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
not sure what to do
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    S&F's Forum Index -> Female Survivors
View previous topic :: View next topic  

Did you file criminal charges against your abuser? If so what was the out come?
Guilty
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Not Guilty
9%
 9%  [ 1 ]
Never filed charges
90%
 90%  [ 10 ]
Total Votes : 11

Author Message
crissy
Member
Member


Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 218
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:11 am    Post subject: not sure what to do Reply with quote

I have always had thoughts of filing criminal charges against my abuser. When i first told my mother about the abuse we went to a therapist that steared me away from it. For reasons that i am not sure of. I called the police department today to weigh my options and find out the statue of limitations. I have until 10 years after my 18th birthday. I will be 27 in June. What to do? I am not sure what i am going to do. Deep down in my heart, I would love to see that sob go to jail. Even if he doesnt go to jail...i would like to see him go through the process...also so i can tell my story. I am not after revenge....i am after something...i just cant put it into words. The only internal conflict i am having right now is my dad. I have worked years to build the relationship that i have with him now. This would probably end up destroying it. I am confused and in need of guidance. Deep down i want to do it. For me. I feel i need to. i dont have that much longer. I need to make a decision for myself. I am comfortable in my own skin right now.....i feel this is the next step for me. On the other hand....i dont want to ruin my relationship with my father...much less my kids with their grandfather. i realize that my chances of him being found guilty are slim. Since it happend so long ago. But what on a chance this man be criminaly punished for what he did to me. What if he is doing it again? I can not live with knowing that i didnt stop the cycle. I am confused..........i could call as soon as i get off the phone from here and file a report....then they would set an appointment for me to come in and tell my story. what do i do? i am at a loss. is incest harder to prove then csa? I know it is the same thing...but with the fact that its incest is it different? Anyone been in this situation?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dakizia
Member
Member


Joined: 01 Feb 2005
Posts: 191

PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes, i understand your feeling, but as i see it, and this is pure on religion and trust in God.
let God do the judging, he will get his fair and i will get mine.

thats what i belive...
but i can understand if you dont, and well, i dunno.. maybe you should try it.. i really dont know
_________________
**************
dakizia.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
ivonne
Posting Freak
Posting Freak


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

PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like for all practical purposes you are ready to file charges and are willing to undergo the process, tell your story and you feel like this might give you the closure you need, as well as protect society at large against your perpetrator.

There is but one hitch, the relationship you have built with your father. My suggestion would be to talk to your father about how this is building up inside you as a need. If the relationship with your father is good you will be able to speak about your need, about how it makes him feel, about how it makes you feel, and hopefully together you will come to a conclusion about it.

My take on this is, if you are not able to speak about your wants and needs with your father, what kind of relationship do you have with him? I tend to be rather tough on people in that kind of situation, not sure if that is the right way. I just know that it is my way.

I have never filed charges. My deadline was coming up when I was first getting into therapy. My sister is married (still) to my perpetrator. I have regretted not filing charges, many times. I don't trust him, I do think he is still actively perpetrating his crimes.
It has taken me some time but I have forgiven myself for not filing charges back then.

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
knelson
Site Admin
Site Admin


Joined: 06 Dec 2003
Posts: 144
Location: U.S.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm just popping my head in here to take a look at posts to make sure everything is going alright, and I thought I'd put my own opinion on here.

Personally, I believe that the primary reasons for "filing charges" or "bringing a person to justice" are:

    1) To protect other people from this person if the person is likely to do it again.

    2) So that they "pay for their crime", and in paying for thier crime may be somewhat forced into seeking help and healing

Sometimes, a person will seek help and healing without the need for courtrooms and jail-time, but others won't, and some never will regardless.

Justice is not about vengeance. I agree with dakizia that the whole vengeance thing belongs in God's ballpark. However, judging someone, and reporting a crime are very different things. Every religion and law-book that I'm aware of support the reporting of crimes and bringing people to justice to be judged by a court of law.

Personally, I know a number of sexual offenders who never sought help until AFTER they were caught and did some jail time, etc. Being caught brought their sexual "dysfunctions" into the light, and no longer being hidden made it so that they kind of "had to" deal with it. Some of these people have improved greatly and are now helping others, while the last I heard of some others is that they went straight back to their various addictions. There is never a guarantee that they will "recover", but having their offenses being brought out into the light can get rid of some of their excuses for not seeking help. Some sexual offenders really do want help, but the "secrecy" of their offenses keeps them from doing so. Once it is no longer secret, that excuse gets thrown out the window.

Anyway, just food for thought. This is not to say that you should or shouldn't report this. If your abuser is not a danger to others, and he is sorry for his abuses...then by all means forgive him and work on mending the relationship if there is one (I wasn't totally sure if you were saying it was your dad or just that the relationship with him would break if you reported the person...).

