Byline: Emily Prain
LINDA'S lifetime of sexual abuse started when she was just three years old.
Those grim early years were to be just the beginning of a gut-wrenching existence plagued by sexual violence and breaches of trust within her own family, and led to her falling pregnant at 20 following a gang rape.
Linda (not her real name) has spoken out to mark Sexual Violence Awareness Month, sharing her story in the hope other people who fall victim to sexual violence will find the strength to seek help.
C[pounds sterling]I was three years old when I started being sexually assaulted by my uncle Co that continued on until the age of 15,C[yen] she told the NewsMail.
C[pounds sterling]He gassed himself in his car because he was facing a 10-year sentence for child molestation.C[yen]
But the sexual violence and abuse towards the former Brisbane woman, now 45, did not stop there.
C[pounds sterling]I was sexually abused by my eldest sister between the ages of nine and 13,C[yen] Linda said.
After growing up in what she believed was a cult, the woman fled from her family home at 15 and became a street kid.
C[pounds sterling]All abusers isolate, which makes it easier for them to hide what's going on, and make it harder for the child to talk to somebody,C[yen] Linda said.
C[pounds sterling]Sexual abuse was so familiar to me. I guess I used that in order to counteract the fear of the unknown, by giving myself wherever I had to in order to get a bed to sleep in and food to eat. …