Cheri’s SOS Story

I received some much anticipated mail a few weeks ago. Many weeks before that I had filed a FOIA to receive a 35-year old police report from my childhood. Three days after my 12th birthday the police and DSS arrived at my Littleton, Colorado home to follow-up on a child abuse report filed by my 6th-grade teacher and elementary school principal.

I remember the day I told my teacher what was happening. The abuse I disclosed was not only happening at home by my step-father (physical and sexually by my mom’s boyfriends before him), but also in my father’s home in California by my step-mother (physical) as well as in the home of my maternal uncle (sexual) who technically, with his wife, had guardianship of me since I was about 3-years old. On a side-note, to bring it all home … this is is me at 3 just a few months before my mom left my father; a few short months before my legal guardian, my uncle (or anyone) sexually abused me for the first time.

Cheri Williams

When the authorities came to the house they separated my little brother and I as well as my mother and step-father. After what was to us kids a scary interrogation and physical exam, the authorities, with our parents, walked down the street to where my aunt and uncle lived to question them.

My brother and I stood on our front lawn watching them walk away. Watched them go inside. Waited. And then watched them all come outside and yuck it up on my uncle’s front lawn. My heart had already sunk, at that moment it literally shriveled up and died.

Nothing happened of this incident except that I became the black-sheep, the trouble-maker, shunned by most of my family and although my mom had promised the police she was not going to send us to my dad’s as she had been threatening as a punishment, she in fact did. That summer was the worst and most emotionally damaging time of my life.

I never knew what was said by any of those adults that day. I was not privvy to it. All I do know is they left me there and other abuses continued until I left home at 17. They let me fall through the cracks of the system. I told, like I was supposed to, after enduring both physical and sexual abuse for at least 9-years and no one did a damn thing.

Opening that envelope when it arrived was a big deal. I was finally having some of my questions answered and had tangible proof-positive that this occurred. I will share the contents in a post and on the Sickness of Silence (#SOS) podcast series on child sexual abuse.

I am not the same person I would or could have been, that’s true, but that doesn’t mean I am not the person I was supposed to be anyway.

Reading the handwritten police report left me exhausted and drained. I feel like I’d climbed a mountain … or rolled down one, I’m not sure which … yet.

Cheri Roberts Now

*

You can contact Cheri directly through the site or via email @ challengingtherhetoric@yahoo.com. Please put “SOS” in email subject lines.  Be sure to join Cheri Roberts LIVE on Challenging the Rhetoric every FIRST THURSDAY @ 5pm PDT/8pm EDT for their special ongoing podcast series, “A Sickness of Silence”. Listen to “part 1” HERE. These 2-hour round-table discussions feature both male and female victims, leading experts and even the pedophiles themselves. #SOS & #CTR are both rated PG-13. 

Advertisements