Last night I finished reading Chanel Miller’s incredible book “Know my name”. Compelling reading that I encourage everyone to purchase.
I feel so connected to the author.
It made me reflect on my own journey in finding my voice. Similarly the very first time I used my voice and told my story was also at the sentencing hearing against my abuser.
Today I dug out my own victim impact statement. Not nearly as well written or powerful as Chanel’s but it is mine, and I too delivered it in court, in person, directly in front of my abuser, the first time in my life I felt I took back my power.
His sentence? Extremely lenient. Disappointed? Yes. But like Chanel, since that time I have used my voice, slowly finding my feet, making sense of what my daughter and I endured, and using my experience to help others. And life today could not be better. The feelings I had then, have not disappeared, but life is really good. I do now know I am safe, I feel loved, and I am at peace. And I am so very grateful for everyone who helped me get to this point.
Here is the final part of my victim impact statement that I read in court in front of my perpetrator back in 2016 that would like to share with you…
This was violent behaviour.
This is a constant disrespect for my right to feeling safe.
This was violence by a physically strong man, against a weaker woman.
This was family violence.
This was a man, whom I should have been able to trust to love me, protect me and keep me safe always, but especially in our home.
He betrayed me, he broke my trust, and destroyed my spirit.
No sentence given to ##### will ever be fair – because the scars he leaves me with are a lifetime’s worth.
While he will walk away from this – I walk away with my soul in pieces, and a life where I have to learn to live with an ever existent fear and anxiety for myself and my child’s safety, those feelings cannot be repaired, and are something I will always have to find ways to cope with.