Originally Posted by Arianwen1174
Statutes of limitation for reporting could keep anything from coming of it, depending on your age. Here in Oregon the statutes work two ways. There's a certain time frame for reporting beyond age 18 if the victim already remembers the abuse (I think 5 years) and another time frame for reporting if the victim doesn't remember until later (3 years?). Hopefully someone else can tell you what reporting entails if you decide to go ahead. I wasn't in the position to report my main abuser, mostly because of his wealth and connections, but he is in prison for at least 50 years for hurting someone else so at least I don't have to worry about him hurting anyone else. I'm sorry you went through the abuse!
I looked up the statutes of limitation in my state and there is no limit. While most of the abuse happened in another state, some of it happened here as well, so I don't think I will have a problem with it being so long ago. I do remember the events leading to the abuse, and some of the abuse - but I do have some lapses in memory.
So glad your abuser is in prison and not out there abusing other children!
Originally Posted by Linda on the move
In most cities there is an organization to help survivors of sexual assault. My advice would be to start there. One of my friends works for the one in my city. They have a hotline that survivors can call 24 hours a day and just talk. You could call the hot line and start there, or call the office number. The people who work there ALL have training in the laws, your rights, etc.
You could do a goggle search to find the organization in your city, or check the "helpful numbers" pages of your phone book .
Whether or not he could be brought to trial, this could get very emotionally intense for you. However it plays out could bring up more feelings. The organizations for survivors have counseling available for free or on a sliding scale. So even though it may be rough, you'll have help and support in processing those feelings.
I did a search, but I'm not sure if I'm using the correct search terms. I may have to call around to a few sources in my state to get to the right agency. I don't have much other support on this, except my DH told me he would be there to help. I do however need direction and I feel you are right about starting with a state agency.
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy
I have debated reporting my physical/sexual abuse as well and in the end decided not to do it. There were lots of things that led to that choice... For one, I really need to protect my family's safety, and I was worried this person (who actually stalked me for some time and tried to kill me) would get too much info on my whereabouts & come back to hurt me again. If he were already in prison or something, I might be able to do it, but since he's not, I thought he'd get word that he was facing charges and come attack me before anyone could implement safety measures. I really don't know if that's just me over-reacting & being paranoid but I don't want to take the chance, especially not with my 2yo to protect too! Another thing that affected my decision is the lack of clarity in my memories. I kind of disconnected from myself when all the abuse was going on... so while I remember some details, much of it is too vague, I think, to actually prosecute someone... Again, I don't know what kind of 'proof' is needed but I just don't feel I have enough to prove anything, even though *I* have no doubts, what if others do? I also don't know how I could track down my old friends who could corroborate some things... I don't even know if they've gotten married, changed their names, moved out of the country (some weren't citizens), etc. And really, I just don't feel strong enough yet... I can't have people questioning me when I'm still questioning myself and blaming myself, I can't go through reliving everything and facing him, I don't know if I could handle the stress and all... IDK. I feel weak and cowardly for not doing more but I just can't do it right now. And my biggest fear is that I would go through all that & he'd end up getting off or getting a short sentence. *sigh* And I wish I could prevent him (actually 2 guys) from hurting anyone else... maybe if I had some guarantee that something would come of it, then I might be more willing, but I just don't believe that anyone would believe me or take me seriously.
So I have no idea what to tell you except that it's a decision only YOU can make. We can share our experiences and choices but this is YOUR choice and only you know what is best for you & your situation. Did you look into the statute of limitations in your state yet? Do you have a therapist you can talk to about this, and who could support you if you decide to proceed?
I was in the same place about a month ago. I just wanted to forget it. I wanted to move on with my life. I don't know what changed since then. I've been thinking alot about how I would feel if someone were to hurt my son (and baby on the way) in that fashion. It makes me angry and I've finally started to understand that *none* of it was my fault. I guess I always felt empathy for this abuser, but now I'm coming to the place where I'm starting to realize just how sick an individual has to be in order to do something like that. I'm also seeing how much he hurt me emotionally. I didn't realize what I was missing in my childhood and up until this point of my life. Now I'm starting to see how happy and secure my DS is and wishing I had that kind of childhood. Also, I know that this person will not come to hurt me - so that makes all the difference.
I don't have a therapist right now, but if I'm going to pursue this I know I will need one. The only setback will be that I have a baby due in about 8 weeks, and I know things will be put off for at least a few months after the baby comes. I still want to pursue this though.
Thanks everyone for your advice and comments.