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Bearing Through It >> Happiness and Healing >> Reporting the past to the police

Message started by Tracey on Oct 6th, 2012 at 7:47am

Title: Reporting the past to the police
Post by Tracey on Oct 6th, 2012 at 7:47am
I feel like a china cup that has been mended over the past 3 years; happily being drunk out of and carry on contently with everyday life.  This week, boom, a news story in the UK of a dead celebrity who has been accused of abusing young girls when he was alive and now I feel like that china cup has been thrown up in the air and shattered in pieces on the floor.

Why?  The coverage on radio of this story is of people criticisng and lack of sympathy for the victims who have now come forward a year after his death.  The public are saying why have they taken 30/40 years to come forward and now why, when he is dead.  Why didn't they come forward when he was alive and why don't victims of child sexual abuse come forward to take their abusers through the courts when they are alive?  By keeping quiet when their abusers are alive allows childhood sexual abuse to continue.


Where am I with all of this?  Well, beating myself up for being one of those that doesn't come forward when their abuser is alive and procecute them.  And as for why .... still that FEAR.

Fear of not being believed and fear of him killing me for telling.  Surely, at the end of the day after 30 years, it would be his word against mine.  What evidence do I have and what evidence do the police need?

Secondly, my abuser, when confronted said he would stand in front of a train if I ever took things forward criminally.  I would have that result hanging over my head too.

I feel trapped, I want to cry and feel I am letting victims now down for not speaking out against him with the police.  I am contributing to allowing abuse to continue.

It's not fair (I know that is a child phrase), but it's not.  It's so unfair that I have no evidence; not that I know what kind of evidence is required in such cases.  It's not fair that he gets away with it.

On one hand, I'm pleased this celebrity case has come out in order to publise this taboo subject.  On the other hand; it's completely thrown me and I don't like being knocked back like this.

Title: Re: Reporting the past to the police
Post by Ty on Oct 6th, 2012 at 10:07am
Hey girl...

I so know what you are talking about. And, I do not think that 'it's not fair' is a child is true, it is not fair. It's not right.

Adult responsibility is placed on us in the event of abuse...responsibility to please those who are adults as if we too are adults, putting us in situations we never requested to be in, asking us to do things we never wanted or knew.

Later, when we are free from their literal power over us, we are then placed in the role of stand up against this force that has stood over us. We are told by society that it is our responsibility to take care of ourselves, take care of others....Why?! How?!

How can one, who has been subject to become an exploited adult object come to a place where there are able to stand up? How?

I don't have statistics, but I believe that rarely do those who are subjec to abuse come forward...on their own...during or close to their abusive situation. In order to do that, there must be a large support system for them. When the abuse situation is someone, friend, can there be a large support system? The support system that is needed is usually pitted against the victim (either by the support system themselves, or by the abusers threats).

Tracey. I have had a hard time getting an understanding of this. I too feel responsible and particular for 'allowing' (which is what it feels like, but in reality...there are so many chains around me...political chains...time requirements for reporting...etc.) a perpetrator to walk on in life, and in essence....put him in a position that he can continue abusing.

I get sick over this. I feel that I have done all I can do....and I try to remind myself that I have done all that I can do.

It isn't fair. At the same time....IT'S NOT MY FAULT. IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT.

Your feelings are real....but please, please, please know....This should never have been your responsibility in the first place. You have done amazing things to bring awareness. You have done amazing things to pull yourself up, when no one else would or could. You, despite all that has been against you, have overcome the odds and have risen above that which you should never have experienced.

This doesn't change what we know is unfair....but I hope it does help you see that this is not something you deserved, or chose. They chose it....they did. For you to take on that repsonsibility is further victimization. I don't know about your laws, but where I live there is a statute of limitations of 2 years.....How long does it take, generally, for one to become strong enough to even think of taking a stand? I can honestly say...from my first time of abuse it took 17 years for me to even see it again. I shoved it away. My last experience of took me years to gain the strength to acknowledge the ugliness that it was, to recognize it....and years more to work through it. By the time I was able to come out of the black hole I was in, the statute of limitations was up...and all I could do was cry from the streets in hopes of protecting others from the monster I knew.

Tracey....please know...even if you cannot feel it...please know that you are not ever responsible for whatever actions your abuser takes...over themselves, or anyone else. That is their choice. The fact that we carry this responsibility keeps us blaming ourselves...blaming ourselves for something we never wanted or deserved. Remind is not your fault, it is not your responsibility. You have taken a stand against abuse. You have been strong and have taken steps to advocate for those who may be in the destructive path of abuse. You are amazing.

Title: Re: Reporting the past to the police
Post by Mandi on Oct 15th, 2012 at 1:12pm
I can totally relate!  When abuse pops in the news it totally throws me for a loop as well.  I never told anybody about my abusers either.  I feel guilty about it because my brother was one of my abusers, and he later abused a young girl when he was in his 20's.  He was sent to prison for that but maybe I could have prevented it.  When I finally told my mom what my brother did last year, she blamed me and said, "if you had told me earlier, I could have gotten him the help he needed and he wouldn't be in prison now."  We didn't talk for a year because she didn't handle it well at all.  I didn't dare tell her about my dad or anybody else after all she said to me.  She just wants to live in denial.  You have come such a long way and realistically, you know that you are doing what's right for you.  The abuser is the only person that is to blame.  Just take care of you and know that you are supported.  :) 

