Published: 00:01, 28 June 2014 |
A woman who suffered years of horrific sexual abuse as a teenager has told how she broke her silence to protect her attacker’s young daughter from becoming another victim.
The woman was repeatedly raped as a vulnerable schoolgirl in Canterbury by vile Martin Scott, who then forced her to pretend she lied when she initially reported it.
Her depraved abuser even pounced while she was a patient in hospital. And when she threatened to tell, he told her she would be put into care.
Now living in the Herne Bay area with her husband, the woman – who cannot be named for legal reasons – has described the weight that has been lifted since speaking out.
After years of harbouring the dark secret that ate away at her, she finally summoned the courage to tell her fiance before they got married.
She said: “I didn’t want any secrets in our marriage. It had been eating away at me and really affecting my life. He knew something wasn’t right because I had outbursts.
“I was always scared Martin would find me and attack me again. I was paranoid and always looking over my shoulder. Then I thought ‘why should I live in fear for the rest of my life?’.
“He also has a young daughter now and I’d never forgive myself if he did it to her. I want her to have the childhood I never had.”
Her courageous testimony led to a 15-year prison sentence being handed down at Canterbury Crown Court, finally allowing her to move on.
She said: “It was really awful reliving it all in court, and it was hard for my family to hear my evidence. But I needed to face my fears and let it all out.”
She says she would have crumbled without her husband and certain family members who gave her the support she was cruelly deprived of when she reported the abuse as a teenager.
Back then, manipulative Scott convinced her mother that he was innocent, and the youngster was coerced into withdrawing her allegation and saying she had lied.
That has inevitably put a strain on the relationship she now has with her mother.
She said: “She feels guilty because she didn’t stop it. We’re not as close as we used to be. The case has put an even bigger wedge between us.
“It took a lot to pluck up the courage to report it again, because I was worried no one would believe me. But my family were all so supportive.
“Now, it’s a relief being able to relax in my own home and go out knowing I’m not going to be hurt. It feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
“I can finally get on with my life and focus on the future rather than dwelling on the past.”
At the sentencing hearing, Scott, 39, smirked as Judge Simon James told him he had cynically and systematically abused his victim.
He had denied five rapes, committing a sex act with a child, sexual assault and indecent assault – but a jury found him guilty of all charges.
"I wanted to look him in the eye and show him I’m not the scared little girl I used to be" - Scott's victim
His victim, who faced him at the sentencing, said: “It was a form of closure for me. I wanted to look him in the eye and show him I’m not the scared little girl I used to be.
“He glanced over at me and I thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest, but my husband held my hand the whole time.
“It was hard, but I knew he couldn’t hurt me any more. I’m glad that after all the anguish, justice has been served. Now it’s his turn to live in fear.”
She hopes that by speaking out, she can encourage others to come forward.
In a message to fellow victims, she added: “Speaking out is the best thing I ever did.
“What’s happened has happened, but you can move forward. Don’t let it ruin your future. People won’t judge you or look at you differently. There is support out there.”
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