I look at my phone and ignore the unknown number appearing on my screen. I never answer unknown numbers. It is too risky for me to do while I am going through this case. Instead I wait for a possible answer phone message.
Instead, a few minutes later, I receive a text message from the unknown number. As I begin to read the message familiar words fill the screen and my heart skips a little. It can’t be?!
The further I read, the more I begin to realise who the message is from; my ISVA! (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) The one who recently had to leave me because the Rape Centre closed down so suddenly. I cannot believe it! I never thought I would ever here from her again and yet here I am reading a message from her.
Her message tells me that she has been taken on by another agency that supports Rape and Abuse Victims called Survivors Network and that they want her to work with as many of her old clients from the Rape Centre as possible.
I cannot believe what I am reading. Since we had to part ways in July I have struggled with having to deal with the police and this case alone. I did it because I had no other choice but it hasn’t been easy, especially knowing how I have been treated by the police in the past. My ISVA was always my lifeline throughout the past five and a half years. Always chasing them when they needed chasing. Always being by my side through every meeting and statement and any other scary part of this case. It was in no way her fault, but losing her was one of the hardest parts of this case so far.
The emotions of being left to deal with the police alone again were hard to deal with and for the past few months I have closed myself off from all of it. Only attending Police Meetings when absolutely necessary. Not wanting to face doing this alone again. It has been scary, thinking about what will happen when the CPS make a decision whether or not to charge him. It has been scary wondering how I would deal with that without any legal support. In truth I wasn’t really sure how I would, I just know I would have. For what other choice would I have?
And now, here she is, sending me a message. Telling me that she is allowed to work with me again if I want to. If I want to??!! What is she thinking?! Of course I want to!
I hit the ‘’reply’’ button and begin typing my reply to her, telling her how pleased I am that she has another job but how even more pleased I am that she can be my ISVA again. I tell her how much I have missed her and how I 100% want to work with her again. I need her by my side through this. She believes in me and I believe in her. I trust her with my life and that is something I do not do lightly. I know she can get me through this no matter what the decision. I need her standing with me. I need her support. I hit ‘’send’’ and wait, staring at my phone, for her reply.
Eventually it comes. Of course we can work together again she says. We just need to arrange a time to talk to go through all the legal stuff so she can gain access to all my notes and documentation. Things that I thought were lost forever when the Rape Centre closed for good. We message back and forth for a while and eventually agree a date and time to talk so we can get things moving forward again and get her back intouch with the Officers on my case.
As our messages draw to a close, I feel overwhelmed but also like a huge weight has suddenly been lifted from my shoulders. She knows what she is doing. She knows the police and more importantly, the police know her and don’t mess her around like they do to me. She knows the courts, the legal system, everything. She can guide me through this one day at a time again. I am no longer facing him and his legal team alone. She is reaching and out and is by my side once more to hold me up when I stumble or am unsure of myself.
Don’t get me wrong, I would have never backed down or walked away from this, even when doing it on my own. For I have a responsibility to make sure my abuser never hurts another innocent child again. But this journey is made slightly easier and less scary by having my ISVA by my side. For she sees me, she hears me and she believes in me.
But most of all she makes me believe in myself….and it takes a special kind of person to be able to do such a thing.
Thanks for reading.
** Image courtesy of Google Images **