Farm­yard se­crets

Her ru­ral child­hood looked idyl­lic, but only Grace San­ders, 50, from Mine­head, knew the hor­ri­fy­ing truth about what re­ally went on...

Pick Me Up! Special - - News -

When­ever I tell peo­ple I grew up on a farm, I al­ways get the same re­sponse… ‘What a lovely child­hood you must have had,’ every­one says.

In­side, I want to scream. If only you knew!

See, all my me­mories of that time are tainted.

I lived on the farm with my par­ents, grand­par­ents and mum’s brother Arthur.

Arthur, who was in his late 20s back then, al­ways made a fuss of me.

‘You’ve got to learn the ropes, kid,’ he’d say, show­ing me how to milk a cow.

One day when I was five years old, I went up­stairs into

Un­cle Arthur’s room.

Just a kid, I wanted a cud­dle, so I tried

climb­ing onto the bed, but it was too tall.

Arthur scooped me up and placed me on his lap.

Then he started rub­bing my thighs and put his rough hands in my knick­ers. I was too young to know what was re­ally go­ing on. Arthur did it again and again when­ever we were alone to­gether. ‘Give your un­cle a kiss,’ he’d say, pulling me in for a cud­dle. Then he’d touch me when no­body was look­ing. He started get­ting braver. One day, Gran­dad and Arthur went into the

milk­ing barn. It was di­vided into sep­a­rate lit­tle milk­ing cu­bi­cles. While Gran­dad worked in one, Arthur went into an­other. And he quickly pulled me in there with him. Out of sight, he touched and groped me and then made me touch him, too. ‘If you tell any­one, you’ll get into big trou­ble,’ he whis­pered af­ter.

Gran­dad was just feet away, but he didn’t have a clue what was go­ing on.

Too scared to say any­thing, I kept it bot­tled up.

Years passed, and Arthur used ev­ery op­por­tu­nity he could to abuse me.

When­ever we were alone to­gether in the farm­house, the milk­ing barn, farm sheds…

The sprawl­ing farm be­came Arthur’s sick play­ground. And my tor­ture cham­ber. Ev­ery cor­ner of the farm was an­other place where Arthur could en­act his twisted abuse on me. There truly was no es­cap­ing him. Then, when I was nine, me, Mum and Dad moved from the farm into our own place.

But we still vis­ited of­ten to pitch in and help out.

Arthur would use those vis­its to cor­ner me in the milk­ing barn.

Years passed – and, as I en­tered my teens, I be­gan learn­ing about sex ed­u­ca­tion at school.

Sud­denly I fully un­der­stood that

what Arthur was do­ing was wrong. Very wrong.

But I felt pow­er­less to stop him abus­ing me.

Un­der his spell, I be­lieved him when he said I’d get into trou­ble if I told any­one.

So I kept it to my­self and tried to block it out. Painful years passed. One night, when I was 16, I was stay­ing at the farm to help my grand­par­ents out.

I had a sleep­ing bag on the sofa in the liv­ing room of the farm­house.

I was ter­ri­fied that Arthur would try to abuse me dur­ing the night.

So I po­si­tioned my­self over the zip of the sleep­ing bag so that he couldn’t get to it.

But, later that night, Arthur tip­toed in and started feel­ing around for the zip. He was too strong and

Un­cle Arthur ru­ined my child­hood

I was trapped in a night­mare

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.