Survivor Speaks Out
Teen Determined To Overcome Sexual Abuse
Posted: September 8, 2013 at 5 a.m.
Jessica Hernandez wants to be known as the strong young woman she’s become, not as the girl who was sexually abused by her stepfather for 11 years.
Victim Impact Statement
The transcript of Jessica Hernandez's statement in court.
Dear Nicholas, when I was six years old you came to live with me and my mom as a husband and as a stepdad to me. I didn't have a dad, so my idea of a dad was one who was loving and playful. Instead of being that you were abusive: Mentally, physically, emotionally, and sexually. I have tried to excuse your behavior because of your drinking, but you stopped drinking and continued hurting me. You called me stupid, worthless, and a piece of crap. You treated me like an animal: Whipping me, hitting me, kicking me and violating me.
Your behavior has destroyed my family. I have broken trust as a result of you and your actions. I no longer have a relationship with my mom or my younger siblings. It was your fault my mom went to jail. It's your fault my family and friends call me a liar. I began to believe your emotional abusive statements about myself to the point where I wanted to die. In an effort to escape your brutality, I used cutting as an emotional release from my pain you inflicted on me. I also tried to escape your actions by using drugs and alcohol. Without you and your actions in my life, I no longer believe your lies. I now treat my body, mind and spirit with the respect that it deserves. All — although all of this, I wish you had made different decision. You were supposed to care for your daughter, instead you abused her in the worst way.
Today, I choose to forgive you but not excuse your actions. I now have a family with parents who love me and care for me. I am on a journey of healing that will allow me to live a life free from your actions. I am now going to be a senior in high school. I will be successful and not the slacker you called me.
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