Facing her demons Jaime Shurmer
COURAGE TO REPORT CHILD SEX ABUSE
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.
Riverton Florist's Glenda Ruby. d473850