A Historic Sexual Abuse Case
A complaint of historical sexual abuse was reported to the police by two sisters who accused their stepfather of sexually touching them when they were 11 and 13 years old respectively - the assault took place 15 years before they came forward. They did not want him to be prosecuted but did want him to admit what he had done.
When he was arrested, he admitted the accusation placed against him. He was remorseful and willing to engage in Restorative Justice. The sisters were glad that this long-standing secret could now be spoken about and wanted to meet with their stepfather to let him know the impact it had on their lives.
They said they were frightened to say anything as they feared their half-sister would be put into care and they wouldn’t be believed. They also feared what their biological father might do to the abuser.
Family members of the sisters struggled to understand how they could keep it a secret for so long. Some disbelieved them and minimised the abuse, which was distressing for them.
The abuser’s family struggled to believe the victims and were shocked at his admittance. He received support from some but others shunned him.
A meeting was arranged in a neutral venue that met the needs of the victims, with consideration being given to privacy due to the sensitive nature of the allegation.
One of the sisters said: “We had a meeting with our stepfather, my sister and I both said our bit and he did the same. In the end, we were all crying.”
“Now we can get on with our lives without the burden of what happened grinding us down.”
“My only regret is not reporting it as soon as it happened. If only we had known that nothing bad would have happened.”
If you are interested in finding out more about how Restorative Justice might help you and you are based in West Yorkshire, please give us a call on 0800 783 1550 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be glad to help you.