Today is a good day.
After 16 months, this morning I finally received the news that the perpetrator who was arrested and sentenced will be required to serve his FULL sentence of 30 months and following that, be deported to Nigeria.
During the perpetrator’s appeal hearing (last week), the court determined that due to the severity of his crime and my resulting PTSD, the sentence could not be reduced whatsoever.
The perpetrator then had one last avenue of appeal – to the Supreme Court. The time frame he had to make this appeal has now officially passed, as of today, and he has submitted no further appeal.
I honestly don’t know what to feel. It doesn’t quite feel real yet. It has been so hard fought, and I am so used to getting bad news that I feel as if any moment I’ll get a call and be told they made a mistake.
Regardless, it is done. Justice has finally, officially, been served.
There is absolutely no way that this result would have been achieved without the unending support and INCREDIBLE generosity of my family, friends, and strangers from all over the world. I cannot thank you enough, or really put into words, what this means to me.
This is not the end however. It’s only the beginning. The beginning, I hope, of change.
I am currently in the process of suing the police for their professional negligence and misconduct, as well as the immense secondary damage which they caused me. I am hopeful that this will send a very clear message that this kind of appalling treatment of women, and the contempt and apathy shown to their cases, will not be tolerated.
Though the chances are slim, I do still also have hope of bringing the other main perpetrator to justice (whether it be civil or criminal), and will not rest until I have exhausted every avenue available to do so.
For now, though there are still cases ongoing, I’m looking towards the future. Though I still struggle with PTSD on a daily basis, I have learnt to manage it, and have come a long way since September 2015.
What happened to me, and the way it was dealt with, has reignited my passion for law and justice. Though I have loved teaching, and it may be a career that I return to one day, it is my goal now to move to London in January 2018 to attend law school and become a barrister. I hope I can use my experiences and channel the passion I have to help others in need, and really make a difference (as cliche as that sounds).
Dream………… then do.