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Survivor's Story

Kelly’s Story

Kelly's Story

At eight, I testified against my paternal grandpa. He was charged with my sexual abuse and rape. My dad was an up-and-coming attorney in the same county where my grandpa was charged. 

I had told my mom a year earlier, at seven that my paternal grandpa was molesting me during visits to his house with my dad. My mom charged into action and called the police. I was plunged into group and individual therapy and got help almost immediately. 

My grandpa was found not guilty. There were two other victims but they chose not to cooperate with the police due pressure from my paternal family. My grandpa was a school board member.

Life after the trial was challenging even with therapy. I took the not guilty plea hard. I struggled in school with a learning disability that made test taking difficult. After high school I went to a ​women’s college in upstate New York – 2700 miles away from home. I found my people but also unhealthy coping mechanisms including drinking and an eating disorder. After graduation, I was unmoored back in Oregon and struggled with finding a job. I started working for someone who owned a consulting business helping people with disabilities find jobs. After working for her for a year I realized I could do what she was doing on my own. No longer unmoored and in recovery for alcoholism, I’ve been in business for myself for nineteen years and at work on a memoir about my experience testifying. At the start of COVID, I began working with my therapist from childhood. Working with Pam has been great because she knows my story so well!

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