Woman raped by her father as a child speaks of ‘humiliating’ abuse | UK News

Warning: This report contains graphical descriptions of child abuse.

A woman who was raped by her father as a child has renounced her anonymity, more than 40 years since she was first abused, to show others “justice is always possible”.

Sarah Mo says she was first abused by her father when she was six years old, and the abuse became “more humiliating” as she went through puberty.

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Martin Prew was sentenced to 11 years in prison at Kingston Crown Court

Her father Martin Prew was sentenced to 11 years in prison at Kingston Crown Court after pleading guilty to eight child sex crimes against his daughter, including a single charge of rape.

He was an insurance broker, and Sarah says to “the outside world, we were a lovely middle-class family,” but there was an unspoken rule that no one would come home to them.

Sarah, who is now 52, ​​says she was afraid that if she spoke out, she would be responsible for breaking up her family and thinking about taking her own life a number of times when she went to high school.

She says, “I was Dad’s girl, he used to call me the sugar flower fairy, he was my idol, so I would do anything he wanted me to do. I was just very confused, I thought it at one or the other another plan may be my fault. “

Sarah says her father began “nursing” her by touching her inappropriately during baths and asking her to “play with him”.

She says: “I thought he was talking about my toys, but he obviously was not.

“He used to get me to perform sex acts on him, and it was a regular, everyday event.”

Sarah says the abuse “escalated,” and when she was 11, her father raped her after asking her to come home early for a dental appointment.

embargo until kl.  Picture to go with Ali Fortiscue interview with abuse victim Sarah Mo Pictured as a child
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Sarah (pictured here as a child) says the abuse mostly happened at home

“I knew there was something different about the day, I just remember walking down our back road to the house and knowing something bad was going to happen,” she says.

She says her father wanted to abuse her in a secluded part of Barnes Common, London, and drive her to nearby forests, but the abuse happened mostly at home and was designed to “humiliate” her.

“He redesigned our bathroom, all with mirrored tiles over every inch of the wall, and he wanted me to stand naked in front of the mirrors just to examine myself and my development through puberty,” she says.

The abuse ended after Sarah confronted her father when she was 14 or 15.

“I kept saying I would not do it anymore and he said ‘do not you love me? I thought you liked it’,” she says.

She says her father ignored her for six months when she confronted him, but she continued to have a close relationship with him when she started college.

The 52-year-old says she tried to “put all the abuse in a box, not think about it”, and moved to Australia to “get away”, but when her older brother had a daughter, she felt compelled to tell it to his family. what had happened.

She says that “breaking the secret” led to panic attacks, self-harm and eventually her hospitalization in a psychiatric ward, but she wanted to make sure no one else was abused.

embargo until kl.  Image accompanying Ali Fortiscue interview with abuse victim Sarah Mo Image: Sarah Mo
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Sarah says she initially feared the police would not take her seriously, but “has only praise” for how her case was handled

It was several years later, when Sarah had her own daughter, that she decided to report her father to the police.

She says, “It was really hard watching my daughter grow, because I saw her at six, and I could see how small I was at six.”

Sarah says she initially feared the police would not take her seriously but “only has praise” for how her case was handled, and felt supported throughout the investigation.

She says she was “amazed” when her father pleaded guilty to abusing her.

“Just being believed, seen and heard, it was a really empowering moment for me,” she says.

Police in England and Wales have recorded the highest number of rapes ever and the second highest number of sexual crimes in a 12-month period, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

In the year to June, 61,158 rapes were recorded, but survivors are waiting longer for the trial, and the number of cases coming to court has dropped dramatically in recent years.

PC Nicola Stilliard, who worked on Sarah’s case, described it as “particularly shocking”.

She says it “hit a chord because Sarah and I are the same age we grew up in a similar era”.

The officer says that historical cases have “a challenging nature” because they do not have the benefit of forensic medicine and CCTV, but that she will always encourage people to report abuse and the police will do their “utmost to bring these cases forward. “.

She says: “Cases like this are being reported more often now because people have the confidence to stand up and report them”.

PC Stilliard says she “praises Sarah for her bravery” and hopes it will “allow others to speak out about the abuse they may have been subjected to”.

Sarah says she still has complex PTSD, anxiety and depression and expects to be on medication for the rest of her life, but the sentencing has “drawn a massive line” below what happened and she wants others to know that “whatever happens to you, you have to stand up for yourself, and you have to seek justice.”

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article, please contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or send an email to [email protected] in the United Kingdom. In the United States, call the Samaritan branch in your area or call 1 (800) 273-TALK.

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