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 put 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 I was a liar, that “it was horseplay” and it was never mentioned again after that.

The abuse started a volcano of pain that would come up and goes down but would never go away.

Getting help has changed things for me.

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 I feel more positive about the future.

He took my teenage years, but I didn't allow him to 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."

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