‘I deserve the best life possible’

A survivor of sexual violence speaks about her experience of the support offered by Kerry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre. Kerry RSAC can be contacted at Freephone 1800 633 333 and you can find more information at the centre’s website here

‘I started my journey four years ago with the Kerry Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre. It began with one-to-one counselling and about six months later I began my First Group. After the Group finished, I stayed a few more months on a one-to-one basis and then I left. I was very grateful for their time and understanding, it changed my life, and I can’t thank the Centre enough for that. I was given the opportunity to come for a second Group session. I was very nervous as it was with one new facilitator and a new group of ladies, and I wasn’t sure if I would learn anything new from the first group. How wrong was I, the group has given me a new lease of life.

Nobody can understand how powerful it is to be among other people that understand what you have been through. You do not have to lie, you can speak the truth and know you have been heard. I gave myself goals at the beginning for what I wanted and needed from the group and I feel I am achieving these. The ladies have been amazing especially their experiences and most importantly for me how they deal with families. I have grown in the last twelve weeks and wish it would last forever, but I know I have the tools to continue. Also, when things do get hard and triggers happen, I will be able to go back and remember how the group have given me advice, and also their experiences to deal with anything.

Our childhoods were taken from us and that was not our fault, but we have full control of our future and I will not let him ruin that. It has affected me for over thirty-eight years but not anymore, it will always be there, but I feel with the experiences I have gone through Kerry Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre, it will help me with the rest of my life. Not only am I survivor, but I also deserve the best life possible.’

Thanks to the survivor of sexual violence who contributed to the RCNI Annual Statistics 2020 report. You can read the report here