We know the truth

I know what you’ve done, You know what you’ve done, and so do lots of other people

Why haven’t you been arrested? Why isn’t there any justice for all your victims? why can’t the justice system work for victims for once?

Do women have to feel powerless all the time, or just a little bit when men like you think we should be? You took away my innocence. and changed my life for the worst.

I still have my life, when some others don’t, I am going to make the most of it and show the world who I really am. Not just one of your victims!

Thank you for reading this poem. Remember to Be Kind and stay safe 🙂

Superpowers

As a kid I remember always being asked the question “what super power would you love to have?”. Then they would give you list for example; the ability to fly, the ability to go back in time or the ability to be invisible. Well I have one of those superpowers and if I’m honest I wish it was the ability to go back in time, but it isn’t. I have the ability of being completely invisible, which I’m sure other survivors of sexual violence feel they do to. If I’m completely honest it has always been a problem for me, so when I came forward it wasn’t a shock that people wouldn’t listen to me.

Many survivors of sexual violence wish they could go back in time so that they can prevent what happened to them. This is very common because our brains are wired to say ‘What if I did something different?’, ‘What if I could have prevented it?’. We judge ourselves and not the attacker, because its easy. We didn’t provoke the abuser, the abuser chose when and how to attack us. I have found that counsellors love to ask the question ”If you could go back in time, what would you change about the situation?”. To me this question is trying to get us to understand that their actions were not our fault. We did nothing to provoke the attacks, so going back in time to change our own actions wouldn’t mean that we wouldn’t still have been attacked.

These superpowers we have can also have a bad effect on our lives, through no fault of our own. Take being (feeling) invisible as an example. Sometimes you can laugh it off and ignore the fact your being ignored, but other times you cannot. The longer you ignore your feelings the more they build up inside, until one day BANG, you can’t keep them suppressed anymore. This can have horrible effects on yourself and your friends and family around you. You might not even know what your doing, because you have been triggered and are not feeling or acting like your ‘normal’ self. It is really hard I know, but the best thing to do is to speak to someone you trust about how you feel, before you explode and do something you massively regret. I know it can be hard to trust people, in that case maybe try and write it down in a journal, your thoughts and feelings. Unfortunately this has happened to me, and I felt horrible afterwards. To be triggered and not tell someone was the worst mistake I could have done, as I ended up breaking their trust and really hurting their feelings. I regret it so much and hate myself for it. I learnt a massive lesson that if I’m triggered to just be completely honest and say that I am, and hope they understand. Upsetting someone who I trust and care a lot about hurt so much and I hate myself for doing it. I’ve always hated feeling invisible, but this stands out in my mind, one because it’s recent and two I never thought I’d let my feelings get to me that bad and hurt a close friend. Finding different ways to help control your mental health is vital, but by being open (I know it’s hard) can really help you and your relationships and friendships. Luckily for me I have a few close friends who are really understanding and care a lot for me. Sometimes superpowers can get to me with them, thinking they hate me or I’m not worth being their friend. If you also feel like that, feel like a burden to people or invisible and that they don’t care, just stop and breathe and ask yourself ‘what is making me think this? Is there any evidence?’ . Usually the answer is no but it’s due to the trauma you have been through and the feelings your used to. If your really worried talk to them, their your friends, they won’t judge you.

A friend is an important person, best friends are even better. Don’t let self doubt and triggers ruin these relationships. Doing good deeds and showing a person how much you appreciate them makes them feel good and valued. Learn from mistakes. Friends forgive each other and accept each other for who they are. But if you don’t learn from your mistakes then expect friendships to fade.

Be Kind and Stay safe

P.s. I’m sorry for being stupid and it will never happen again. Treasuring your close friends and trusting them is a lesson I have learnt. Life wouldn’t be the same without you 🦦

Why I regret coming forward (poem)

They say go forward, They say they’ll listen. They say they’ll be there for you.

They say you’ll get justice. That you can have your life back. That the nightmares you have will stop. That other girls will be safe.

What they really mean to say is, No one will listen to you, No one will help you. No one will tell the truth about what he did to you

They will make up every excuse they can for his behaviour. They will claim your mad. They will even say we need to protect his reputation

You will find people don’t want to be your friend anymore. That your church doesn’t want you either. That your abuser has attacked more girls And that he’s now in power with young people

This all happens because people don’t and won’t listen to survivors of sexual violence. Due to people lying and covering up the assaults that happened to me and others, more young adults are in danger of this monster. Because of the reputation of his family no one is allowed to be told. So yeah I regret coming forward as everyone lied to me and for him. I never ever thought the police would lie to me but they did. I will forever feel guilty and it’s not even my fault.

