Monday, October 26, 2015

How I'm Coping

I have an appointment with the psychologist on the 4th Nov, so I know she will give me coping strategies. For the last six months or so I have been colouring, I have found that it really helps me take my mind off things and I can zone out completely especially when I listen to my music as well.I have quite a few colouring books, they are all adult one and I thoroughly enjoy doing it.

Here are some pages I have done

Saturday, October 17, 2015

My Victim Impact Statement

I read this out in court so that the judge knew what I had been through and what Troy had put me through.

I stand here today as a 40 year old woman, 26 years ago when I was 14 years old, I lost myself, my innocence, my self-worth, my self-esteem, my trusting nature and my carefree self. On that day after I was sexually assaulted, I felt so dirty and worthless, that I just wanted to curl up and not face the world ever again. A few days after the crime, I did try to take my own life as I felt I didn’t deserve to be here and didn’t want to go on anymore.In my late teens I thought that I was only good for one night stands, I also started drinking to numb the pain. It took me a few years to realise that I was worth more than a one night stand.I don’t trust as easy as I used to and takes me awhile now to warm up to anyone I don’t know. I have trust issues with men and now only trust a few men in my life. It was hard after I was sexually assaulted as I wouldn’t let my dad and brother hug or get close to me.In my 30’s I was diagnosed with depression and put on antidepressants. It wasn’t till last year,2014, when Detectives Jessica Austin and Todd Clayton contacted me and I met with them to give them my statement, that I realised my depression started when I was sexually assaulted. After making my statement and having everything brought back up, I had to go on stronger antidepressants. My depression has been because of what happened to me, some days I won’t leave the house and other days I really have to push myself to leave the house. I have worked on and off but don’t hold a job too long because I just can’t cope. I haven’t worked now for a few years, so rely on my husband to work and bring in an income, which I should be contributing to but can’t. We live with my parents because we can’t afford to rent or buy our own place.The sexual assault robbed me of my confidence and  my self-esteem. My dignity and my self-respect have been compromised as a result of the crime carried out against me. My faith in myself and my faith in the world has been diminished. My life is and never will be the same, I am not the same person, my teenage years were taken away from me, I was no longer a normal teenager and I can’t get those years back.I am thankful that I have a loving family that have been there for me every step of the way, and have helped me through it all. I am also thankful that I was able to trust a man enough to fall in love and marry him. He understands me and all I have been through, he is always there for me, cares and loves me, which I never thought possible. I never thought any man would love or want me, and I never thought I was capable of loving and trusting a man as much as I love and trust my husband.Though the impact of the sexual assault continues to affect me, years after, on a daily basis. Not a day goes by when what was done to me does not interfere with my life or limit the life I lead in some way. I still have nightmares, sleepless nights and flashbacks. I also have difficulty concentrating and memory problems on a daily basis. I have lost so much and many of those losses cut right to the core of who I am and can never be undone.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

My Story

I want to share my story so that maybe someone else that is going through the same thing can know they aren't the only one.

Twenty six years ago, I was 14, living in Newcastle, NSW, Australia. My parents were Salvation Army officers. Through the church we met Troy Walker and my brother and I became friends with him. He had to move out of where he was living and so he moved in with us. My brother and I would always go out to different places with Troy and our other friends, we trusted him.
Every Thursday afternoon my parents would do a bread run, where they would go and pick up bread and other food items the bakery hadn't sold and would distribute it to those that didn't have a lot and needed help. On one particular Thursday, I didn't go with them as I had an assignment to finish so I stayed home. After going to the kitchen to get a drink, I went to walk back into my room but Troy was blocking me from going in, he threw me on my bed and raped me. I stayed in my room until my parents came home but didn't say anything to them, I didn't tell them till a few days later.
A few weeks later, my brother and I went over to our friends for a sleepover, Troy was there as well but I didn't think he would do anything as all our friends were there. After watching some movies my friend and I went up to her room to go to sleep, after awhile Troy came in the room and raped me again, I didn't scream or make a noise as he told me to be quiet, I couldn't believe that it had happened to me again.
I went to the police to report it and filled out the report but after a few days I decided that I didn't want to go ahead with it as I didn't want to face him in court. My parents went to their bosses in The Salvation Army and their bosses put the blame on me and told my parents not to take it any further and swept it under the carpet. After my parents meeting with their bosses, they decided that they weren't going to continue being Salvation Army officers and pulled out.
After the first incident I did try and kill myself a few times, as I got older and still struggled with the demons, I started having one night stands, as I thought that was all I was good for, I did start hitting the drink to try and numb the pain.
Last year 2014, I got a call from a detective from Newcastle in relation to the rapes, someone else had come forward and when the detectives did some searching they came across my report. So they came down to Canberra to take my statement as well as my parents statements. After that they said that they would be arresting him over my assault. With it all being brought up again I had to change my anti depressants and started having sleepless nights.
This year in July, it finally went to court and I took the stand, I was on the stand all day Tuesday and most of the morning on Wednesday. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, facing him in court and the defence lawyer was so brutal. My parents took the stand on Wednesday after I had finished, once they were finished we then left to go to the airport to go home. The detective messaged me on the Friday to say the jury had gone out, so it was now a matter of waiting to see what the jury would come back with. On the Tuesday, after lunch, the detective called me, the jury had come back with a guilty verdict. I was over the moon about it and was happy that he would be finally getting what he deserves.
I wasn't his only victim, and there was a trial before mine and he was found guilty on that one as well, cause of the guilty verdicts in the first 2 trials he ended up pleading guilty on the other ones, which saved the other victims from taking the stand.
In September, I had to go up for sentencing and we all read out our victim impact statements, the actual sentencing part was put off and is suppose to be this Friday 16th October but haven't heard anything as yet. I am hoping that it is this Friday so that I can finally close the door on it.
I have been in contact with victim services and they are organising for me to see a psychologist as I am not dealing with it all, I am so emotional and having sleepless nights, I need to get my life back and be able to move on. I am using adult colouring in books to help me and I find they help take my mind of it all and I just zone out.
I thought he could be trusted and was a friend, how wrong I was and then to find out that he had done it to others and is a paedophile was a kick in the gut. I sometimes think that maybe if I had gone ahead with my report and taken it further he might not of done it to others but I do realise that its not my fault and there was nothing I could do to stop him. Thankfully he is going to get what he deserves and be where he should be where he can't hurt anyone else.
I know that it isn't the Salvation Army's fault either but I won't step foot inside another Salvation Army church as to me they let me down and for that I will never forget.