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Legal Action?

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Hi everyone.

Sorry that my first post on these forums is just me asking for help, rather than me being more selfless. I just really need some advice.

My situation is far too complicated to explain in one readable post, so I'll just give you the essentials for the question I want to ask. If you want to know anything more then just ask and I'll tell you.

My mum's ex sexually abused me. Over a period of about 18 months (at which point he and my mum finally split). He didn't actually rape me or anything. I didn't tell anyone about it at the time. About four months ago I told my boyfriend (who was actually with me throughout the time the abuse was going on, and is still with me now), which seemed to trigger PTSD on top of my existing depression (which has grown progressively worse and worse).

I went to my GP recently after my counselling ran out, and told her what had happened to me. She was great, and I should be getting real help very soon. However, she and the mental health staff think I should be pressing charges against my mum's ex, in case he does it to somebody else.

Sounds simple doesn't it. But I really don't feel like I can. From a selfish point of view, I don't want to be dragged through it all again, to see him again (even in court), I don't want everyone to know what has happened to me. I live in quite a small community and it would quickly become public knowledge. I don't want to be labelled or gossiped about. From a selfless point of view I don't want to drag my mum through the court process either, and I don't want her parents to find out because they would literally disown her.

What are the chances of my mum's ex even being convicted of anything? I can't help but feel like it wouldn't be worth it. I have no actual evidence, and as I say he didn't actually rape me. Also his father was a respected policeman.

Please help me. I'm such a mess.

Sorry again for the selfish posting.


Antiquities Friend
Staff Alumni
Hmm Nobody thats a toughie. My first reaction was nail the bastard, but I can really see your dilemma here. Also, I know the damage it causes when you're not believed, which is the feeling you'll be left with if he got off.

If they can not promise anonymity for you, it seems you may have too much to lose by speaking out; on the other hand are you happy to let him just get away with it?

Agree with you on the chances of him just getting away with this, it seems to be a case of your word against his.

Sorry to not be more help...and hey you're not being selfish, this is a horrid dilemma.
Hi ~Nobody~,
I'm sorry to say that the odds are slim to none for a conviction. It's your word against his. There is no physical evidence or witnesses. The court system requires proof 'beyond a reasonable doubt'. If I were a juror, I could not convict based on the testimony of a single person without colaborating evidence. The system uses these safeguards to protect people from frivolous charges. Unfortunately, it sometimes helps the guilty get away with it. You could press charges if you want to stand on principle. However, I think all of your fears would come true. It's a tough call and I'm sorry to say that you will have to decide for yourself.

I'm sorry I have no answer for you,
Supreme Loser


I think Supreme Loser and Devastated made some excellent points.

I am in the process of pressing charges against the person who raped me 13 years ago. I agree with Supreme Loser that the courts can be stacked against a rape survivor. I am well aware that there is little to no chance that he will be convicted but In my case I am choosing to go through with the process because it is another step towards closure. In my case being able to have a voice and publicly say: "This man did this to me and I won't be silent any more!" is what I need, regardless of the outcome.

Having shared all that I'm not saying that you should automatically do the same thing as me. I just thought sharing what made me ready to do it might help.

If, after bearing in mind the reality of what court will be like and knowing that the chances of a conviction are slim, you still feel driven to do this, then it might be worth seeking legal counsel.

Also sometimes there may be a rape crisis center or phone line in your area. I got in contact with my local center before pressing charges and they were very helpful. They were able to explain the process and everything that might be involved.

Sorry..I have rambled a bit. But hope this has helped. It's a big decision so take your time and make sure you feel comfortable with any given course of action before you act.
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Well-Known Member
Hi again.

Thank you all for your advice and honesty.

*****trigger warning*****

Crazily enough, I ended up actually telling my mum about what happened to me. This was on Monday night. It started with this big argument between me and her (in front of her fiance and my boyfriend) and just escalated to me being hysterical and having a panic attack (she didn't even know I had these). The argument set me off because she was saying things like "you don't know what a good life you've had, you're so ungrateful for everything I've done for you, you don't even know you're born!" and I felt like it was so unfair because she failed to protect me from her ex. (Although she didn't know about the sexual abuse, she knew that he was verbally abusive and very physically abusive to both her and me. The police were even called out a few times because of him assaulting me, but she refused to let me press charges ever. She knew all this and she spent so long with him, it's really fucked me up.)

