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Brandy's Blog

Finding My Voice To Bring Forth Change

Updated: Feb 24


Hi I am a 16-year-old female survivor of SSA who considers myself on the path to healing now and it feels good to finally be in that place. This is an introduction to a blog about the process of writing my Victim Impact Statement as a teen.


Finding the strength to even disclose to my parents were the first steps of healing and then came the question of charges and  how I wanted to proceed from my attorney. I was initially so worried that the case against my abuser would force me to testify in court but thankfully that was avoided because he decided to take a guilty plea to skip trial. Next my attorney asked me if I would be willing to provide a victim impact statement which at first I said, “No you already have my statement from the forensics interview.” As I thought things over in the days following that conversation with my attorney I started to think about the things he said such as this would be my chance to be heard, for the judge to see how this had impacted my life and so ... the journey began to find the words needed to help me receive that justice.


I hope you will find this blog helpful and know that if another child/teen was able to advocate for their own justice, you can do it too. I want change in many ways including victims to feel confident in their decision to disclose and pursue criminal charges against the one who harmed them, if they decide to take that route. Please read on to see how I found my voice. 

                                                        

                                                                                                                Brooke 



Brooke's Victim Impact Statement:


I am not sure if I am ready to see the person who harmed me, my biological sibling because that’s what I consider him now, no longer a brother. He needs to be held responsible for my ongoing emotional suffering. I am here to provide my statement to share my side of the story and how this has impacted my life.


My sexual abuse began between the ages of 10-11 and went on until I was 15. I went through many years of self doubt, severe depression, and insecurities because of everything that happened. In that time I had lost all hope and trust in everyone, I felt like I had no reason to live, no one I could turn to about this abuse I suffered by my brother.


I want to stress the importance that this was not just sexual abuse, but a lot of mental abuse. He would say horrible things to me that I was psycho, a retard because I was diagnosed with Autism. He also said I would be the one to go to jail for his actions and the sexual abuse he carried out on me if I ever told anyone. That it would be my fault for the family breaking up. There were times when he bribed me with money and gifts to keep my silence. My brother exposed me to very disturbing porngraphic images over the course of the abuse. My innocence was ripped from me due to his poor self control and decisions and it wasn’t fair. I had plans to wait until marriage, with the person of my choosing. That should have been my decision.


The abuse occurred every few months. He would wait until both my parents were asleep and then call me to the basement area where his room was located to abuse me. He started sexually abusing me after my mom picked up a second job to help with bills because my dad got injured at work and lost most of his right hand. My mom was working 55-60 hours weekly for a few years and my father was sleeping a lot, healing from his amputation and depression.


I finally broke my silence, telling my parents after my brother started another argument saying mean things to me. He ended up admitting to it all and turning himself into the police. At least he finally admitted to his wrongs, but can I say I have forgiven him yet? No, but I am working on getting to that point because I don’t want to remain angry and stressed.


He has caused me so much grief, anger, self harm, and severe PTSD. I was hospitalized for a week after everything came out in the open due to my depression. I have been in counseling for 3-4 years. I was unsure of my own sexuality and how I identified because my trust was broken when it comes to men. He didn’t just molest me, he fully raped me 1-2 times.This shouldn’t have happened to me.


I do want to see my brother get help for his issues and have told my attorney and victim witness advocate all this. I do ask that he serves time and I know he carries 3 felonies and a potential max sentence of 30 years. I want him to be placed somewhere he can receive proper sex offender help and therapy services for his pornography addiction. I don’t want to see anyone else hurt the way I was by him.


He needs to know I will live up to the statement of “ What doesn’t break you makes you stronger.” This has me looking into a new career field to help other victims of sexual abuse. I will become a voice and take a stand for other victims. He needs to know he didn’t win because I am a stronger person today as I write this impact statement. 


Thank you to all who have stood behind me through this battle. Without you all I wouldn't be the person I am today.


Brooke


Read Brooke's mother's Victim Impact Statement in this blog.

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