A fantastic article from one of our Service Users:
Is justice necessary for survivors of abuse to move forward?
Everyone wants justice for those who have been wronged in some way. It holds people accountable for their crimes, acknowledges the innocent are free of blame and the guilty are given an appropriate punishment. Unfortunately, the process of getting justice is a public one and I think this is a big reason that stops survivors of sexual abuse seeking it.
The secretive aspect of sexual abuse, the shame that the victim feels, the not wanting to say anything for fear of upsetting anyone, the thought that you might not be believed, having to describe to someone what actually happened… all of these things make it extremely difficult for survivors to admit that they have been sexually assaulted, let alone come forward to the authorities!
Every survivor is different and has a different story and a different path to being healed. Some may feel that justice and a punishment for their abuser is what they need to move forward, whilst others can do that by counselling and keeping what happened to them private. I never sought justice and my experience has remained a secret from my family and is shared only with a few close friends. I wish I had (whilst he was still alive) asked him why he did what he did. For me, an explanation rather than justice, would have helped me move forward quicker.