A week ago it felt like the world collapsed around me.
After 2 years of going through the process and 3 days of hell, a not guilty verdict was given by the jury.
I’ve done an awful lot of processing since then and I’ve come on a long way.
Trevor shared this news article with me. It’s incredibly powerful. I could relate to what he says and the way he said it. If it had been a guilty verdict I could see myself telling my story in a similar way. To help others keep fighting. But to do that would have been to keep hold of my story and I am in a far better place for having let go of it. So personally, I am glad it was not guilty. I have never felt so at peace. I am truly free and looking forward to the future. Triggers that used to be there seem to have vanished. Traumatic memories have become blurred moments that mean nothing. It’s all dissipated into the breeze.
But, and this is very important, I did not do this for me. None of this was about personal closure, justice or even revenge. This was because I was positive he had done it to others and positive he would do it again given the chance. I did this to be the voice of those who couldn’t speak and to protect others in the future. I have said before that it was my hope that he was dead and then none of this would be necessary.
I took this case to trial because of a specific child I thought he had abused. The court case solidified my belief that he had done this to her. And I wasn’t able to do anything about it. He’s walking free.
It is simply not fair and quite frankly, totally incredible that he was given not guilty.
I keep running through the trial in my mind. Even knowing what I know now, I could not have done anything different under questioning or in my DVD evidence. The truth can’t be changed. He did as much as was possible to blow it for himself – just falling short of an outright confession. There was enough between my evidence, his lies (demonstrated by the prosecution) and the irrefutable facts to have no doubt. Even without the corroborating evidence of a third party that was there when I was a kid, there was a continuity between what I said, what he said and official records that can’t be argued with.
And yet it came back not guilty.
And that can only come down to the jury. A jury of mostly student age lads. Not exactly a jury of my peers. I really think that a jury should have a court official presiding over discussions to ensure all evidence was considered. How are they supposed to know how decide if someone is lying? What the behaviour of an abused child as an adult will be under questioning? The defence said to ignore his testimonial because he was flustered. He didn’t prove to be credible under questioning. The defence said to pay attention to my testimonial. I was apparently cold and mechanical. Not flustered because how can you be flustered when you are telling the truth – there was no danger of being caught out because I wasn't lying!
And I keep coming back to feeling it was so unfair.
And that makes the experience of being in court so much more traumatic. My first thought when the verdict came back was “I went through all of that hell for nothing? I was abused again and again in a court and even though they could all see it, they still didn’t listen? In the same way as no one listened all those years ago when I was 12 and first told what had happened”
Mentally I am over that now. It wasn’t for nothing. I’m in such a good place after it. I spoke out and even hearing that has already helped others. I have emails and messages to show that.
But the intense emotion of the verdict, connected to the trauma I had just been through, hard wired a connection in my head. Court has become a traumatic memory.
But it’s only been a week today.
I am looking for what I can do to release the trauma from my body. I can very much feel it coursing around me. I have talked to friends about what I can do and was asked “What do you find relaxing?”. I honestly don’t know. I can’t recall ever being relaxed or doing something to be relaxed. I tried tensing up to release it – that scared the heck out of me! Like I was reliving it. So my current thinking is to find some high adrenaline activity like bungee jumping, abseiling or parachute jumping. Something that will create a very positive adrenaline buzz to replace the negative one from court.
So ideas welcome!