Raped By My Brother
Raped and threatened by big brother Michelle refused to be silenced by fear
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.
THE SECRET HAUNTED ME
Michelle Holly, 30, Bristol
We were family