The judge tells me
It took me until I was aged 24 to go to the police and give a statement about abuse I'd suffered aged 10 and 11. It took me 13 years of guilt and shame to realise it wasn't me who should be feeling either. It should have been him.
When I bundled myself in clothes each day for school, scared that someone may notice my body in the same way that he had, he was building a new life. A new life that would later protect him from facing a custodial sentence for the crimes he committed. My eldest sisters now ex fiancé had been part of our family for 6 years and was loved by all of us. I trusted him - so when he restrained me by holding me so tight I couldn't break free (no matter how hard I tried) I believed him when he told me he had just wanted a hug. I believed him when he told me I was the one being "mean" for fighting back as he forced me to maturbate him. I believed him when he told me my parents would be annoyed with me if they found out.
When he woke me up, aged 11, in the middle of the night and asked to come into my bed for a "hug" I said no. Saying no didn't stop him. He plead guilty the day of the trial to coming into my room on this occasion. He plead guilty to chasing me between two rooms as I tried to escape him by pushing a toy chest against my door. He plead guilty to grinding his penis against me whilst touching my vagina and nipples. He plead guilty to once again holding me down and forcing me to maturbate him. He plead guilty.
Tonight he walks free - with a mere £500 fine and some community service. Because he has a family the judge tells me, a mortgage, a company, a life. The judge tells me that the stigma of being a convicted paedophile and the stress of awaiting trial is punishment enough. The judge tells me he is otherwise a man of "good character".
For years if I felt someone's hand when it was slightly moist (from heat or having washed them) it would trigger panic attacks. Flash backs of the feeling of his sweating hands all over my body. I self harmed through my teenage years to cope and have been left scarred. I always felt too ashamed and guilty to really talk about what had happened. The shame and guilt that I have lived with for years certainly felt like a punishment. The shame and guilt he has to feel now as a convicted paedophile is punishment enough the judge tells me.
I feel utterly broken.
We do NOT give permission for posts published as personal experiences to be reproduced, translated or otherwise published elsewhere. We will not contact people who submit their personal experiences on behalf of journalists, bloggers or other third sector organisations. These testimonies remain the intellectual copyright of their authors and must be treated with the ethical guidelines used by academics for research involving human subjects. Our full guidelines can be read here.Download this post as PDF? Click here