IT WASN'T LONG AFTER JOSH TOLD HIS SCHOOL TEACHER THAT HIS STEPFATHER WAS ABUSING HIM, before Josh and his sister moved to Kelowna to live with their Dad.
He wasn’t sure what to expect when he came to the Elizabeth Fry Society. He was afraid. His Dad told him that he would have to be a witness in court. So many different adults had already asked him so many questions about his stepfather, and about everything that happened since he was 6 years old.
He wanted it to go away. He urgently wanted to feel like a normal kid. He just wanted to be like his friends in school.
Josh’s Victim Assistance worker gave him a tour of the courthouse, and told him all about being a witness in court. She was even able to arrange for him to give his testimony in a separate room through a video camera, so he didn’t have to see his stepdad at court.
She didn’t ask him about what happened. She was a good listener though, and she explained everything that would happen in court. She wasn’t afraid at all. She came with him and his Dad to appointments. That helped. Josh wasn’t so afraid anymore. Actually, he felt brave.
Josh and his Dad also got to talk to a counsellor at Elizabeth Fry. His Dad met with the counsellor and they talked, but Josh got to play with special toys and paints. The counsellor helped him understand that the abuse wasn’t his fault. She was familiar with what he was going through. She was there for guidance, to help him feel safe, and even start to have fun again.