Monthly Archives: August 2009

Living and surviving abuse

Living and surviving abuse

My Name is Derek Power and I am a victim and active survivor of clerical childhood sexual abuse.

I first arrived at the Waterford Rape Crises Centre in the summer of 1995 having been referred by a relative. At this point in time I was 25 years of age. I had been raped and abused as a child by a member of the Christian Brothers in the late 1970’s over a two year period when I was of a tender age while a student at a primary school in Waterford City.

In October of 1993 I made my statement to Gardai in Dublin where I lived at that time. My statement to detail the circumstances of my abuse and rape at the hands of this man took over two hours. I spent the following 18 months alone and with the memories and torture of that experience while an investigation was being carried out. In this period I had started to develop anxiety and suffer from depression. I truly felt alone and desperate. I felt I had a voice with no volume.

On visiting the Rape Crises Centre I encountered Ms Sheila Vereker and began my sessions of counselling. From my first day I began to feel an immediate sense of relief for the first time. My relief was given to me by being allowed to talk to someone for the first time about exactly what had occurred to me. This was a service that dealt with my main problem, my childhood abuse. To be able to speak to a person about how I felt about this and its effect on my life. I had encountered psychiatric services around this time but I now had a place and friends where the sole concern was to deal with facing the future as a victim and survivor.

Read more »