So anyway I had this major panic attack and she realised there was actually something really wrong, and over a period of about two hours I (with my boyfriend's help) managed to tell her almost everything.

She was really supportive at first, and just obviously angry with her ex and so on. And I have been okay since until this morning because I have been quite dissociated, nothing has seemed real, so it didn't sink in.

I have been feeling really terrible since the wee small hours of this morning. I SI'd early this morning and have been desperate to all day but I left all my equipment at my boyfriend's house this morning by mistake. He's away until tomorrow now and I have got worse and worse. I have improvised with the pain but it's not good enough and I feel as though I will explode soon.

I got back from school (I am in the sixth-form) today feeling very fragile, and I sat down at the dining room table to try to focus on my coursework. It seems that since Monday my mum has managed to turn the whole abuse thing round so it's about her and her problems. I understand that she would be upset and sickened and all the rest of it but she's just being downright horrible to me about it, and about my self harm (she made me show her my legs on Monday night). All the sympathy is gone and she is being really nasty. I feel like I can't take any more. Any more anything. I was about to start writing a note, but I made myself write here first. Sorry, I just don't know where to turn.


Antiquities Friend
Staff Alumni
Ah the wonderful world of guilt. Your mum can't face the guilt so she's lashing out at you. Been there, had it happen to me and it ain't nice!!!!

Get yourself to a rape crisis centre so you have someone you can talk this all thru with. Sod your mum for the moment, she needs to deal with this and she's choosing not too. Get the help you need to come to terms with what has happened, worry about her and your relationship later.


I agree with Dev. I think your Mom is freaking out and you're the closest target.

Honey, you really need to think of yourself right now. A rape crisis center would probably be so good for you right now. They know exactly what they're doing and they are used to dealing with fragile, hurting women all the time and are not going to layer the guilt on like your Mom. They also have lots of resources emotional and legal to help you.


Well-Known Member
Thanks for the support guys, it really is appreciated :).

As for a rape crisis centre, I don't know much about this kind of thing but is that still available to me when it never got as far as actual rape?

I had an awful night last night, my Mum just wouldn't stop all the "selfish bitch" stuff for ages and then I couldn't sleep. I got so drunk, but I still stayed awake and hurting. I also haven't eaten since yesterday morning, I turned down eating with her and her fiance last night because I was feeling so fragile and she was being so unsupportive, and she says if I'm going to be that ungrateful I won't eat at all (in the house, anyway, and I didn't have lessons today so haven't had an excuse to leave).

It's really upsetting me that she's being this way, but I guess I can't do anything about it. I do think that she feels guilty deep down which is why she's being like this.

She keeps calling my SI "mutilation", and saying that every time I do it her ex is winning. She's wrong, SI keeps me from suicide. She also won't accept that I am clinically depressed (I don't know why! I guess she just doesn't want to accept that I am ill).

On top of this, it was last Wednesday that my GP referred me for psychiatric help. No-one has been in touch. Why don't people want to help me get better?


Antiquities Friend
Staff Alumni
Yes you can still go to the rape crisis people even when it didn't go as far as rape.

Don't worry too much that you haven't heard from from your doc yet, they take ages getting any psychiatric stuff sorted. You will hear eventually and then you can start getting the help you need.

Your mother is doing my head in. I'm furious with her, how dare she lay this on you!!!! :mad: Just remember it's her guilt that she can't face and try to ignore the shit she's saying.


Well-Known Member
Thanks Devastated, I didn't know that. There's a number isn't there? I just feel like I would sound a bit pathetic ringing up rape crisis and going "er, yeah... I wasn't actually raped...". I'm probably just being silly and paranoid, I don't know.

Hope you're right about the mental health stuff. I'm sure you are really, I'm just being impatient.

Thank you very much for your support regarding my mum. It's really helpful to know that I'm not the only one who believes her behaviour is unreasonable.


Well-Known Member
That made me smile Devastated, thank you! :)

I came home from school early today because I am really fragile and wobbly and today in my A Level Psychology lesson we were going to be talking about the psychological effects of sexual abuse and other traumatic experiences.

Needless to say, my mother was not sympathetic. She really upset me, she said I shouldn't be persuing a career in clinical or counselling psychology (what I really want to do, and what I believe I'd be really good at) if I'm gonna be 'pathetic enough' to cry in my psychology lessons. I said that to be honest, I'd be crying in any lesson, or no lessons, and she just said "Well then you could at least have the decency to do it in school away from me".

