This section is about my personal life. The blog posts in this section might cause triggers if you have been a victim of child sexual abuse, rape, domestic violence, physical abuse, mental abuse or emotional abuse.

The events I am writing about are true events that happened in my past. All events have been reported to the police and Child Protective Services, as you will read in my blog posts. I am no longer in an abusive situation. I am now safe and happier.

This is my life, my strength, and my story.

This is my victim impact statement that was read before the court on May 1, 2009 by the district attorney. I was going to read it myself, but I decided against it and asked the DA if he could read it for me.

First of all, I would like to thank the courts.  The people involved in this case and the people that had the strength and courage to come forward and testify about their victimization by Jerry Smithley.

I wish I could talk about all the wonderful things in my childhood before Jerry came into my life. Unfortunately, I don’t have much to share about my life before he came into the picture. My happy childhood was short lived and at a very young age, my innocence was changed forever at the hands of this man. These are years I will never be able to get back and years that I will never be able to stop thinking about for as long as I live. Because of you, Jerry, I grew up before my time and will never know what it would have been like to be a child, feel safe, and comfortable in my own home.

Jerry is a man my mother trusted enough to move in with, marry and trust as a father to me. I have been taught to respect and do what adults tell me to do. He took advantage of mine and my mother’s trust in him; he did unspeakable things and then used threats to keep me quite. It took me this long to get enough courage and feel safe enough to speak out and report him before any more people got hurt. Very much to my surprise, I was not the only one and that makes me sad to know there were other people out there too scared to come forward.

Jerry has shown that he is very aware of right and wrong. As a father, he attempted to teach me right from wrong, even though he was doing these unspeakable things and all the while simply justifying it by telling me, “Do as I say, not as I do.”  He is only too aware that what he did to me was a terrible thing to go through and has caused me irreparable damage.  He confirmed that he knew molestation is wrong the day he confronted my Uncle Bob for molesting me.  He also had knowledge of his wrongdoing when my mother was incapacitated in the hospital with breast cancer and she trusted Jerry to care for me during that time and throughout that already awful, scary time for me, his abuse escalated and he knew that no one would be there to walk in on him and catch him when he would come into my room at night.

It took a lot of courage to confront Jerry and to talk about the abuse I have endured. I sat in front of a courtroom full of strangers and confronted my abuser. This was a very liberating feeling. With that I have freed myself from the prison I have lived in most of my life. I can now move forward with my life and feel safe knowing that Jerry can no longer hurt me. I hope that Jerry’s sentence gives him the maximum amount of years to think about what he did and so that he cannot hurt anybody else for a long time.


April Cadran