Friday, 24 April 2015

'Silence perpetuates violence'- A story of incest

From the time she was a toddler, Patricia knew she had to be good girl. It was simple logic even a small child could understand: If she was well-behaved, her dad might be in a better mood. And if he was happy, her brothers and mom would receive fewer beatings.

But being a good little girl meant never complaining. Never raising her voice. Never showing her fear.

Even when her father was forcing her to have sex with him.

Though her dad’s sexual advances had been happening for as long as she could remember, by age 10 she began studying the Bible and knew what her dad was doing to her wasn’t right. To protect her little brothers, she remained silent.

At 17, however, life as she knew it changed. On her way out of town to visit grandparents, she found out she was pregnant. It was her father’s child and she told the doctor so.

“It kind of was a saviour for me because I was quite suicidal up to that point,” she recalls. “When I realized I had my own child to take care of, my mothering instincts kicked in and I was going to look after her totally.”

Her father continued to abuse her throughout her pregnancy. But it would take another 20 years for her to seek justice.

“When I started talking, I told everybody. I didn’t want to hold it in anymore. It was like, ‘I don’t have ownership of this anymore.’”

Four years ago, Patricia went to police in Ontario, where she had grown up, and told them everything. Because there was obvious DNA evidence linking her father to her daughter, he was criminally charged in 2012.

Now 62 and a grandmother of three, Patricia remains confident she did the right thing. Her father won’t be able to hurt anyone else.

Her story is one of several highlighted by Surrey Women’s Centre (SWC) to commemorate National Victims of Crime Awareness Week this week.

Though hers is a troubling story to share, Patricia does so to prompt others to speak out and seek help.

“When they can see the worst case scenario and someone surviving and healing, then maybe it’ll give them the courage to do the right thing for themselves.”

Culled from Peace Arch News








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