Standing in front of my class each day, looking into their little faces. It was like looking into the future, and was my motivation to get help, so I could look forward too.

Mary is 31. She was sexually abused by her father from age 6 – 11.

“People thought because I had a good job and nice house that I was doing great, I really wasn’t. I
was having panic attacks and had been struggling with Bulimia for years.

My family always called me the “ career girl” but the truth was I was terrified of intimacy. I had
never had a long term relationship.

It was only when Mary went to One in Four for Therapy that she made the connection between her
distress and what had happened as a child.

Over two and a half years in therapy, Mary was able to face what had happened to her as a child. As
she confronted her fear of her father, the panic attacks subsided. She began to understand the
purpose of her bulimia.

I was able to stop the vomiting and purging when I realised I was doing it to
try sooth my anger and distress.I found better ways to cope , and have started to feel much better about myself.

Through therapy Mary was able to set boundaries and move at a pace that suited her.

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“I was always good at Sports. I loved them all, whatever it was, I’d be first picked for the team.  It was the best part of school but turned out the worst part of my life.

At eleven I was moved into the senior team at school. Not that big for my age but fast and skillful.  Tipped for big things: I played centre half “like no one in the County”, that’s what my coach would tell my parents anyway, calling to my house regularly giving them all this positive feedback. He would “take me under his wing”. Sure he was like a hero in the town.

It was during the extra coaching when it started, often after training when the other lads who head home. I was only twelve now, my childhood was over.

Over the next two years, a young boy full of life was slowly and determinately destroyed by a coach who was supposed to be there to support him. And he was “a great man,” they all said.

 I have spent the rest of my life trying to cope with what happened. It’s the Trauma I suppose. I struggled with work, my relationships, and sometimes just the ordinary stuff of getting out of bed.

I needed to do something. I needed to start talking, tell someone who would understand.

50 years later I have taken back my life. You see things changed when I went to One in Four. They’re good people; they never gave up on me.

I learned that the power my coach had over me didn’t need to control me forever.

It’s never too late to ask for help. You might forgive, you might not forget but you can work through it, free yourself.  I am not running away from what happened anymore, I am healing and liberating myself from my past.”


My cousin was like a big sister to me, we lived on the same street. She got married young. It was her husband who started abusing me: One big family, eh? Yeah, that’s what everyone used to say, I remember him saying it a lot.

My cousin had a baby. So after a while, they needed a babysitter. He puts lots of effort into me staying over, and that’s when it all started, Just a few weeks before my 14th birthday. He seemed so kind, so helpful, but he tricked me. I told him he couldn’t do it, he told me he would tell everyone, and my cousin would never speak to me again. I just felt helpless.

One of the hardest things now is being with all my family, and having to be in a room with him. I did confront him. I told my best friend, my cousin, but she said you’re a liar” “it was horseplay” and it was never mentioned again after that.

The abuse started a volcano of pain that would comes up and goes down, but it never goes away.

Group therapy took me a long long time to take part in. But eventually, I started. As a teenager I had no trust, in anyone, it’s got better as I have grown up, I suppose because of the counseling I received at One in Four this has changed and I feel more positive about the future.

He took my teenage years, but he wouldn't take my twenties from me. If I had to give other people advice I would say " to anyone who is looking for help, there is no better place to come to than One In Four."



It started when I was really young, so young I can't really remember exactly. But at night time, as far back as I can remember I’d be lying in bed trying to fall asleep and my mind would wander. I’d get snagged on something that didn’t fit in, like a wrong puzzle piece mixed into the puzzle. Then, when I would direct my attention to it, it felt as if I had just been stung, like by a bee and my whole body would tighten up.

Not easy when you’re 7.

The abuse started again in my teens, by the same person, but this time I remembered every single thing. Over and over again.

My teens were hellish because whatever my brain had done to protect me as a child just stopped working, and everything started to flood back in. 

Abuse doesn’t stop when the abuse stops, because for the rest of your life you’re still coming up against stuff that has something to do with it.

Step by step, session by session, One in Four has been able to help me. They have helped me overcome the guilt, the shame, and find pathways to deal with things. There's still ups and downs but I am coping well. I look forward to things now, things really are ok.