PA State officials building stricter sexual assault laws

July 2, 2012 in Ramblings

This article is from a PA newspaper, The Times Herald. I read this article with great hope.

http://www.timesherald.com/article/20120624/NEWS01/120629731/state-officials-works-towards-stricter-sexual-assault-laws

If these bills pass, it would afford me (and my brother) the opportunity to prosecute the pedophile that repeatedly abused us. In my case, the abuse was so severe that it is classified as second degree felonies.
Still trying to get my head around this possibility. I am so hopeful that these bills will pass. We never received justice and this pedophile went on to hurt many other children. He was never charged in ANY of the molestations.

It would mean the world to me to see a juror stand and say “guilty”. He would be placed on a sexual predator list so future communities could have at least *some* measure of protection. I will keep all of you posted on the progress of the bill.

EDIT: I SPOKE TO BILL WHITE, A JOURNALIST AND FRIEND FROM THE ALLENTOWN, PA PAPER “THE MORNING CALL”. AS IT HAPPENS, THE COMMITTEE THREW OUT THE “TWO YEAR WINDOW”. THIS WINDOW WAS DESIGNED SO ALL SURVIVORS COULD STEP FORWARD AND NAME THEIR ABUSERS…REGARDLESS OF HOW MUCH TIME HAS PASSED. SO…PAINFULLY, THERE IS STILL NO JUSTICE FOR ME OR MY LITTLE BROTHER. BE ASSURED THAT THE PAIN FROM THIS WILL BE A POSITIVE FUEL FOR THE FIRE THAT BURNS WITHIN ME. I WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR OTHER KIDS AND MAKE SURE THEY RECEIVE *JUSTICE*.

Here is the full article by TONY FIORIGLIO:

HARRISBURG — In the wake of the Sandusky trial that rocked Pennsylvania and the rest of the country, state legislators have begun working to further protect children from abuse and to ensure full punishment for the abusers.
According to a statement released by the office of Rep. Todd Stephens (R-151st Dist.), the representative has backed a series of bills that would help bring sexual predators to justice. H.B. 832 would eliminate any statute of limitations in cases of sex crimes being committed against minors, which would allow alleged abusers to be tried no matter how much time has passed. H.B. 878 would extend the statute of limitations for victims who wish to pursue civil actions against their abusers. Pennsylvania currently allows civil action to be taken until the victim turns 30. The proposed bill would move the cut-off to 50. H.B. 2488 combines the two previous bills. “We cannot allow sexual predators to avoid criminal punishment and civil liability by riding out the clock and hiding behind the statute of limitations,” Stephens said in the statement. “These bills are critical in ensuring child victims of sex crimes receive the justice they deserve and that the offenders are held accountable for their actions.” All three bills have passed through the House Judiciary Committee and now move to the House of Representatives.

In addition to the previous bills, Stephens also came out in support of H.B. 1264, which would allow expert testimony to be given at child abuse cases that would help explain why the victims may wait years before coming forward with charges. “It is not uncommon for young victims to bury the crime as a means of psychological self-defense,” said Stephens in a statement. “Expert testimony as to why there would be a delay between the crime and the reporting of it will prove immeasurably helpful to jurors as they seek the truth in these difficult cases.” This bill awaits Gov. Tom Corbett’s signature to become law.

Self-Esteem and Child Sexual Abuse

May 7, 2012 in Ramblings

I feel a little awkward sometimes about being so transparent throughout this journey. Sometimes I feel embarrassed or even ashamed. I made the difficult decision for complete transparency so survivors and supporters would have a sense of what is inside someone who has been through child sexual abuse. I wanted other survivors to be able to say “I feel exactly the same way”! and supporters to say “I understand it so much better than I did before”.

One of the biggest challenges I struggle with is self-esteem. For 30 years, it was LESS THAN ZERO. When I was abused, something was taken from me. I am still struggling to fully discover what that “something” was.
The problem was compounded because my parents terribly mishandled the entire situation. (more on that some other time…I love my parents with all my heart and have largely forgiven them for making some very bad decisions).

For thirty years I have walked around in this life feeling worthless…completely without value. I was in an extremely emotionally abusive relationship for many years…a couple years back, a friend of mine asked “Why do you permit this kind of treatment for your life”? Without even thinking, the words “It’s all the better I deserve” just fell out of my mouth. I was shocked. I had no idea I felt that way. It was at that moment I realized something was seriously, seriously wrong.

I struggle every single day with my self-worth. I bring all of this up because of the weekend scooter ride I just participated in. I was sitting here blogging about it and feeling the fun of it…feeling the “it’s a wonderful life” in it. Then, suddenly the guilt set in…and the thoughts follow…”I don’t deserve that”. I should have been working or doing something productive”. I should have been focusing on something serious”. “I can’t permit myself to have fun or see the light side of life, it’s wrong”.
I don’t know why I always feel that way but it kills my joy for life. I know that I did NOT feel that way before I was repeatedly abused. Something changed.

I really need to figure this out because it has suffocated my life and suffocated my joy for too many years.

Would any other survivors of child sexual abuse like to comment on this? Or anyone else who might have some insight? A personal goal of my journey is to FIND a joy for life and LIVE that joy. I know it’s there somewhere…I just need to find it and connect with it.