Title: Re: Reporting the past to the police
Post by Ginee on Jan 4th, 2013 at 11:17am
Hi Tracey, Ty, and Mandi! Remember me? Long time! I have been coming back and reading here lately, missing the support. I can totally relate to the china cup analogy as well. I will go weeks doing pretty well but things have been coming along lately to shatter me. It really is so unfair! There is so much negativity and pressure placed on survivors. You can't win! The process of reporting is almost as bad as being assaulted. It amazes me to hear how biased and harsh society can be towards survivors. Ty- you said what I feel but much more eloquently that I could have expressed it!† :)
I also didn't consciously acknowledge my childhood abuse until I was about 13 years older. I never forgot it- it was there in the back of my mind affecting my actions. But I knew (even at 7!) disclosing would shatter my whole family. And my abuser lived out of state so I didn't have to endure it more than a few times per year, so it was easy to just think I must be mistaken- it didn't really happen. As an adult I know my parents and family most likely would have believed me but they had marital problems and used to fight a lot. I was right to think that it would have opened a can of worms. By the time I remembered enough to consider pressing charges, my abuser was sickly and I wanted to spare my parents and siblings the guilt and stress that would come from it. He died a few years ago and although I know some people would judge me, I never regretted not confronting him or reporting it.
I have been working with adolescents and adults after s*xual assault for the last four and a half years. Something I think I got involved with partially out of guilt for never reporting myself (not just childhood abuse but also incidents later in life). Itís also a way I feel I can turn the bad things I went through into something good I can use to help others- it gives me purpose. I get so excited when my evidence leads to an arrest of a perpetrator. But Iím always adamant with my clients that justice is different for everyone and often doesnít involve law enforcement but rather just taking care of your own needs and staying safe. Many in my field prefer to put victims on guilt trips if they donít report which makes me mad! Luckily I donít deal with anyone under 12, rarely anyone under18 where reporting is mandatory. I canít handle the child abuse well yet.
Our state changed a few years ago and expanded the statue of limitations of CSA to 30 years after a survivor hits the age of 18. Kind of impressive for a state whose laws in this area are relatively archaic.
Sometimes lately I really wish there was a real superhero like Batman or Spiderman that could just enforce justice without going through the messed up legal system. I am so sick over the attitude of most of the special victim police officers (not like Olivia on SVU at all!! Ė haha!) and the crooked judges. I know two women that had their children taken away from them over Christmas and placed in foster care because they stood by the kids when they disclosed allegations of CSA against the father. Can you imagine? One 5 year old was just placed back with the perpetrator father and all of the protecting motherís parental rights are gone now- after the first judge sided with the mother and agreed that there was abuse a second judge decided on her own that the child was lying. I get so sick over this!!
Ah- it feels good to get this out. I miss everyone here! My job prevents me from getting any real public support. Defense attorneys could paint me as biased if they know I was abused as a kid. Messed up right? Like Iíd falsify evidence to put an innocent man in prison for a crime he didnít commitÖ.

Title: Re: Reporting the past to the police
Post by Ty on Jan 4th, 2013 at 10:32pm
Hey Ginee!

So glad to see you, and I am so glad that you know you can always come here! I so understand how nice it is to be able to vent frustrations and emotions...and know that someone is listening.
I was online taking care of some stuff, (facebook...haha), and then I remembered a dream I had this morning and decided to look some things up that I had in my dream...and was floored by how accurate the interpretation was...and then all of a sudden I felt that I needed to do something else...and I typed in BTI, and saw your post! I truly believe that, many times, I am prompted to check in here and it is usually close to when someone else has posted.

I'm not sure why I share that. Perhaps it is because I believe that we are all connected on another level? I don't know. But I do know that this is a place that I know I can always come, and share whatever is on my heart, or plagueing (sp?) my mind. I am so glad that you know that too...and followed your heart to come and share your thoughts.

Ginee, I admire you so much in what you do. There are so many times that I feel I am not doing anything to change the world...and that I feel passionately that I want to make a difference in the world...leave some sort of a positive mark in the world. I hear what you are doing, and I am just in awe at how amazing you are in helping others in such a mighty way.
I completely agree with your thoughts on justice is different for everyone and often doesnít involve law enforcement but rather just taking care of your own needs and staying safe. There is so much wisdom in that...and I am so glad that there are individuals out there that have you in their corner, helping them stand.

You are so right in that things aren't fair, or right when it comes to protecting our children. I wonder when it became that our most cherished possession (bad word for it, but I can't come up with another one) became our least. It seems as if children get pushed lower and lower on the value scale.

I am impressed with the statute of limitations that your state has adopted. If only all states would have this...

Keep doing what you are doing. It is amazing how much healing comes when we are helping others (the reason I started BTI)...You are amazing! You are the wonder woman we need in the world  :)

Title: Re: Reporting the past to the police
Post by Ginee on Jan 28th, 2013 at 3:33pm
Thanks Ty! I definitely feel a connection with everyone here as well. I rarely get a free minute with the computer any more to  come here, but I think of everyone often. I had a 'surprise' baby who is now a little over 2. She is the best thing ever but keeps me super busy along with my jobs and other daughter who is 14 now, and husband- who I think was just my boyfriend last time I was here regularly. All good things, but not much time left for me to be alone.

I think you do a lot to make a mark in the world, Ty. This website has helped me heal in ways that I never could have on my own! I know I'm not the only one. In my darkest times I feel like other survivors are really the only ones that can relate. I means the world to be able to vent and not necessarily get advice but just have someone out there saying "I get it."

Title: Re: Reporting the past to the police
Post by Ty on Jan 30th, 2013 at 9:21am
Glad to hear things are going well...although busy :)

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