I want to share my story in the hope that it will raise awareness and lead to change.
Unfortunately, I have come across several sexual abusers in my life. What upsets me the most is even when they were caught, the sentences they were given were pitiful.
Aged Five – Like most children I started school at 5. This was the place I first lost my right to a normal childhood and where my innocence was stolen. An older child who was being molested at home, molested me. He was confused about what was being done to him. I wanted to tell my mum, but it happened the same day my Grandad passed away.
I didn’t tell her until after he molested me the second time. Thankfully action was taken to separate me from the boy, and the police investigated what had been happening to him.
His Uncle; who was responsible for molesting him only got a few months Home Detention!!
He wasn’t even fully prevented from seeing his nephew. This boy was a minor, 11 years old, and not properly protected by our Justice System.
Aged Six – I started music lessons when I was 6 years old. It was here that my music teacher did disgusting things to me. I tried to tell my mother, but she assumed I was just wanting attention. She told me “lightning doesn’t strike twice”. It wasn’t until 5 years later that the Police met with my Mum. They told her they were looking into my music teacher, and his ‘behaviours’.
My music teacher molested me every week for 5 long years. Twelve girls stood against him in court. He took our innocence, our security, our safety and our psychological stability. He ruined our lives. This monster was only sentenced to a few short years in prison. The number of years he served were less than the number of years he spent abusing me.
Aged 13 – This was the age when the effects of my sexual abuse became obvious. I was so confused. I had no idea how to deal with the horror I had endured. I didn’t know any better. I thought my biggest purpose in life was to be a sex object. I had sex with adult men who took advantage of my confusion. They were all aged between 19 to 24. They knew better. They knew I was only 13 but they did it anyway.
If someone is under 16 they cannot consent. One of them had previously been taken to court for sex with a minor, but the case was thrown out.
There was no doubt he did it. He was 21, I was 13. He had sex with two other girls in my class at school, they were my exact age; only 13. I still talk to one of the girls he harmed. Like me, she suffers the pain of what he did to us. He is free to live his life without consequence. We both know there is no point trying to build a case against him. It has been ten years since it all happened. We both know the Courts won’t do anything to help us.
Growing up I had a family member who took thousands of photos, in public areas, up innocent women’s skirts. He would then distribute them online for the world to see. Thousands of women whose lives were affected by this selfless and sick crime. The man responsible did not even serve 2 years!! He got 21 months for his crimes-How is this Justice?
Aged 23 – Present Day. I have a wonderful supportive partner who I love very much. I have a gorgeous, healthy child. I do fear for the safety of my child’s future growing up in NZ. Our country has a such prevalence of abusers. Our Justice System shows such lenience towards sexual crimes.
My partner has also experienced abuse, he took his abuser to Court last year. My partner had plenty of evidence against his abuser. His abuser had previous offences against a child-something that was not allowed to be mentioned in his trial.
The abuser received so much more support than my partner, it was sickening. My partner lost the case. I have watched my partner wake up with panic attacks after having nightmares from the abuse he has suffered. I have seen him twitch and tic as his body and mind try to process and cope with the trauma he has endured. I have seen him panic with fear after he see’s someone who may look like the man who abused him. My partner who went through hell was not allowed to bring up important details of his abuser’s past and what he did to him. His abuser now walks free. This was the final straw.
I have witnessed the Court System and the Justice System let so many of us down. Sexual assault is a serious crime, it needs to be treated as such. We must implement better Laws and better policies around these crimes. We must change how sexual assault cases are presented in a Court Room and how the offenders of sexual crimes are sentenced. Victims are not being acknowledged. The abusers are walking free and it hurts!!