Imagine being treated like the above poem, because that’s my life. Something that plays with my head all the time. Something that on occasions makes me feel really suicidal. I feel lonely and invisible and wish I’d never ever come forward. But if I haven’t it would have eaten me up inside too. So a word of advice is, if you want to go forward then let it be your choice not anyone else’s. Its hard and usually goes in favour of the perpetrators, but there’s no harm in trying. Just be careful and listen to your mind and body and if needed get counselling.

2020 has ended!

Thank God 2020 has ended. I can’t honestly say its been the worst year of my life…because that was last year. This year has been so hard for so many. But we have all stuck together and gotten through it!

2020 will go down as one of the most depressing years of all. Whenever the television was switched on, it was case after case of Coronavirus and then death after death. So many loved ones lost to this horrible virus. In some cases this brough people together and in others it caused a divide. I want to talk about the pros and cons lockdown had on people, including myself. This year has been a massive challenge especially for peoples mental health.

My lockdown didn’t start off great, because I found out that my church at time knew my abuser was working in another church and said “its not their job to protect other people”. So I stood up for myself and all the other girls at risk. I left the church as that was the last straw. Then they sent an email stating I was not allowed to go there and my friends were not allowed to talk to me…..BUT the abuser and his family were still allowed to attend! Let that sink in! While all this was going on they were preaching about mental health and being there for people. Not only were/are they covering up sexual assault they were being hippercrits. The toll it had on my mental health was seriously bad. To this day I don’t know how I go through it. But thats why I am never going into an Elim church again!

The pro’s of lockdown

1. Taking time out before burning out. – I found that when we went into lockdown I felt a lot of pressure and anxiety come off my shoulders. My brain and body had time to relax and calm down. I wasn’t on edge, and anxious about bumping into my abuser and his family and friends. I finally felt safe staying in my home knowing they couldn’t go out. (This I know wasn’t the same for everyone).

2. Spending more time with loved ones- Alot of people don’t get to spend alot of time with their loved ones due to commitments like work. The lockdown has given them a chance to spend quality time with their partner and/or children. Making new memories that they might not ever had the chance to make.

3. Protecting others- We did what we were told and stayed in and protected the NHS and others around the country. This act showed how selfless humanity can be.

4. Taking up hobbies- Lots of people found new hobbies during lockdown. I always found it amazing when looking at social media to see what new activites people had found. For example: Writing, Horse Riding, Completing online degrees, Drawing, Knitting and lots more. How amazing is that espcially when some where new life skills!

5. Dicovering the amazing Dr Jessica Taylor!- Dr Jessica Taylor released a book during lockdown called “Why women are blamed for everything”. It is to help other women and girls who have gone through sexual violence. I have read this book and it is amazing! It opened my eyes to other oppertunites and other ways of thinking. It is a massive help and I would recommend it getting it. It also allowed me to discover Victim Focus he organisation, which I believe every survive of abuse would benifit from visiting online.

6. Finding closure of some sort- Some people like myself were able to find closure to past trauma and problems. I managed to find a new,safe, loving church and managed to stand up for myself to my old one. I worked on myself through lockdown with ALOT of self care and it really paid off. I know their are alot of people out there that focussed on self care and I am very proud of the them. If this is you, know that I am very proud of how far you have come.

These examples were only a few pros that lockdown had for some of us. Maybe you can relate to all of them or maybe just one. For some Lockdown had more cons then pros. Below will be a few examples of these.

The Con’s of Lockdown

1. A rise in Domestic Violence- If you have never experienced any type of violence/abuse then you are very lucky. Some people however during lockdown were stuck at home with their abusers. Normally home is a safe place for people. But if your in a domestically abusive relationship then it is the one place that isn’t safe. Cases grew by 20% and was called the silence killer of lockdown. Many men and women who found work and socialising as a way of escaping their abuser, suddenly found themselves cut off from it. Luckly charities and the police became aware of this silent killer increasing and started to take action and put things in place to help victims.

2. Deaths from Covid 19- We all know that Covid 19 can be deadly and that we need to take precautions when going out. Unfortunatly we all know someone that has sadly died from Covid. It was great to see the death rate decrease, but now its starting to increase rapidly again and at an alarming rate! We all need to protect eachother at this difficult time. Especially by looking out for people who have just lost someone.

