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Sisters reveal how father sexually abused them for 15 years

A NORTHERN Rivers woman who endured almost 15 years of rape and physical abuse by her father has told how she will relive the atrocities for the rest of her life.

The woman is one of two sisters who shared victim impact statements in the Sydney Downing Centre District Court this week after their father was convicted of 73 child sex and assault charges.

The sisters' mother, complicit in the father's crimes, was found guilty of 13 counts of indecent assault.

Now a young woman, the victim was first raped by her father in the late 1990s at the age of five in her bedroom at their rural Northern Rivers property.

The sexual abuse become a "normal part of life" and a way to please her father.

When he wasn't pleased the abuse took other forms.

The girl was repeatedly taken to a shed on the property and left there for the night. On another occasion she was locked in a box.

Much of the detail cannot be published because it is too distressing.

In 2011, when she was 18, she finally summoned the courage to seek counselling before reporting the matter to police.

In her statement, the young woman told the court how "every day of my childhood was spent being terrified, scared, and alone".

As a result she was often "unable to function at a basic level" in life.

She said she felt "dirty, ashamed, and worthless" from the daily acts of sexual abuse, and had an ongoing struggle with suicidal thoughts.

Days of celebration, such as Christmas and Father's Day, had become reminders of abuse events.

The woman said speaking out had given her "strength and closure, beyond words" but would never live a day where the abuse did not "haunt me".

Her older sister, now in her late 20s, remembered her brief memories of a happy childhood ending soon after her fourth birthday.

She said she had spent "countless nights aiming to process and understand why a mother would allow her children to be abused by her own husband".

"You entirely destroyed the opportunity for me to be able to learn how to trust, be compassionate, and grow from a child into an adult," she said to her mother.

The two parents will be sentenced in late October.

Topics:  abuse, editors picks, northern rivers, rape


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