As a child I was sexually abused by my Granddad, I thought it started when I was around 8 but I have since put lots of different pieces together and realized it had been happening since I was about 4 until I was 12.
I knew I didn’t like what he was doing but it wasn’t until I was 9 and I read something about it that I realised it was wrong but by then I come to accept it and was too scared to tell anyone. Not scared for me, I was scared if I told, no one would believe me but that he would leave me alone and move onto one of my sisters.
One day, just before my 12th birthday, my cousin was visiting and it happened to her, she told straight away but no one was sure if she was telling the truth, then one of my younger sisters, who was 8 at the time, said it also happened to her. My mum thought she might be confused and I knew I had to come forward. I went to my dad and just said ‘dad they’re telling the truth’ – it was the worst part about the whole thing, the look in my dads eye. My mum said nothing, it was her father and she left and went to see him. The rest of the day was just a blur, everyone shouting and cry and asking questions. I just sat there.
My mum convinced me pressing charges wasn’t in my best interests and that I shouldn’t tell anyone because it was shameful. Then she told my dad I had spoken to her and didn’t want to press charges or talk about it.
For year I felt isolated, I couldn’t understand why no one was there to listen to me. I had so much anger, not because of what happened but because I felt like no one cared.
I am now 22 and studying to be a solicitor. I thought I had overcome what had happened to me and moved on in my life but your documentary made me realise my silence and shame is what allows this sort of thing to continue. You have inspired me to speak out and make a difference.