Given that I lost my father last year, I would be really grateful if people could give me the time and space to deal with his loss, and recover from what has been an horrendous period of my life. I realise that this is a terrible time for everyone, but time and space remain the best healers for grief and trauma of all kinds.
From 2000 – 2009, while my mother was terminally ill, I tried to clarify if I could help Northumbria police and to report several crimes including this underage assault, firstly via a solicitor who did not have my best interests at heart, then via my brother who would not take my calls, then via an organisation for the “advancement of women” who completely ignored me, and finally via a friend acting as a go between with the police. I believe this is called framing someone.
Shortly before my mother passed away in 2009, my go-between’s Facebook messages were hacked. The net result of all this was that nothing was resolved while my mother was alive and a ton of evidence, involving several separate cases, went unreported. Following my mother’s death, there was little incentive for me to become further involved with these cases, most of which should have come to light long ago, and in 2012 I created an outdoor site to remember my mum amidst the devastation.
Anyway twenty years on, I am gradually still reporting some of the things I was prevented from reporting when my mother was alive, without support or representation, as I feel able, including the underage rape. Although I have had absolutely no feedback from Northumbria Police on most of these reports, 2019 ended on a real low as I received the predictable news that the underage rape has not been crimed by Northumbria. Then in March 2020 I was told that there was no evidence to support the hacking of my computer and websites. This means is that not one prosecution has resulted from any of the reports I have made to this force since I was 12 years old (including two assaults and two rapes).
It seems to follow the same format each time I report anything from when I was a child. Northumbria Police and NHS firstly pathologize me, they then isolate me from my main witnesses or corroborators, sometimes for years, and seem to harvest them for information about me. In the meantime the accused says any old rubbish and the case is dropped. I have been through this routine before and am beginning to feel as if there is a formula at work.
As I have said to the investigating officer, depriving abuse survivors of contact with anyone who might support their allegation is a barbaric practice, which results in much unnecessary suffering for victims who don’t understand why they can’t speak to their closest family or friends, and that in turn results in failure to report other crimes. My own experiences (detailed in older posts) are testimony to this.
I have begun to feel that it is just not worth the hurt and upset of this process, in which I keep making allegations and everybody lies, meaning they are not progressed or “lost” and nobody gives a fig about my late mother. It is very unlikely that I will report any further cases to this force, or to the organisation who claim to “advance” the position of women. I cannot be held responsible for any cases arising from the ignoring and silencing of my evidence over many years as nobody seems to give a fig about this either.
I try to remain positive by kidding myself that people read these news posts, and that they are accessible to all, as this is a paid for website.
I hope to be able to write about something more cheerful next time.
Sadly my father passed away on 3rd July this year at the age of 90. He was a complex man who stayed pretty energetic and living at home to the end. It remains difficult for me to appraise his less tangible legacy.
Out of many facts about me, the fact that I am an assault survivor was not an issue I ever thought I would need to discuss on my outdoor blog. I have been trying to redirect people to this site for personal information since early 2014.
And so – I am still feeling my way around how to express this issue. Although I have fought not to let aggression towards me as a child affect the present, moving back to Newcastle meant that those old fears began to affect all aspects of my life.
One of the more enlightened decisions made by the authorities was to refer me to a cognitive therapist when I lived in London. Since then I have successfully used techniques from a type of cognitive therapy to help me to overcome my anxieties and remain positive. To this end I set myself various targets to master (it doesn’t matter how small they are). I then make a list of how I will achieve those targets and continually appraise my own progress in achieving each aim towards my ultimate goal. At first my targets were tiny things which seemed huge at the time, like going for a walk.
I used to write it all down but I have been using these techniques for so long that they are totally internal now. I have rarely explained them like this, as I’ve never considered it to be all that interesting to anyone other than myself. The techniques may not work for everyone but they continue in the background, whatever else is happening in my life.
To illustrate using an example of this process, I often set targets which challenge or conquer my fears, so I set myself a target to become experienced at wild camping on my blog. I made the mistake of sharing this challenge on my outdoor Twitter account and it was savaged by trolls.
I hope that some good will come of my making this post, and that it may be helpful to some readers. My advice is not to share your journey on public social media platforms such as Twitter, as trolls can and will undo the work of twenty years in half an hour if you let them.
Remember that this is entirely their problem and not yours. Hopefully social media safety people will realise this eventually and toughen up their responses.
When I was about 12 years old I eventually called 999 from a nearby phone box in North Tyneside regarding aggressive behaviour by my dad, which had been escalating to the point where he had punched me in the face. When the police arrived, I was told off, returned home, sent to my room and medicated for the rest of my teens. I was never questioned, no statement or discernible action was ever taken by the police, apart from involving the local NHS. Unfortunately this meant that I never got the opportunity to tell the police about a couple of school friends who were being abused either.
In my darkest moments since then, I have consoled myself with the thought that somebody, somewhere out there would now know what was happening to me, that they would be doing whatever it is that these people are supposed to do, and that in some dusty pre-digital file, there would be a record which would eventually vindicate my story.
It has taken until now, on receipt of a direct request by me, for the local authorities in Northumberland and Tyneside to finally admit what had become obvious to me, that they either never made, got rid of or lost any record of my call, which is presumably why I endured further assaults and continued to be pathologized throughout my adult life.
One of the more enlightened decisions made during my twenties in London was to refer me to a cognitive therapist. Since then I have successfully used techniques from a type of cognitive therapy to help me to overcome my fears, restore my self confidence and remain positive – all the while imagining that piece of paper in that dusty file.
Unfortunately I don’t think this technique was ever meant for some of the enormous issues I have had to deal with over time, such as decision making while my mother was terminally ill and long term gaslighting by my father and my brother. I often wonder what my cognitive therapist would advise.
Although I really have fought not to let my father’s aggression or my subsequent pathologization determine the rest of my life, the truth is that it really has. When I returned to Newcastle in 1996, all those old fears began to affect many aspects of my life again.
I saw this Sanctuary knocker on a school trip to Durham Cathedral when I was about 14, trapped at home in Newcastle, on medication, understanding nothing. Although it was apparently intended to offer sanctuary to criminals, I remember wishing that I could find some kind of sanctuary from things at home. This idea imprinted itself on my consciousness and I still find it a powerful symbol.
I hope this post may be helpful to other people who have had similar experiences.