I received an email this morning from a journalist I’ve been working with for several months.
He told me that the piece he has been writing about my search for justice was finally cleared for publication.
So rather than repeat its contents in full, I thought I would reflect on what today means for me.
Today marks the accomplishment of a big part of what motivated me to speak out.
By publishing this article, Mark has helped me to warn others in the area about Neil Day, the man who abused me.
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Perhaps, in time, it will emerge that there are others he targeted.
If so, it’s my hope that by reading my story they too will find the courage that I know they have within themselves to tell their own.
No child should have to experience what Day put me through, even once.
My biggest regret, should it turn out that he did abuse others, will be that I didn’t say anything sooner but the blame will still remain firmly with him.
More widely, I hope that anyone who has been abused – by anyone and at any time – will speak out straight away.
It’s been a long road to get to this point and today feels like the closing of an act in the story of my life.
There have been notable chapters along the way, many of them filled with pain, anger, resentment, self-loathing, shame and negativity, but many that have made up for all that.
Those emotions and thoughts will always be there buried away, simmering under the surface.
After the euphoric high of giving evidence, of finally standing up and being heard, reality has begun to creep back into my life.
In the past week, unwanted emotions have made themselves known again and I could easily despair. But I don’t and I won’t.
The next act may not be easy, life never is, but I have a feeling that with hard work, determination and – most importantly – by nurturing myself and not giving in to the easy road of negativity, things are going to get better.