I’m writing this blog after an insanely heavy weight has been lifted from my chest. Today, with the help of my sexual abuse attorney in NYC, I sent a man to jail for sexually abusing me after he’s been walking free for over five years. I finally found my voice and mustered up the courage to come clean about what had been done to me and, though it wasn’t easy, I’ve never felt freer than I do now.
The trial was pretty terrifying, I have to admit, but my suffering began so long ago and I knew that the only way to climb out of the hole of shame I’d been living in was to seek justice and ensure that this man pays for what he’d done. After breaking down one day in my apartment, I finally called a lawyer and explained my situation. I was worried that I wouldn’t have grounds for a case after so much time had passed, but he assured me that there was still hope.
Together, we began gathering evidence. I didn’t know if this man had assaulted any other girls, but I knew he had relationships with other women and I wondered if they had similar experiences.
I didn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but my lawyer and I did some research and found some of these women he used to talk to. Five years ago, the man had been seeing three other women and two of the three were willing to tell me about their experience. Both women had a similar assault experience and agreed to testify against the man in my case.
The Day of the Trial
I knew where the man worked because, unfortunately, the town where we lived wasn’t that large. For the past five years, I’d kept my head down trying to avoid him at all costs. It wasn’t hard for the police to take him into custody and make him attend the trial once I pressed charges against him. Seeing him there in the courtroom—being in the same room with him again—made me nauseous.
My attorney represented me brilliantly against my abuser and his defense team. Because I had the two other women to support my assault claims, the man’s word didn’t mean much. The jury came up with a guilty verdict and he was sentenced to ten years in jail.
While I wish I had found the courage to put this man in prison sooner, I’m just proud of myself for what transpired today. Today was a great day. I found my voice, and trust me when I say that I’ll never lose it again.