Survivor story

I am a 27 year old woman living in a small village in North Wales with my mum and my younger sister. My dad is in prison because he hurt me, he hurt my sister too. I tried to stop him, I tried to let it be me that he hurt, but he hurt anyway. He used to say that if I let him do it to me that he would not hurt her but I found out later he was doing it anyway. My mum had such a hard time with my dad, he used to beat her up and stop her having friends. I used to hear her crying when she thought I was asleep, I couldn’t do anything to help her. I think that’s one of the reasons why I didn’t say anything; I didn’t want to make it worse for her. I wanted to protect my sister too and I was frightened my dad would hurt me more.

I’ve only been able to start to deal with all of the hurt in the last year or so. It started with a call to the Helpline. I spoke to the Helpline who helped me get in touch with a counsellor. She listened to me and she understood. She spent time with me and I felt able to be brave enough to tell her what had happened. I can’t tell you how dirty I have felt but I felt a bit better after talking to her. She helped me so much, that was just the start of it. I’m now working with a counsellor and my life is starting to change. Going to court was terrible but I’ve had a lot of support and that has made all the difference. I have called the Helpline a couple more times, when I’ve been alone at night, when I have just had to speak to someone about how much I hurt. They have helped to change my life. Maybe one day I might move out and live by myself. I want to go to University. I want a good job. I hope that I can get there.

We would encourage anyone in Wales affected by sexual violence, whether or not they feel able to report this, to contact the Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800. The Helpline provides 24-hour, confidential help and support every day of the year and can put people in touch with local specialist services where this is needed.