On 19th November 2013, I’m taking part in a sponsored silence to raise money for Survivors Manchester.
If you wish to donate, please go to my fundraising page https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/jamesfroggatt
Here is my story which explains why this charity is so important.
My name is James Froggatt, and I was sexually abused (on two occasions) at school by a music teacher when I was 12 years old.
I am now 39 years old and because of the events when I was 12, life has been somewhat difficult but I’ve managed to get this far although at times it didn’t seem like I would. Mostly this is thanks to my wonderful girlfriend Emma and Survivors Manchester.
Over the years I’ve had countless therapy sessions for problems that I was having in life, because at the time I still didn’t understand why I was having such problems. The abuse I’d experienced when I was 12 had been buried so deep inside of me that the memory of what had happened at that age only surfaced 25 years later (3 years ago).
3 years ago I experienced what psychologists call “a spontaneous abreaction” where these deeply buried memories suddenly surfaced. When they did, all the emotions of that time long ago surfaced resulting in me phoning the police and reporting what had happened. This unfortunately still hasn’t resulted in his arrest and being charged despite there being circumstantial evidence that he continued seeking out young boys in other schools he went to.
If it’s any consolation to parents with their children in schools in the UK, he’s apparently not living in the UK anymore and has ‘moved on’ to another country. Legally I’ve done all I can to protect children from this person by reporting him to the police, and can only hope he faces the full force of the law in the future.
On a very positive note, after reporting this person to the police, shortly afterwards I discovered Survivors Manchester – because I was an emotional wreck. I didn’t have the support of any family members to talk to, nobody seemed to want to know, although very welcome support from my brother Darren was there on the phone recently (he lives in Australia). At the time, it was too distressing for my girlfriend to handle, and I really needed to talk to someone about the dark and painful memories of what had happened when I was 12.
I called Survivors Manchester and spoke to Duncan Craig, and shortly afterwards came to talk to Duncan for an hour every week. He is one of the best counsellors I’ve ever spoken to, and just listened, without judging, week after week. I visited him every week for over half a year. I was not rushed, just given all the time I needed to get through what I needed to talk about. Slowly but surely, this emotional journey ‘unpacked’ the grooming that that paedophile teacher had manipulated me with to a point where I finally felt it was ‘over’. Well, over enough to begin to move forward with my life.
For me, my healing really began to start when I began going to Survivors Manchester to talk about what I’d been through, and it was a life saver for me. This charity is essential to help people who have been through what I have been through. My healing continues to this day, and I guess perhaps never really ends because that paedophile teacher took so much of my life. People who have been sexually abused as children don’t really live, they survive, and am proud to say I have survived – and have begun to live.
Before visiting Duncan, I never really felt I could have children, something that bothered me a great deal, I just felt I wasn’t in a place emotionally where I could be a fantastic Dad. Now, thanks to Survivors Manchester, Emma and I are having a baby in 4 weeks 🙂 – and that’s a seriously BIG thank you.