In December 2002 I started work at my Local Authority in the Taxi Licensing Dept. It wasn’t what I set out to do in life but when I found myself out of work I jumped at the chance. I loved the work and enjoyed the challenges of some of the people I was dealing with.
Around 5 years ago that all started to change. There was either an increase in sexual assaults or they were being reported more, I am hoping the latter. The media started to report more and more stars who had taken advantage of their fame or position. Then came the cases against Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) organised criminals.
This is when I became more involved and saw a lot of information that started to trigger my memories of being sexually assaulted at 8 years old.
Part of my job was to assist Police with their investigations any time there was a taxi driver involved. Whilst doing this I was privy to information regarding the offences which enabled me to make decisions to revoke licences. It was a no brainer!
The more I saw this information the harder it became to bury my demons and I knew I had to do something about it. Seeing the information made me so angry and emotional. I didn’t know what to do with myself and I couldn’t concentrate on anything let alone sleep.
I spoke to my manager in October 2017 who supported me as much as she could. I started seeing a counsellor who was very good but not able to help me given the subject. I was still working in Taxi Licensing but by this time had applied for and got a managerial position which would take me away from most of the information I was struggling to hear and see.
Unfortunately, as I was the most experienced person in the team after a restructure, I had to see the information or listen to the cases put together by the team so that I could advise regarding decisions. This wasn’t helping me at all, and I found that I was becoming lower every day.
I started taking antidepressants. My manager approached me one day and said that if I wanted to, I could be seconded to the Systems Support Team for a while until I was ready to go back. So, I moved to Systems Support in May 2018. I am still not ready to go back to Taxi Licensing and I am not sure I ever will be. I do however help them out giving advice if they need it, but they do not give me the gory details.
Where I am now
I am now a permanent member of the Systems Support Team and enjoying the change after being in Taxi Licensing for just over 16 years. The only down side is that I have taken a hefty £400 per month pay cut……. I struggle on but I will settle into it soon.
I am now seeing Rape Crisis and have been since August 2018. The lady I am seeing is brilliant and I know I can talk openly to her without worry. Its going to take some time but I am determined to come out the other side of this.
I would like my future to be helping others who have struggled with sexual assault. I hope this blog and my Twitter feed are the beginning of better things to come.
Sexual assault survivors empathise so much with each other. We know what it is like to deal with these struggles, the feelings, the memories, the nightmares. We can and we do help each other!
Stay strong and safe