Every day, our team serves victims of past childhood sexual abuse. Oftentimes, these individuals seek help many years after the assault, sometimes far into adulthood. Healing from a sexual assault is a very personal experience and is different for everyone. The process takes time and happens gradually. Here is Kathy’s story:
“I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. While at one point this defined me, the Victim Service Center pulled me out of the trauma and helped me realize that I deserve happiness.
When I was child I was happy on the outside, but I had a big secret that would make any child sad on the inside. I was molested. I was molested by someone I trusted, by someone that was supposed to protect me, by someone I loved. I was molested by my stepfather from the age six to 12.
I was living with a monster. I didn’t know who to turn to. After 6 years of torture and abuse, he eventually ended up getting caught by my mother. He went to trial, was convicted, and was sentenced to three years in prison. This is more than most perpetrators get, but not nearly enough.
The memories were with me every day. Things would remind me of what happened and trigger reactions in me. Multiple times a day I would find myself spaced out in past memories, constantly reliving the past and the pain, over and over.
Days past, then years. One day, someone I loved very dearly disclosed to me that she, too, had been a victim of a sexual assault. It triggered this strong reaction in me and I knew immediately I finally needed help. I wouldn’t let this define me any longer. I would take the steps I needed to finally begin healing.
This is what led me to the Victim Service Center. I began going to counseling to begin my healing journey. Getting help was the best decision I could have made for not only myself but also my family and loved ones. I was able to openly talk about all the thoughts that where clogging my mind and blocking my happiness. I also learned how to deal with my thoughts and emotions when they resurfaced.
I am so happy that I actually finally made the choice to get help for myself. VSC made that happen for me. I appreciate all the help they gave me. I know there are brighter days ahead and that healing is possible.”
If you have been a victim of a sexual assault, please call our confidential crisis helpline at 407-497-6701 to speak with a Victim Advocate today.