Child sexual abuse victim braving half marathon for Coventry charity - The Coventry Observer

Child sexual abuse victim braving half marathon for Coventry charity

Coventry Editorial 20th Jan, 2024   0

A SEXUAL abuse survivor will be braving the Warwick Half Marathon next month to raise vital funds for the Coventry charity that aided her recovery.

Jade O’Driscoll was sexually abused by a family member aged just three years old.

She struggled for over twenty years to come to terms with what happened to her but was supported by the Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (CRASAC).

She is now taking on the marathon on Sunday, February 4 to thank the charity and to help others who have suffered similar experiences.

The charity is the only service in the city offering counselling and advocacy support to those who have been impacted by sexual violence and abuse.

An estimated one in five children in the UK have been sexually abused with a third of overall police-recorded sexual offences against children.

Over a quarter of referrals to CRASAC’s services are children who have been subjected to Child Sexual Abuse.

She added: “Before receiving support from CRASAC my mental health was at an all-time low and I had begun to develop symptoms of delayed post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I was in my final year of studies and reached out to my university for help, but they could only offer me a few sessions of counselling which left me feeling worse.”

Jade received long-term one-to-one counselling and group therapy sessions and had access to an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor.

She said she was running to support the life-changing work CRASAC does and encouraged others suffering in silence to reach out.

“The support I had through CRASAC has been invaluable- without them, I am sure I would still be struggling today.

“I will be running this half marathon not only for who I am today but for the 3-year-old me who didn’t know what was happening.

“I am running it for the 10-year-old me who used to run every Friday lunchtime and dreamed of one day running as far as a half marathon.

“I am running it for all the future girls, boys, women and men who will receive support from CRASAC.”

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