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Selfless sacrifice

Posted on behalf of a young woman that is as brave as she is selfless, Paige Binch. For more information about Imara, the wonderful organisation that she works for, or to find out how you can support the work that they do, please contact her directly at paige.binch@imara.org.uk or visit the website www.imara.org.uk.

My name is Paige and I am am writing on behalf of an organisation based in Nottingham, called Imara. Imara support young people and their families following a disclosure of child sexual abuse.

Back in October 2010, I came forward to the police having been a victim of child sexual abuse. I was groomed over a period of seven years and sexually assaulted by a family member. I thought once I had told the police all my problems would disappear, how wrong was I?

I gave a statement to the Police and was required to do a video recorded interview; I knew nothing about the process, or what would happen. I was taken to a room with a camera and asked to spill seven years’ worth of abuse to a complete stranger. From here onwards my life went into complete turmoil, I had contemplated suicide on various occasions and suffered many panic attacks.

Five months later I was introduced to Imara. I met with a friendly trauma care worker who changed my life. She was there whenever I needed to talk and would talk to me about everyday things, never focusing on the abuse unless I wanted to. I have absolutely no doubt that had it not of been for Imara, I wouldn’t be here today. Imara kept me informed with every step of the police investigation and assured me I was being listened to.

In May 2011, my case finally reached court, eight months after my disclosure. I was fortunate enough to have support from Imara throughout the court process.

When I compare how those first five months were for me, without Imara, to the following five months, the difference is indescribable. The best thing about Imara is that they don’t officially close cases and their doors are always open, unlike any other support agency. As far as I am aware, Imara is the only organisation providing this unique service in Nottinghamshire. 

Can you believe an organisation like this struggles for funding????

If Imara are no longer in existence due to lack of funding, so many young people would go without the necessary support to help them regain their lives after experiencing such trauma. Imara got me back on track and ARE the light at the end of the tunnel for young people.

Some cases have a wait of around a year between disclosing and reaching court. How many young people and families are going to have to relive trauma everyday with no support? The list is endless. Not only do Imara provide legal support, they also offer Therapeutic and Advocacy support. This unique service NEEDS funding to prevent further trauma for young people.

The trauma care workers also go into schools to explain to school staff the difficulties young people are experiencing and helps to implement change. They also attend health, housing and education meetings to ensure that the young person’s voice is heard and isn’t disregarded by a table full of professionals believing they know what is or isn’t best for this young person, having probably only met them once or twice. There is also a therapeutic trauma care worker who assists with acute stress symptoms such as, anxiety and nightmares. 

Imara plan their own fundraising events, some of which I have been involved in. I still find it hard to believe that an organisation providing such a valuable and unique service has to hold fundraising events and spend valuable time applying for funding. 

I have now taken the huge step of selling my car (which was a 21st Birthday present) in order to continue working voluntarily for Imara, due to the lack of funding for my post. This was the easiest decision in the world to make as this organisation and the two amazing women that run it mean absolutely everything to me.

I would value the opportunity to speak with anyone interested in joining my fight to save this organisation.

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