3. Job loss- Many people have unfortunatly lost their jobs due to the pandemic. This has led to many more unfortunate events. This is something no one could have predicted. Family businesses going out of business, firms making people redundant. Alot of of people where saved by the Furlough scheme which I think is one of the best decisions made by the goverment. This leads on to the next point.

4. Declining in mental health-During the pandemic there has been a masive decline in peoples mental health. This has been due to job losses, deaths, the unknown and many other factors. A very important one is isolation and lonlieness. Many people especially university students and the elderly had this as their main problem. But thankfully kind people made a difference and helped them when they could. The goverment have become aware of the mental health crisis and hopefully they will put some procedures in place to help everyone whos mental health has been effected.

So thats my mini round up of the year. Lets hope 2021 is better than last year. I hope you are all okay and if you need help in this time, then to reach out to someone you trust or an organisation!

Be Kind and Stay Safe

How can you?!

Questions I’d love to ask my old church and all the people who covered it up. Mamy others here may want to ask their abusers or friends the same questions.

How can you stand by him, when you know what he’s done?

Does it have to happen to someone close to you until you take action?

Do you think God see’s you as good Christians? I think not!

How can you sleep at night, knowing other girls are going to get attacked? When you just sat back and watched it happen

Why would you congratulate my abuser and his family?

How can you live with yourself knowing you lied to the police?

Did it make you feel better when I left the church? Or did it make you feel more powerful?

How can you support a family knowing their son is a sexual predator?

How can you work, attend or lead a church knowing you all allowed this to continue?

How do you feel knowing I know the truth and will never be silenced?

The main question should be How can you live your lives as Christians, and treat me the way you did?

Nearly every person that has been subjected to sexual assault will have millions of questions going around in their head. Those ones are mine. Lets end sexual violence together in and out of church!

Stay safe and Be Kind

I’m sorry

I’m sorry to whoever you are, The person I couldn’t save, The one attacked after me, and the others after that.

I wish there was something I could do, instead of blaming myself, I wish people had told the truth and justice have been served,

I’m sorry they didn’t care and allowed you to suffer too, Just know there is a way out both for me and for you

How to support a survivor

One of the hardest things a survivor (of any trauma) will have to do is open up to someone. This could be a family member, a friend, a counsellor or a work colleague. Finding the correct person to open up to is vital, because not everyone will be understanding and be able to cope with all the information they have been given. There is no correct way really in finding the right person, its a bit like the game ”Russian Roulette”. You will be able to tell if they/you are the right person by looking out for these qualities and actions:

  1. They do not judge you
  2. They do not victim blame you eg. ”you must have asked for it”.
  3. Their actions speak louder than their words. So basically when they say they will do something they do it. For example, cut off all communication they may have with your attacker and their family, to prove their trust and priorities.
  4. They suggest positive things to do to help you recover. For example going out for dinner or having a sleep over and movie night.
  5. They do not excuse the attackers behaviour
  6. They do not ignore what has happened and pretend like everything is fine
  7. They do not put friendship and reputation before the truth and the morally right thing to do
  8. They support you when you; breakdown, go to the police, confront your attacker and any other time you need supporting.
  9. They do not force you to anything you don’t want to do
  10. They listen to you and help you process what you have been through. This could for example, be over a coffee every Saturday lunch time.
  11. They priorities you and don’t let you feel isolated.
  12. They don’t spy on your social media and feed it back to your abuser and their family.
  13. They do not use religion as an excuse of any kind!

All these factors are vital to look out for if you are a survivors or if you are educating yourself on the issue and prepairing for the future.

Things not to say to a survivor

  1. Why are you always down?
  2. It can’t have been that bad
  3. Get over it all ready
  4. Just forgive them and move on
  5. There is always drama with you
  6. Maybe it was your fault
  7. You should have seen the signs
  8. Leave it to God he knows what he is doing
  9. Tell me all the details
  10. Why can’t you accept that I want to be their friend
  11. They didn’t do it to me
  12. Cheer up
  13. Stop attention seeking
  14. Be grateful your still here
  15. There are people dealing with worse then you
  16. My attack was worse then yours
  17. why haven’t you been to the police?

Thing to say to a survivor

  1. I’m sorry you went through what you did
  2. You are brave
  3. I will always be here for you
  4. You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to
  5. I believe you
  6. You are not alone
  7. If you don’t want to do anything today then thats fine by me
  8. If you need support with any actions I will help
  9. What do you want to do today?
  10. How are you feeling today?
  11. Is there anything you need?
  12. Can I please be awear of your triggers? (Not everyone wants to be asked this)
  13. Would you like to go out and do something nice?
  14. Please let me know if there is something I am doing wrong.

