Actually, it's not a good thing that this sexually abusive UNNAMED DAD is referred to as a "monster"--even though he clearly is one. Unfortunately, using the word "moster" makes the public think that sexual predators look like Frankenstein or Peter Lorre in a trench coat hanging around a dark alley. The fact is that these guys come across to the public as...normal men. Charming, intelligent, the whole bit. That's the bad part. They are very manipulative, and have polished the "normal" act down to perfection. That's one reason these guys get away with their crimes for long. That's one reason mothers are nearly never believed when they accuse a "normal" father of sexual abuse.
Last Updated: November 29, 2011
One girl's life with a monster
by: Robyn Riley
From: Sunday Herald Sun November 27, 2011 12:00AM
SARAH'S story will take you out of your comfort zone because it deals with the sort of abuse so sickening, many in our civilised society would prefer to think it does not exist.
For 10 years this young Victorian woman was sexually abused by the very man who should have been her protector - her biological father.
She remembers the abuse starting when she was about four. She told me: "I was so fed up and sick of what my dad was doing to me, I wanted it to stop. (But) he said he would kill my mum if I told her."
That's what sexual predators do, particularly within a family circle. They bully and threaten and blackmail and impose their will on the weak. It's such a betrayal of the human condition that many of us shrink away from such crimes.
I find it hard to confront myself, but here's the thing. If Sarah is prepared to talk about it publicly for the first time, we should pay her the respect of listening and perhaps her courage will give strength to other young victims of sexual abuse.
Sarah wants them to know that there is always someone willing to listen, believe in them and support them through what will be a harrowing journey to see the perpetrator punished. She wants those suffering in silence to know that they are not alone.
"I have a lot of guilt about the family breaking up," she told me tearfully. "I just wanted it to stop."
Standing alongside her is her mother. She said it still made her angry to think that the constant, shocking abuse of her only daughter was happening under her roof by a man she loved.
She thought they had the perfect family and a great marriage.
Sarah is not her real name, but her wounds are still too deep and raw and she is not yet ready to reveal all to close friends.
How can she when she is still trying to comprehend the horror that happened to her? To understand why she was regularly woken at 2am by her father and abused or why, as she became older, he became more aggressive and controlling, demanding sexual acts in exchange for allowing her to go out with friends.
Sarah is now 20; a delicate, beautiful young woman. Her father was a monster who used every trick in the book to manipulate, frighten and abuse his own child.
He said it was something all little girls did with their fathers and that he loved her and that she must not tell anyone because it was their secret.
Jo Mealia said that tactic was known as "grooming". A member of a Victoria Police Sexual Offence and Child Abuse Investigation Team (SOCIT), Det Mealia investigated the case from the time Sarah told her mother she was ready to press charges and she stayed with it until the end.
That's the whole idea of this specialist unit; victims deal with one or two investigators through the entire process and the rapport between Det Mealia and Sarah shows it works. She was with Sarah and her mother during the years it took to have Sarah's father charged and convicted. And she was there for her last year when Sarah's father was charged with 26 counts of incest, 25 counts of an indecent act with a child under 16 and one threat to kill.
"When I saw him (in court) I thought, 'How can you do that to your own flesh and blood? I'm your daughter'. It was just sick."
Sarah's father was sentenced to 15 years in jail with a 12-year non-parole period. An appeal was dismissed.
In the end, what made Sarah come forward was the fear he could abuse another child.
"My dad put me through hell for 10 years and I was scared he was going to go off and have another family and do it to their kids and I didn't want that."
She said the process of making the statement was horrible.
"You feel a whole lot better. It was a load off my chest, but you have to be ready because you have to go through every single detail."
And that is the message she wants to share with other young victims. Her mother is warm and friendly, but fiercely protective of her three children. The day she confronted her husband was the day she ordered him out of the family home they had shared for 18 years.
How could she not know?
It is a question she has asked herself many times.
Her first reaction, she said, was anger.
"The anger was unbelievable. That it was happening for so long. I'm angry with me for not seeing it."
Now divorced from the man she says had broken her family, she is working with Sarah to put their lives back together.
But despite the trauma, Sarah has a remarkable strength and tenacity. Aware that only one in seven sexual assaults are reported, she wants victims to know that they can stand up and say when something is not right.
ONE day she would also like to talk to school groups to warn children that adults -- men and women -- do commit sexual assaults against children and that it is not acceptable.
"I'm not the only one this has happened to," Sarah told me. "I want other children to know that. I also want them to know that there will always be somebody out there to help you, no matter what."