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.