The way you treat and speak to a suvivor of any trauma really does affect their mental health. Don’t treat them as if they are stupid, because they have probably been through alot more than you can imagine and maybe more than you will ever go through. Just think before speaking and know that you have to be sensative.

There are two phrases I go by in life and they are; 1. ”Actions speak louder than words”- This is so important because you can have friends and family that say they will be there for you, but they don’t show it. If they don’t prove to you what they say then they don’t mean it. If they keep letting you down or treating you bad then cut them off. Yes it will be hard but it will help you recover and boost your mental health. 2.”In a world where you can be anythin, BE KIND”- You don’t know what people are going through in their lives. They might be hanging by the smallest thread. If your nasty to them or bully them then that could be the last straw for them. It doesn’t hurt to be kind to others. To me there are exceptions for example; You don’t have to be kind to your abuser or their family, to people who have covered up your trauma and those that delibratly hurt you all the time. People will tell you it will make you bitter and twisted, but if im honest your allowed to hurt someone has hurt you and by treating them nicely, in their eyes is going to give them the green light to do it again.

I hope dear reader you have been able to learn something from this post.

Until next time. Stay safe and BE KIND.

A letter to my old church

No names are used of people or places due to legal reasons.

Dear place of worship

I am writing to you on behalf of my mental health. The one that now suffers from PTSD, Depression, Anxiety and horrendous panic attacks. The one that was so suicidal at the way you treated me. We have sat down together and have a few questions we would like answered.

So first of all please can you tell me why safeguarding was not allerted when I orgionally came forward about being sexually assaulted by a memeber of the congregation? Oh right, the answer is because that member put their friendship with the father of my attacker first and didn’t safeguard me. He sat on the imformation telling me not to go to the police with threats. Then you as a church had the ordasitity to say none of it ever happened. I’d like you to really think about this point. How you should have acted, and how you should have reprimanded this employee. If it was handeled correctly in the first place, I would be less damaged, and less girls would have been attacked. How can you sleep at night knowing more girls were attacked!

My second question is, can you please tell me how you, and the organisation you are a part of can tell me you have conducted your own investigation three years later without my permission or participation? How you have the correct information and statements? I never consented to you using any of my information, that you may have had.

My next question and this is a hard one. Can you please tell me why you still welcome my attacker and his family with open arms? And why I was treated like I had sexually assaulted someone? I don’t care if his family pay the church alot of money. Or the fact that they have influence in the area. What I care about is the saftey of young adults and children! Welcoming them and acting like nothings happened, is sick and twisted. Just like welcoming the witnesses who got a confession and somehow “FORGOT” when questioned by the police. Its easy for you to sit there and say “oh forgive him”, “how do you think they feel, being told what their son has done”. I DON’T CARE about how they feel. If they all feel that young adults getting attacked by their son is a good thing, then they are as bad as he is! You clearly will only listen if he attacks your daughters.

Next question. Why are you still back stabbing me,now that I have left? Is it because I left before you kicked me out, because you couldn’t handel the truth? I still have friends who attend there you know. Do you really think they wouldn’t tell me what people have been saying?! For example: Apparently what I have said isn’t true, that it didn’t happen or the aftermath wasn’t as bad. Do you really think people are that stupid?! I get told everything you say. Thats because I have loyal friends, friends who tell the truth. Whats even funnier is that some of the people contacting me aren’t even my friends and they still tell me whats been going on. I kept my side of the deal not to name you or anyone that was involved. Mainly because you and his family threatened me with defermation of character. Even though I seem to be the only one that can tell the TRUTH! Then it turns out you have all been spreading rumors about me! But apparently thats not defermation of character! Maybe its because my reputation isnt as big as theirs, so no one else will protect me.

Finally, blocking me on social media, when I came to you with more conserns mainly about my saftey wasn’t the best choice. We all know why you did it. Because you thourght I’d had enough and was going to expose you all and it wouldn’t look good. Well in fact I wasn’t. Yes I’d had enough of it being ignored and it being unsafe. But no I wasn’t going to expose you. There would be no point. But your mistake was taking this action. Because this gave me the courage to write my blog. To spread the word and my experience. So thank you.

