Written by: Fenna Vlekke
Becki (18) contacted us because she wanted to raise awareness on the topic of childhood sexual abuse. We discussed it and decided she’d tell her story. There’s nothing more powerful than breaking the silence surrounding the abuse you experienced yourself. By doing so, she’s hoping other victims and survivors will feel less alone. Feel free to leave her a comment!
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Becki: I was born into an abusive household. Both my parents were (well still are) violent and within a few years of having me, they had begun sexually abusing me. They'd never wanted me. They'd told me from a very going age that I was a "mistake child". That I was never going to be loved or find love. Those comments are so hurtful, especially to a child. The abuse was torturous. If they weren’t using me as a human punching bag, they were selling my body to other men. They made so much money from me, it makes me sick. And the loft, well, that became my second home. Especially if they had made bruises on me that were visible, I could be locked up there for days with only a dog bowl filled with water for company. But to be honest, I didn't mind that because I knew I would be safe. I knew that once I was up there, they would leave me alone for at least 24 hours.
Every time I got in my mum’s car, my heart would feel like it was going to leap out of my chest. I'd get so scared because I knew, 9 times out of 10, I would be heading to one of those horrid houses. They are like the earth's version of hell. Most of them weren't decorated. They'd just have a few mattresses thrown on the floor, and you can guess why. Every single time I went there, I would see other children. Their eyes glazed over as they looked straight up at the ceiling. Those were the children that had been there before. They were the ones that were that used to it happening, they had given up fighting. But the children who were new to it, their screams will haunt me for the rest of my life. Poor souls. Despite the police and social services knowing about this, it’s still going on to this day. The guilt is crippling. I hope that one day, I will be able to free all these poor children from the hands of these monsters and make them feel loved, cared for and most importantly, safe.
Fenna: How did you deal with the abuse whilst it was happening?
Becki: To be honest, I don't know if I can answer this question. I had grown up in that sort of setting so I guess it was all I had known. I'm afraid to say it but I was used to it. I thought I deserved the punishment, that I had done something wrong. But that's what abusers do though, isn't it? They belittle their victims so their self worth is non-existent. That way, whatever they tell them, they will believe them.
Fenna: How did the abuse end?
Becki: January 2010. That's when my life changed forever. One of my teachers at school had been so supportive. My Nan was diagnosed with lung cancer just before that Christmas. I'd gone to her as a listening aid and that's exactly what she was. I slowly built up the trust with her. And one day it came out. I only told her about my dad to begin with. Not the men and not my mum, just that he was sexually abusing me. I wasn't expecting her to believe me but she did. She believed every word. She kept telling me it wasn't my fault and that I'd done the right thing in telling her. I wasn't sure if I had.
That night, a police woman and a social worker came to mums house. My dad was still at work so it was only my mum and me. They explained everything to her and she started with the crocodile tears. She pretended she had no clue this had been happening. Of course, they believed her tears. My dad came home and, for my own safety, the police woman told me to go upstairs so I did. I could still hear everything. She told my dad he would have to find somewhere else to live because he wasn't allowed near me. He was angry. Saying that I'd made it up and that he hasn't ever touched me. Lies. Thankfully the police made him go and he did. He left.
Of course, I wasn't safe. The police woman told me to come down stairs as it was safe now. Of course it was... They explained that they would be in touch, then they left. As soon as that door closed, my mum watched them walk up the garden. I could feel her anger rising. I knew I was in for it and I was right. It wasn't until around March that I finally told my teacher everything. Then I was moved to my uncle. Again, not a good move. He's also involved with the houses. I thought I would be okay though, because my auntie lived there too. I was so wrong. 2 days before my 14th birthday (7th may 2010) I told my teacher about him. I didn't mean to, it just slipped out. So I was moved into foster care. That only lasted 4/5 weeks, then I was moved into emergency residential for a month. But I finally moved to a lovely placement and I'm still there now. The abuse didn't stop though. I was stupid enough to have contact with my mum. The last time being Christmas 2013.
Fenna: Did you have help dealing with the abuse?
Becki: Yes and no. In terms of social services, they don't believe a word that comes out of my mouth. They think I've lied about the abuse. I've been referred to CAMHS countless times but they're totally useless. I've never been able to work through the abuse. It’s always sort of been the big pink elephant in the room. Seen but not talked about.
Fenna: How do you feel about the abuse?
Becki: I have a mixture of feelings. These have changed massively over the years. I feel a lot of guilt for those children still being abused at the hands of my parents. And I feel that the abuse I suffered when I chose to go back to having contact is my fault. But I am not ashamed. I don't mind telling my "story" to people because I'm hoping that one day someone will see it and come forward about my parents abusing them. That way, we can stop it from happening to any more children.
Fenna: How do you deal with these emotions?
Becki: I'm a self harmer, I'm not afraid to say that because I know others do too. But art also helps me, even if it’s just a distraction.
Fenna: What would you like to say to another young adult experiencing what you have?
Becki: I would tell them that it is not their fault. Abusers brainwash their victims into thinking they deserve what is happening to them. That's not true. No one deserves to be abused. I would also tell them to reach out for support as soon as they feel able to. It won't fix the emotional problems but it will stop it from physically happening. Then they can deal with the flashbacks, memories, thoughts and feelings.
Fenna: Do you have any advice for people who need help in their healing?
Becki: The only piece of advice I can give is to surround yourself with people that actually care about you, whether that be family or friends. Isolating yourself only makes the problem worse. It’s not easy to talk about abuse, but when you find someone you trust, you will be able to open up to them and eventually tell the world. Never be ashamed of what happened because it’s a part of you. The blame is purely with the abuser and they should know that. If that means everyone hating them, then so be it. Karma is a great thing!
Fenna: What are your hobbies and dreams?
Becki: I love anything creative. At the moment I'm working on an art journal. It helps to distract me from everything else that's going on in my life. As for dreams, I don't have that many. But one of my biggest dreams is to open up a "safe house" for children and young people that are being abused. I understand that social services are there to help but that can be really daunting. This house would have social workers attached so they could be placed appropriately but it would allow them to have a safe place to sleep until an appropriate placement came instead of having to move round countless times. Plus, they would be socializing with children and young people that have been through similar experiences which can be very therapeutic.
Written by: Fenna Vlekke
Country: The Netherlands