Kevin
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
crissy
Member
Member


Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 218
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My abuser is my paternal grandfather. I have put my trust in God. I know he will get what he deserves in the end. I am not after vengance, I am after justice. I am after closure. Like all of you i have spent most of my life in a dark hole and fought my way out to the light. I am at a point in my life that i can actually say I AM HAPPY. I have a wonderful fiance...two wonderful children...and my healing is going great. I am ready to start a new chapter in my life and close the hell i have been living. I think in one way of doing that in my own feelings would be filing charges. Even if nothing comes out of it....i still get something from it.

As for forgivness.....i will never be able to do that. I dont think i should have to. Why does he deserve MY forgivness. I know people say its not for him...its for you...but it does nothing for me. I am happy where i am at...i am happy with how and where my healing is headed. For me this is just the next step.....a step in closure of the pain that he caused.

The relationship with my father has been up and down since i was a child. He was hardly ever around.....not a very good father. Use to twist my wrists and my arms when he got mad. Left bruises and marks that would last for days and pain i still feel now. He would squeeze my checks together to were i had bruises on my face. He was mean.....drove drunk with me in the car while threatening suicide....i can go on and on on what he put me through as a child and teenager. With age he has mellowed...not so angry at the world any longer. I have three younger brothers...the oldest 10 years younger than i. He is a wonderful father to them....and he is a great grandfather. We worked on our relationship very hard and have gotten to the point were he feels terriable for what i went through and says he is sorry and if he could take it back he would. He told me he didnt know how to fix it....i just told him to be different with my children and my brothers. When i told my father about the abuse is when our healing as father and daughter began. He will not talk to me about the abuse....but i have accepted that and when i do he says he is sorry profusely. He still has a relationship with his father...he says it is because of his mom...but that for me is sometimes hard to swollow. I look at my own children and feel sickend that he would allow his other children around a child molester....but that is not my choice.

I dont know if others are at risk from my abuser. Through my step mom she told me my eldest brother takes over as protecter when children are around my abuser. (mostly all above age 13) It is enough even if i am the only one that he abused me and should be punished by it. I am 98% postitive it happend to my aunt and my cousin(her daughter). And i am 50% sure that my father knows that it happend to his sister. It is such a messed up situation.....i am just really really confused.

I am going to talk to my dad...and see where our relationship stands. I dont know if it is strong enough to go through this and that is a shame. I love my father very much....it took me along time to be able to...and along time for him to let me. This is the only thing stopping me from calling right now.

I find myself back when i was a teenager......did anyone ever do this? I will tell them after my birthday. I will tell them after easter. I will tell them after christmas. There was always an excuse for me not to tell them what has happend. There was always a special day i didnt want to ruin by my story of abuse. I am doing that now. Its actually kinda comical. I will talk to my dad this weekend.....wait it is my brothers birthday...and then its mothers day....and then its my sons bday ...... my brothers graduation.....my dads bday and so on and so on.

I am excited and scared....and most definately confused.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
knelson
Site Admin
Site Admin


Joined: 06 Dec 2003
Posts: 144
Location: U.S.

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Crissy,

My comment about forgiveness was because you were trying to have a relationship with your father, and I thought that he might be the perpetrator of the abuse you were talking about. The process of repentance and forgiveness is a two way street. I would never tell you to just up and forgive someone because true forgiveness is a process of repentance and forgiveness. In circumstances like you have, it is also a long process, typically.

There are a lot of people who say you need to "forgive and forget" and pass this off as a "Christian Value". However, I have a problem with this. Is it not true that even Christ himself requires that you "repent of your sins" before he forgives you??? Forgiveness is not "forgiving and forgetting" everything done to you by everyone and acting like everything is okay when it's not...that's denial not forgiveness...

There is a type of "forgiveness" where you "let go" of the issue and move on with your life. You "give up your right" for vengeance and put it into God's hands and allow God to either punish or have mercy as he sees fit. This kind of "forgiveness" is more "letting go" than forgivenss. That is also the kind of forgiveness that people say that you need to do "for you, not for them." The reason for this is...if you haven't "let go" of the anger, the anger will--sooner or later--start to eat you alive. From what you say, you may have already "let go." However, this is not what I would call "true forgiveness". True forgiveness only comes after the perpetrator repents AND the victim forgives, and since you can't control the perpetrator, they may never repent. However, "true forgiveness" is the type of forgiveness that brings about reconciliation in a relationship.

