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A number of poems from A Hand to Hold follow. This is a publication by Rosie's Place, a non-government child sexual assault counselling service.
Select a poem name from the list below to read that poem.
from A Hand to Hold (p168)
They told me that I didn't have to go to court if I didn't want toThe police told me that he probably wouldn't be found guiltyBut I knew it was important because he had done a really wrong thing and I needed to tell peopleI still wanted to tryIt would be wrong not to do that
from A Hand to Hold (p218)
The best thing that was said to me was by my police person. She said that I had a very important job to do today (at court) and I was the only one who could do this job. Other people, like her, also had jobs and they were the only people who could do this job. My mum had a job, my support person had a job, the police and the prosecutor had a job...even the judge had a job and...even the person who was on the side of the person who hurt me had a job. But all I had to do was my job - to tell what happened. She also said she thought I could do it...and I did. Even though the person who hurt me was found not guilty I had done my job. But someone wasn't doing their job because he got off.
from A Hand to Hold (p232)
On the day that the trial went ahead I felt OK.Mum did my hair a special way with ribbons in it.And I wore a brand new outfit.That made me feel nice on the outside and also on the inside.I had my special teddy bear Cuddles with me.I had got Cuddles when I was 6 years old and every night he slept with me.Mum had bought a new outfit for Cuddles too.Baby clothes and glasses.That morning mum had given me a lovely present.It was a love heart with my name.And the words "I love you"written on it.I also had a little Guardian Angel to pin on my dress.I was very familiar with the court and all the people there.The Crown Prosecutor felt like a friend.He took us to a room to wait.There was me, my mum, my counsellor and the police officer.People kept popping in to tell us what was happening.My counsellor had bought a big bag of games and food.We must have played Snakes and Ladders and Old Maid a hundred times.
When it was my time to go in I was a bit worried especially when Cuddles was not allowed to go into the CCTV room.But my counsellor was with me, and the man who looked like a policeman was nice to me.It felt good to have then in the room with me.
There was a box of tissues and a glass of water on the table if I needed them.I didn't know what to do but the man stood up with a Bible and I remembered what I had been told would happen about having to promise to tell the truth.The Prosecutor went through all the stuff with me, asking me questions about my statement. I had to draw pictures about some of the things. The Prosecutor was kind and his questions helped me remember things. I knew he was on my side.
It was OK telling about what happened.
from A Hand to Hold (p133)
I had this piece of paper that I carried in my pocket.The police gave it to me after I told them what had happened.They called it an AVOThey said that this meant that the person who sexually assaulted me couldn't come near meI carried this everywhere...to school...to the shops...to a friend's houseI felt safer because I knew that if I saw the person who hurt me I could ring the policeThis piece of paper told me that they thought this man should not be allowed to come near meI knew that the person who abused me had been told by the police that he had to leave me aloneHe knew that the police knew what he had doneAnd I had it in writing on a piece of paper
from A Hand to Hold (p203)
The defence barrister asked me lots of questionsHe spoke nice sort of but some of the questions were hardSometimes I didn't get what he meantI looked at the judge sometimes and he would ask the defence barrister to ask me the same question but in another wayI was going OK until he said that I wasn't telling the truthI got upset because I was and I didn't know why he said I wasn'tHe wasn't there and I was, so how did he know. But I guess that the person who assaulted me lied to him like he lied to everyone elseI stayed upset but answered the questions as best I couldMy counsellor was there and that helpedShe didn't say anything or even look at meShe told me before that she wasn't allowed toBut I smelt her nice smell like pretty flowers. And I knew she was there with me. I was glad when they told me that there were no more questionsAnd I could goI felt tired but it was good to leave and good to know that I had told what happened
from A Hand to Hold (p132)
Everything changed after making my statementThe policewoman and DoCS were really niceI really like the police officer - she was heaps coolShe gave out strength"We're going to get this guy""We're behind you" kind of thingI was so lucky to have herYou felt it wasn't just a jobShe did it because she felt strongly about it
The interview took about three hoursIt was really hard because they have to know everythingThat was the first time I'd really cried since it happenedGoing through all the detail was really hard.But now I felt I was believed and wasn't aloneThe law was with meIt gave me strength and I felt the heaviness begin to lift.