I will add a *possible trigger warning* to this post, due to the nature and details of sexual abuse. If you think you will be affected, please do not read on. I wanted to publish this to give you an idea of what a victim/witness impact statement looks like, as I had no idea where to start.
My witness impact statement. April 017
I have been asked by DC… of West Midlands Police to provide a witness impact statement with regards to the sexual abuse I suffered as a child, by Terry Price (later know as Robert McEwan and now Mr Mac). I am finding writing this very difficult and have continually put it off, because it has such a huge negative effect on my physical and mental health, which I am currently trying to manage with medication and assistance off the Mental Health team and my G.P.
I was a vulnerable child who was easy prey for Terry. My Mother had mental health issues and had recently seperated from my Father who had started a new relationship. Being starved of affection and already subject to neglect, I initially welcomed the attention that he gave me. He would tell me that I was a princess and very special. He knew I loved Elvis Presley and would promise to buy me a singing Elvis doll from the local shopping centre, it was the iconic doll of him dressed in his white diamonte suit. He would take us out on trips to his probation office and we’d visit the pet shop on the way home, where they had a parrot that talked. I’d never seen anything like that before. He would give me his undivided attention when I danced and sang to top of the pops. My Mom was making me a royal blue swinging teddy girl skirt and he would get me to put this on and dance for him. Those these dances soon turned into stripping. I had no idea that this was wrong and lapped up the attention.
When the sexual abuse started, again I had no idea what this was, he made it appear normal, though I did not like it. He would promise to buy me things if I kept quiet. I would scream when my Mom went out at night and left us in his care because I knew what would happen when she went. But I was too young to verbalise what it was. He thrust me into an adult world that I had no words for and so I was just seen as a naughty, uncontrollable child, who my Mother couldn’t wait to have a break from.
I was a lonely child at school who found it difficult to make friends, I was often bullied and ostracised by my peers because I was different. At school I would often run away and have to be chased by the ‘wag woman’, whilst taking off my clothes and throwing them so that she would slow down to pick them up. I would want to get home to my Mom, because I knew that while I was with her I was safe and that when she wasn’t there, bad things happened. I feel that no one, not the school or my Mother ever tried to understand what was happening for me, instead they just thought this was more proof I was a problem child.
My Mother found my pants down the back of the sofa on one occasion and I was told off for leaving them there. I found this very confusing as I hadn’t left them, Terry had. So when I had faeces in my knickers after being abused, I would wash them in the sink, so that I did not get into trouble again. This became a regular occurrence.
The police omitted this section from my mg11, saying that it would go against me…(When doing my ABE the police asked if I remembered being penetrated vaginally or anally by Terry. I answered no. However, i do have nightmares of being held down and anally raped, and I do have episodes of intense abdominal and rectal pain which has been attibuted to somatic recall of being raped. Though unlike the concious memories I have for which he has been charged, I have no fully formed concious memory of these penetrative events and am aware that I would dissociate at times while the abuse was carried out, which is why I said no during the interview. This has affected my adult relationships also, because I have intense pain during intercourse and often still dissociate, which my partners find very unnerving.) end of police omission.
I have difficulty with my adult relationships because I find that partners will either not understand me and my trauma, or if I am able to open up to them, they then use my past as a weapon against me. I also find it hard to trust people and allow anyone to get too close for fear they will see that I am broken, damaged goods or they will abuse me too.
I am currently under the care of the Mental Health team, I have ongoing mental health issues such as PTSD, Moderate Depression and Lack or Loss of Sexual Desire. For which I am prescribed the anti drepressant Sertraline and hypnotic agent Zoplicone for my insomnia. I also have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and IBS which is monitored by my G.P.
Since reporting to the Police in 2015, my physical and mental health issues have been exaccerbated, to the point I have felt I do not want to be here anymore. Though after taking an overdose in 2001, I know that, that is not an option I would ever want to take again, as I have children who need me and so I have learned to open up and request help from the appropriate services.
Naively I thought that once I had reported, things would move swiftly, he would be charged and it would all finally be over. But this has not been the case. We are now two years down the line and I have at times wished that I never told the police. The personal cost has been huge with regards to my physical and mental health, I have lost my partner of four years, I had to quit my role as a counselling support worker with a charity that supports abuse survivors, I had to leave my CPCAB counselling course, I no longer socialise with friends and have become isolated, my children have suffered because I am no longer able to take them to after school activities, my youngest son had to leave his football team, and I am unable to look after my own grandchildren because the reponsibility of keeping anyone else’s children safe is too huge to bear.
Now that he has been charged, I feel there is finally an end in sight. I appreciate that it is absolutely out of my hands, and that it is up to the CPS, Courts and a Jury to decide how this concludes. I have done everything in my power to gain justice for what Terry Price did to me. For the life I was robbed of at an early age, i can never change that. I will never know how my life could have been if he had never been in it. I will most likely continue to recall the abuse for the rest of my life. Though I hope that with psychotherapy this may be aleviated. I will never have the career I could have had if I had not had PTSD in varying degrees since the abuse in my early infancy. I will never know what it feels like to have an intimate relationship that doesn’t cause physical pain. I will never know what it truly feels like to be vulnerable and have trust in people.
A cliché that gets banded around is that child sexual abuse survivors have been given a life sentence. I can testify that at 43, this is true. Terry Price gave me a life sentence and I at no time deserved it.
I had hoped that Terry would have grown some sort of conscience in his adult life and taken responsibility for the harm he has caused me, but no, instead he is denying it and pleading not guilty, meaning that I now have to endure a trial too. It is the final insult and I hope he has to pay dearly as a result.
It is my hope that this man never gets released from prison, so that he is never able to harm an innocent child again. If my standing up and speaking out makes this a possibility, then it has been worth the turmoil and I would gladly do it all again.