I am going to share something that is quite personal, but something that I feel should be shouted out to the world. This is a subject that is kept a secret. A secret that should not be a secret. One that some do like to keep a secret, which I totally respect and understand. So why am I sharing this when there may be some people that would prefer it kept a secret and how can I still respect them if I am going to open up?
As you would all know, well most of you if you have been following the blog for a while, I was adopted when I was 10 days old. My mum was told she could never have children, and she adopted my brother, who is 3 years older then me, then adopted me, and then to her surprise fell pregnant with my sister, who is 3 years younger then me. I feel we are all quite special and I know she saw us all as her special gifts. My mum separated from my father when I was about 7 years old. My sister and I would go to his house every second weekend and my brother at that stage was living in boarding school. But when he was finished boarding school he would live with him too.
Each second weekend I was sexually assualted by my father. He violated my trust and hurt me. He took away my innocence and robbed me of the childhood I deserved to live. This abuse went on for many years until I was old enough to realise that what he was doing was wrong. He threatened to kill me and it was a secret I kept with a lot of fear.
When I was 15 I no longer wanted to keep the secret, the fear of death was a lot less then the fear of him hurting other girls. At this stage I started to make excuses so I would not have to go to his house. My mum started to realise something was not quite right and this was when I told her that he had been hurting me. The amazing person my mum was reached out to me and never let me go until the day I lost her. She supported me so much in the processes I needed to take to live my life again.
I wrote my statement. The secret was written on pages of paper, official paper, and signed by myself and the detective. Two years later I was in front of the Magistrate, who sent my case straight to the Supreme Court. Eighteen months later, at which stage I was in my early 20s, I was sitting in the witness box surrounded by people with those wool wigs, 12 strangers lined up in two rows, my friends, my solicitor, his barrister and him. The man that I feared was sitting right in front of me.
Over the next 3 days I lived my abuse again. I was that innocent child being abused with everyone watching and still no one helped me. It was a scary feeling. The sentence was read out by the head juror, who walked in the room, with his 11 other strangers, with all their heads down. He sobbed as he read out the not guilty verdict. The judge took over once sentencing had been read and he gave him a mouthful. He told him the court knew he was guilty, but without more evidence, in the way of witnesses he was found not guilty.
A verdict that was hard to take. One that made me cry for hours. The fear that I thought would go away was staying. My mum held me. She held me like she had never held me before, and she whispered in my ear, "don't worry Hayley, we will get him. I promise one day we will get him. I don't know how, but I promise you we will." I will never forget her words. I will never forget how she held me. She was protecting me in such a way. A protection that was and still is so comforting.
From there I started a new life. I changed my surname, I moved from my home town and I started fresh. Today I feel safe. I feel the safest I have ever felt. Yes, we lost the court case, but he lost, not us. I understand what my mum meant with "getting" him, and we have. She did not let me down. My mum gave me memories a child should have of their childhood. My mum never let me down.