Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

i was failed, BUT I WONT FAIL! (content note)

at 14 years old i was seeing a man 20 years my senior, i was so in love with this man i would have done anything for him. but since ive started counselling i now realize this was not a fair relationship, and was being groomed into life of rape and abuse.
whether through ignorance, lack of education, or just pure rose tinted glasses i had no idea that this man i had fallen so in love with was in fact raping me, because i couldn't have consented to an act i wasn't even old enough to participate in. social services were well aware of this man, were well aware i had stopped going to school to look after his children, and did nothing, (first failing).
when i was 18 years old i was gang raped and beaten by this man and four of his friends, and i still stayed, maybe i was scared to leave, maybe i was being controlled and maybe because of the lack of information and help there was about then i didn't know where i could go, or who i could trust, over the next several years i was beaten, sometimes so severely i had to be hospitalized, doctors and nurses saw injuries that couldn't possibly have been caused by a fall, but every time he would stand over me, give these people excuses as to how clumsy i had been and they would fix me up and send me home with him, (failed again) when my children were born he would constantly threaten to take them away from me, until i became exactly what he wanted me to be, a zombie, someone that only functioned but wasn't really alive, and now 23 years later, he still walks around like hes god, with a force field wrapped around him that seems to be impenetrable. hes been found to do have done so many things wrong some illegal, some just purely immoral, the police, and social services are well aware of these things and have done nothing, (another failing, that has thus made his invincibility complex grow, and his force field harder to penetrate.) i'm now finally getting help for myself due to circumstances, and i'm now scared more than ever, there have been so many failings over the years some of which has resulted in some severe consequences for me, but i can finally say i'm angry, i'm angry that there is help out there but it was offered to me so late, i'm angry that i was left to deal with a situation that i shouldn't have been, (no one should). i'm angry that so many victims are constantly failed by people that have the power to help protect us, AND DON'T. slowly i have started to realize that i am worth helping, i am a decent person, and when you finally get help from people who do there job well, and genuinely care whether you live or die, that things can get better, and just being able to have a voice makes that much difference, i'm still super angry and bitter towards the professionals that that let me down, but i can at least now speak and be heard, and to me that's a massive start. things are not great for me, but there getting better, and i no longer feel completely dead, nor do i wish i was, (all the time), i know its gonna take a long time, but now i know where the help is and am getting it, thanks to crasac, and coventry haven, for helping me realize im worth something more than he made me believe, and my voice is something worth hearing.


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3 thoughts on “i was failed, BUT I WONT FAIL! (content note)

  • lynda anne sherlock says:

    Thank you for your words they resonate with me so much i too have been let down by a system that has more protected the perpetrator at the beginning than myself. I know the fight to be heard and believed has been the hardest to steer. But i say to any women, men and child never give up telling your story if the first professional doesn’t listen then don’t give up and try and try again until you are listened to and believed. Being in a controlling relationship sometimes you don’t really know your in one and has a drip drip effect on you especially emotional abuse and never really leaves you alone. You are brave and strong and never forget to tell yourself that and it was never your fault their failings are those professionals you never helped you and turned and looked the other way. I am glad you now have got the helped you deserved and for me i took baby steps one day at a time and slowly become the person i wanted to become and you in time can be the person you want to be.

  • H says:

    Hi Natalie,
    I’m sorry that you have had such horrendous experiences and I hear/understand your frustration at a system that is so wrong. Sadly, you are not alone and I know that doesn’t help (it makes me even more angry!) but I just wanted to reach out and send you some love and light xxx

  • Keith berry says:

    Your voice is worth hearing and your voice will make a difference to others. Please use your voice as much and as often as you can. Your voice needs to be heard. The more your voice is heard the more other voices will feel able to speak out. When all the voices are able to speak out we will know how strong we are. Thank you for speaking out.