While meeting with a social worker, she asked me if I had ever been abused. I told her that I had been abused when I was a child. I had never told anyone about what happened. The social worker surprised me by asking the question as I was not meeting with her about this occurrence.
I am 48 years old and my abuse happened when I was about eight years old – about 40 years ago. Despite my repressing the memory, my body reacted with anger and pain as I revisited the experience.
I was a kid playing at the Boys and Girls Club in the neighborhood of Avondale in Cincinnati, Ohio when a man (I think late teens or early twenties) lured me away to a nearby building where he pulled my pants down and fondled me.
Perhaps my being in Boise, Idaho – far away from Cincinnati – when I spoke with the social worker made me feel more at ease about telling her what had happened to me. Or maybe the fact that no one had ever before asked me the question is why I never opened up about the abuse.
I immediately called the Cincinnati Police after meeting with the social worker, although I had only a faint idea of what the abuser’s name was. An officer in the Cincinnati Police’s Personal Crimes Division told me that the statue of limitations had expired.
She said that if I had forgotten that the abuse occurred and something suddenly triggered the memory of it, they could open an investigation. However because I merely repressed the memory of the abuse, the statue of limitations cannot be extended.
If I had went to the police years earlier, not only would the statue of limitations not had been exceeded, but my memory of the abuser would have been clearer, and perhaps I could have helped to prevent him from abusing other children.