A victim of childhood sexual abuse, in Hindhead, has launched a website to help fellow victims, after the man who abused him was jailed for four years on January 23.
Tim Verity, 32, has now waived his right to anonymity. But it took many years for him and his sister, who was abused by the same man, to come to terms with what had happened to them. They informed the police three years ago.
Their abuser, Neil Day, was a relative, who used his position of trust to carry out his secret sexual assaults on visits to the family home in the 1990s when Tim was a young schoolboy – pictured above right.
Day, of Park Lane, Ropley, in Hampshire, was found guilty of six counts of gross indecency with a child and one count of indecent assault during a trial at Guildford Crown Court, in November.
On January 23, Day was sentenced to four years in prison and placed on the sexual offenders register for life.
“Shortly before my 16th birthday, I came to the crashing realisation I had been sexually abused during my childhood,” Tim said. “I’m not exactly sure when it started, but I know that by the age of seven or eight an adult male relative had groomed me.
“He used sugar mice, made by his mother, to entice me to perform sexual acts and to keep quiet about the assaults he would carry out during time spent playing in his bedroom. The effect of this revelation was to fracture my fragile developing mind and trap me in a cycle of destructive behaviour that would continue to haunt me for years to come.
“I spent over half of my lifetime picking the shards of psychic debris from my wounded self. For 15 years I lived as a prisoner to thoughts and feelings I couldn’t control.
“It took the birth of my nephew, and the realisation that by staying silent I could be putting other children risk, to summon up the courage to come forward.
“Early in the summer of 2014 I was interviewed by police, who launched an investigation into the historic abuse I suffered at the start of the 1990s.
“I launched the site in mid-January, at around the time of the sentencing, but I’ve been active on Twitter since the verdict in November.
“The response so far has been overwhelming, with survivors getting in contact to share their stories, offer support and with kind words to say about my decision to come forward.
“I’ve already had a number of meetings with survivor led organisations and individuals working to offer support to people who have experienced abuse and I’m hoping to build on this momentum in the coming months.
“I launched this site as a way of connecting with fellow survivors, to offer support and to ensure that our voices are heard.
“Through my experiences I hope to add to the growing debate on the subject, as well as to engage with and advocate for other people affected by childhood sexual abuse.”
• For more information about Tim’s project go to www.timverity.com or follow @TimVerity on Twitter.