‘NIGHTMARES’: Brave woman talks about her sexual abuse
A young woman who was sexually abused by a Magnetic Island man was accused by her mother of lying, and wants to ensure no child endures the trauma she did.
The 18-year-old who asked to remain anonymous, was abused by Michael David Wockner, 42, when she was eight years old.
He was convicted but escaped jail for his crime and received a wholly suspended sentence of 18 months' imprisonment.
"I'm so angry for so long I thought everything was my fault," she said.
"It wasn't my courage. I had courage from other people, the fear of it happening to other people scared me more.
"I've had nightmares, panic attacks, I've had sleepless nights. I get sweaty when people get too close.
"If I can stop someone from suffering that trauma, I'd do anything."
The woman was only 13 years old when she came forward in 2015 about the abuse and was immediately branded a liar by her mother who took to social media to publicly call out her daughter.
"Nan was saying to me "this isn't your fault, you did nothing wrong," the teenager said.
"I was like 'maybe it isn't my fault, maybe what he did was wrong. That was where it stemmed from, I was so afraid I didn't want anyone to know.
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"People say, why didn't you come out about this earlier, at that age, you don't know that (the person) is doing something that's bad."
She is currently studying a Bachelor of Human Services and is looking at a potential career in child protection to "do her best" at preventing other children from suffering as she did.
"That is definitely my aim, that has been my aim the whole time, when I came forward it wasn't for me," she said.
The woman said she felt the criminal justice system added to the trauma felt by victims and called for the system to change.
"They need to reform how they handle victims. I felt like the criminal rather than the victim," she said.
>>For support phone the Queensland Sexual Assault Helpline on 1800 010 120 anytime between 7.30am and 11.30pm.
>>For 24-hour domestic violence support phone Queensland's DVConnect on 1800 811 811 or MensLine on 1800 600 636, NSW's Domestic Violence Line on 1800 656 463 or the national hotline 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).
Originally published as 'NIGHTMARES': Brave woman talks about her sexual abuse