No one will ever believe you.
You will be labeled a liar.
You are nothing and nobody and no one will ever believe you.
A 37 year old, raped repeatedly by her uncle starting when she was 11, has finally seen him face consequences when he was sentenced yesterday to 16 years in prison for raping children for over 50 years. But much of this could have been avoided if Tina's family had believed her all those years ago.
'I went to tell my dad that [uncle] Colin was touching me. I wanted to tell him he was having sex with me, but I was scared how he would react. I said he was touching my bottom.When Tina was 21, she did report him to police, but her uncle collapsed and was taken to the hospital. As typically happens in cases of familial abuse, charges were eventually dropped because of lack of evidence - particularly when the family does not support the victim.
'Dad went mad. He dragged me up to his house and made me apologise to Colin's face. My uncle sneered down and me and said he wouldn't do anything like that to me.
'None of my family would believe me. I could describe his bedroom, but it didn't matter. No-one would listen.'
Two girls came forward in 2011
'Two girls came forward and told police what he had done to them. 'Those little children that have spoken out deserve a medal for being so brave, and so do their parents for supporting them and believing them.
'I felt relieved to see him sentenced. I can't believe it's finally over. I've waited so long for justice.
'But while I know he is being punished, it will always hurt that I was disbelieved by my family about it for so long.'
I wrote a poem several months ago that contained the following line..."It has cost me my family to ask the question Why?" ...I wasn't kidding.
I received an email from my sister a few months ago that began:
My grandfather never raped me or you. You are nothing but a liar and an opportunist...
And this is from my own sister some 30 years later. Forget the people who don't even "know" me - this is someone who grew up in the same household, saw the repercussions of what had happened to me, who has cried with me at times over what happened - and now, she calls me a liar.
Devastating. That's all I can say. It's just devastating that we would rather believe that victims are attention seeking or in it for the money or are just flat out lying rather than face the truth that adults can and will hurt little kids. We would rather revictimize the victims by calling them liars than face the possibility that someone we loved and trusted could hurt them... They're just kids, right? So they must be lying?
I see it happening with Aaron Fisher - as people are beginning to look into his past and use the very coping mechanisms he used to survive against him. I see it in the rumblings that Victim 2 (2001 shower victim) is reportedly not credible based upon the life he's been forced to lead as a result of the abuse he suffered at such a young age.
Devastated - that's how I feel. I know she's just doing it to protect herself, but again I sit here crying - because what he said is true - they will never believe you, you will be labeled a liar, you are nothing and nobody and no one will ever believe you...
My own sister calls me a liar - and while I "say" it doesn't affect me, it does. Let's be honest. Many of you, fellow survivors, will know what I'm saying here. Often times I question myself. The line between fantasy and reality can be blurred in a child's mind, particularly when they are escaping abuse. The heinousness of what he did to me makes it almost impossible to believe. And, as a child, I used to dissociate, I had flying dreams, where I could see myself laying down on the earth, but I was free to fly around and see the lake, the dirt roads - I would literally leave my body while he was abusing me so I didn't have to experience it.
And I really really wish it wasn't true. That I wasn't raped, that he didn't put his mouth on me, that he didn't make me put my mouth on him. And I wish it was all made up and I was whole - and good - and clean - and normal.
But I wasn't. I spent so many years trying to wash off what he did to me, to scrub clean the foulness I felt I carried within my skin. But I could never get the water quite hot enough, could never scrub quite deep enough to cleanse that layer of filth.
It has cost me my family to ask the question Why... and while I pretend to be strong those words cut deep. "You are nothing but a liar and an opportunist..."