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Survivor's Story

My Poem

My Poem

This is Andreena’s story.

“On International Women’s Day 2019, I read a poem I wrote at a Labour Party IWD event in Leytonstone for the first time in front of many people and I tell you although I cried throughout the poem, I did it. The most empowering thing of all was that so many women came up to me at the end to give me a hug and some told me they were also victims of childhood sexual abuse.” 

This is my poem…

I was sexually abused from the age of five

Yes that innocent and tender age of five

Not long was i alive on this Earth when my mum met that man and made him her husband

That’s when i learned to keep secrets

I was his little secret

At 7 I begged her not to marry him but she did and years later had the cheek to blame me for ruining her marriage

Leroy Channer was his name and today at almost 38 i am no longer ashamed

To this day my mum still carries his last name

Knowing what that man did to me for 5 years

She could never say she didn’t know because it was her who caught him in the act

He could not lie or deny because she saw with her very own eyes

Although throughout the years i have tried to forgive and forget i will never forget

Live and let live yes and maybe with time forgive

Years ago i was told to forgive him and move on and that’s when i decided to keep quiet

I decided not to speak even when others confided in me with what had happened to them

How can i ever forgive a man who almost ruined my life several times throughout my life?

When i say almost ruined I’m not just talking about the times i almost took my own life 

I’m talking about the times i could not be touch by the people i claimed to love

I’m talking about the times i slept around so much i was labelled a slut

I’m talking about the times i drank so much i got ridiculously drunk

I’m talking about never fully knowing who to trust

The antidepressants

The time I’ve lost thinking about this is time i will never get back

I’m talking about watching my own daughter like a hawk and teaching her from birth to tell me if someone ever touched her here, here or here

At times i relive the physical, psychological and emotional pain and I’m fully aware it will never go away 

Some of my relationships have really suffered over the years

I will always be scared

It has been traumatic to say the least

To say I’ve been through a lot in my life is an understatement 

I have been through heaps

Over time i have been able to see the wood for the trees

Statistics show that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men are affected by this

I am a woman

I am resilient

I am courageous 

I have achieved amazing things 

Despite my circumstances i remain strong

I could go on an on about what went wrong but i wont.

For now i choose to focus on the future

Living everyday as it comes and today at this International Women’s Day event breaking my silence is my protest.

– Andreena Leeanne

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