This is my story, written for my sister and my daughters.
My sister was repeatedly raped and abused for several years in the mid 1970’s- from when she was 12 years of age. R was the 18 year old next door neighbour. During this time he also raped his 2 sisters, one of whom became pregnant and had an abortion. Our houses had large dark cellars – his playing field.
Our family didn’t know what was happening, though my sister was loved and cared for, she was part of a strict but dysfunctional family and life was difficult anyway…but still, we couldn’t quite work out what had happened to D, she started wagging school, staying out all night at 14 years old, becoming angry and abusive.
D moved out of home when she was 15 and into a sordid flat and became involved with drugs and alcohol and a series of disastrous and abusive relationships.
D has had many suicide attempts, the latest one was last year, she almost succeeded so she is FINALLY getting proper treatment and medication that has brought part of my sister back the first time since she was 12, she is now 50! She wonders now what happened to her life, it is all a big blur to her. D lives on an invalid benefit and in a house that is falling down with her beloved dog.
I love my sister and have stood beside her throughout – it was only when D was 28 that she finally told me what had happened to her. He had told her that she would go to jail if she told anyone what was happening and she believed him. I managed to get D to go to her GP at the time and fill in an ACC form.
D has had some councelling over the years but not at all successful due, I believe to the councellors lack of ability to deal with such a ‘wrecked woman’. Her last councellor finally was working for her, BUT to access ACC to pay for the councelling, the councellor had to document EVERYTHING D could recall about what he had done to her, how he had touched her, where it had happened!!!! What the F***….so D wasCOMPLETELY TRAUMITISED, she had flashbacks, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, she completely lost the plot, got abusive and angry and involved with the police……. D was and still is a night owl and at this time, she would walk the streets or on the beach at 3am – she would phone me and say she was near the edge of a cliff so I would come driving, searching and searching for my little sister. I would try to keep touch every day but she was random, phone lost or not charged and so I would have to drive and break into her house through a window to see if she was alive…..
One night, I swore D was dead, this tiny, bird like body,who hadn’t eaten for days, lying on the couch, blanket right over her head…..tiny little breaths.
I managed to get her to psych services but she would not co-operate so they said there was nothing they could do.
My sisters abuser worked his whole working life as a clerk for the courts in a small rural south island town. He has recently retired. I believe he has had a good life. I have also by chance met one of his sisters N several times over the years, she completely collaborates my sisters’ story, N has been divorced 3 times and she has had her own difficulties and has been in court. N wants her parents to die before she presses charges! My sister has tried to begin the process but she was so traumatised, she has been unable too. My little sister blames herself that he may have repeated his rape and abuse into the next generation and she calls herself gutless for not taking him to court. May he rot in hell.
My little sister is one amazing lady with a heart of gold!
Now my daughters story begins after her father walked out on his family leaving behind 3 teenage daughters. O was 16, she had done really well at school and had many friends and was a happy girl till her father walked out. O then became friends with a very mixed up young lady. I remember distinctly that the year she turned 18 was the year the drinking age was lowered to18, O read it in the paper and looked at me horrified and said ‘Mum, that’s not right, that’s too much responsibility for us at this age! O had a look of terror in her eyes as if she knew that now she could go to the pubs and drink – she would. And she did.
One night, O didn’t come home, I was awake all night waiting for her, I was beside myself, I was ringing all her friends, at 7 am I rang the police and filed a missing persons report and at 10am in walked O , bravado look on her face, like whats wrong, why are all these people here.
I took O aside, and she started crying and then sobbing her heart out – she had drunk too much at the pub, a man had encouraged/ pushed her into a taxi, taken her to his flat and raped her in her drunken stupor. When she woke the next morning he masturbated all over her.
The police said it would be too hard to prosecute as she was drunk and that it happened to young women every weekend, it was normal for them to see this. We didn’t prosecute.
My daughter is another survivor, she has gone on and studied and become successful career wise but too date has not made good partner choices.
A little 4 year old girl in a pink summery dress walks down the stairs, dragging her red and yellow plastic bike, she had a funny look on her face.
We were renting in a flat of four units. There were several children in the flats including a young teenage boy living upstairs, the children often got together and played. I was busy, but I know something wasn’t right, I spoke to H, she looked at the ground and wouldn’t tell me. I tried off and on, but she said nothing and life moved on. Years later when H was 10, we were trying to have an open discussion about safe touching, H burst into tears and shut herself in her bedroom. Eventually she told me that the boy had been touching her and doing yucky things to her. He told her she would get into big trouble if she told anyone and she would get taken away from her parents. Soooo she never told.
I AM ALMOST 60 YEARS OLD AND I AM ANGRY! IT IS TIME WOMEN IN NZ STOOD UP AND SHOUTED, IT IS TIME WOMEN WERE BELIEVED, IT IS TIME THIS PATRIARCHAL MALE DOMINATED NZ SOCIETY LOOKED AT THEMSELVES AND STARTED TO TREAT WOMEN AS HUMAN BEINGS WITH BRAINS. I AM SICK OF SEEING AND HEARING THE DAMAGE INFLICTED BY MEN AND MEN ALLOWING IT TO HAPPEN AND DOING NOTHING ABOUT IT. I AM SICK OF SEEING MEN INTERVIEWED AND LYING AND BLUFFING ON THE TV. I AM SICK OF TURNING THE PAGES OF THE MORNING PAPERS AND SEEING MEN, MEN, MEN. I SAY TO THIS YOUNG GENERATION OF WOMEN, THINGS ARE MUCH WORSE FOR YOU NOW – YOU HAVE MEN’S RIGHTS ACTIVIST GROUPS RUINING WOMENS LIVES, YOU HAVE MEDIA PORTRAYING YOU AS A BODY WITHOUT A BRAIN. I AM SICK OF HEARING EVERY DAY OF MEN RAPING OVER AND OVER AND STILL WE HAVE NO GOVERNMENT FUNDED CAMPAIGN TO SUPPORT WOMEN – WE EVEN HAVE A MALE DOMINATED GOVERNMENT WHO WITHDREW SUPPORT FROM RAPE CRISIS…WHAT THE F*** IS THAT ABOUT??!! WHAT IF THE WOMEN WERE THE RAPISTS, WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO THEM??