It wasn’t just me…


Star­ing at her with wide eyes, I couldn’t tell Mum the truth

Ididn’t sleep a wink that night, lay there in ag­o­nis­ing pain, feel­ing over­whelm­ingly con­fused. In my mind, the words he’d said as he raped me played over and over.

‘You’ve wanted this, you’ve al­ways wanted this...’

The next day,

I spot­ted blood run­ning down my leg and I knew I couldn’t hide it from Mum.

‘It’s your pe­riod,’ she ex­plained.

Star­ing at her with wide eyes, I couldn’t bring my­self to tell the truth, that her evil part­ner had taken my vir­gin­ity.

Luck­ily, af­ter liv­ing with Gra­ham for 18 months, Mum un­cov­ered an af­fair and threw him out of our house.

‘It’s over,’ I thought. Only, it wasn’t that easy. Gra­ham’s ac­tions had changed the course of my life.

I grew up haunted by what he’d done.

Drink­ing my­self into obliv­ion, I never en­joyed sex as it was a nasty re­minder of what Gra­ham had done to me.

My un­will­ing­ness to be in­ti­mate meant I found re­la­tion­ships tough.

Luck­ily, the births of my three chil­dren of­fered me some refuge from the pain.

In 2013, af­ter yet an­other night of booz­ing, I broke down and told my hus­band every­thing...

‘You need to tell the po­lice,’ he said.

So, that night, I rang the po­lice sta­tion and told them I’d been abused as a child.

In the haze of wine, it felt right.

But by the morn­ing, I re­gret­ted ev­ery word of my ad­mis­sion.

I de­cided to tell my mum what had hap­pened.

Break­ing down with ev­ery word of the de­scrip­tion of the abuse, Mum was heart­bro­ken. She went to the po­lice, too.

Fear­ing the con­se­quences if Gra­ham found out I’d re­ported him, though, I let his con­trol take hold of me again and re­tracted my state­ment.

Mum and me never spoke about it again.

My mar­riage broke down soon af­ter.

Then, af­ter yet an­other re­la­tion­ship break­down in 2017, shortly af­ter my 50th birth­day, I knew I couldn’t let Gra­ham con­trol me any longer.

I went straight to the po­lice and gave a full state­ment.

This time, I stood by my words, but I feared I wouldn’t be be­lieved.

In April 2017, Gra­ham Fisher, then 79, was ar­rested.

Soon af­ter, two other vic­tims came for­ward to ac­cuse him of sex­ual abuse.

Their case made mine stronger, and I was de­ter­mined to send

Gra­ham down for a long time.

Deny­ing every­thing, he said we were con­spir­ing against him.

But, at Pre­ston Crown Court in July 2018, a jury found him guilty of 11 counts of in­de­cent as­sault, one count of rape and one count of at­tempted rape, against me and two oth­ers.

He was sen­tenced to

16 years in prison and will re­main on the sex of­fend­ers reg­is­ter for life.

Fi­nally, I had jus­tice and could move on with my life.

Ev­ery day, I think about my dad, and won­der what my life would be like now if he was still alive.

I still miss him, but the bliss­ful mem­o­ries we shared give me the strength I need to go on.

I’m try­ing to move on with my life now

Gra­ham was tried at Pre­ston Crown Court

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.