From 1976-1982, I was the victim of sexual abuse. My abuser (who was a
paedophile, rapist and killer of animals) was sentenced to seven years in
prison on the 25th February 2013 – a full 30 years after the fact. I flew to
New Zealand on the 25th of February 2013 to witness the sentencing of my rapist
– a journey toward justice 30 years in the making. His conviction and inclusion
on the sex offender registry was a victory like no other. I want to emphasize the all-important message that you do
not have to put up with abuse. Children are so easily manipulated and coerced
by adults. They are so easily silenced and paralysed by threats, especially
threats of violence against loved ones or beloved pets. They are the perfect
victims – naïve, gullible, terrified and defenceless. Therefore, we must
protect our children and make sure we are leaving them in the care of people we
Yet abuse happens all too frequently around the world,
and children need to tell someone – anyone – other than the parent or caregiver
who is the abuser. A teacher, priest, neighbour, a policeman… no matter the
manner in which your abuser has threatened or intimidated you, there is someone
out there who will and can help, if you only take that first step and ask. In
cases of paedophilia, nine times out of ten the victim knows the abuser, who is
often a family member or close friend. Parents need to be more vigilant and
watch for the signs of abuse, for paedophiles operate within a sick and clever
mentality of their own, brilliantly disguising their actions, shifting blame,
and twisting the facts. Simply put, children do not stand a chance against a
determined paedophile. I certainly didn’t.
Whenever the bad stuff would happen, I would zone out and
try and pretend it was happening to someone else. I was determined not to let
him break me – not to let him drive me insane and in the back of my mind I kept
telling myself that one day I would be old enough to leave and start a life for
myself. I would be in control then and never let anything like this happen ever
again. I always believed that I would have a better life than the horror I was
living and fought to survive long enough to make it through to that time.
I wrote this book to inform abuse survivors that they are
not alone, and that they are worthy, and that they can seek justice. Yes,
justice can be dispensed many, many years after the crime has been committed.
It may not be for everyone, and I will not lie and say it is an easy road. It
requires years of emotional investment and takes toll on you and your loved
ones. But it can be done. The closure it has given me to see “him” behind bars
is amazing. I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I have
been shown to be worthy — at last.
The sentencing of my rapist was a vindication and also
gave me some small sense of consolation. I know that at least for the next few
years, other children will be safe from a monstrous paedophile – something that
caused me many sleepless nights over the past 30 years. Can you imagine the
lingering horror of wondering what “new” child he was abusing at any given
time, and not being able to do a damn thing to stop him? I wanted to get him
off the streets, away from children, and registered as a sex offender. After
many years, I have achieved that.
Also, writing a journal is extremely therapeutic. In
fact, this is how the book began. Rather than keep it bottled up inside, push
aside your feeling of shame and talk about the abuse. Share your story with
anyone who wants to listen, because getting it out there and not hiding it away
is the key. It need not be a dark little secret. Tell the world, which is what
I am doing here. It gets the burden off your shoulders and may just help
someone else in the process. The truth is, the more people who talk about it,
the less victims there will be.
Even after everything I went through as a child, I am a
happy and well adjusted adult, thank God. I am in love with the man of my
dreams, have four beautiful children, and many wonderful friends. I have
already reached a lot of the goals that I set for myself – getting my
stepfather convicted for rape being at the top of my list. I had always wanted
to write books and have done that now too. I enjoy writing and have written a
series of Paranormal Romance books in The Dream Series, about a vigilante
vampire that kills rapists and child molesters….
I also wrote this book and a short story about my health.
I have fought to get my health problems sorted and not just let doctors fob me
off like they have tried to do for years. I never want to be a doormat like my
mother; I want to take control of my own fate and fight to be in charge of my
own life. I now have a very good and happy life, a life where I am in control
of my own destiny. The life I always knew was out there waiting for me, if I
could just escape the horrors of home.
An horrific true account of abuse told simply yet cuts right to the
core. The lack of care given to innocent children resonates deep within. Gladys
Quintal is to be commended for her courage and dignity in telling her story.