A Child Survivor Story: Jacob Harris, Age 14

A Child Survivor Story: Jacob Harris, Age 14

Jacob Harris, with permission from his mother, asked to share his Victim Impact Statement he provided in his abuser’s hearing on Survivorhood. Jake was between the ages of 5 months to 11 years old when he endured his abuse. He is sharing his story so other kids know that they aren’t alone.

“There was a time my mom was cooking bacon for BLTs for supper one night. I ate three pieces of the bacon off the plate. Dennis threw a Direct TV remote at me. The side of my face and my eye was swollen and black and blue.”

“Your honor, my name is Jacob Harris. I am 13 years old. Dennis Tims came into our lives when I was barely five months old. He was the only dad I ever knew. I am not sure when things changed or what I did to deserve him physically, mentally, and emotionally abusing me. He started getting meaner and more violent toward us, and I didn’t like it. After awhile it got a lot worse. When he would come home, we would be here, like, what is he going to be like, Mr. Meany or Mr. Nice Guy? He would never hit Johnny or Hurricane, my two little brothers.

When he was coming back home from trips, he would usually tell us to take off his boots for him and everything else for him. He was lazy and wouldn’t pay much attention to us. He would sometimes make us sleep out in the kitchen. He never felt any sorrow for us when he would beat us. He was physically aggressive to my mom, too. I couldn’t do anything about it because he was bigger and stronger than me, so he would hit me really hard, and if we tried to do something, he would – we would get it worse. If we would make the slightest mistake, he would yell at us and beat us. Now it feels like I am not doing anything right, like chores.

I can remember a time that he was talking to me, I accidentally called him ma’am instead of sir because I was nervous. He made sure to let me know to never ever make that mistake again.

There was a time my mom was cooking bacon for BLTs for supper one night. I ate three pieces of the bacon off the plate. Dennis threw a Direct TV remote at me. The side of my face and my eye was swollen and black and blue.

I had done something that Dennis found out about. Instead of taking the beating I knew was coming, I took off running. I remember stopping and thinking oh, no, now it’s going to be even worse. I went back inside, and I was right.

There were Christmas mornings that me, my older brother, and sister would come downstairs to no presents under the tree because we were bad. There were Christmases that my younger brother Johnny got presents and we did not. We would have to watch him open his toys and play with them.

The night he was arrested, he was telling me, my older brother, and my mom that he was better than us, would always be better than us, quote, I could be dead, buried in the ground, being eaten by worms and still be better than you, end quote.

Over time the physical bruises heal and fade away. I will never forget what he did to me. The mental and emotional abuse is much worse. I can still hear things he would say to me. He always said that he loved me. I don’t think that he ever did. You don’t treat someone you love the way he treated me.

The years of abuse I was put through has left me with severe anger issues. I am on medication to help me control my anger. I think the best way to resolve the problem is with violence. That’s what Dennis has taught me. With a lot of love and patience from my mom and step-dad, I am learning that it’s not the right way.

Your honor, I am asking you to please consider a stiff sentence. I suffered for years because of Dennis, and I will live a lifetime with what he did to me.”

Photo: Flickr – espensorvik

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