So I have been watching a LOT of this particular YouTube channel that I’ve fallen in love with called “rSlash”. In each video, he reads several stories posted in particular subreddits, and I like to listen to it while doing other things. The storirs are always hugely entertaining, and because the bulk of his content is Entitled Parents, Choosing Beggars, Pro/Nuclear/Petty Revenge, I generally feel much better about myself as a person after listening to horror tales of awful human beings. 😆
Today, one of the videos had a story of an abuse survivor getting revenge on their abuser by getting them convicted and b jailed, and I wrote a quite lengthy comment under the video that I thought would also make a good blog post, so here it is! I’ll link the video first, and the story in question is the last story in the video.
OP’s experience upon confessing the abuse of Hank is almost exactly like mine, when I finally confessed. Was sitting on the porch with my mom and some little voice inside me told me that I needed to tell her, and NOW. We found out this year that my step-dad who abused and molested me had moved on to molesting his own flesh and blood, my youngest siblings, whenever he had custody of them. I thought that I had protected them by taking the brunt of it as the eldest, but abusers NEVER STOP AT JUST ONE.
When I finally disclosed, my mom went into full on enraged momma bear mode, and the next day I was at a facility that provided services to abused kids, just like OP. I had to tell perfect strangers the awful, shameful, horrifying intimate details of what he’d done, the very day after I broke a 9 year silence about it. And it was a MALE officer. Finally, they let me write out what happened, and I still have the statement.
Long story short, he was charged and the cops were waiting to arrest him when he showed up to pick up the youngest kids for his weekend of custody. My future step-dad/Mom’s boyfriend was there to let the cops in, and he took video of the arrest. You can hear him chuckling in the background as they cuff my abuser, lol. Future Dad was NOT a fan of that asshole. The proceedings to get to trial dragged out for over two years, but I FINALLY testified on the stand, in front of a jury of strangers, having to recount all the grisly details in front of these strangers, my abuser and his whole family (who had shunned me and mine since I came forward, and that HURT since they had been family for decades), and MY whole family. I had to use a doll to show actions and specific body parts, because I was so humiliated and embarrassed that I was using vague language when my lawyer needed specifics.
I don’t remember much about the trial, because it was so stressful. It lasted two, maybe 3 days…and I WON! Put him away on several counts of sexual molestation on a minor, though unfortunately he was able to serve those two terms concurrently. He got 17 years, I believe, so he’ll be getting out in 5 years or so from this posting. After that experience, however, I worked with my Victim Service Advocate, whom I’d befriended during those 2 years of him trying to duck the inevitable, and helped her start and run a local non-profit organization that provides services for abuse survivors of all ages and genders. I ran the tween/teen sexual abuse support group and acted as administrative assistant until I was too sick to work anymore, but the organization is still going strong, and has connected with other community organizations to create a much stronger web of services for survivors to access when all the legal stuff is over and they’re looking at trying to rebuild themselves and their lives.
During all of that, I learned that not only are abusers usually someone you already know (family, relative, friend, neighbor, church congregation member, etc.), but that the conviction rate for sexual abusers is vanishingly small, as of 5,6 years ago. It was good for my girls to see someone who had had success in getting justice, that it DOES happen, but none of them ever got convictions against their abusers. Why is this? Firstly, the percentage of ppl that come forward after they’ve been abused is pretty low, because during the grooming process and then during the abuse itself there are usually threats made to keep the victim from telling anyone. In OP’s case, it was “I’ll kill you”, in others it’s “your mother will hate you”, “no one will believe you over me”, “I’ll hurt your family/pet”, etc. So, lots of people never say anything. After that, getting a charge to stick and getting an arrest is often difficult, due to a lack of evidence, turning into a he-said-she-said. The trial, if you manage to get charges on them, usually ends up the same without concrete evidence, and many times in the case of kids and minors the not abusive parent will choose the abuser over the child, because of the intimate relationship or friendship already in place. Due to all of these hurdles, getting a molester or abuser to actually be punished for their crimes…is a very depressing statistic. Hopefully it gets better in the coming years, though, as current and emerging technology makes it much easier to gather proof that it used to be, and as awareness is raised and policies change over time.