Education & Therapy Fund

Six years ago, I started legal proceedings against two of my brothers who had sexually abused me – up to and including digital, vaginal, oral and anal rape – for several years when I was a child and a teenager.  It wasn’t ‘just’ the abuse that bothered me; it was their lack of remorse, which correlates with a propensity for re-offending. 

Finally, in April of last year, their trials started. They were keen to settle, but I was conflicted. Then, I reminded myself of my belief that I must always do what is kindest. Further, one brother had revealed he was terminally ill, while the other had parted ways with his legal team, and was representing himself. That meant he would cross-examine me in the witness box. I had already given evidence (at an earlier point in the proceedings), and I was aware that he had enjoyed my distress as I recounted what he had done to me. I didn’t want to give him the opportunity to take satisfaction and gratification from my distress, my upset, my body once again. I decided not to give him the pleasure of abusing me once more.

In spite of the fact that I chose what I still believe was the kindest path, they have chosen not to pay the amount offered 13 months ago.  Of course, there is a legal remedy, but that takes time and money that I don’t have. It’s complicated by the fact that other jurisdictions are involved.

The Education Bit
On the understanding that the commitment would be honoured, and I would be able to pay my fees, I started an LLM in International Human Rights Law at Queen’s University, Belfast. I want this degree because I want to make a difference. Now, I can’t afford to pay my fees, and I won’t graduate unless and until I do.

The Therapy Bit
Apart from those fees, I can’t afford the therapy I so desperately need. I have been told that I need a very particular type of therapy – DBT – which has proved extremely helpful to people who have my diagnoses*.

The Return on Investment Bit
I’d love to be able to tell you that I can give you something in return for your kindness, but I can’t. The only return on your investment I can give you is the knowledge that it’ll help to keep me stable and keep my kids in a stable environment. It will ensure that I can continue to work towards my goal of graduating and getting a job.

If, however, chucking your hard-earned cash at a stranger is not something that floats your boat, you might consider buying a copy of my memoir, Gullible Travels, which is available in paperback and e-book format here .

I owe €2,300 in fees, and a year of therapy will cost roughly €5,000. I have polished up my begging bowl and I am setting it before you because I simply don’t know what else to do.

Thank you for reading this far. And thank you for your help. My children and I appreciate it more than you can know. 
* Complex PTSD, Anxiety, and Borderline Personality Disorder.

You can read an interview with me in the Belfast Telegraph here .

An overview of BPD and it’s correlation with sexual abuse can be found here .

Anxiety is explained here , while there’s more about Complex PTSD here.


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Hazel Katherine Larkin 
Kildare, Ireland
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