From the age of 7 to the age of 17, I was sexually, physically and emotionally abused by my stepfather.
I am 40 years old, live with HIV and have severe depression and anxiety. I am a gay man but I find it extremely difficult to trust people and I am unable to develop or maintain a relationship, which leaves me feeling very isolated.
I had to revisit the trauma of my childhood when my stepfather was charged by the police with sexually abusing me and my cousin, and I had to go through the whole trial at court a couple of years ago.
My psychologist referred me to HALC. I have trouble talking to, and relating to men, so I was relieved when HALC made an appointment for me to see a female solicitor. HALC helped me make a claim to the Victims Compensation Tribunal. After the first assessor rejected a significant part of my claim, my solicitor submitted an appeal which was successful and I was awarded the highest amount of compensation, being $50,000.
Whilst money cannot ever reverse what happened to me, it does mean that I can pay for ongoing counselling sessions with my psychologist. I intend to enrol to study a degree in graphic design and hope to pursue a career in this area and get my life back on track. I could not have got to this place, of seeing a way forward, without HALC’s support.
Help us to continue to help vulnerable clients, donate to our annual funding campaign below:
[all names and information that might identify any individual have been changed for confidentiality purposes]