March 28, 2011
I am writing this letter to thank WAR and particularly Sally for the support my daughter and I received during a very difficult time in her life.
The rape, the medical consequences, the threats of retaliation from the assailants family and friends, all the positive outpouring of support avenues and working with the MET were the biggest things I have ever dealt with as a parent.... and my daughter was devastated and overwhelmed by everything going on around her.
I used all the resources I was offered as best I could. Counselling, court visits, lots of phone calls to friends and family. As the time for the trial approached my daughter could not seem to decide to testify. It was intensely painful for her. She knew she wanted to but all the thoughts of what that meant would convince her otherwise.
I contacted WAR after it was highly recommended by a friend. A meeting was set up. We met Sally and Lisa and I left my daughter at the centre for an hour and a half. It turns out Sally's daughter had a similar horrendous experience. They were even the same age when it happened. Sally shared all of her experience with my daughter. She gave her heart and soul that day to my child and between her and Lisa she ended up with the practical information she needed to go forward.
My daughter came out of that meeting a different teenager. She had confidence, determination and most importantly she now knew she needed to do this for herself. A conviction at the trial would be positive but not really her main concern any longer. She KNEW she needed to do it for herself. This kind of freaked the police out a bit but ultimately Lisa and Sally offered her what she needed to attend the trial and to testify.
The trial was a success. Of course there are issues leftover from this experience but she is back to being a fulltime teenager and revising for her GCSE ' s in the next 2 months. It is a joy to see this (again)!
The listening, the concern, the understanding and the qualified support was more than I could have ever hoped for. You both provided my daughter with something no others were able to give her. We are on the downside of this ordeal finally and I will always be indebted to you both.
If I can help your organisation in any way please let me know. I will always be willing to share my experience, strength , and hope. Thank you both and WAR so much.
With gratitude, A
The rapist was found guilty.