People have asked me how I felt reading my Victim Impact Statement in court?
Prior to reading the statement, I was asked to omit certain parts because of my other abuser but I felt happy that nearly all I had written was left intact for me to explain the affect my experiences had on myself, my partner, my family and anyone who knew me. It was my one opportunity to explain how I felt both then and now.
Was I nervous? Yes.
Was my throat dry? Yes.
Did I have the support and love of my partner and family? Yes.
Was I ready? Yes.
I was called to the stand. I had to pass within 1 metre of McCabe. Would I look at him? Would I choose the ramp and walk behind him? Would I stop briefly and stare into his eyes so deeply, that only he would really know what I was thinking?
With dignity mustered, I walked slowly in front of him, without looking at him, and took my place in the witness box and took the oath.
McCabe was sitting about 2 meters over my left shoulder so I took my seat and a deep breath. I could feel my legs shaking and my voice was quivering but I tried to breathe as slowly as I could and I started to give the account of my life as I know it.
It probably took 10-12 minutes and was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. It was almost like a potted version of someone else's life....but incredibly, I knew it was mine.
When I finished I stood up and walked past him again, without giving him the satisfaction of a glance.
I remember his face!