She was sexually assaulted at the age of 8, was imprisoned 4 times, and lost her will to survive-how did this woman find her star


Warning: This story contains some details that may be painful for readers.


Jessica Compton has overcome many challenges and achieved what she is today-an educator in Hamilton, she is developing her own project through storytelling, diary writing, live music and meditation. Encourage mental health.

Compton, 44, was only 8 years old. At 2 in the morning, a man broke into her home, pulled her up from the bed, took her to his car and sexually assaulted her.

“Since then, I have been silent. I will not speak to anyone. I am shocked,” Compton told CBC Hamilton.

The trauma of the attack caused losses.

“I’m running away. I bullied my children at school and vented my anger on other people,” she said.

“I did see a therapist and they diagnosed me with ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder]. So, I became a bully, just giving my things to others, you know, spitting on children, eating their lunch, kicking them, will only get into trouble. “

In a foster family, I was sexually assaulted by a teenage girl. I think she was 17 years old and I was 11 years old.-Jessica Compton

Born and raised in North Bay, Ontario, the police discovered that Compton and her sister-who was living with their mother at the time-were malnourished and they had very little time in school.

The Children’s Aid Association took two children from their mothers, who have been drinking and taking drugs. CAS later placed them under the custody of their father.

Live on the street and jump on the couch

Compton said she ended up living in a different foster home and was attacked twice in the system.

“In a foster family, I was sexually assaulted by a teenage girl. I think she was 17 at the time and I was 11,” she said.

“Then adoptive father, you know, in different places, he also sexually assaulted me. In addition, I will visit Hamilton. A member of my family sexually assaulted me.

“So, as you can see, wherever I go, there is…becoming a victim. I am as small as I am, I don’t understand, I just walk around.”

In this undated photo, the young Compton (center) and his cousins. (Submitted by Jessica Compton)

At the age of 12, Compton started smoking, drinking coffee and smoking marijuana.

At the age of 15, she set fire to some telecommunications equipment in North Bay. She was arrested and imprisoned??–one of the four times she was in prison.

Compton said she also assaulted a policeman, stole a car, took drugs and escaped supervision.

“It’s just a constant act of living on the street and jumping off the couch,” she said.

“In the past, the Salvation Army never locked the door. I would go in at 10pm and sleep on my clothes, and then into Tim Horton’s trash can. I would ask them,’When you throw away your clothes donuts , Can you not help but dump the ashtray in the restaurant so that I can eat the donuts? He will be very happy. He will open the back door and stop throwing it in the trash can.”

Turning point

In one of her imprisonment, Compton said that the court sentenced her to six months in prison or three months of rehabilitation.

“I underwent rehabilitation and found that there were many jars with worms open… I had to deal with a lot of things that I had put in the room, just put my trash there.”

Compton said that as a young man, she attacked a policeman, stole a car, took drugs and escaped police custody. (Submitted by Jessica Compton)

After completing rehabilitation, Compton completed high school at the age of 21.

“Then I graduated from the Correctional Worker Program at Niagara College. I had to wait. I thought my Canadian pardon was 11 years, so I worked with children for 15 years in a collective home.”

Today, Compton is an education assistant to the Hamilton-Wentworth District Board of Education (HWDSB).

Compton said: “I have been on the school board for nine years, just working with people who are struggling with anything. Really, just someone who is willing to listen to them and help them use my best ability.”

“I have also been working on the YMCA after-school project in my school. So when the bell rang, I went to work with them as the supervisor. I have been working there for two years.”

‘I don’t want to be here’

Four years ago, Compton underwent surgery for hernia.

She was supposed to take a three-week vacation, but encountered many different problems and was fired for five months.

“During this time, I went through a difficult period, I just don’t want to stay here anymore, you know, kind of suicidal,” Compton said.

“I really had to sit with myself and I started to read these self-help books. And, you know, one of Louise Hay’s self-help books is, you know,’ Go look in the mirror and say, I Love you and tell yourself that you love yourself.'”

Tree of stars

Compton said that she came out of the trough of life with new visions and new goals.

She founded Tree of stars, Promote mental health awareness and help detoxification through music and health.

“I created this Hamilton Cafe Tour, where I met other people who have experienced the trauma of homelessness or suicidal ideation or rehabilitation addiction,” Compton said.

“I started going to different cafes and these cafe owners were very receptive…I would meet people. Then I turned it into a diary meeting, people would come and sit with me, and I would remind people what to write.

“I run it on Zoom every Wednesday, and I have different musicians from all over the world perform some instrumental music, and then we also do some meditation. Before the pandemic, sometimes I would have three people showing up, sometimes 50 people appear.”

Compton said that she founded the Star Tree to increase mental health awareness and help detox through music and health. (Submitted by Jessica Compton)

Compton has also participated in other outreach projects through the Star Tree.

‘A breath of fresh air’

Compton’s current and former colleagues say that she has a unique teaching ability.

Jennifer Beattie and Compton work together at HWDSB.

“From the moment I met her, I knew that my classroom would be a successful learner community with her,” Betty said of Compton. “She brings unparalleled compassion, empathy, a wealth of knowledge and expertise.”

Cindy Muller, HWDSB teacher and YMCA educator, said: “Jessica is an extraordinary example of leadership, adventure, advocacy, compassion, creativity and hard work. Jessica is an adventurer. But she is also a stabilizer. She believes in seeing the strengths of others and prompting them to take action.”

Starla Brason and Compton worked in a nursing home for young boys for several years.

She said Compton has played an important role in ensuring that boys are prepared for independent living-helping them plan and prepare meals, budgets and other basic necessities at home, which are good for those living alone or living alone. . With the least help.

“She has spent countless hours coaching everyone to ensure that not only physical needs are met, but also social and emotional needs,” Blasson told CBC News.

“Let her be part of the team feels like a breath of fresh air, because she truly understands how the boys feel, because of her own story.”

Rebecca Kellner and Compton became members of HWDSB around the same time.

Kellner said: “She has the ability to teach others how to reconstruct her own ideas without saying.”

“She taught us how to deal with music and visual art in a more pleasant way-to restructure our thinking and stay away from’This must be perfect!’ “I can’t share”, “Breathe and enjoy this moment”,” Stop thinking. Is it done? “Let’s celebrate.”‘



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