Episode 12 Learning to love myself
Janet met Jess through the charity, Angles, when Jess wanted to meet people with lived experience of sexual abuse for a podcast she was producing. The podcast is called, “Breaking the Silence“. One of the other people on the podcast was Ian, who works for the Football Association, supporting people who have been abused.
Jess was on a course about safeguarding when she was 16, when she realised that she had been abused. She told her parents, who took her to the police.
Janet talks about the key moments in life when people realise that they need help. Jess is glad that she began her journey at such a young age, as most people do not talk about their abuse for around 30 years after the events.
There are many things that survivors have in common, particularly those familiar negative feelings of self-blame, self-loathing, shame. Meeting with other survivors is extremely helpful and supportive, as abuse is a very isolating experience.
Jess describes what happened following her reporting to the police. A court date had been set but the abuser died before the trial began.
Janet has also reported to the police, which she talks about in a blog, “Reporting to the police“. You do not have to face reporting alone. There is support available from Independent Sexual Advisors, an ISVA talks to Janet in Episode 5 The Role of an ISVA
Adults use all sorts of techniques to keep children quiet, as Jess describes.
Janet asks Jess to share what sort of things have helped her in her recovery over the past eight years. This includes counselling during the past couple of years or so, through Solace Women’s Aid. There are many organisations you can contact for counselling and support, including Safeline, Supportline and Survivors UK
Janet and Jess talk about the process of counselling, also how it can help to provide an objective viewpoint of challenging feelings, thoughts and people.
Jess mentions a book called, “Pretending“, by Holly Bourne, which resonated with Jess as Holly describes people not looking like a survivor, as they were fit, healthy and successful.
Jess and Janet agree that being a person with lived experience of sexual abuse does not define us and that we can learn to love ourselves and be successful.
You can read Jess’s Comment about this site here
The journey to recovery from child sexual abuse or any other form of abuse or trauma, is long and painful. However you choose to find support and help on that journey, it is worth it. There is hope for recovery.
Thank you for listening.