I was 11 when I told my Mum what my father was doing to me. I only told her a little because I couldn’t tell her everything. I was too embarrassed and I just didn’t have the words at that age. She believed me and when she felt strong enough, told my father that she knew. The next day was the beginning of the extreme physical abuse – not just the slaps but the thrashings and sudden lashing out because I had not kept ‘our secret’. I found out many years later that my father’s response to what my mother confronted him with, was that I must have started having sexual dreams and that he was flattered to be part of them.

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