Fac­ing her demons Jaime Shurmer

COURAGE TO RE­PORT CHILD SEX ABUSE

Canning Times - - FRONT PAGE -

FLORIST Glenda Ruby was 30 be­fore she felt strong enough to re­port sex­ual abuse she suf­fered as a child.

Ms Ruby was able to go the po­lice, with the sup­port of close friends, where she spent sev­eral days giv­ing 46 pages of ev­i­dence to see her per­pe­tra­tor con­victed of 21 charges in 2005.

“I think I’m one of the lucky ones,” she said.

“Not every­one has the strength to go through it and I did it to make sure other kids didn’t have to. “It does af­fect you for life. I’ve had lots of coun­selling and there have been days that are re­ally dark and you don’t know how you’ll get through.”

In­spired by her grand­fa­ther, a keen gar­dener, Ms Ruby took a job as a florist aged 16 and for the past 29 years has been sell­ing bou­quets at River­ton Florist and win­ning awards, a suc­cess­ful en­ter­prise that has helped her stay strong.

She has trans­formed a dark past of abuse into some­thing of sig­nif­i­cance, us­ing her store to raise funds for Brave­hearts dur­ing White Bal­loon Day.

Ms Ruby said child sex abuse af­fected vic­tims for the rest of their lives and statis­tics showed about one in eight chil­dren was sex­u­ally abused be­fore the age of 18.

Even hav­ing her pic­ture taken by the Can­ning Times proved a trig­ger, but she re­mains com­mit­ted to fac­ing her chal­lenges head on in the hope of sav­ing other chil­dren from sim­i­lar trauma.

She per­son­ally has used the Brave­hearts helpline and re­cently sub­mit­ted a let­ter to be part of the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s in­volve­ment in the cur­rent Royal Com­mis­sion.

On Sep­tem­ber 9, she raised $600 for the or­gan­i­sa­tion and her shop was vis­ited by for­mer po­lice min­is­ter and now Op­po­si­tion Deputy Leader Liza Har­vey and River­ton MLA and Op­po­si­tion Leader Mike Na­han.

Brave­hearts does not have a WA of­fice but runs a helpline at 1800 272 831 for vic­tims of child sex as­sault and ed­u­ca­tion in schools. Do­nate at brave­hearts.org.au.

Pic­ture: Marie Nirme

River­ton Florist's Glenda Ruby. d473850

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