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So I figured I would start with the arrest. Part of the reason I am starting with the arrest is to get it over with, part of it is because it seems like the biggest thing that has happened to me in a long while.
For those of you who might not know, my attacker has been arrested! After 21 years, he is finally going to be held accountable for his actions. And for the first time in years I feel safe.
I never knew that I didn’t feel safe, that in the back of my head I was always wondering “is the stalking going to start again?” But it turns out, that exact worry is what was running around in the darkest depths of my mind. And now, knowing he has been arrested and that not only can he not contact me, he can’t even be in the city I live in, the relief is amazing. I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted of my chest and every time I think about it I burst into tears from sheer relief.
Getting to this point has been hard and a long time coming. I would never have taken the step to press charges had the police not tracked me down. And even then I still wasn’t ready to take the step of pressing charges, but then I thought about my daughter. I thought about what lessons I want her to learn in life and I suddenly knew that pressing charges was important. That when she is older I want her to know that I stood up and said NO. That I fought back and made sure he would never be able to do it to another girl. And that what happened to me was wrong. And so, I made the decision to press charges. I knew going in that regardless of findings the male in question will probably never admit that his actions were so wrong and damaging but that is not why I pressed the charges. I also know that no matter how the court finds, he will probably never serve enough time to make up for what he did, but again, that is not why I pressed the charges.
For me it is the process that is important, the act of legally saying no, that is the important part for me. That in years to come I can look into the eyes of my child and say I did the best I could, and that I can do so without a shadow of a doubt, that is my reason
This is the time I need to say how thankful I am to the Detective working my case. He has been fantastic. He has never allowed me to feel like I was alone in this. He has been informative and supportive and all but held my hand through all of it. From the first moments when I had to tell him the details, and he made me feel safe and in control, to finding me on vacation in a hotel in a different country, to let me know the arrest had finally happened so I could enjoy my trip without worrying about it. And he has worked really hard to make this happen quickly, since the first time I spoke to the police until the arrest has only been two months. When I hear some of the stories of others on the site, of police that don’t care, of the failures in communication that leave some of you foundering in the dark looking for details, I am even more thankful for the Detective I am working with and all I can say is wow.
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