Raped By My Brother

Raped and threat­ened by big brother Michelle re­fused to be si­lenced by fear

Pick Me Up! Special - - News -

Hov­er­ing by the liv­ing room win­dow, I waited im­pa­tiently for the ar­rival of my older half-brother. ‘When’s he get­ting here?’ I whined to my mum.

‘That’s the third time you’ve asked,’ she laughed.

Fi­nally I saw a car pull up out­side and when Daniel walked in, I flung my­self at him.

‘Tag, you’re it!’ I shouted, nudg­ing Daniel’s shoul­der and run­ning off.

‘Hey! That’s not fair,’ he said, drop­ping his overnight bag and chas­ing af­ter me.

Daniel was my dad’s son from a pre­vi­ous re­la­tion­ship and at 12, he was four years older than me.

He lived with his mum, and vis­ited at week­ends and dur­ing hol­i­days. Our games usu­ally al­ways ended in one of us telling tales on the other or in floods of tears – usu­ally me, but I loved hav­ing him to stay.

As he got older, Daniel be­came even more of a trou­ble­maker and as teens, we drifted apart. I missed him.

‘Fancy go­ing to the pub for a sing-a-long tonight?’ Dad asked me one day. It was 2005, and I was 18.

‘Why not?’ I shrugged. ‘I’ll get the gang to­gether,’ he said, wink­ing.

That evening, I was sip­ping on vodka and cokes and lis­ten­ing to Dad on the karaoke ma­chine, when Daniel walked in.

‘Fancy see­ing you here,’ he said, join­ing our ta­ble for a catch up.

‘I want to have a chat with you. Can I come back to yours?’ he said at the end of the night. ‘Sure,’ I nod­ded. Af­ter a few drinks, we headed back to my flat and he flopped on to my bed be­side me. ‘So what did you want to talk about?’ I asked.

With­out an­swer­ing, Daniel sud­denly started tak­ing off his trousers. ‘What the hell are you do­ing?’ I cried.

Daniel forced him­self on top of me and I strug­gled to free my­self. ‘Get off me!’ I cried, but he was much big­ger than me , and I was no match for him.

His heavy body pinned me down as he raped me.

I shut my eyes tight. Daniel was my half­brother - fam­ily.

He’d never been vi­o­lent to me be­fore or made any sex­ual com­ments. It made no sense. When he was fin­ished, Daniel got up. ‘Tell any­one about this and I’ll kill you,’ he snarled.

‘Get out,’ I cried, my voice tremor­ing. Daniel slammed the door be­hind him. shak­ing, I cried

Our games ended in tears

I knew it was time for jus­tice

hys­ter­i­cally in dis­be­lief and dis­gust at what my half-brother had just done to me.

Daniel had a his­tory of vi­o­lence to­wards ex-girl­friends and I was wor­ried he’d fol­low through with his threat.

So through fear and shame, I kept what he’d done to my­self.

Af­ter­wards, I avoided Daniel at all costs, but months later, while I was at my par­ents’ house, Daniel showed up.

I felt phys­i­cally sick when he walked in.

‘You look like you’ve seen a ghost,’ Mum com­mented. ‘Are you OK?’ ‘I’m fine,’ I croaked. I kept my gaze fixed on the floor, but when I glanced up in Daniel’s di­rec­tion, his eyes were

pierc­ing into me. I knew what the look meant: ‘Re­mem­ber what I said: If you tell any­one, I’ll kill you.’ Ter­ri­fied, I re­mained silent. I was 19 when I heard from Daniel again.

It was New Year’s Eve and his name flashed up on my mo­bile.

‘Michelle, I’d re­ally like to talk,’ he said, sound­ing sin­cere.

I was re­luc­tant, but Daniel was fam­ily af­ter all. Surely an apol­ogy was a start?

Later that evening, Daniel picked me up from my flat. But as we drove, he barely spoke.

‘I thought you wanted to chat,’ I said. ‘I do,’ he grunted. Daniel drove to a wood­land. But as he went fur­ther into the coun­try lane, his car started to get stuck in mud.

The wheels span, and it grounded to a halt. It was start­ing to get dark.

Daniel turned to look at me.

‘We’ll have to sleep here tonight,’ he said. I be­gan to panic. Sud­denly, Daniel reached across the seat and tried to un­zip my jacket.

‘No,’ I shouted, push­ing him away. ‘Not again.’ I fran­ti­cally threw open the car door and ran.

‘How could I have been so stupid?’ I thought, sob­bing. Daniel hadn’t changed. Even­tu­ally I flagged down a pass­ing taxi who took me home.

This time I found the strength to re­port Daniel to the po­lice, but they told me there wasn’t enough ev­i­dence to pro­ceed.

To­tally crushed, I fi­nally blurted out to my par­ents what Daniel had done to me.

They an­grily con­fronted him,

but of course he just de­nied ev­ery­thing.

Years passed and I saw Daniel around, but I man­aged to ig­nore him.

What he’d done haunted me and I even started to self-harm.

It was ten years later be­fore the po­lice came knock­ing on my door.

It turns out that I wasn’t Daniel’s only vic­tim.

Two other women had come for­ward to say he’d raped or sex­u­ally abused them too and they wanted my state­ment.

I asked Dad for his ad­vice but he in­sisted I go ahead with it.

‘You need jus­tice,’ he said - and he was right.

I gave a recorded video state­ment and Daniel was charged.

At Bris­tol Crown Court, Daniel James Holly was con­victed af­ter a trial of a string of se­ri­ous sex­ual as­saults - in­clud­ing my rape.

He was handed a life sen­tence, with a min­i­mum 13 years to serve.

I read my im­pact state­ment with my eyes locked with his.

‘Be­cause of you, my life has been put on hold,’ I read. Daniel showed no re­morse. I’ll never for­get what he put me through - but I re­fused to be ashamed any­more.

It’s time to fi­nally move on with my life.

DANIEL HOLLY

THE SE­CRET HAUNTED ME

Michelle Holly, 30, Bris­tol

We were fam­ily

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