Community Forums
Forum Index FAQFAQ SearchSearch MemberlistMemberlist UsergroupsUsergroups ProfileProfile Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages Log inLog in RegisterRegister
Can I press charges 26 years later?
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    S&F's Forum Index -> Court/Legal Issues
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
amabelle1434
newbie 1st class
newbie 1st class


Joined: 03 Mar 2009
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:12 am    Post subject: Can I press charges 26 years later? Reply with quote

I know this may seem to some as an unlogical question but here is my story in short.

Back in 1984 through 1985 I was sexually aused by a stepfather. I was 11 and 12 at the time. I came forward and told my mother after I could not withstand it anymore. The police were notified and just as they were about to arrest him, he smelled something was up and he fled the state. A case was opened and I testified against him but not in court. I beleive it was a police station. I suppose the reason for this was to ensure that I wasn't lying ofr falsely accusing him.

The problem is that after a few weeks he began contacting my mother by mail asking to please drop the charges and that in turn he would sign over the deed of their house to her. My mother agreed!!!!! Can you beleive this?

Well he eventually returned to our city and well, life went on. I have however dealt with serious sleeping problems my entire life, I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder and am currently struggling with the resentment I feel for my mother over the whole issue. He needs to be punished somehow though.

About 7 years ago, I was curious to see if the police still had this on record and they did. The detective that took my call, however, actually made me feel guilty about wanting to possibly persue charges and asked me if I was sure I wanted to press charges since the abuser was in his mid to late sixties.
I wasn't sure if this was what I really needed in order to get closure but years have gone by and I just cannot deal with the fact that he got away and is not in the predators list.

I know I can still press charges since I am the victim. My question is how complicated is this going to get and what are the exact steps this process is likely to go thru? All I want is for him to be placed on the predators list but I heard that in order for that to happen that they need to arrest him. I'm not after him doing time in prison, I just want him to be on the list so that he suffers what he did to me like I have suffered my entire life and so that others know as well. It's the least he deserves. If anyone has any opinions I am open to suggestions and advice. Please help me, I need closure.

Thanks
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ivonne
Posting Freak
Posting Freak


Joined: 09 Jun 2004
Posts: 5874
Location: the netherlands

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure about legal possibilities and issues, being from Europe. I do know a little bit about closure.

For me revenge is not where closure is at.

For the longest time the abuser was the most important man in my life. I had to truly take my own life back by changing that mindset. All his actions and thoughts are his, not mine. His conscience, not my concern.

All the effects it has had on me are mine. The thoughts, feelings, physical problems, all of them mine. My packet of stuff to deal with.

When I let go of my feelings of anger at the injustice of it, I freed up so much energy to spend at healing myself that it took less than two years after that to declare myself healed.

Nowadays it is rare to the point of non-existant that I get triggered into something from that period of my life. I have moved beyond, found closure in having taken my own life back into my own hands. Reinventing myself by owning the past and allowing it to be a part of me, without having it define who I am.

I hope this helps you in some way.

Ivonne
_________________
We dont see things as they are,
we see them as we are.
-Anas Nin
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address
amabelle1434
newbie 1st class
newbie 1st class


Joined: 03 Mar 2009
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply Ivonne. The truth is, it's not really revenge I'm after. In all honesty I've rarely thought about those days unless I am triggered by my mom's aloofness about the whole thing. I think that what I am really dealing with is the fact that I cannot get over my mom's decision and perhaps many other bad decisions she made that affected me my whole life.

I don't know what to do.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Terri
Member
Member


Joined: 27 Oct 2006
Posts: 121

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In America, once you file charges .... it is no longer in your hands. The DA's office and the courts resolve it. 42 of our 50 states have adopted the Zero Tolerance Bill. Depending on the ages of your abuse and the state's statute of limitations, if he was found guilty, he could spend the rest of his life in prison. As you say that is not your goal ... but, he has to be prosecuted and deemed guilty before his name can be added to the predator roster.

In your own words, this is not a revenge matter, rather a matter of validation from your mother ... taking your predator to court will not equate to her support. For your mother to validate you, she has to face her own demons of accountability. Living in denial her current comfort zone.

Pose the questions to other survivors on Mother / Daughter relationships ...

