Bill`s Story

*Trigger Warning

 “I was sexually abused from the age of 6-12 by a step - brother...It was pretty horrific...it had a really big impact on my life. I also had to witness a sister of mine who used to share my bedroom... I had to witness the abuse of her by the same man. I remember coming home from school one day and my mother told me that my abuser had gone. I found out later on, that my mother had found out that he was abusing my sister and threw him out of the house. I struggled with coping...with life really, after that it was a big struggle”

Bill never told his mother of his own abuse at this time.  

Bill says “my abuser was violent to me and he did say if I ever told anyone I wouldn`t be believed ...the words he used were I`d be put in a home”Bill left home for England at the age of seventeen throwing himself into work in an attempt to put his past abuse behind him. The effects of the abuse didn`t go away.  Bill experienced many outward symptoms common to survivors of sexual violence:

“I didn`t want to talk to anyone I kind of locked myself away...I was in a very dark place really. I struggled to cope and I got into a relationship, a few relationships actually but I did get into one particular one that lasted for thirteen years...it turned out very abusive, she was very abusive to me...one night I actually finished up in hospital, pretty bad...I thought I didn`t deserve any better”.Three years ago Bill made the decision to pick up the phone after a friend gave him the number for Rape Crisis Midwest:

“ I haven`t looked back since -within two weeks I had an appointment in Ennis... the Rape Crisis Centre... to see Anne and she`s been very supportive and very helpful over the last few years ...a couple of months after that I actually reported it to the guards. Without the support of the centre and Anne I wouldn`t have been able to do that...it felt like a big weight was lifted off my shoulders, just to tell someone else...I feel like I`ve taken back my power “

While Bill made the personal choice to report his abuse to authorities this is not something all survivors choose to do, nor is it a requirement. To hear Bills full story go to https://soundcloud.com/clarefm/morning-focus-investigates-sexual-violence-bills-story-part-1  https://soundcloud.com/clarefm/morning-focus-investigates-sexual-violence-bills-story-part-2

*If you have been affected by sexual violence and want to talk to someone please contact Freephone  1800 311511 OR call Rape Crisis Midwest at 061 311511. You can also find advice and information online at  www.rapecrisis.ie