A woman who was sexually abused by her ‘bogeyman’ dad as a child has bravely shared her story in a bid to help others.
Stace Don was horrifically abused by her own father, Nigel Taylor. He would ‘turn up out of the blue’ and treat her like a slave, physically, mentally and sexually abusing her.
The 32-year-old from Oldham bravely spoke out to police about what was happening and Taylor was locked up for the vile offences. The mum-of-one now wants to help other people like her who have survived abuse.
Stace’s ordeal began at the age of two, when she was taken into foster care and away from Taylor. She said: “My childhood was chaotic. My dad would turn up every now and again.
“I remember once he spoke to me in the street and introduced himself as my dad. We had contact on and off, but he had an awful temper.”
She said at the age of 17 she went to visit him, but was made to stay on. Stace said: “He would say to me ‘look, you want me to be nice to you, don’t you and this is part of it’. He would drive me to deserted areas and abuse me in his car, or he’d do it when the house was quiet.
“I wasn’t strong enough to fight him off and I was frightened of him too. I knew what his temper was like. He treated me as a doormat; I had to cook and clean for him, I had to look after him like I was his slave. If the housework wasn’t done, if his clothes weren’t ironed, I was in trouble.
“He forced me to stay awake to watching wrestling on late night TV and if I dozed off, he would touch me inappropriately or hit me. He’d wake me up by throwing my bed upside down. I had to stay awake for the wrestling, even though I was often exhausted.”
The attacks escalated and Stace became increasingly isolated. She said: “Mentally, physically, emotionally, he all but destroyed me. I had nowhere to turn and I felt helpless.”
Stace told the police about Taylor and in April 2011, he was jailed for seven years at Basildon Crown Court. He admitted sexual activity with a child family member.
Taylor was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register. He was also ordered to stay away from Stace.
Stace has now created a blog to help other survivors. So far, it has attached more than 10,000 supporters, with views from across 30 different countries.
“My father was like a bogeyman all through my childhood; he would turn up out of the blue. He treated me as his slave and if I didn’t do what he wanted he would sexually, physically, mentally or emotionally abuse me”, Stace said.
“I felt so isolated during the abuse and that is why I started the blog; to reach out to others.
“My supporters are spread over 30 different countries, from the US to Australia, South Africa and beyond.
“I think it shows that these issues are universal. Anyone who can relate to anything I’ve written, please know that you will find happiness in yourself. The life you live is yours and yours alone.”
She added: “I will never fully recover from the horrors of my childhood, but I want to turn this into something positive. I want to help others. I started my blog for other survivors. It’s not just emotional support, it’s practical advice too, dealing with social services and the court system. Nobody should feel alone. Help is out there.”
You can read Stace’s blog here.