other people either, you matter and what happened to you is important. X
It might help you to call Samaritans because they should listen to you in a non judgemental way and let you tell your story free from interruption. Saying it all out loud to a stranger in that way might be a good first step.
Can you get some specialist support for this? The local centre for rape and sexual abuse here would offer support through the process with an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor. There are trained and experienced at supporring survivors through this process. It's support and guidance, not counselling. Can you look for what's available to you locally? The specialist police team are usually patient and understanding. They should support you to go at your own pace. It would not be okay (and could jeopardise a conviction) if you talked to the other victim(s). Sorry that this bomb is going off in your life. I hope that it will bring some positive benefits for you, especially as you have tried to report in the past
Talipia I have been factual with what I have said so far, but I have now got to the mute point - I can't seem to say any more, even naming a body part was impossible for me - which is bloody stupid at my age, and being a mum.
Something to say I have been led to believe that there is enough for this to go to court. I am already getting more memories and "bits" come back
Heidiwine I must make a more concerted effort to talk to NAPAC, I think these would be best, but you know what its like, a busy working mum, and trying to avoid the crap
Bastardkitty I need to look at this more, but yes I understand not to talk to anyone - I wouldn't want to risk any action or conviction as I do feel if I can get through this ( and indeed the others) it needs to have been worth it
They may do a video interview with you or written statement but the person you see will be trained to obtain the information from you in such a way to explain the long term impact it’s had on you and how in your mind it was the norm, a way of coping with things. You would make a very good witness as you don’t sound like you would be hysterically crying and would give it in a matter of fact way.
You can do this at your speed to a degree. Also you need to make sure the pokice refer you to an ISVA . Spend some time getting to know the police officer who will be interviewing you. This may make it easier for you to talk. Well done for being adamant you want to support the process.
Princessplod what we have done so far has been a video interview , and will continue to be. You are right, I haven't sobbed yet- have done picking nails and staring at the floor but that's the limit of it at the moment. I just don't know how to get round the detail, and the argument in my brain or right vs wrong vs my experience
desmondo2016 I have spent 3 hours talking to the officer 😲 before starting an interview. We spoke at length about process and outcomes and possibly again as I don't think my brain grasped it all the first time. X
What happened to you was wrong, and it was not your fault. It sounds like, quite apart from the interviews and police involvement, this is really hard for you. NAPAC would be a really good place for you to get specialised support, because that's what you deserve to have. Take care of you.
Sounds like this could potentially bring you closure in the long run?
I gave a video statement to the police and like you, I was worried I wouldn't be able to do it. But they were so good at asking the right questions, and they were so compassionate and helpful, that it was much easier than I had expected it to be.
Trust the police you're working with, and give them as much as you can. You're good.
Oh my lovely, I am so sorry. This is my absolute worst nightmare. I too was abused by my father. When my mum found out she called social services but I refused to make a statement to the police. I was terrified of him being arrested, terrified of ruining the family. There weren't any other kids in the family and I thought he wasn't a danger to anyone else. I've spent a lot of time in the last 20 years worrying I was wrong about that.
I completely understand about your memories and this is normal and common. I have huge holes in my memory and what's there is cloudy and confused. It has gotten increasingly so as I've gotten older. I would really recommend some counselling. Its something that people can't really comprehend unless they've experienced it but it's a normal response for your brain to shut things down if you've never spoken about it.
Sending you all the love and support
Theoscargoesto Thank you- I have had a quick chat with NAPAC and they have given me the details of some other resources.
Debs77 I can certainly hope it will. The most epic thing seems that it is now no longer something that we thought happened that wasn't believed - i.e. a bad dream - it now seems real??
Desmondo2016 Still a bit lost if I'm honest - but I am absolutely all too aware that I am the only one that can sort this
OnTheRise Thank you- I did try- and I did manage some - but it feels as though we haven't scraped the surface :0
TammySwansonToo Sorry to hear that you suffered too - brains shutting down is a scary but totally logical concept.
Right now I wish my brain was a hard drive (!) that I could ask them to remove ( to get the evidence) and then get a new one ( to get all the shit out of my head )
Thank you- I did try- and I did manage some - but it feels as we haven't scraped the surface :0
After I gave my statement I was worried that I hadn't given enough information. I knew I'd missed things out, and hadn't explained how awful or how extensive some of the things that happened were. So I contacted the police officer who had helped me through and told him of my concerns, and he said I'd given a really good statement, that I'd given lots of information and more than enough to prove a case against my abuser, and that I wasn't to worry. You might find it useful to speak to them and tell them your worries: it could help.
I'm so sorry you've gone through all of this. I hope you're ok.
I can’t imagine what it feels like to be in this position, my heart goes out to you. I think the first thing I would say is that it’s really important you find a counsellor/ therapist to support you through the process. Having to talk about sex offences is very difficult whatever age you experienced them, and you need somewhere to get support for all the emotions and issues that it brings up. Secondly, while I can’t speak for child abuse, generally it does get easier to talk about sexual trauma over time. The very first time is the most excruciating, but after a while it does get easier.
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