If you have no plans to nurture a relationship with your grandfather, then "reconciliation" is not really necessary as far as I can see, but "letting go" is a necessary step in the progress of healing. Hopefully, you can look back at the relationship with you father and see how some of these steps may have taken place as you began re-building a relationship with him...so that I actually make sense Razz

Anyway, I still may not be explaining myself well. Here is a Survivors & Friends article on forgiveness that you may find interesting...it's more along the lines of what I'm talking about...how annie (the president and founder of S&F) dealt with her family issues.

http://www.sandf.org/articles/Forgive.asp

Kevin
_________________
Looking to the future is not pretending that the past never happened; it is accepting the past for what it isa part of us...but remembering that it does not define who we are...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
crissy
Member
Member


Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 218
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Letting go is something i am in the process of right now. I still have anger in me.....but not the kind that overwhelms me. Dont get me wrong...i still have issues. Issues that i work on on a daily basis. But i have my issues under control (at this point). They no longer control me.

As for my dad....i think he is in denial about the abuse. He has a hard time accepting it. In all i do understand how difficult it is for him because it was even more difficult for me. I had to accept it if i wanted a relationship with him. Unfortunately.

I do understand repentance and forgiveness. That is why my father and i have a relationship now. If we both would not have tried...we would not be where we are today.

As for plans of reconciliation with my abuser...he destroyed that years ago. I have no want or need for any type of contact from him.

You are explaining your self fine. I do understand the importance in letting go. I think what might help me do so is filing charges. I can not explain the need and the want that i feel for it. It is something i feel deep down will help me. And so far i have listened to myself and have gotten farther than i ever thought i would. Its almost like letting the girl that was abused become the woman that i am now. Letting the pain that i felt as a child, the guilt .. the shame .. the disgust with myself... letting that all go. I have healed that part of me..i have forgiven myself. I am ready to move forward. I hope i make sense....feelings are hard to explain. Thanks Kevin...i appreciate you!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
knelson
Site Admin
Site Admin


Joined: 06 Dec 2003
Posts: 144
Location: U.S.

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand you fine as well...choices like these are difficult. It's "family", and the old "blood is thicker than water" thing...my mom (annie) had to make the tough choice to cut herself off from her family when I was about 12, because they wanted her to live in denial and wanted her to "leave the dirty laundry in the laundry basket," and actually did everything that they could to keep her and her step-father from reconciling. She was totally willing to forgive, but others in the family kept putting up roadblocks to keep her and her step-dad from talking....afterall, if he repents and she forgives him, then that would mean that things were true, and they just weren't willing to face that it might be true. But oddly, they kept telling her that she needed to "forgive" even though they would never admit that it was true.

It became very difficult for her to the point that she adopted a new family and cut off relations with the old one, because--more than anything--she just wanted a family that would support her and stick up for her. Her own issues were hard enough without the family constantly calling her a liar, etc.

Anyway, there is never an easy answer to things like this, and your confusion is totally understandable. I wish you the best, and hope that you will find wisdom for the choices that you decide to make.

Kevin
_________________
Looking to the future is not pretending that the past never happened; it is accepting the past for what it isa part of us...but remembering that it does not define who we are...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
crissy
Member
Member


Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 218
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just read the article on forgiveness. I understand it. I have a question, in the article it says "I cant think of anyone better to serve justice than God." I agree with that totally and I am very happy to know that I have God on my side. Is it wrong for me to file charges knowing that he will get what he has comming to him in the end? Is it wrong to more than likely completely destroy an already rocky relationship, all in a process of my healing? Anyway....i guess i am just looking for someone to tell me to do it or dont do it...and i know i wont get that. Thats not an answer i need. I have learned how to think and feel independtly....why stop now! Very Happy Thanks a million. I am still building my relationship with God. You helped quite a bit Kevin!





I cant think of anyone better to serve justice than God.
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: Fri Apr 29, 2005 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps the relationship with your father is rocky because of all the things that are being kept silent and in the dark? It sounds like a pretty conditional type of love he is offering, yes I will love you if you leave me the illusion that nothing happened or at least I don't have to talk about it.
You on your end are finding it hard to confront your dad about the truth. The question is do you have a relationship worth saving if it can not handle the truth. I am talking about the kind of truth that speaks of your need to get closure, your need to protect others from the fate you suffered. It is scary as hell and you may lose what you have with your father if you talk to him about this.
Are you willing to risk that? Are you in a situation where you can "adopt a new family" if the one you were born into falls apart?
Only you can answer the question if you are willing to risk your fathers love for this. How important is this issue for you? How long have you been carrying this issue around with your? How many times have you asked yourself if this was the right time to breach the subject?

This februari I cried on my mothers shoulder, finally breaking through the emotional barrier that existed between us. Best thing that I ever made happen. You can choose to be connected in the same way to your dad. Thing is that would require risking it all... only you can answer that...

good luck on your choice
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
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    S&F's Forum Index -> Female Survivors All times are GMT + 4 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
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