5 years is a milestone for a lot of things. For me today is a milestone of my abuser being arrested.
I remember that day very clearly, I aranged to spend the day at Longleat Safari Park so that I didn’t have to think about what was going to happen that day. I was told in advance by the police when they were going to attempt to make the arrest. They had actually made an attempt previously but my abuser wasn’t there so they made the second attempt. I got the phone call from the person in charge of my case about mid afternoon to say they had successfully arrested him but he had answered no comment to every question they had put to him.
A week later he had committed suicide.
It wasn’t enough for him that he had taken my virginity, the innocence of my childhood, he also took my right to take him to court and for him to have to answer for the things he did to me. For him it ended the day he died.
For me I still have to live with the things that he did. I still have to try and trust people. I still get triggered by things that can send me right back to one of those incidents. But regardless of it all I am still me.
I was terrified that by coming forward I was going to lose my family so it took me a long time to get the courage to tell my family what had been happening to me. I was lucky that they stood by me and supported me throughout the whole process of going to the police. In some ways I feel let down that the police weren’t able to do more to monitor my abuser as we made them aware we thought he was at risk of commiting suicide.
5 years ago I thought I was close to getting justice for what had happened to me. 5 years later I am still learning how to dal with my feelings towards my abuser and how to cope with some of the impacts the abuse has had on me. My mental health has been affected and I still get good and bad days. The bad days don’t happen as often as they used to and I understand the things that trigger me a lot more so that I am able to cope in certain situations better.