This has been x-posted to 4 survivor communities, so I apologize if you see this more than once, I'm really looking for some help. I am looking for someone who has gone through the legal process who would be willing to talk w/ me on AIM. I have a lot of questions and I don't have a lawyer yet. I think I'm going to do this, I live in Oregon, I will be 23 next April and the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse here is until the age of 24. I am looking for someone who may have a similar experience (I was abused around the ages of 4-6 I think) and the perpetrator was a neighbor (a teenage boy who lived at the house I stayed at when my mom was working).
1) I am broke. My therapist suggested I find a pro-bono lawyer. Is this easy to find? I have some numbers I am going to call, but I just want to hear if it would really be possible for me to get good legal assistance completely for free and about anyone's experience.
2) I fear that he could come back to retaliate if I send him to jail. I feel safe now, he’s always been in and out of jail and I have only seen this guy once since I was a kid - it was last spring and we spoke very,very briefly, and after seeing him I spiraled into some serious PTSD action. Anyway, I don't feel like he would try to hurt me again right now, but I feel like if I take this to court, he could come back to get me...either if I loose he could come immediately, or even if he gets some jail time, he could still come find me when he's out.
3) I need to talk to my mother. I know my father knows about most of what happened I think (I told him when I was little), but I'm not sure about my mother. Any tips on how to break it to my mother that the home she left me in was a bad choice?
4) How long does it all take? I am a graduate student, is this going to seriously interfere with life? Are they really going to search my journals, my history, my personal life, everything about me? All I really know is from what I've seen on TV/movies, and the little bit of online research I've done. I just want to get an idea of what this is really going to be like.
Ok, if anyone has any advice/experience on any or all of those points, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks so much and I hope you are all doing well.