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The Road To Recovery

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The road to recovery is paved with many experiences, some smooth and some rough!

One of these experiences took place on the 9th of July 2013, a year ago today. I remember it as a particularly difficult but victorious date. It was the day of sentencing in my hijack/rape trial. My family had already spent the whole morning at the High Court. I wasn’t going to go to court that day despite the Public Prosecutor’s strong encouragement to me to do so for the sake of closure. As far as I was concerned, I had already testified a year prior to that, with my attackers a few meters away from me, and had absolutely no intention of ever setting my diminutive feet anywhere near, let alone in, court again!

My family often comment on my ‘to hell with it’ approach to difficult things. This approach is something I’ve chosen to develop in order to cope with the severity of the situations I’ve had to face. I’ve found that instead of shying away from something that could potentially trigger or derail me… I say ‘to hell with it’ and bravely step forward.

One such example involved a broken hearted me on a valentines day several years ago. I lay in bed in tears after receiving a barrage of hurtful words from an ex-boyfriend . Shortly thereafter a friend invited me to join her and a group of fellow singletons for the evening. Every part of me wanted to stay in bed and have a big pity party with just one in attendance (me). Instead, I donned the ‘THWIT’ approach. I got out of bed, joined the group, had an amazing evening and drove myself home at 2:30 am. (Yet another victory post the trauma!)

This day a year ago I exercised that approach again. I decided to go to court and face my rapists once more. Words cannot explain how difficult this was. Seeing them would be distressing let alone the fact that I would be sitting in a clinical and hostile environment, not knowing what the outcome of the trial would be.

The verdict…. Guilty of hijack, armed robbery, sexual assault, rape…Sentence to life plus an effective 15 years. Although I derive no satisfaction at the knowledge of someone having to spend their life in prison, I am hugely relieved that they will never be able to inflict that pain on anyone else ever again. The court interpreter called my parents aside after the trial and said that they need to thank God that I’m alive. One of the accused was a well known but previously unconvicted criminal who had allegedly raped and murdered before.

I’m extremely grateful to be a year down the line after having had the case successfully concluded and sentences passed (a miracle in itself)… So I continue on this road of healing.

I want to make special mention of my family for being so amazing! How far we have come since then.

The Herald wrote an article on this in January this year.

http://www.heraldlive.co.za/rape-survivor-shares-pain/

Thanks to you too for sharing in these victory steps with me on my road to recovery.

Much love

Cayly

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