Survivor from Rochester Writes About Seeking Justice
26th August 2022
“I would like to at some point write the whole life story, you know.” Kellie explains through video call whilst her daughters are at school. She’s just finished writing the first draft of a memoir covering a vital chapter of her life: seeking justice for the abuse she experienced as a child from her mother and step father.
Kellie has never done anything like this before, and that’s why she wanted to share her process with us, so we could help amplify her message and we hope that someone reading might have editing or publishing advice or contacts for Kellie to get her story out there. She hopes it will encourage others to bravely hold their abusers to account and not give up on the justice they deserve by shifting who gets to hold power and control and who doesn’t.
“It’s never too late, and that’s what I want to get across to people even though I haven’t had the outcome that I’ve wanted to have. There are people who get justice in other ways. I think even the people who don’t get “justice” are putting that weight back onto somebody else by reporting them.
Through my writing I want to give others that awareness about the reporting process: where to start, what to do if things don’t go how they want them to go, then coping with that from there. Because I must say, the first two days of finding out the police didn’t have enough evidence despite me giving them medical records with the abuse on there – I fell apart, literally fell apart. But I’m still here, you know. Thankfully because of my girls more than anything, but I’m still here.
So even though it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to, it has helped. And it’s probably made me even stronger than before. They don’t necessarily have to go to the police. They don’t necessarily have to go that far. But sharing it with somebody they may trust just takes some of that weight off from them. Sharing your pain with other people really helps. It really, really does help. Knowing that people are listening and knowing that people believe you and it doesn’t have to be a conviction to be believed.”
When the police officer rang Kellie to tell her that they couldn’t pursue, she was distraught and she hung up. But the police officer rang again and she said “It’s not that we don’t believe you, we just don’t have enough.” It took about 6 months from Kellie reporting the incident to the police, to the police saying there isn’t enough evidence, but she hasn’t given up yet. And in the process, through her perseverance, she has lost contact with family members who have denied the abuse she experienced and shamed her for reporting what her parents put her through as she was growing up.
“They’re part of the old generation who are very much like ‘let bygones be bygones’ and sweep things under the carpet like they did. But then I feel that if they want to support people like them, then that doesn’t make them any better either. And it hurts, but is that the kind of people I want in my life? You know, my friends are my family, my friends have been the backbone through this for me and just because the others are family doesn’t mean you have to have that contact with them if they’re not good people. I’ve lost people and it’s tough but they know why and they have to live with that..”
The abuser knows what they’ve done, they know they’ve done wrong. They know that you’ve pursued that so I think now I’ve put a lot of weight back on them which I shouldn’t have been carrying and they always should have been carrying. And for the healing, that makes a big big difference. To get to 44 years of age and your parents think, ‘they’re never going to do anything about it now it’s too late’, well maybe it’s time you had a conscience, maybe it’s time you took responsibility.”
How can you help?
Do you have any contacts in the publishing industry to help Kellie get her short-story out to the world?
Do you have advice about self-publishing or words of encouragement to pass onto Kellie as she finalises her short-memoir and keeps seeking justice?