Reported 11 years of sexual abuse that lasted from age 4 to 15 years old as strongly suspected it was happening again to three other children. Abuse affected every aspect of my life, social life, unable to form intimate relationships; schooling – had breakdown during exams and missed them; attempted suicide. In late 20’s reported to police as suspected happening again. Shocked that there was immediately assumption I may be lying. Was told I was believed. No evidence at all. Two officers were good and did not make me feel there was something wrong with me. Attacker slipped up during interview and eventually pleaded guilty. He was given less than 2 years! Judge said it was a long time ago and I had not suffered too much. Most legal teams on both sides were male. The court room was open during sentencing. It was very humiliating and degrading and that without a trial. I am still suffering today. I have been unable to sustain relationships or have children (not due to physical trauma). Unable to put it behind me due to derogatory and harmful way in which women are perceived and valued; the way media reports on women; the level of injustice in sexual violence cases; so much sexual violence used in entertainment; its on TV, the movies, the newspapers, social media, at work, it’s everywhere. There was no support to help me through the case and I have never recovered from it. Although the police were good at getting me to talk they did not understand the long term damage and expected me to function as normal. I couldn’t. I lost my job and most of my friends. I was completely on my own. The sentence was not enough for the damage that he caused. I am still struggling today at 50.

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