Let me just give you some words of advice. 1.When someone comes forward to say they have been attacked, take it seriously. Follow safeguarding. 2. If you find out an employee hasn’t safeguarder the victim, then fire them and report them to the police 3. Don’t threaten victims of sexual assault, because it eventually makes them stronger 4. Don’t cover up abuse within the church. Because one day you will slip up and everyone will find out 5. Take other peoples saftey seriously! I came forward to protect others and clearly you didn’t/don’t care. Otherwise they wouldn’t be welcome endangering people. 6. When you are warned about particular people, listen! Don’t ignore it. 7. God knows the truth and all of you will end up in hell. No matter how much you deny it. Maybe if you put it right then you might be saved, but its unlikely isn’t it.

So thank you for reading this letter. I hope it helps. A final word from me is, a church should be a place to worship God and be safe. Stop trying to please everyone and focus on the most important things like saftey! Because if you don’t sooner or later it will happen again. It would be a shame if it was someone close to you! Wouldn’t it! Karma is real and so is God’s judgement. I will never ever stop raising awareness about what happened. You don’t have anything over me anymore, its funny it now seems to be the other way round.

No best wishes .

A letter to my abuser

Below I am going to share a letter have written for my abuser. Doing this can really help process the trauma inside. The name has been changed for legal reasons.

Dear Dev

Why did you choose me? Why did you have to attack me? I didn’t do anything to you! I was asleep on your sofa. You had no right to touch me. I never consented to your actions then or after. But I promised to stay your friend and “forgive” you to save both your reputation and your familes.

Why did I get threats by church members to stay quiet or else? What power exsactly does your family have over the church and congregation? Why have loads of people allowed you to go free and not face the consequences? Why did you attack more girls after you promised the church you wouldn’t do it again? What is wrong with you thinking girls want to be raped/assaulted?

While you were swaning around back at university and pretending to be a good Christian. I was starting to struggle with my mental health, due to YOUR actions. Your actions have left me with a lot of shit but the main problem being PTSD. The flashbacks to the attacks. The flashbacks to the cover up, of high up members of the church and community. (They did it all for your dad by the way). The vomitting at random times and losing so much weight, my clothes didn’t fit. The worst being suicidal thourghts and sitting on window sills not knowing what to do. Even when you admitted what you did it still wasn’t enough for you to be charged! You can’t honestly call yourself a Christian while thinking its okay to sexually assault people.

I sit and think to myself why people thourght you were worth protecting. Then it came to me one day. It wasn’t you they were protecting, it was your parents. The embarrassment it would case them, the pain. EVERYTHING that I have had to put up with.

Do you know how many people have blamed me for your actions? Apparently I was asking for it. WHILE I WAS ASLEEP! Do you know how many threats I have had about defermation, because I have had enough of people allowing you to attack other girls? Oh wait yes you do know that. Do you know that I had to leave the church that I settled into because they didn’t do anything to protect me, until it was too late. But they still welcome you and your family putting other girls in danger? Oh wait you do. Or that you now also go to a different church and told them lies about the investigation, which is going to lead to more damage to others. Is that okay? To endanger girls for both yours and your families reputation?

Your attacks lost me my dream job, because of the aftermath! Do you feel guilty…. NO you don’t. Because we all know people will get you a job and protect you don’t we. You lied to the police stating we were in a relationship! Even if we were it is still sexual assault. Lets not forget the others who didn’t tell the truth.

I wish I’d never met you. You are a sick twisted bastard. Who still thinks its okay to work near/with young girls in churchs and abroad. You think its okay to spread lies about me to people, because you can’t own up to your actions. You think its okay to commit sexual violence towards women. Your the one that needs help. Well you personally need to be locked up in prison and on the sex offenders register. But we all know that wont happen, because mummy and daddy are protecting you. Your a grown arse man that doesn’t deserve anyones help. You ruined my life for long enough. Me and the other girls support each other and are moving forward. Hopefully one day another one will come forward and you will be put away FOREVER! I don’t know how you can sleep at night! (Because I can’t).

I just wanted to let you know that I am stronger then you think. I have found the love of my life and know I am wanted and safe. I will never give up hope that you will one day be caught! I am going to use my experience to help other young people. What you have done to me will no longer destroy me, it will be the making of me.

No Best wishes what so ever A

What hurts the most (Poem)

What hurts the most is seeing you happy
No care in the world for what you have done
I’m left picking up the pieces of the life I once had
Each piece so little and one by one

The pain you have caused me is strong and always there
Its really hard to ignore
I try my best to forget it
But it starts to feel like a chore

The flashbacks
The nightmares
The PTSD
Problems that I really don’t need

But with support of my friends and family
I can now take the lead!