I first contacted a charity (RASASC) for advice in 2015. I was put in touch with an ISVA (independent sexual violence advisor), as I wanted to report the abuse but I was too frightened to walk into a police station without a comprehensive understanding of the process.

Not many people knew about the abuse and those who did only knew that I’d ‘been abused’ – not the details; keeping this secret was the only control I had over this terrible thing that had happened to me. I feared full disclosure because I feared handing control over to someone else. I feared the consequences of speaking out. I feared the abuser. Perhaps most of all I feared judgement. The shame was debilitating. This ISVA and I sat together for a couple of hours and she asked me questions about what had happened. It was painful to be asked this; how do you speak the words when you have spent half a lifetime pushing away any thoughts of abuse?

Continue reading “Group”

… (Part Two) How TO respond to a survivor

My previous post what not to say to a survivor stemmed from a thread on Twitter that was liked and retweeted many times. Survivors identified with the responses from others after disclosing their own child sexual abuse. Some added more to the list. One person replied with ‘thank you for sharing. What would be helpful to say to a survivor?’ and I began to reflect on responses that had helped me.

Continue reading “… (Part Two) How TO respond to a survivor”
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