Terri
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
amabelle1434
newbie 1st class
newbie 1st class


Joined: 03 Mar 2009
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Terri,

You are right and I am still on the fence on what to do about the abuser. You are so right though. It's true that filing charges will not fix the issues I have with my mother. I have a long road of recovery ahead of me. I have to stop victimizing myself and perhaps get to what I was never given then..... therapy!

If I received a true and heartfelt appology and know that she fells remorse then forgiveness will come very easy. It's forgetting it all, forgetting everything that will be so hard. I think that I will take the proper steps to help myself.

As a Christain, I had placed the abuse in God's hands long ago and trusted that justice would be served. Perhaps I got so angry with my mother and felt I needed some sort of justice if not an admittance from her then a punishment for him.

Still on the fence, wanting to beleive that God will do his will and needing to heal. I am so heartbroken right now. I will do what you suggested and post this in the other thread. Thank you all so much!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Taubah
Posting Freak
Posting Freak


Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 1239
Location: Indiana

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i can't say that i have much room for saying this considering that i have not taken legal action with ANY of my abusers .. but...

I don't think that the age of this man is any reason for you to keep the charging him again dormant. after all, he did not have such consideration for you. I feel that if this man hurt you, and got a way with it, and slithered his way out, he most likely did it again and again. I believe that you are feeling multiple feelings. And revenge may be one of them, but i don't think it is the fuel of your hurt and anger.

From your words, i feel like your feeling to really put the man away or have him on a list is legitimate and i feel that if you feel strong enough to do it, than it should be done. File again or do whatever u have to do, and let the processes go on. But be aware that once you do it, it will continue until it is done with. If he serves jail time than i don't see why that is a bad thing.

I think there are multiple ways to get closure, and for many victims seeing their abusers take ownership and be punished for what they did, is a big step. Not only do you have to face your abuser and find that courage and truth from and inside yourself, but your mother has to face the truth of it, and so does your abuser.

Sometimes things may feel like it must be one or the other, but to me, an admittance from your mother, is something on one level. And a punishment for your abuser ( and an admittance also i would think) is on a different one. We all compartmentalize, even in one topic, and with such a complex topic as such abuse, there are many different compartments. Sometimes those compartments overlap and you are able to find that it was not one action over another that helps, but both.

All of those emotions with your mother is natural and normal and legitimate. As a child, that is still a part of you even as you are grown, you still look to your mother to save you from the abuse, her letting it go 'away' says to you that she sees but does not care. Even if that is not her intent. That is on a different level from the feelings u have with your abuser. He betrayed you, but she betrayed you more in away. But the truth of this matter is, nothing your mother does ( from my own... #*$#) can really ever be enough and it wont ever erase what she did and what he did. You will have to accept that she is who and how she is, and learn that, her love and acceptance is not truly and deeply what you need, but your own.

Filling in the holes, and owning, loving, and caring for yourself with therapy and acceptance is of course on the top of the healing to do list. But i do not believe that it has to be one or the other. both ( healing inside, and punishing your abuser) are about you and what helps you. Not about him, and not about your mother. Do what you feel is right, and what brings you comfort and peace.

God is there, and He is going to have things play out the way they play out that is true. But you doing what you feel is right is not going to throw God off His kicker.


There is an old 'Arabian' saying
" Trust in God but tie your camel."

praying for your peace.
Taubah
_________________
Parched. dry. i run-
across your soul.
the faceless me i chase,
voiceless and untold.
~Taubah
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
amabelle1434
newbie 1st class
newbie 1st class


Joined: 03 Mar 2009
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much Taubah,

Yes, I now see that even though an admittance from my mother would be ideal, I need to learn to love myself more and make up for all of my lost time. I have spent so many years feeling so many mixed emotions over others that I neglected to care for myself and give myself the healing I needed. I am going to look into starting my therapy immediately and hopefully find the strength to prosecute the abuser if that is what is meant to be. I fear for my two daughters and that is an additional reason why I had held off on persuing charges for so long. Perhaps I am fearfull of him wanting payback for prosecuting him. Thank you so much for your insightfullness and advise on the whole issue.

