Adam's StoryCategory: Severe Sexual Abuse
Hi! My name is Adam. I live in an area called Helenvale. Most people living here rely on state grants and pensions. Unemployment figures are high, both my parents are unemployed and I know what it is like to go to bed on a hungry tummy.
Houses in our area consist of two rooms, one bedroom, a kitchen and an outside toilet. Sometimes I put my fingers in my ears to shut out the cries of our next door neighbor especially on a Friday night when most people had too much to drink.
Shacks are to be found in most backyards. It is in one of those shacks where I lost my innocence forever. We were playing hide and seek when this man called me into the shack, told me he wanted to show me something and then shut the door.
I thought the door was shut on my dreams and hopes forever, but then I was referred to Uviwe Child and Youth Services and new doors opened for me. The only problem is Dad does not work so we have to walk from where we live to see my social worker. Walking is fun, and Dad and I play games and talk. But I also “feel” Dad's fear when we pass through certain places. He holds on to my hand just a bit too tight for comfort and his eye’s jump as he tries to take in everything around us.
Men hang around places which possibly could be drug posts or taverns and I know how dangerous it can be around those places. Dad is strong for both of us, but I also know there is only so much a person can do to protect yourself and those you love.
Arriving at Uviwe is the best part of our journey. My social worker’s warm welcome, the smell of her perfume and stepping into the playroom with all its wonderful toys makes my day. Together we paint, colour in, build puzzles and play snakes and ladders. Every time I climb a ladder I have to tell her something that I love about myself. She calls it my strengths and she says they will help me climb the ladder of success and happiness. I get to know myself better and better each time we play this game.
Her soft soothing voice still echoes in my mind when I lie in my bed at night. I still hear the words of the story she had read to me: “Adults (big people) must protect little people– not hurt them. It is not the little person’s fault - you have done nothing wrong”
These words help to ease the pain I felt … it also took away the heavy stone in my tummy…. The stone that made me believe that somehow I did something wrong.
I also see the difference in Dad’s body language after he had spoken with my social worker.
His shoulders seem more relaxed and his smile is much, much bigger.
Walking back home is so much easier … the sky is bluer, our steps so much lighter.
I cannot wait for our next appointment and I make sure dad sticks our appointment card to the little notice board we made at home.
Thank you UVIWE for protecting little people and their families!