A mother's love eh? *sigh*

This weekend'll be better because it's my Dad's weekend to have me and my brother, so I can have a break from it all. But I also won't have an Internet connection. Every silver lining has a big fat raincloud in the middle of it, right?


Antiquities Friend
Staff Alumni
:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

Right now I'd like to kick her arse !!!!!!!!

As to pursuing a career in psychology. I was sexually abused as a kid. After nursing for a while I took a job working with sexually abused kids and if I say so myself I was brilliant at it..of course I was I underestood what they were going thru.

Having problems yourself doesn't preclude you being brilliant in your chosen field. You have to sort out the damage to yourself (I had 4 years psychotherapy) and then you can bring an understanding and empathy to your work that those who haven't suffered will never have. Go for it hun !!!

Glad you're getting away from your mother for a bit, she must be upsetting you so much.


Antiquities Friend
Staff Alumni
No hun you're not, you're just having a real bad time of it at the moment.

How did it go staying at your dads' for the weekend?

:hug: :hug: :hug: Be safe and get that cut sorted (clean and dressed).


Well-Known Member
Thanks for the cwtches! :)

Sorry for being a drunken arse last night.

The cut is clean and dressed, and not bleeding at the moment. It looks horrible though :-S. I feel like maybe it could do with sitching but I'd rather have a huge dark scar (to add to my collection) than show this to anyone. I'm sure it'll be fine...

Staying at my Dad's was a nice break, thanks. Just a pain that I'm back here for another couple of weeks now. I really thought she'd have got over herself a bit by now, and have started being nice to me about it all. But I guess I thought wrong.

For all her indignance and "we must prosecute the bastard" on the night I told her about her ex, she hasn't even mentioned it directly since then. But she will no stop going on about my legs. I'm shocked that that's what's a big deal for her. And I can understand why it would be upsetting for her, but she is a mental health nurse. Surely she knows it's not gonna help at all to steal my melolin and micropore (yes, you read that right *rolls eyes*, don't worry, I bought more), and tell me I must never do it again because she'll be really angry if I do, and go on and on about how I am "mutilating my body" and so forth.

CAMHS still haven't been in touch. I know I'm probably just being impatient, but my GP made it sound like they'd be phoning me within a few days of her referring me... I'm 18 in January, so then CAMHS won't want me anyway. It'll be a case of getting help from the place my Mum works. Bloody marvellous. Guess I'm a lost cause.


Antiquities Friend
Staff Alumni
Ok she's focusing on the cuts rather than face how awful it was what happened to you with her ex and I think she's trying to avoid the guilt she feels for not keeping you safe from him, by harping on about your physical well being.

If you think about it for a moment, imagine how awful it is to know you didn't keep your child safe!!! Her way of dealing with this is not good for you, but perhaps if you understand it a bit better it won't hurt so much.

Don't panic too much with the CAMHS taking so long. Psych departments are notorious for taking their time.
If they do say you're too old, you need to talk to your GP about alternative help.
Anyone with half a brain will see it will be too difficult for you to get help from somewhere your mother works!!!


Well-Known Member
I know, she must feel awful.

She's had moments of being overly nice to me today (random cwtches, and she bought me lunch out), so I feel like she might be somehow coming round. Though I'm crying right now because she just told me I'd have to help myself because no-one else will help me when I'm 'so obviosuly not actually ill', and I need to 'get my act together'. I know I'm being a bit pathetic, but I just cry at anything these days, and anyway it hurts that she keeps denying everything.

Still, even moments of being loving is a step forward right? I can see that.

How expensive is counselling if you pay for it?

Thanks again for your ongoing support Dev, it really helps me.


Antiquities Friend
Staff Alumni
Private therapy or counselling is very expensive, I worked my arse off to pay for mine..but it was worth every penny.
Try the NHS route for now, you're young and things change very rapidly from now and into your twenties.
I think being able to talk freely about what happened will release a lot of the pent up anger, disgust and just general URGH!!! that you have at the moment.

Your mother may never be able to bring herself to accept any of the blame or talk about the guilt. My mother puts a band-aid on her feelings where my childhood abuse is concerned. My dad cripples me with his overwhelming guilt (tho in no way was it his fault). Sometimes don't know whats worse, his crushed expression or her lalala nothing to do with me attitude :laugh:

Nag your GP if you have to, but get the help you need and deserve.

Email me or Pm if it all gets too much. :hug: :hug:
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