For victims of sexual assault, the trauma lasts years after the initial attack. It can affect future relationships, work and mental health. This was evident in a recent case brought before the NSW District Court, where a woman revealed harrowing details of the persistent sexual abuse she had encountered from her mother's partner.
Background of the case
The complainant was born in 1993, and just three years later, her mother married the offender. They had two daughters together (the complainant's half-sisters).
The sexual abuse began when the complainant was just ten years of age. After waiting for her mother to leave for work, and the other girls to fall asleep, the offender asked her to join him for cuddles in bed. It was here that he turned off the light and placed the young girl's hand on his genitals. She felt uncomfortable, made an excuse to leave and cried in her bedroom.
Unfortunately, this encounter is just one of numerous sexual assault acts that were carried out on the complainant. Over the years, the relationship between her mother and the offender disintegrated and as a result, her mother spent a lot of time away. The offender used this time to take advantage of the young girl, and the severity of his attacks worsened.
When the complainant was 16 years of age, he plied her with alcohol to which she passed out. She awoke naked and to the noise of a clicking camera. The next day, the complainant confronted the offender about what had happened. He said that if she wanted her mother, sisters and herself to be provided for, she would have to let the offender do whatever he wanted, in such words.
This threat placed the young girl in a terrible position as she felt responsible for the welfare of her family.
As the years went on, so did the abuse. On one occasion, she fell pregnant to the offender, which she was made to terminate.
Putting a stop to the abuse
It wasn't until the complainant told her now husband of her ordeal that the offender was arrested in 2017. After his arrest, it became apparent that he had also sexually abused other girls. He eventually pleaded guilty to his offences and explained he too had suffered similar abuse as a child. While the court felt empathy for his suffering, it did not excuse his actions. He went out of his way to persistently abuse the young girl and made efforts to secretly record his sex acts on her. These left her with mental scarring that has affected her life considerably.
For these reasons, he was sentenced to a total of 18 years imprisonment.
It's clear to see the trauma sexual abuse leaves on its victims. If you too have suffered at the hands of a sexual assault perpetrator, it's never too late to seek justice. Here at Gerard Malouf & Partners, we can work with you to ensure you receive compensation for your ordeal and put an end to the suffering.