Even if I don't need to persue charges for my own well being, I need to do it for the well being of others. I've suffered enough because of this man and the last thing I need is to feel guilty as well for not doing anything about it. That's it, I'm decided. I will press charges and God will do his will. He will make sure this man pays the right price for what he did.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
amabelle1434
newbie 1st class
newbie 1st class


Joined: 03 Mar 2009
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all so very much. I am truly blessed to have people taking the time to respond to my issue when they could be doing other things. You are all God sent. I appreciate all of your kind words so much. You have given me so much encouragement and I have a newfound strength from reading your words. Thank you, thank you..... I cannot say it enough, THANK YOU.

May only good things come your way. You have such big hearts.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Taubah
Posting Freak
Posting Freak


Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 1239
Location: Indiana

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i am happy you are able to come to a decision tonight, even if in the future you choose another path. it is a beautiful feeling to find help when you are in need. I'm happy we were able to help, best of luck and prosperity for all you set out to do. Keep your well being at heart on your journey as well as those others you care for. hope you stick around awhile, you have a big heart too.


P.S. I also have two daughters and can completely understand your fear. I like to think it is not that we will always be able to protect our children from everything but we pray to be able to protect them from the big things. I think that when a child has something horrible happen to them that the parent doesn't know about, the test of their ....... ............. love i guess....... loyalty to their child comes after they find out.

What does that parent do to help and try their damnedest to heal and make it better for that child... that has always been such a sore spot for me. My mother claimed she didn't know, but even after i was an adult and told her, she pushed it under the rug. For me, her betrayal was worse than my silence. In my silence I held onto a dream of her ( and my father) saving me if only she knew... I am still struggling with loving myself... because i so want her love ..some how it seems better to me.

I wrote this one night in thoughts of her...


jaded

darkness surrounding my bed.
I lay.
eyes staring.
the night like a blanket, covers my soul and ears as to not hear your deafening silence.
freezing in the blistering heat, I search for comfort in my own arms,
but my rocking doesn't feel as good as yours.
how can I pretend to not be jaded?
the bareness of the discomfort against me as i search into the night.
wondering what secrets of mine you knew, silently kept, silently let slip by undetected.
are you there?
i've often wondered in the stillness if you could hear my thoughts.
or feel my love if i tried hard enough to connect with you.
some unspoken communication.
but you keep me far away, like an unwanted image.
stubborn.
for I keep creeping, wanting, pleading, wet faced and small.
how do I accept you for who you are? when I so want you to want to be different....
for me.
~ Taubah Blackman

so i do understand.
hugs
_________________
Parched. dry. i run-
across your soul.
the faceless me i chase,
voiceless and untold.
~Taubah
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Terri
Member
Member


Joined: 27 Oct 2006
Posts: 121

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amabelle ...
I sense an unsettled wave pattern in your thinking, uncertain .... certain. My thread to you was not about discouraging you in any regard from prosecution ... but don't jump off a cliff unless you know how deep the water is ..... The wavering and the fears you express stem from the unknown ... be informed.

26 years have passed ... time to get your mind and feet on solid ground will not make a difference. Never forget the abuser is accountable for his victims not you. 26 years is a long time to build a roster of voices who can and could have prosecuted. Not your sole burden. Maintain healthy burdens, no unhealthy guilt.

Check out some therapists and start building a support network. You are the priority, not the abuser. As Taubah pointed out, when the ball starts rolling, it will not stop until it's over. Be sure you have the tools you need to cope.

Releasing your story with credibility is vital ... speaking about it out loud for the first time should not be done in a courtroom ... sort it out with a therapist. Test your boundaries and triggers. You will unleash intense emotional storms ... rage, pain, tears, shame .... Be in a safe environment to confront and deal with it on a private scale first - save the public eye for later. Just because I read about how to run a marathon, does not mean I can ... I have to train. Strong body, mind and will power.

Slow down ... don't rush. You are the Priority. Take care of you, the rest will unfold naturally ....
Terri
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    S&F's Forum Index -> Court/Legal Issues All times are GMT + 4 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Site by Flashfire Designs
Copyright 1993-2003, Survivors & Friends

Help Out
Make a Donation Order Flowers S&F Bookstore
About Us
General Info Staff Mission Statement Contact Us
Misc
Awards Web Rings