If I had known that I wasn’t the only cousin he had preyed on, I may have been able to say something. I don’t know. Who knows what he may have said to keep me quiet (and the others). I don’t remember. All I can say is that all of us were changed irreversibly by that trusted member of our family.
The first my parents knew of any of this was 30 years later. I was pregnant with my third son and a younger cousin was taking that bastard to court. It was a shock to me, when my father spoke quietly to me in the peace of his back garden about what was coming to light within the family. It was difficult for him to verbalise, I know this much, but he gently told me the allegations of my cousin. I was horrified, dismayed, appalled and sickened. However, his next question just completely surprised me. After he had told me some details, he said to me, “Your Aunt has said that she doesn’t believe any of these allegations but if she found that it had happened to you she could perhaps consider the possibility that this happened to your cousin”. I answered the question truthfully and respectfully as I could see the pain in my father’s posture (I didn’t dare look into his eyes). But my entire being was screaming in anger at the doubt surrounding my cousin’s accusation. Of course I knew it to be true. But even so, why would a woman at the age of 28 and no recent contact with this man suddenly decide to do this without good reason. Not for fun that’s for sure. Not for money, he had none. I’ll tell you why. The things he did to her were unspeakable and as a little girl, she wasn’t able to get away from it. He picked her up from school every day.
( Just feel I need to clarify that the “Uncle” concerned was NOT blood related)