Warning: This blog post discusses child sexual abuse. If this is upsetting or triggers thoughts you can't deal with please call Lifeline: 13 11 14 or Bravehearts 1800 272 831
Rolf Harris was sentenced on Friday night. He got five years and nine months.
Is it long enough?
What is long enough?
All of the above?
I'd like to think the victims of Rolf Harris are feeling something other than let down, but my guess is that's exactly how they are feeling.
The man who abused me died before he received any type of sentencing.
He abused many girls during his lifetime and ultimately never paid the price for his crimes of stealing our innocence.
Maybe if I had done something, perhaps he would have spent some time in jail?
But I did nothing.
Not a thing. Ever.
My adopted sister did something ... but not until she found out he also abused her daughter.
She had him charged.
She asked me to help and I said no.
I did nothing.
Not a thing. Ever.
I just couldn't. I couldn't face him again and I couldn't bear to describe in detail what used to happen.
I wish I could explain what it is like being the victim of child abuse ... but I can't even articulate it inside my own head. You see I don't know what it feels like to not be a victim, so I don't have anything to compare it to.
I don't know what it is like to go to bed as a little girl and feel safe and secure knowing my mummy and daddy will protect me from scary things and people.
I don't know how it feels to have a daddy who loves me no matter what.
I don't know how to not have the thoughts of the things he did when he used to sneak into my room when everyone was sleep.
I don't know a lot of things.
Things others take for granted.
A lot was taken away from me by a man who thought it was okay to adopt daughters to then use as his playthings.
I sound angry and bitter, except I'm not.
I'm simply stating the facts.
It is what it is and we are all dealt a hand in life and it is up to us to play it as best we can. I feel like I've played my hand well. There were times I got a bit lost, loved the wrong people, lived recklessly and hid from my feelings behind some massive walls.
But all in all I've turned out okay.
Except it never really goes away. Victims of child sexual abuse will always be victims of child sexual abuse because there is no erasing it.
No amount of therapy, denial, wall building and whatever else we choose to throw at it will make it go away.
These publicised cases of child sexual abuse stir up a lot of feelings for me and every other person who had their innocence stolen by a pedophile because just when you think you've packed it up and put it in a suitcase on top of the cupboard ... bang!
Out comes another Robert Hughes or Rolf Harris and it starts all over again.
Victims of child sexual abuse are everywhere. I can guarantee that every single person who reads this will have someone in their circle of friends who is one. You may or may not know, but they are there, silently reliving things they'd rather forget.
These public cases really do come at a price. We can't hide from the media - we hear news of it every single day.
I work in the media and it is part of my job to read, hear and see footage of these court cases.
Does it have an impact on me? Absolutely.
Does it have an impact on every other victim of child sexual abuse? Absolutely.
So is 5 years and 9 months enough time in jail for a child sexual abuser?
No. It really isn't.
If this blog post is upsetting or
triggers thoughts you can't deal with please call Lifeline: 13 11 14 or Bravehearts: 1800 272 831