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Breaking Silences

Breaking Silence

A journey into the past…Frustration in the present.

   police Report

My name is Savenia Falquist and I am a survivor of incest by my grandfather.  In 1981, my sister told our mother about the abuse and that changed everything. Police involvement, court dates, family explosion and personal blaming and shame. The silver lining in our case was that we seemed to be “protected” through the legal process.  My parents had to attend court hearings,  but we didn’t. I did have to call my grandfather with a recording device on the phone and get him to confess. Looking back… I assume this was evidence that was used in court. My grandfather was sentenced to prison and my father stood by his “girls” to fight this fight. I love you Dad for believing and sacrificing your siblings and other family relationships for us!

Why write this blog… I was contacted about a month ago to participate in an interview for an overseas magazine. They want to share my story. Part of this discussion included questions about specific documents and details from the legal process. I found myself not being able to answer some of the questions because we had been so “protected” from the legal process. This prompted me to “step in the pile of shit” we call our legal system (feeling confident in stating this after advocating for victims of sexual assault for the past 15 years).

I knew going into the process of digging up court records and parole records would be difficult because this all happened back in the early 80’s. What I wasn’t prepared for was the cold and questioning response from the 12 various departments that I called to gather bits and pieces about my case. Because of my having done this for so many other victims, I didn’t feel defeated.  I became absolutely frustrated and furious about the very thought that someone might be dealing with the very same thing and not have all of the experience and/or resource that I have. Victims or secondary victims do NOT deserve to be treated with anything less that dignity and support through our government agencies, programs and services. This dis-respect and victim-blaming culture is unacceptable at all levels. If you work in a police department, sheriff’s office, community justice department, corrections department, circuit court, prosecutor’s office or community-based advocacy organization… Please take to heart that you carry power and control in your role.  Use it appropriately! If you are burned out or work for the paycheck, please do a bit of self-evaluation about self-preservation. Working in communities as a  “Public Servant” carries a responsibility. Please consider that the person on the other end of the phone may have already called 8 departments to only be referred to yet another department… you.

Am I frustrated? Very much so! Not for me. For all of those parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who are trying to walk the path through our legal system. Non-offending adults and family members should be supported to minimize re-victimization for their children and themselves.

Silent Spirits


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